Purpose through Infertility: A Search to Reclaim My Womanhood

By:  Lauren Tarr

“I’m pregnant!” 

The shouts of joy, celebration, hugs, and joyous tears ensue.   I observe the hurrah, breathe deeply, smile, and give my heartfelt congratulations.  But the guilt consumes me, because while I genuinely don’t want to squash the deserved joy of others, my heart is shattered into millions of teeny tiny pieces.  I want to hide my face so nobody sees how hard it is for me join the celebratory party.  I excuse myself, and find the nearest bathroom where I can safely collapse to the floor and cry alone.  I am happy for my family and friends.  Truly, I am.  But, for a long time, I’ve wanted to join the club of motherhood, and I’m not sure if I will ever get the honor.  A part of me feels like I’ve let my husband down, that our families will be disappointed that I’m not able to add to the otherwise growing family.

Mothers and soon-to-be-mothers surround me:  family, friends, social media acquaintances.  I see the changes in these women – the joy, the love, and the transformation with each trimester and milestone that passes, their precious babies growing inside of them.  With each pregnancy I witness, I am in awe of the miracle that brings new life into this world.  And I wish it was me.

“You’re next, Lauren.” 

“Are you guys trying yet?”

“When are you going to start having kids?”

“Being a mom is the best thing I’ve ever done.  You’re missing out.”

“I never knew what love was until I became a mother.”

Comments like these have left me deeply wounded.  I bite my tongue so hard I make it bleed.  They know not what they say, I keep telling myself.  And with time and each passing remark, I begin to feel myself losing value as a woman.  After all, if I can’t have a child, what kind of woman am I?  The grief led me on a journey to reclaim my lost identity, in hopes of gluing back together my broken womanhood.


I have a genetic mutation called Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR).  I’ll save the complex science lesson behind it all for a different day, but for me, it has led to several autoimmune challenges and hormonal issues that have led to fertility obstacles.  Currently, my body is not able to sustain a pregnancy.  And unfortunately, even if I was blessed with a pregnancy, it could pose a health risk to both me and the baby.

So, here I am.  Trying to figure it all out.  Forging on.  And trying to find the why behind it all.

Through the grief, tears, questions, fears, and longing…the one thing that I’ve personally clung to is my faith.  I’ve found myself on my knees pouring myself out to God more times than I can count.  And then, one night, He jolted me from my sleep.

I listened.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

The poetic words brought me comfort, lyrics that hummed me back to sleep.  God’s love filled every empty space within me.  And I felt peace.

It was a moment that shifted everything for me.  It brought me a perspective that I so desperately craved, an understanding that my life was not a mistake.  To the contrary, my life is rich with purpose.   God delights in me as His creation.  And as my Artist, He has been in control the entire time, confident in the end product, that is me. Each joy and heartbreak, every friend and stranger whose life intersected mine, and each experience I have endured—it was perfectly woven to equip me and put me on the path toward my purpose.

Being childless hurts me.  Deeply.  But, I trust my Father’s plan.  And I know He wants me to do something great with this pain; to create beauty from these ashes.  I’ve learned that every woman is maternal by nature.  That our womb is not just an organ that grows children, but to grow life in all its forms.  We have the power to conceive many ideas and birth many creations, for as long as we are blessed with breath in our lungs.  Our womb is home to our divine feminine essence, our source of love and strength, and a place of beauty and miracles.  It has led to my life mission of helping other women deal with their pain – to break free from their bondage, to find peace in mind, body, and spirit, and to experience an abundance of joy and purpose through it all.  And, it has led to my desire of helping orphaned children desperately praying for a family to call home.

And so, today as I look upward towards the Heavens above, I place my hands over these broken ovaries, and I flood them with the glue of love and gratitude.  For I am a woman of God – strong, worthy, and blessed.


