7 years. 84 months. 0 missed periods. 36 doses of Clomid. 3 doses of Femara. Too many injectables to count. 1 IUI. 2 of IVF.
I am 1 in 8.
I am one of the 6.1 million women in the US who struggle with infertility. And although nearly 10% of us struggle, most of us feel alone. Infertility for whatever reason- or really probably many reasons is one of the most isolating things women (and couples) go through. It often shatters dreams, ruins intimacy, drives wedges into marriages, affects friendships, triggers jealousy, and causes incredible heartache. Infertility is forced membership into a club that most would never choose to be in, with expensive dues and few, if any, insider perks. Infertility is a silencer.
Frankly, it sucks. And it might break you. It did me. But broken isn’t bad. While infertility may cause you to fall apart, it also gives you the chance to survive. To put the pieces back together. To rise from the ashes. To become something greater than you were before. To give your dreams a chance to soar. It’s the wings on which hope flies. The medium that teaches the human spirit empathy. It’s the good fight. It’s a chance to walk to hell and come back (stronger) to create human life. Infertility allows you to feel the rush of a broken heart piecing itself back together while inhaling new life for the first time.
Really, we’re the lucky ones. It may not feel like it now. And that’s okay. Maybe you’re in the thick of it. Maybe you’re just now coming out on the other side. Maybe the hurt is just too real right now. And all of that is okay. It took me 4 years. 4 years of silence. 4 years of just wanting it to be over and just be a “normal mom”. It took 2 rounds of IVF before I was ready to embrace my status as an #IVFmom. It took 2 pregnancies to look at my life and see the magic in those two miracle babies. It was 12 failed treatment cycles before I was ready to talk about trying.
There is no timeline on the healing. No deadline to join the collective voice. No pressure to lock arms with others whose arms also have hung empty. But when you’re ready, we’re here. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to help you strengthen your resolve. To be an ear when you find your voice. To champion your success and trudge with you through the muck.
This is my seventh year struggling with-passing through-and now celebrating National Infertility Awareness Week. And each year has brought an increased depth and solidarity to my life. What I’ve learned is that we really are stronger together. The sum of our whole-our collective experiences…. really is greater than that of our parts. Our voices carry further when they rise together…. when we’re willing to #talkabouttrying. So whether this is your first, your fifth, or 15th #niaw-we invite you to celebrate with us. Celebrate the beauty in the struggle. The nobility of the fight. The solidarity of millions of women standing together bringing attention to the cause. Because, we’ve got this #together.
Hi! I’m a proud IVF mom of three amazing boys, thanks to the expert care at Fertility Specialists of Texas. I know, first hand, how lonely infertility can be, which is why I write personal entries for the FST blog — it’s my way of helping break through the isolation. To let you know you’re not alone. And, neither am I. If you ever want to chat with someone who’s had empty arms, who knows the heartbreak of this journey, I’m here. And, I’d love to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org