The Cost of Barrenness

* Note: The following is shared in solidarity to all those women who have faced infertility.  I found during my struggle that I could not adequately describe my feelings well enough to be understood, especially to those with no fertility issues.  As I have the "war" behind me, I still have battle wounds  & their accompanying feelings.  But I can now say that life is good & God is good, even in our sorrow.  The question we should focus on is not "Why?" but "How should I go forward?"  - Valerie




At first, your heart expands in anticipation each month of that first sign that your body has become a refuge for a new soul.  When the uterus lets go its regular offering, the heart shrivels a bit.  Every month, it swells less and dries up more until years have passed and a prune resides there.


There is a knife in the gut feeling.  No! A ripping of the chest as if enormous hands have torn through your skin and smashed your bones to widen a gap in your body.  This hole is escape exit for the pain of a monthly death notice.  The loss is fresh each time – raw and unbearable.

The womb weeps. That’s how you come to see menstruation.  In between, the uterus yearns, as do your breasts.  These want to be suckled and touched by new skin and tiny hands. The womb wants to fulfill its purpose.  They have their own hearts for a child.  Aches, sensations, searching for their lost loves.


Like the genitals and their urge for sex, breasts, womb, arms all radiate their need.  A thirst unquenched. Desire unsatisfied. Dream not reached. Begging to be relieved of the weight of wanting.



I cannot really say when my body parts gave up on gaining what they needed to feel useful and whole.  Just know it was long before my heart did.   I do know that the day they removed my useless uterus smashed my last hope.  By then, I did not even realize I still had any hope.  But the finality of that procedure was the funeral for my babies.


As for my dried-up heart.  It no longer resembles a prune. Other blessings in life and God’s healing have plumped it back up. It will never be bursting with anticipation like it once was.  It's an old engine and seen too many difficult miles.  It has, however, found enough love to sustain my days.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Valerie LK Martin

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