The following post I drafted up in August 2014. Three months later, while I think the same, I think I am finally ready to share it with my readers.
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I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should publish a post about faith here on Dropsofscarlet. Dropsofscarlet is a blog mostly about periods and women’s health and some would say faith has no part to play in these subject areas.
More and more I am seeing just how closely linked the two are in my personal life. Because of my challenges with reproductive health I have had a very hard time connecting with God. For me this is a big deal because my faith has always been the one thing I can count on.
I know that the way I am feeling is a direct result of me distancing myself from God, which is a direct result of the persistent pain I experience due to endometriosis. It’s hard to stay optimistic, when each day is plagued with cramping and nausea. I have some good days – they are rare, but good. It is equally hard to connect with God, who essentially created and designed the very thing that is destroying my insides: menstruation.
Through my experience growing up in the Christian faith, reading the Bible or listening to pastors speak about gender roles, procreation and marriage, I’ve heard it said, more often than not, that God made women so that they could essential produce babies. Of course most pastors today do acknowledge that women have many other roles outside of child bearing, but the weight of the responsibility on all things reproduction still very much centre on women. Our bodies are designed this way and were made for pregnancy; and that is a beautiful thing.
But, what happens when that “design” is flawed and can’t carry out that function? In my experience the church is pretty silent on issues of infertility and the menstrual cycle. While vocal on matters related to abortion and teen pregnancy, there isn’t much said to those women who are struggling every month to conceive or those struggling with reproductive diseases. Even outside of the church discussion of menstruation, miscarriage, infertility etc. are limited. They are uncomfortable subjects for many, but they are uncomfortable because sometimes there isn’t a solution to the problems we face.
Full disclosure: I am terrified of trying to conceive, because I fear failing to conceive. I know a lot of woman have that fear, but for someone who has been told since they were 19 that they will have a hard time getting pregnant, getting pregnant doesn’t make the top of one’s to do list.
It’s always been easier for me to think of life without kids, without the option of pregnancy. Why would I willingly set myself up for defeat. I know my body, I know it’s limitations and pregnancy (from a medical, logical standpoint) doesn’t make sense to pursue.
But, then again, I have been learning that there IS more than one way to have a family. There is more to being a woman, than being a mother. And if a woman wants to a mother, there are options.