Solidarity to Women with Infertility
A Letter from Stephanie Bosse
(Click on the letters to enlarge)
I grew up believing I was born to be a Mother. It was not a question or a wonder; it was something I was certain of. But the things I arrive at 46 years old, both with and without, surprising me. I had a belief and a plan, then God had a different one, and it’s ok.
I cannot have children. I suffer from infertility and this is the first time in all the years of surgeries, tests, medications and pain that I’ve actually said that statement. I chose for a very long time not to let those struggles define me with such a lifeless word. I chose to believe that there was always hope and that God’s plan was so much mightier than my own. Infertility is typically multiple decades of hoping, wishing, grieving and hurting but with God, and each other, it does not have to be our title. While I don’t think we should wear suffering on our sleeve or wallow in self pity, I fervently believe that as Catholic’s who boldly love and commit to our womanhood, this is something we should be discussing and it is something we should be there for one another about.
Right now many of you (or your sisters or friends) are where I started. My stepdaughter has recently begun going through issues I struggled with at her age and I know she is lonely, frightened and stressed. While I cannot tell her everything will be all right I can pray with and for her, (Page 2) I can share her journey and I can hear her. I know that many of you struggle with the fear of not being able to have children and that many of you suffer from hormonal issues that you rarely talk about. As embarrassing as some things may be to discuss I think we can to do more in sharing these parts of our femininity. Oftentimes we don’t ask because we aren’t certain what to say to someone having difficulties, but I think it should be less about worrying “how to ask” and more about finding ways that encourage others to speak. We need to be able to talk about our suffering without making others uncomfortable, without feeling embarrassment and without believing that it takes away from our strength because we are so very strong.
I cannot say that my particular challenge has not come with it’s own spiritual warfare, it has and this is all the more reason for us to speak bravely to each other. Jesus did not expect us to suffer alone; he did not want the infertile woman to be undone by the challenge. I believe he expected us to do this together.
"Jesus did not expect us to suffer alone; he did not want the infertile woman to be undone by the challenge. I believe he expected us to do this together."
Saint John Paul II said, “never ever give up on hope.... be not afraid.” When we struggle alone and find ourselves in darkness it is difficult to hope. And while prayer can sustain us, sharing our experiences can replace the shadows with the peace of knowing that we do not suffer alone. Jesus wants us to find that truth, that peace, in each other.
I tell you this, dear sisters, I did not expect the story I was given. And yet my life is filled with a unique kind of motherhood and joy beyond my expectations. What I HAVE is so much more than what I am missing and I - am FULL.
With prayers and so much love for you, Stephanie
Get to know Stephanie
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am 46 years old, married for 14 years to my best friend Tim, stepmother to two incredible young adults, and I work for the Catholic Relief Services for the Ethical Trade Program. I currently put together the content for the Ethical Trade social media channels and while I think I’m entirely to old to do this job, I love it. I am an extroverted introvert (just learned that was a thing) most comfortable in small groups but can oddly speak in front of thousands of strangers without issue. I regularly think of the perfect thing to say a day after I should have said it, and I genuinely hope that whenever I am remembered I am remembered for kindness. I love to laugh and probably do that too loudly at times, adore sappy sweet innocent movies (even if they are terrible), and I am ever trying to institute family traditions. I love rain, fog, face oils, the golden light of fall, the miracle of springtime. I love to travel, I’ve broken my nose ten times, I’ve got a substantial amount of metal in my back, I have curly hair that I fight with regularly, I love reading, singing, baking, cooking, eating, walking, swimming, roller skating and I am constantly learning about the incredible ways people are taking care of one another through better buying habits and ethical choices. (please follow us as we share what we know and learn on our CRS Ethical Trade pages!)
How does your Catholic faith affect the way you live your day-to-day life?
My Catholic faith is my compass. It allows me to look at the world with understanding, to see myself with honesty and truthfulness, to strive to do the will of God in all things, to help others and to be a person that gives grace, forgiveness, tenderness, mercy and above all love.