For most young couples, marriage inevitably leads to thoughts of parenthood. It’s a very natural progression to want to become mums and dads, and something that most newlyweds probably expect will happen in due course. But more and more today, having children is not so easy. Somewhere around 1 in 6 couples experience difficulties in conceiving, and for some, the root cause of these problems is never found.
For other couples, the pain may come later; the joy and expectation of pregnancy can be cruelly interrupted by miscarriage or even stillbirth. Couples may spend months excitedly looking forward to a new arrival, only to have those hopes shattered. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, while according to the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) “17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day in the UK.” For some of these couples also, the cause is never found.
While many can sympathise with couples in these situations, only those with first-hand experience can genuinely understand what a couple is going through. And when God allows us to go through these trials, one of the positives that we can bring is to then share with others in the same position.
2 Corinthians 1 verses 3 and 4 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth have all touched our own congregation, and many of us will know of family or friends who have gone through these things. So a number of couples from our church have formed a support group. Our idea is to offer a listening ear to couples going through these trials, to share our own experiences, and simply to be a friend to those in need. Those setting out on the path to fertility treatment or adoption might be helped by hearing about the processes from others who have been there.
Our group also want to share our experiences in a Christian context. So often, these experiences prompt Christian couples to ask “why?” This is a natural response, and while no-one can answer that question, our group wants to share our spiritual journeys with couples going through their own difficulties. Whether by sharing scripture that has encouraged us, or being honest about our own trials and doubts, we would like to be able to draw alongside couples in a real and encouraging way.
Our name wraps our aims up…Cherished describes the desire and love that couples hold for their longed-for children, while Child stands for:-
Care & Support,
Help & Advice,
We’re here to reach out to our whole community…whether people in our own church, other churches, or simply from the local area. Perhaps there are people who suffered these trials many years ago, and for whom the pain is still very real…our group would love to be able to help those folk too.
From September, our group will be up and running. Our couples tell their own stories on these webpages. And those same couples are available to share with anyone who would like to speak to us. Everything will treated in absolute confidence, and you only need to share what you want to.
You can contact the team using the following e-mail addresses:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (for help and support on adoption)
- email@example.com (for help and support around IVF and other treatments)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (for help and support around miscarriage)
- email@example.com (for help and support around stillbirth or neo-natal death)
These e-mails will be sent to the relevant team members, who will then contact you directly.