|Posted by Lane on May 23, 2011 at 12:48 PM||comments (0)|
When Lane asked me to write about my experience as a woman who struggled through infertility and is now a mother I was clueless as to what I could say that might open the doors and shine a light on the world of parenting after infertility. I was hoping for a longer deadline that an few days to gather my thoughts and thankfully, Lane gave me the time I needed. In fact, the timing was perfect. Mother’s Day just came and went and although I now look upon Mother’s Day as a day of joy and celebration, there was a time, not so long ago that it was the most difficult day of the year for me to endure. It was a day that for 6 years I felt like I was completely invisible. Yesterday I had the opportunity to reflect on those old feelings and how much I have changed in the last 5 years.
My journey through infertility started just about 10 years ago. Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, our chances of conceiving naturally were one in a million. That is exactly what the doctor told us. I was listening to what he said, but I didn’t really hear him and all I wanted was the “fix” to the issue. Of course the fix was expensive and not a guarantee, but I was committed to the cause and jumped in full force. Two In Vitro Fertilization cycles, one Frozen Embryo Transfer, a miscarriage and 4 years went by and still, childless. I let it define me. I was desperate and had lost all my joy for life. I felt like I wore a big sign that said, “BARREN” like everyday. It’s interesting now though, I don’t really remember that person. I am still infertile. I am still barren. I have never carried a baby to term or even for more than a few weeks, but I am different now. I was able to re-discover my joy through the beautiful gift of adoption.
I have often told people that all the heartache, sadness, pain (and there was plenty of that physically and emotionally) was worth it, knowing what I know now and having what I have now. I know that the child I have is the child I was meant to have, hands down. I wouldn’t change a thing. I remember asking the question, while in the depths of dealing with infertility, “Why?” why us? I was asking God, I was asking the doctors, I was asking anyone who would listen. No one could give me the answers to that question, but the first time I held my daughter in my arms, all of 3lbs 15oz and just a few days old, I knew the “ why”. It had all come down to that moment on that day. The nurse pulled the curtain closed in our area in the NICU and asked if I wanted to hold my daughter. It was surreal. I can still picture that nurse’s face and I remember her exact words, “If you want to cry go right ahead, because I just might too.” And I did, and so did she.
Life’s been a whirl-wind since that day just over five years ago now. I believe that parenting after infertility can be distinctive, but overall the experiences I have as a parent of an adopted child are as normal and natural as those who have biological children. I could get into debates with people (and I have) regarding breastfeeding and bonding and whatever else is the hot topic of the moment, but at the end of the day I’m a mom who loves my child immensely, so much that sometimes it scares me. I will encounter different challenges with my daughter than you will due to our unique situation, but we will all have challenges as parents. I think my perspective on parenting is different then it would have been had my journey been different. The good and the bad…I count it all joy.
I am still an infertile woman. I am still barren. I want a second child very much, and my mind drifts back to some of those dark places occasionally, but most of the time I am just eternally grateful for the beautiful, healthy child I have. I try to keep my focus on what I do have, not what I don’t. Perspective, so I’ve been told.
|Posted by Lane on April 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM||comments (0)|
We have a lot of exciting new articles coming up on WWK (including the profiles I need to get posted!) and I am very happy to introduce you to Sally.
Sally and her husband, Bob, have been trying to have a baby for a few years now, and they've not met with success. I know several women who have struggled with infertility, and have seen how hard it was for them to manage the social expectations of motherhood with their strong desires for it, when it just wasn't physically possible. Sally mentioned her journey to me, and I asked her to write about it.
I've asked several of my friends to share their own reproductive journeys: Single women with children, women who have adopted, women who were able to carry a baby to term after several miscarriages, women who are still trying to have or adopt children, and women who have chosen other paths. Every one of their stories, and every one of their choices is valuable and important, and I believe they will touch you. If you are in a similar situation, I hope their stories encourage you. If you are not, I hope their stories open opportunities for empathy and compassion. And who knows? Maybe one of you knows an answer to a question facing our friends.
Look for more from Sally, coming soon. For now, this is the beginning of her story.
With every new sitcom or reality show coming out these days, the word “infertility” is becoming more common. While it’s not viewed like any other disease I can think of, it often feels every bit as devastating. Over the past 2 and a half years, I have wanted to find a way to shout from the rooftops how badly this disease sucks, and until now, I hadn’t found my voice.
I do know that I am not the only one. And neither are you. So, for those of you who walk this road with me and those of you who just want to know what to say to someone with this struggle, you are not alone.
Infertility covers a wide range of issues, both male and female. And in the world of a couple trying to cope, it spans a ginormous sea of emotions. It can make you hate the pregnant woman you see in the grocery store. It can make you cry and scream and stomp your feet when you see another sonogram picture posted on Facebook. It makes you question your every move in life up to this point. And it can take your breath away to hear your mother sob because she can’t find the words to tell you.
No one understands. No one can possibly understand your situation…because it’s yours. And every case is different. I have friends who have suffered from reccurring pregnancy losses, and others who suffer from secondary infertility. People you hear about with chromosome disorders or endometriosis. You can hear the worst story you have ever known, and still, no one will ever understand where you are.
For me, there are no answers. A healthy couple with every possible medical test and no answers. Maybe 15 years from now there will be new discoveries that can help someone in my shoes, but for now, there is just no test that can diagnose why I have never, in my life, been pregnant. I have never been pregnant. Those words are hard to swallow knowing that daily my odds of getting pregnant decrease even more.
Today, I want to give this monster a voice. More people should know about infertility, more insurance companies should accept this as a true disease, and more of us suffering from it shouldn’t feel the shame that we do. Too many times, the stories we read and hear about are of successfully overcoming infertility. Rarely does someone offer you the insight of someone in the midst of the battle. I am here to do just that.