Infertility & Inspiration

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Kyle Gill, Software Engineer, Particl

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Kadee and I found out some hard news we’d started to suspect a few years into our marriage: it wasn’t going to be as easy as we’d hoped to have children of our own.

We’d both talked about wanting to have a big family, and it wasn’t exactly the easiest news to hear. Interestingly, when life gets hard I start to pay attention to things I’m learning a bit more intently, and I’ve learned a lot in the past few months.

Many of those lessons have been inspiration that’s come while I’ve listened to music, from all sorts of genres and in all sorts of contexts.

I didn’t want to lose some of those special moments, so here is a record:

Imploding the Mirage - The Killers

“While you were out there weighing odds I was imploding the mirage”

There have been a lot of doctors visits, and a lot of different treatments, medicines, and procedures to consider. IVF is expensive, is it worth it? Will it work? Do you risk an exploratory surgery? What side effects come from this medicine?

I had a day driving to work where I felt overwhelmed by all the decisions we had to make. I heard this line: “While you were out there weighing odds I was imploding the mirage”. I had been weighing odds, asking every doctor what percentage of treatments worked, what side effects they had, but eventually I needed to just start moving.

I’ve learned to do a lot less weighing odds, and a lot more building faith.

“Sometimes it takes a little bit of courage and doubt To push your boundaries out beyond your imagining”

My life went from expecting the hard parts of bearing children being pregnancy, and parenting. I didn’t expect a whole world of discomfort before I even got there.

Somehow, amazingly, it’s taken a combination of courage (and a little doubt) to push myself outside my comfort zone and move towards our goal of a family.

A little discomfort has pushed my own limits far past where I imagined they’d be.

Field Notes - Owl City

“And you never know what could be buried in the middle of a field”

I’m a sucker for Owl City, and this song got to me one day. There’s a biblical story throughout it (see Matthew 13:44), and it keeps leading me to push my thoughts heavenward when I hear it. It makes me think I should sell my things and press forward (“You might call it foolish but I’d call it faith”) because there might just be treasure buried in that field.

I’ve found hidden treasures places I wouldn’t expect, mostly I think because I’ve cared to look.

“It was enough to make a grown man cry”

There’s this moment in the song where the singer finds his treasure and the joy brings him tears. I’ve cried my fair share of sad tears, but I think I’ve actually cried a lot more happy tears.

“I never questioned the choice I happily made”. “Trusting in God so gladly, you can’t hardly wait”. When I start counting my treasure in heaven and I remember I have so much to be grateful for, it makes regular every day things tug at my heart strings enough to make me tear up. Maybe I’ve gotten a little softer, but I’ve started counting treasures that are “more precious than gold”.

Cheerleader - Porter Robinson

“Thought she needed me, but I need her”

Infertility is hardly an individual thing. Porter Robinson has always been one of my favorite artists and when this song was released I loved the tune, but didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics until I’d listend to it a few times.

When he sings “thought she needed me, but I need her” I think about Kadee. My thoughts have shifted from feeling like I need to be there for her and realizing more often I need her to be there for me. She tends to be a lot stronger than me after all.

“It’s not fair, well don’t you care?”

Another line in the song kind of cries out about fairness, and I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wanted to cry out the same way. Why do my friends get to have kids easily? Why does it have to be so expensive and difficult for me?

Whenever I start thinking that way, I feel a flood of thoughts to the inverse. Of course everyone cares. So many friends and family members empathize and really truly do care. I’m not sure they always understand just what it means, but I don’t think they’re supposed to either.

Running Towards a Place - The Killers

“Can two become one?”

This song has very overt references to eternal marriage. Brandon Flowers has talked about how the album artwork is sort of like him and his wife trying to make it to heaven together.

There’s another biblical reference to Mark 10:8, where he asks if two could become one. A journey to start a family is certainly a journey that involves two completely different people becoming one.

“We’re running towards a place where the sadness of this life Will be overcome”

This lyric just feels inspiring, life has had its sad days. We’ve received a lot of plain bad news from doctors that feels super demoralizing.

The sadness of this life is overcome because of the perfect example.

The Way it Was

“Can it be the way it was?”

Our life got flipped on its head, and “the question of my heart [comes] to my mind” when I’ve often wondered if my life could be how it used to be. Sometimes I feel like my own “paradise is buried in the dust”, (“sometimes a dream don’t come true”).

This song always gets to the final chorus and I feel like the tone in Brandon Flower’s voice shifts a bit and becomes less rhetorical, more asking permission:

“If I go on with you by my side Can it be the way it was?”

This song helps me accept the reality of my life, which is not the same reality it used to be, but it can feel like the way it was with a killer partner by my side.

Adam, Check Please

“I couldn’t ask for more”

This song is a little cheesey, but I still love it. Adam Young talks about his own first job working in a Hy-Vee. It always reminds me of my own simpler times of life looking forward to a bright future when I worked as a janitor in high school.

There are all sorts of little bright, uplifting lyrics:

  • “I couldn’t ask for more”
  • “help is on the way”
  • “everything is beautiful”
  • “and freedom meant the world to me”

For whatever reason I always listen to this song and end feeling grateful. I couldn’t ask for more, even if I have days where I want my own circumstances to be more ideal, everything really is beautiful.

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

“I had myself a wound concealed”

In church one Sunday we sang this hymn together as a congregation. I continued reading past the first verses and felt a lot like the subject of the sung (which is sung in the first person).

I’ve felt many days like I’ve had a wound concealed, infertility can be sort of taboo. It’s awkward and strange to bring up, and leads to some weird conversations. However, the more I serve others and forget about my own wounds, “peace [binds] up my broken heart”.

Some days I wonder whatever happened to those storks that drop the babies off at people’s doorsteps? I feel grateful for these special lessons learned as me and Kadee try to track down our own stork.