About National Infertility Awareness Week
April 22-28, 2012 is National Infertility Awareness Week®, a nationwide campaign intended to educate the public about infertility and the concerns of the infertility community. Since 1989, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has led efforts to celebrate this special week by hosting events and activities designed to encourage grassroots advocacy and motivate the infertility movement.
This year’s theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility.” We chose this important message because every voice that speaks out about the realities of infertility, and every act that acknowledges infertility as a medical condition with far-reaching social and emotional implications, helps tear down the wall of ignorance and silence that surrounds this devastating disease.
Infertility Awareness Week is one of those movements that up until a few years ago, I never would have even thought twice about. But after being diagnosed with Infertility in 2006, it became a part of my life. Resolve, the group behind Infertility Awareness Week, is a wonderful non-profit organization that has provided me with so much information and support over the years, it is a great resource for anyone who may want to learn more about Infertility.
When I began my journey to motherhood way back in 2005 I never in a million years thought it would be that: a journey. After all, I had spent most of my twenties avoiding pregnancy, and the thought of now actually trying to get pregnant was exciting. Surely the moment I stopped any birth control I’d be pregnant, right? Wrong.
After a year of trying on our own, my husband and I had a long hard road of procedures, tests, drugs, you name it. We did it in order to finally get pregnant over two years later. My beautiful baby boy was the result of a second IVF attempt, and so much more emotionally. When he turned one and I knew I wanted to start the process again for a second child, we went back to my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) to discuss how to have another baby. He suggested a small amount of “help” for a few months to see if we could do it somewhat on our own this time. Luckily, he was right, and when my son turned 16 months old, I was pregnant again! Just after he turned two we welcomed my daughter to our family. I was truly blessed.
When my daughter was less than twelve hours old, and my husband and I were sitting peacefully staring at our new love, I said to him, “I so want to be able to do this one more time, I know our family will be complete with three children.” My darling daughter recently turned two, and I still have that feeling of yearning for a third baby in our family. I look at my two children playing and I just know how much they would love having another sibling to love. I think about how for at least one of them, I want them to experience a relationship with a sibling of the same gender, something I never had and secretly always wondered what it was like.
So, apparently my infertilty journey is still continuing. I was hoping after the ease of getting pregnant somewhat naturally (as naturally as I can it seems) with my daughter, number three would be here by now. Well, in addition to my original fertility issues, I have the added “problem” of getting old, more particularly, my ovaries are getting old. I have a low AMH level for those of you who are schooled in fertility issues. Also, I am about to turn the dreaded 35 (in baby making years this is old!) this summer, and am scared to death my window is closing. Fast. My RE assures me there is still time for me, but none to waste. Without boring you with the medical details he said upon my first visit while trying for #3 back in October, “Well, I am glad you came to me now, every month is crucial at this point.” Just what I needed to hear. Right. The road to baby number three is proving to be the most difficult yet for many reasons mainly because I recently was pregnant and miscarried.
Yes, in addition to being the “1″ in the 1 in 6 couples who experience infertilty, I am also the “1″ in the 1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage. Well, it really broke my heart. So many thoughts, feelings, emotions have flashed through me, I am not even sure how to process it all yet. Was this my only chance? Am I just too old? Why me? Why am I so bad at getting pregnant? Did I do this myself with that second cup of coffee that one morning? Should I gain weight? Should I do accupuncture again? Did I nurse my daughter too long and miss my window? Too much exercise, or too little? Am I selfish for wanting a third baby when so many people can’t have one?
The miscarriage magnified all these questions and really brought me to my knees. My RE assured me it was a genetic fluke, one not likelty to be repeated, but who really knows? I know God or what ever higher power there is out there has a plan for me, I just hope it’s close to the same one I have for us. So as each new month goes by, I am getting more and more “advanced,” if you will, in my medical treatments, especially after my recent loss. I just recenly saw a person announce on Facebbok they will be having a baby December 2012, and this really stung, because if I was still pregnant I would be holding a new bundle of joy by the first of November 2012. My wish now is to be pregnant again by that date, otherwise, I know I will have a very heavy heart. I really struggle with feeling like I am being selfish when I have the two most beautiful children in the world, but I just know it is in our family’s plan to be larger. I truly feel it in my heart.
Don’t Ignore Infertility
The reason I am choosing to share my story isn’t for pity or pats on the back, it’s simply for awareness. This week is about learning and understanding more about Infertility and who it affects. Well, it affects me, and most likely you or someone else you know because infertility affects about 1 in 6 couples trying to conceive. It is such a hard topic to deal with becuase while most of us want to tell you about it, we don’t want to be asked about it. And once you are under a physician’s care for infertilty, it can feel like everyone is watching your every move to determine if you are finally pregnant. It’s like everyone wants to be the first one to figure it out! It can be really intimidating and unnerving to feel like you are under constant bump watch. (Poor Princess Catherine! ) On the other hand, having a support system of people you can truly talk to when you need to is such a gift. I have made so many close friends through this journey who know what this feels like, not to mention friends who don’t know what it feels like, yet who are amazing at helping me get to doctors appointments without kids, giving me shots in my bum, and just listening while I cry. I think the best supporters around someone dealing with infertility know that they really can’t say much, but their presence and love and prayers are truly the best gift.
More Information, Articles and Support
Have you struggled or do you know someone diagnosed with infertility?