Faith, Infertility

The End of an Era


“The end of an era.”

I’m contemplating a couple of endings this week.  How do you feel when things end?

I guess it depends on what’s ending.

Relief, excitement, devastation, joy, sorrow, apathy.  So many emotions for endings.

Our babies move into new stages.  Crawling ends.  Nursing ends.  Preschool ends.

Jobs end; grad school ends.  Sometimes marriages end.

Sometimes the endings are abrupt and traumatic.  Death, breakups, lay offs.

Sometimes they’re so gradual they sneak up on you.  When I crawled out of anorexia, it took time.  Slowly, bite by bite, I realized I was eating again and I lost count of calories.

Another ending has been sneaking up on me.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  My long, tortured history with my malfunctioning uterus has led me to an appointment.  We’re going to talk about getting rid of it altogether, and I’m feeling conflicted.

The end of an era.  Goodbye endometriosis?  It’s a very final note in a maudlin symphony of pain.

It’s strange to think about losing this piece of me, however dysfunctional.  Endometriosis has shaped my entire life, from a childhood of missing school and fainting spells to my twenties as a lab rat and my thirties in the world of adoption.

And every step with the stabbing pain in my pelvis.  Sometimes endings are good and necessary and healthy.

But even when you know you need something to end, do you still feel loss?  Even when you can sense the relief in the ending, is it still sometimes hard to make that decision?

I don’t know what life is like without the pain.

Endings are weird.

And there are the endings we get to choose and the ones we don’t.

Is anyone watching a child graduate this spring?  I know, kinda non sequitur, but it’s all ending-related in my brain.  I’ve been leading this precious group of Class of 2014 girls since they were in sixth grade, and 2014 seemed really far away when I started and now it’s here.

This weekend is our last retreat together.  We’ve spent this year talking SATs and college applications.  They’re scattering all over campuses and our time together is drawing to a close.  This weekend we’ll get together one last time for too many pretzel M&Ms, another Sole Hope shoe-cutting party, and honest questions about God.

They’re ready to start new lives and I’m ready to send them off.  But there’s this wonky thing that time does where it speeds up at the end until you haven’t said everything you wanted to.  Seven years felt like forever and now it feels too short.  And if you’re an actual parent, not a student ministry leader, I can’t imagine what eighteen years feels like now.

Wombs, school, relationships.  Everything ends sometimes, and I won’t Sunday school you with an “except Jesus’ love.”  I guess I just did.

The thing about endings isn’t whether you end, but how you do it.  I want to end well.  For my girls, I want to run this race with them up until the end and make sure they know they can call me any time from any place and I will love them fiercely no matter what.  I want to talk about everything, to make sure they ask every question and that it’s always, always okay to question and wonder and think out loud.  To be brave and whimsical.  To ponder.

I’m so tired of life and this pain in my belly, but I want to end well, to perk up when I hear the doorbell and know that it’s them.  To linger at the door just a little longer to hear one more story.

The end of an era.  The beginning of this new, funky friendship that can last long past curfews and college.

The end of an era.  The beginning of life without pelvic pain?  Is this possible?

Are you facing an ending, or maybe a couple of completely unrelated ones like me?  Are you greeting it with excitement or dread?  Nervousness or relief or peace or a little of everything?

I could use prayer for womb wisdom.  How can I pray for you?


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  • Jennifer Coersmeyer Damron

    I completely understand the conflict.. There’s something about officially and completely ending all fertility possibilities… We’re completely done, my tubes were tied after our daughter and now my Dr wants to zap off my lining to end long heavy ouchy weeks (tmi sorry). It will be such a relief but at the same time make pregnancy an impossibility.. But I’m done being pregnant.. Still, there’s something about closing that door… Praying for you :)

    • Melanie Dale

      There IS something about that door…and there’s no such thing as TMI on this blog, puh-lease. ;)

  • Awesomemom

    I hope your procedure goes smoothly and that you recover quickly. Having surgery is always kind of scary even if it is very unlikely that things will go wrong.

    The ending that I am facing is a move. I am getting myself excited for the new place so that I can talk it up to the kids but deep inside even though I hate my house I am secretly hoping that something will change so we don’t have to move. The biggest adjustment will not even be the move, it will be the change in the nature of my husband’s job. He is going to be gone for months at a time which is going to be very hard for us and him.

    • Melanie Dale

      Oh, that is a big change. Whew. I’m praying for you now!

  • Carrie

    My husband and I just met with my doctor Friday to make this decision. The only reasons I was holding out were because we have not had any children yet or adopted (in process), and to give up on Brutus would be to give up all MY control on guaranteeing that there would be some chance I could make a baby happen if an adoption never did. In the end, after some prayerful consideration, we decided that God had called us to adopt and we needed to trust him. My doctor confirmed it during our meeting, that the only chance we had of conceiving would be through IVF, and then it would be a slim one. We had agreed before we married that IVF would not be in the picture for us, and I especially can’t imagine going through that (and driving 3 hours each way to the fertility clinic) with newly placed children in our home. I told my husband that I reserve the right to use the time, energy and money that we might have used on IVF towards future adoptions. And now my girlfriends and I are planning a farewell to Brutus (eviction notice has been served) party, celebrating my freedom from the pain and issues and my freedom in Christ to allow his plan for our family. I wish you well in your decisions as well. :)





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