It's National Infertility Awareness Week! Last year I brought you interviews of some incredible women I've met (either through blogging or in person) who struggle with infertility.
This year's theme is "you are not alone," and it couldn't be more fitting.
Infertility is the most isolating thing I've ever dealt with.
There are women who dream of being a mom from the time they are little girls - I wasn't one of them. I love kids, but I wanted to spend time with my husband first, and let the kids come later, so we could have a good foundation for them - I knew children would be awesome, but challenging. I never thought that would start with getting pregnant.
You start "trying" to get pregnant and you let yourself dream of ways you'll announce the news to your families - even after a few months of nothing happening you don't get discouraged because it's such a "natural" thing. The word natural is a word that starts to taunt you; once you realize there's something wrong and you work up the nerve to see a specialist, you start to notice all the pregnant women and babies around you - and wonder why you couldn't just get pregnant naturally. You start wondering if all your talk of wanting to wait is now coming back as some kind of punishment, or if there's something unnatural about you.
Then comes the testing, and the decisions about how to proceed, and on top of all of that, the financial aspect, which is the #1 barrier to people being able to start a family.
Then, THEN, when you're finally ready to let go of the idea of having a baby naturally, and embrace medicine and procedures, you enter a whole new world of doubt and fear. There's medicine and shots, chances of over stimulation, monitoring appointments, blood draws, and the infamous "two-week wait," which feels like it takes years. All of this to hear it didn't work, or you're pregnant but your numbers aren't where they should be, and you find yourself headed in for a d&c - yet another procedure you never thought you'd experience.
You cry, you scream, and you lose hope more times than you can count. You listen to people tell you to relax, it will "just happen," and you want to punch them in the face. You feel lost, and confused, and like you're the only person who has ever had to deal with this.
But you are not alone.
Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, which means someone you know (maybe even in your closest group of friends) is suffering from this disease as well.
Don't let yourself suffer in silence. Find a support group - either in person, or online. You'll be amazed at how validating it is to sit with others who get it. Advocate for your infertility rights, and then let yourself be lifted up as you walk with a community.
Without Resolve, I truly would be lost. As much as there is being done,
there are still so many who don't recognize infertility as a disease - if you'd like to help change that find out more about what you can do here.
I promise, you are not alone.