This week is infertility awareness week. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, often in silence. Their hearts break during Mother’s Day, wondering why they don’t get to be called mommy. They see TV shows or hear about people who “accidentally” got pregnant and wish they would be so lucky. They try to brush off the myriad of questions, often very personal, on why they don’t have a family. If they do have one child, then they are asked, “when are you having more?”
“You can’t wait forever.” If they only knew that the hours of doctors appointments & procedures did make it seem like forever.
“Why don’t you have kids yet?” If they only knew that you’ve asked yourself, your doctor & your God the same thing… hundreds of times.
“Are you going to try for a girl since you have a boy?” If they only knew that I am trying for a healthy child, regardless of their gender.
I’m one of the 1 in 8. For 2 reasons: infertility & breast cancer. Both the same odds, both apply to me. I’m not sure why I’m the “1”. They claim that the two aren’t linked, but my breast cancer was highly hormone positive. Did the years of fertility treatments cause my breast cancer? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t trade my boys, so it doesn’t matter. There does need to be more awareness about infertility. It’s something that’s whispered, which makes people feel like they should be ashamed.
When we first started treatments, the infertility clinic was right by OBGYN. The “haves” and the “have nots” side by side. Do you know how hard that was? We would sit in the waiting room, seeing what we couldn’t have. They since moved to their own area… much better idea. I’ve gone to the Dr in Halloween costumes, tried to lighten the mood and tried every old wives tale. It’s an emotional roller coaster, a financial drain and a physical hardship. I’m forever thankful to the Drs and nurses who helped us. As a result, we have 2 healthy, beautiful boys. Others are not so lucky. Miscarriage & failed fertility treatments are more common than we know.
I feel like part of my responsibility as “the 1” is to raise awareness. So if you see a couple without kids, keep the questions to yourself. If they have one child, don’t hound them about when they are having another or if they are going to try for a certain gender. If you know someone struggling with infertility, offer support but don’t tell them all the things they are doing wrong. Often times, they deal with all of this alone. It’s a heavy burden & can create serious depression.
On your journey of enough, keep an eye out for those who need your support instead of your judgment. Peace be with you.