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

God · GoFundMe · Infertiity grants · ivf · Money · pampered chef · questions · waiting

Bad Days

Today has just been one of those days. I don’t really know why. I have no idea what set me off. But it has just been one of those days. We have a Eucharist service on Wednesday mornings at the school where I teach, and as we were waiting for the service to start I just kept thinking “man, am I in a bad mood today!” I just kept thinking about how unfair it is that I have to go through this to have a baby. It wasn’t even that I was thinking about the donor egg aspect of it, just the fact that I have to go through IVF to make a baby. Why me?

Can I tell you how many times I have asked that question. WHY ME? What did I do? Why am I being punished?

Through all of the challenges that I have had in my life (and I’ll be honest, I really haven’t had many horrific challenges, but I’ve had a few) I have always come out of them understanding God’s reasoning. But this is hard to understand.

I have struggled and I have made it out on the other side. I have a beautiful little girl whom I love more than life itself. It’s 6 years later (after discovering my blocked tubes) and I still don’t understand why I had to go through all of that. Is it because God didn’t think I would love my child enough if I didn’t have to work so hard for her? I truly doubt that. I joke that He made it challenging for me because he knew if it was easy I would be the lady with 18 children because I love being a mom that much. And I do (love being a mom that much) but I wouldn’t REALLY have 18 children – I’d probably stop around 3 or 4. HA!

So why? Is it because Ryan and I needed to know we could make it through this challenge in our marriage? Can we officially say we have “made it?” Believe me, God has given us plenty of challenges to get through without throwing in this infertility thing. I just really don’t get it.

It’s this waiting part of it that’s so hard. It’s so hard to process the fact that we can’t move on with anything until we have the money. I’ve put a hold on looking into fertility clinics for a while because I know that we won’t be able to do anything until we make a plan for saving this money and get the majority of it. I am working on filling out grant applications, so that’s keeping me somewhat busy. I also just became a consultant for Pampered Chef to help try to make some extra money. But we’re still looking at not being able to go through with any of the IVF process until at least 6 months from now. We can’t even secure a donor until 3 months before we plan to cycle. So, we just wait…we wait for another miracle. We pray that God shows us a way to find the money. We save, save, save, and we wait.