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The Silent Pain of Infertility


Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your home, your children like young olive plants around your table (Psalm 128:3).

Ben and I chose this as the Responsorial Psalm for our Nuptial Mass nearly ten years ago.  We imagined a fruitful life in every way imaginable, especially when it came to our dream of having a large family.  Neither of us grew up in a particularly large family.  I only have one younger sibling, a brother, and Ben has two younger siblings.  Both of our mothers are only children.

As we planned our wedding day, we discussed how lots of babies would fulfill our hopes of growing our home and expanding the family tree.  Ben said, “At least four kids” when asked by Fr. Joe during our FOCUS questionnaire.  I was resigned to the number God had planned for us, certain that it couldn’t be fewer than what Ben envisioned.

But, as every faithful Catholic knows, God’s plans are often not what we expect.  Yes, they are always greater than our hopes and dreams, but they’re difficult to comprehend, let alone believe, when we are in the midst of such silent pain as infertility.

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