Politicians and their spouses are generally deeply guarded when it comes to personal struggles, which is what makes The Federalist’s recent interview with Second Lady Karen Pence so intriguing and refreshing.
In an exchange that was published during National Infertility Awareness Week, which spanned April 23-29, Pence told the outlet that she and her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, struggled to conceive for six long years.
“It took us six years before we were able to get pregnant with our first child,” she told The Federalist. “And you know, we had gotten married a little later … and so I was 34 before I got pregnant. We were ready to start our family, and it just didn’t happen.”
Pence said the experience led her to question God, given her lifelong desire to be a mom.
“I didn’t care about fame or fortune, big house, fancy career, nice car — none of that has ever been important to me. I just wanted to be a mom,” Pence said. “And so my main thing was, how could God put this desire in my heart and not bring me kids? And so, I’ve got to tell you, it made me question Him a lot.”
Speaking more broadly about her struggle to have children, she acknowledged that infertility can be “a very heartbreaking experience.” In the end, though, Pence said that she came to understand the “perfect” nature of God’s timing.
In the midst of their own struggle to conceive, the Pences decided to adopt. But while they were preparing to possibly bring a little boy into their home, Karen discovered that she was finally pregnant with their first child.
In the years that followed, the Pences had two more children, signaling a joyful end to the couple’s long-fought battle with infertility. Today, Karen Pence looks back on the entire challenge as an experience that helped her become a better mom.
“I am a much better mother than I would have been if I hadn’t gone through those struggles,” Pence told the Federalist. “I’m not saying I’m a better mother than someone who didn’t go through those struggles, I’m saying it made me a better mother than I would have been, because there are days in motherhood where you just want to pull your hair out, and we ended up having three children in three years, so we had three under the age of three for three months.”
Pence added that she’d often remember during those tough and chaotic times that she almost wasn’t able to become a mother, a recollection that allowed her to value and appreciate parenthood more deeply, even when she had difficult days.
Read more about the Pences’ story here.
Other Must-Read Stories: