*It's National Infertility Awareness Week - I encourage you to read and share information to help make people more aware. As always, thanks for being so supportive of me sharing here!*
I'm the kind of person who takes something and runs with it. I've always said, "I need to find a cause to advocate for - because once I find it, I know I can make a difference."
Well the cause found me - in the form of infertility. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in December of 2011, and a year later was told the best chance Ben and I have of getting pregnant involves medical intervention. This June, we will have been "trying" for three years.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...peeing on sticks and visits to the doctor?
(Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, huh?)
Through it all, Ben and I have managed to grow closer. We've laughed at the ridiculous, researched medical terms, and held each other up when the going has gotten tough - we've moved through it together.
Infertility can wreak havoc on an individual, not to mention on a marriage; it eats away at the very core of you, and can easily turn from annoyance to a way of life. It plants seeds of doubt - about yourself, your partner, your worthiness to become a parent - which blossom when you are your most vulnerable. It's ugly, and painful, and leaves a hole in your heart you're not sure will ever be filled.
But this is why we have to talk about it.
Infertility is a roller coaster of emotion and while there are some highs, there are some extreme lows. When we feel ashamed, we should talk about it. When we're feeling angry, we should talk about it. When we're feeling hopeful, we definitely should talk about it.
There's a stigma attached to the word infertility and it goes hand in hand with silence. It's personal, and can be painful, and people don't want to intrude so it's not discussed.
Is it hard to talk about your struggles? Of course. But it is absolutely necessary.
People need to know there's more to infertility than associating it with IVF. People want to know what is good (and not so good) to say to someone struggling. People should know that it's okay to embrace their emotions - but no one will know if a conversation isn't started.
Whether it's your experience or someone else's I encourage you to stop whispering and start talking.
There's no shame in infertility - but there is in the silence.
(If you'd like more information about how to help get those conversations started, visit Resolve.org, and do something this week to bring awareness to Infertility).