Infertility Awareness

Infertility does not make me a failure.  This is a mantra I’m having to repeat a lot lately.  It’s been a rough week.  A full on struggle.   However, a new week is beginning, and perhaps with that will come a clean slate.

We’ll start off with some soul searching.

I learned that this last week was Infertility Awareness Week.  If anything, I am going to try and help bring awareness to you with some honesty and openness.

infertility_awareness_week

 

This awareness week surprised me, because as someone who is currently struggling with infertility, I had no clue there even was an infertility awareness week.  This made me wonder who else knew about it.  Not just the week of awareness, but about infertility in general.

It’s a sensitive topic for most.  A “hush hush” thing that we don’t talk about.  Something most feel embarrassed about.

I’ve been posting about my Endometriosis for a while now with my “Endometriosis Diaries” series, and after my surgery in July I expected to get pregnant right away.  We’ve done temperature charts, tracking my periods, eating healthy, and we’ve tried the “forget about it” method.  That’s the method that everyone else tells you to do, as if your body will get its crap together if you’ll just simply forget that you’ve been wanting to be a parent for years.  No dice people.  You can’t just forget.

People tell you out of kindness to just “let it happen”, to “relax”, to just “enjoy your time together”, or to “just be married for a while first”.  I know they mean well, but those phrases are so irritating.   We were engaged for three years and have been married for almost four.  I don’t want to have “more married time” with my husband.  We’ve had plenty of time together.  I don’t want to travel.  I don’t want to party.  I don’t want to live it up or experience more life.  I want to be a mother.  My husband wants to be a father.

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And if one more person points out to me how sick I’ll be when I’m pregnant, or how much sleep I’m not going to get as if I didn’t know this already, (or as if this is going to be the life altering sentence that decides me against being a mother), I might just hit someone.

Every negative pregnancy test has felt like a failure.  Every period has been slapping me in the face with a big fat NO.

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My periods have been ridiculously irregular.  I ended up going to see my OBGYN about it who prescribed Clomid.  I thought for sure it had worked, but when I got my period two hours before the follow up appointment, I wanted to scream.  Not a single one of my ovulation tests had confirmed a yes.  Due to the time constraints my Endometriosis has put on me, she sent me off to see a fertility specialist who believes I have Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome on top of my Endometriosis.  No exactly fair.  He thinks I’m not ovulating at all.  To cover our basis, he ordered a LOT of blood tests run.  Test results will come back on 5/6 to either confirm PCOS, or tell me what is causing the problem.  Check out the damage.  I’ve never had that much blood drawn before.

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My husband had a semen analysis run, and he got a great report back.  So that just leaves me.

Infertility can affect your life in so many different aspects.  Most that you don’t even realize.  It isn’t just a want and desire.

My husband was raised by his grandparents.  His grandmother has had dementia for about four years now, and we’ve felt like we’ve been racing against the clock with her illness so that she could meet our first child.  On Easter we were informed that his grandfather has cancer, and we later learned this week that he only has five months to live.

Crushed can’t even begin to describe how we’re feeling right now.  Personally, I’m not allowing myself to feel anything about it.  When I start to even let my thoughts wander to the subject, or how I feel on it, I start suffocating with grief.  I think of all the things we’ll never do with him again, the regret I feel for moving away my husband from his grandparents, that his grandfather is very unlikely to ever meet our children, and how much I love this man who has been my grandfather for the past eight years.

If I feel this way, how is my husband feeling?  I can’t even fathom that level of sadness.  There’s also turmoil amongst the other family members which is adding to the stress this news is causing.  This is a very hard time.

I’ve had several days this week where I’ve seriously hated myself.  Why couldn’t it just work?  I’d be several months along if it would have just worked.  I have a grudge against my body, and I don’t want to forgive it.  A friend pointed out that forgiveness is what my body needs to move forward.

He’s right.

I need to forgive my body for not being pregnant yet.  I need to forgive it for the pain it’s been causing me both physically and mentally.  I need to forgive it for not looking the way I want it to.  None of this is my fault.  I was made this way through God’s plan, and who am I to question it?  Infertility does not equal failure.  I am not a failure.

This isn’t a matter of IF.  It is a matter of WHEN.

I WILL get pregnant, and I will be a mother one day.  I have to trust in God, I have to trust in my doctor, and now I need to trust in myself.

forgive-yourself

If you’re struggling with infertility like I am.  Forgive yourself.  It’s not your fault.  It’s no one’s fault.

Here’s where the awareness comes in for the rest of you.

If you know someone who is struggling with infertility, the best thing you can do for them is be there, be a shoulder to cry on, and don’t try to talk about it unless they initiate.  Don’t ask them when they’re going to have children.  Don’t suggest In Vitro, or adoption.  It won’t make them feel any better.

In Vitro Fertilization can cost anywhere from 8k – 15k a pop, and it doesn’t always work.

Adoption can cost anywhere from 30k – 45k.

Unless you want to shell out the cash to help them pay for these options, don’t even bring it up.  It doesn’t even feel like an option.

And if you’re like me, having someone suggest that you could just “always adopt” makes me feel like crap.  I want my husband’s child.  I want a child that comes from my DNA.  I want to carry it, and give birth to it myself.

Facebook Mom’s, a request if you please.  You may not realize it, but some of your posts are really frustrating.  If you’re pregnant, don’t complain about your morning sickness over and over.  Keep in mind that those struggling with infertility would give anything to be throwing up for that reason.  Moms with kids, stop complaining about your messy house, or how tired your kids are making you.  I know my husband wishes that our house was covered in children’s toys, and I’d give anything to be exhausted with a hyper kid.

Yes, I know there are tons of moms out there who have been trying much longer than me.  I know there are moms who have given up.  There are moms who have carried their babies for only a short while before miscarrying.

Having the desire to be a parent and being denied that for whatever reason hurts like hell.  We’re getting closer and closer each long month to a year of negative tests.  Each month that passes stifles my chances a little more as the Endometriosis grows back.  It’s getting closer to a year of stressing out, getting excited, and falling on our faces again with defeat as that test reads the negative line.  It feels like forever.

I don’t want any pity, or sympathy, or anything like that.  Just be aware of yourself, and that there may be many more friends than you realize around you that are having the same issue that my husband and I are.

One day I will get that wonderful gift.  Hopefully soon.  But for now, I need to remind myself as do the rest of you struggling with infertility.

You are not a failure.  Your day will come.  Forgive your body, and forgive yourself because you’ve done nothing wrong.

Baby-Dust

 

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 01:49:15

    This is such a great post, I could have written it myself. Thank you so much for sharing your story and staying strong in the face of adversity. Truly inspiring.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Tough Decisions | Lenora Howard

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