infertility · infertility awareness week · ivf · questions · start asking · what to say

What do you say? What do you ask?

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Eight years ago if someone had said those words to me, I would have thought aw, yeah that’s good that someone out there is thinking about those poor people, but it would have never been me. You never think it’s going to be you. In fact, I had a friend whose sister was going through IVF and I thought Wow! That poor girl! I don’t know how she does it! And then two years later I WAS doing it. So, yeah, here I am to spread awareness. This year’s theme (set by the Resolve people) is Start Asking. It’s a challenge to ask the big questions and to challenge others to also ask those big questions.

It got me thinking about what I want people to ask me, first and foremost. It’s a tricky thing to know what to say to people who are going through something that you know so little about. I think everyone going through infertility wants something different (we are female after all!) Some people don’t want people to say or ask anything, but they want to feel supported and loved. Some people want people to ask how they are feeling or handling the situation. For me, I want you to ask questions so that I can help you understand the process better.

I knew so very little about the reproductive system before all of this infertility stuff. I had taken my Biology classes. I had discussed female anatomy with my mom when I was hitting puberty, and we had the school wide “girl talk” when I was in fourth grade. But I really didn’t understand the ins and outs of how a baby was made inside of the female body. I knew I had a uterus and ovaries. I had heard of Fallopian tubes. I knew there was sperm involved and eggs, yadda yadda yadda. But how did they all fit together? How did they work? I didn’t know any of that, until I had to.

What I don’t like is when people ask questions like “so you’re going to need a surrogate?” or make comments like “maybe adoption would be easier” when they don’t bother to understand that my uterus is fine. My uterus has never been the problem. No one is telling me I can’t be pregnant – it’s the getting pregnant part that’s hard. Surrogacy would do me absolutely no good. Surrogacy and adoption are great options for people who have very different problems than me.

So, yeah, I think I want people to ask about the details – to make an effort to understand things better. Infertility is a huge umbrella from male factor issues, to egg issues, to tubal issues, to uterus issues. There is unexplained infertility and infertility dealing with multiple losses. The one thing we all have in common is that we are fighting to become somebody’s mommy.

I don’t have a problem explaining things to people. I have been known to draw diagrams for people to help them understand better. I try not to overwhelm people with too much information before they’re ready though. That’s why I want people to ask. I don’t want people to assume they know or be afraid to ask the dirty questions. That’s part of why I started this blog. My friends who know me well know that I have no shame in using the big, “dirty” words, and talking about things that make other people queezy. So ask away! I’m here to answer to the best of my knowledge.

So, what will I be asking? I’ll be asking for more infertility insurance benefits. It’s insane how little insurance will cover if it is tied to infertility in any way. I’ll also be asking my community for events to honor people suffering with infertility. We have 5K runs for all sorts of causes around here – but not for infertility. Why? It’s time for people to stop being embarrassed about their situation. We didn’t do this to ourselves. I didn’t ask for deformed Fallopian tubes. I didn’t ask for a diminished ovarian reserve. I didn’t do anything to get dealt this card. But here I am, and I’m ready to stand up and

donor egg · infertility · ivf · polyp · uterus

Polyp Removal

I thought this picture was so funny when I saw it. I remember those days of standing on my head and doing all sorts of stuff to try to get pregnant. I guess I am doing all sorts of stuff to try to get pregnant now, they are just a little more doctor involved. I’m lucky that my husband still has the attitude of “we’re in this together.” Bless him for that!

So I had the surgery yesterday to remove the polyp. All went well and it is out of there. They have sent it off just to make sure it’s nothing more serious, but no one suspects it is. I am in a little bit of pain today, but nothing too unbearable. I probably pushed it going back to work the next day though. I started off strong, but this afternoon I am feeling pretty weak and sore. I keep getting little twinges in my lower stomach that make me want to curl up in a bed, but I keep reminding myself that I have been through far worse and it is all for a good cause. My throat is the worst part of it. Something about the tube they put in my throat must have really irritated it. I don’t ever remember having that problem from past surgeries, but hopefully it will go away soon.

I do feel like I have at least made a step in the right direction. Now this is out of the way and we can move on once we have the money together.

I had a conversation with my brother and sister in law during Easter to let them know what was going on. They were pretty supportive of the whole thing and really didn’t give me a hard time about any of it. My brother did ask me if we had considered adoption, to which I basically replied…

I explained that at least doing it this way I get to be pregnant and carry the baby. And at least it will be half Ryan’s DNA. I understand that adopting is a wonderful thing to do, and I am certainly not opposed to it. But there is still heartbreak and financial burden associated with it. It is not an easy thing to do, and we’re simply not there yet. He understood that though.

So now Ryan and I have to really sit down and plan out a budget to get money together. We have to figure out how much we can save each month and really look into grants and loans that we can get. Our testing from CCRM will expire at the end of the year, so we really need to aim for doing the IVF by sometime in the fall. This blog may get a little boring for a while, but I appreciate you all staying with me.