Consider this a fair warning type of post. It’s a rare complaint/whine from me, actually. The only comment I’m not fielding very gracefully is, “God is just showing you that he didn’t need you do IVF.” Here’s the fair warning part of the post: I will respond less than tactfully that God didn’t need us to do IVF the first eight times we got pregnant, either, and look how those turned out. Then I will smile and change the subject. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
I have heard this well-intentioned statement from a lot of people, and most of them are people that I love dearly. When I told one of my favorite people on the planet about how I was reacting to this, her response was exactly what I tend to think: “No, I almost think you had to do IVF; you had to be willing to do everything. I think that God is showing us he has a tremendous sense of humor and irony.” I love that my friend isn’t afraid to admit that God clearly has a sense of humor (he created me, after all), and he seems to have a flair for the ironic as well. I actually think God laughs when we attribute grander meanings to our circumstances. “That’s just God’s way of saying you’re going to have a boy.” “That’s just God showing you that you should be nice to short people.” “That’s how God shows us that artichokes are the perfect food.”
Of course those are ridiculous examples, and of course there is grander meaning to our circumstances, but I don’t think we know what that grander meaning is most of the time. I think that we rarely guess correctly when we try to guess how every circumstance fits into God’s plan. I think we might even be frustrated to know the answers most of the time; we’d probably be disappointed to know that our suffering wasn’t used as directly as we hoped. God has yet to tell me directly exactly why we had to have nine miscarriages to get to this point. I have no doubt that he has used our circumstances for his glory, but I don’t know why we had to endure all of what we’ve endured. No one does. We may never know.
What I do know is that to claim that this pregnancy is evidence that God didn’t need us to do an IVF cycle or didn’t use our IVF cycle for some part of his plan is malarky. It also trivializes our loss, not just the IVF pregnancy, but each of the eight miscarriages preceding that one. While that is certainly not the intention of my personal prophets, it is the emotional effect of their proclamation. Obviously, God didn’t need for us to do IVF to have a successful pregnancy; just as obviously, it wasn’t God’s plan for us to keep the previous pregnancies. Beyond that, I have yet to meet anyone who has the details about why those things happened the way they did except to say that God has a plan that we can’t always see or understand. That’s just God’s way of showing me that I have to trust him through every trial and every circumstance.