About Lauren Tarr

PortraitLauren Tarr, M.S.Ed., INHC is a health and lifestyle coach, blogger, and co-author of the upcoming book release, From Pain to Purpose.  Lauren received her master’s degree in Counselor Education, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy, and then obtained her certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  Lauren uses a “wholistic” approach to health and well-being:  mind, body, and spirit.  She encourages healthy living through nutrition and exercise, but strongly believes in soul nourishment.  Throughout her personal journey, Lauren found the answer to her unshakable joy is her faith.  Lauren believes that everyone has a profound, perfectly woven story that is meant to be shared with the world.  She partners with her clients to break through patterns of fear and perfection so they can give rise to their voices.  She has experience working with disordered eating, digestive health issues, food allergies/intolerances, chronic illnesses, anxiety and mood disorders, and stagnation.  She has been married to her husband for four-and-a-half years and calls herself mom to their beloved dog, Josie.  They reside in the Pittsburgh, PA area.

Twenty-something and Dealing with Infertility

It’s a common misconception that infertility is only a problem for those who wait too long to try to conceive. Today, we’re sharing portions of just a few of the many stories we’ve collected from those diagnosed with the disease in their 20s. This post does contain an image of babies/parenting.

– Elizabeth

 Natalie and Stephan 

Natalie and Stephan focus their energy on putting puzzles together as a way to keep infertility off their minds.

Natalie and Stephan focus their energy on putting puzzles together as a way to keep infertility off their minds.

What are some of the best ways people supported you during your journey?  One of the most memorable ways people helped support us was fundraising for IVF. We set up one of those health donation websites and had a garage sale. Family members and friends had bake sales, everyone donated items for the garage sale, and even coworkers from family members helped out. It was really really humbling and brought us to tears once to see all the support we were getting.

What is the biggest lesson you learned throughout the journey?

Natalie: “The big ticket question. I think this is what I struggle most with. Figuring out why this is happening, or what I can learn from all of this. Patience definitely, though, I can’t say that is currently my strong suit these days. Over all, I think trying to ‘live in the moment,’ is a big take away. It’s so easy to get swept into ‘what’s next?’ or ‘what should I have done?’ that I lose the now.  I also think I’m gaining perseverance.

Stephan: “I think learning to be more pragmatic is the biggest takeaway from this journey.  I was so expectant with the initial IVF cycle because so much time and money was invested in it that I think we were both extremely disappointed when it wasn’t successful.  Learning to live within the facts and to not speculate has helped save me the disappointment.”

“I felt alone and ashamed to have to go through this at what was then 24.”

Audrey and Chas


Audrey: “One of our biggest challenges was Chas’s anger for not being able to expand our family naturally. During an argument he told me that the reason he was really upset was because we have 2 empty rooms upstairs (we bought a 4 bedroom house in the hopes that they would be filled shortly after we purchased.) I felt alone and ashamed to have to go through this at what was then 24.”

Chas: “This infertility journey is mostly my fault. Not exactly my fault but I’m the one with something wrong. It’s kind of been hard to take. I’ve had my good moments and my bad moments. I’ve had moments where I’ve just blown up and said I can’t do this anymore. Big, huge blow outs. It’s hard when you feel like it’s your fault. I dealt with it on individual terms instead of more of a team effort. When I finally embraced that team effort, everything got a lot better. Although, I still have my days. You just have to go in as a team.”

“The advice I would give to someone who has just been diagnosed with infertility would be, realize it isn’t anyone’s fault. Also, don’t hold it in. Talk to your true friends and let them know that this isn’t something that can just be ‘relaxed’ away, or something you can ‘try harder’ at, this is a real medical problem.”


Megan and Jeremy


Megan: “Through my testing, we found I had a heart shaped uterus, hypothyroidism, PCOS tendencies(but no official change in the labs to get the official PCOS diagnosis), MTHFR, elevated NK cells and cytokines, and blood clotting tendencies/antiphospholipid antibody syndrome that impaired bloodflow to my ovaries and uterus.”

“My RE told me that if my labwork didn’t improve in my next cycle (my FSH just came back extremely elevated while we were planning our 3rd IVF cycle for 2 months later), he wouldn’t let me use my own eggs anymore.  At 28 years old, I took that news really hard.”

“Prior to the IF process, I was completely phobic of needles and there was no way I’d give myself shots.  With the exception of the PIO shots, I gave myself my shots and had IV infusions every 2-4 weeks to prevent my immune system from attacking the babies.  I’d sometimes have to be stuck up to 6 times a day depending on lab work and how easily they’d get the IV.  My desire to have a baby far surpassed my fears.  What other choice did I have? It all seemed small in comparison to not having children.”