Dealing With Infertility
Culturally, in places like Nigeria, having children is considered one of the primary blessings of marriage. This is evident in the prayers said for couples during the wedding ceremonies When a couple chooses to wait before starting a family, or if, for other reasons, there is a delay in getting pregnant, many concerned relatives, well meaning friends, even nosy neighbours begin to fret, to the degree that childlessness becomes something of a stigma with accusing eyes usually directed at the woman. . In westernized countries, the emphasis on having children may not be as strong, which is not to say that children are not as deeply valued in such societies.
The diagnosis of infertility is usually quite a glum prospect, yet the truth of the matter is that not everyone shall get pregnant, and this for any number of reasons. Countries with good documentation like the US, record 12% infertility rate among the reproductive sector of the population. Medicine offers several treatments – medication, surgery, sperm, egg and embryo donor – to high tech, in-vitro-fertilization. Other options include surrogacy, adoption and natural treatment methods using herbs, diet, acupuncture. This list is not exhaustive. Apart from cost, and rigorous physical regimens, some treatments come with uncomfortable physical side effects, health risks, invasive methods and monthly emotional trauma when success does not seem readily apparent. Nonetheless, many individuals find that the joy of conception or having their own child outweighs all the cons; and it is fit and proper to salute those who spend time, money, skill and effort to treat infertility.
Treatment apart, if that is the route of choice, how can infertility be handled? Spirituality insists that infertility is a label. It neither befits man nor honours the Creator to whom alone belongs the power of propagation, multiplication and conception. Realising that creative power belongs solely to God removes the stigma of infertility. No man or woman is at fault, physically or spiritually; and certainly it is effortless for the Creator to conceive and bring forth offspring. Thus, spirituality removes the propensity for emotional stress associated with the false label of infertility, and reminds that God sees every sincere desire, and, knowing what is best for each individual, will do it. Trusting God to fulfill desires in line with His perfect will, may seem difficult, but trust always yields the best result.
There is nothing God cannot do. In Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, Christian healer, Mary Baker Eddy writes that creation is ever appearing and must ever continue to appear due to the nature of its inexhaustible source; and since God is immutably right, He can certainly be relied on to do what is right, without being reminded of His province. God answers every prayer that confides in his will, even when it is the desire to have children.
As Nigerians celebrate Hannatu Kupchi, a test tube baby of Nigeria, now preparing for university, the higher lesson is that infertility is merely a label. It does not rightly belong to any man or woman.