This week , April 22 – 28, 2018 is National Infertility Awareness Week. This year NIAW is attempting to #FliptheScript, educating and bringing awareness of infertility issues. Check out this link to find out more about their mission in changing the conversation about infertility. RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has been an advocate for those facing infertility for over 40 years. RESOLVE.org became a good resource for me to use during our journey to parenthood. The website provided resources and became a foundation for me when I just needed to feel like I was not the only one.
I AM 1 IN 8
My husband and I are a 1 in 8 couple who have faced and continue to face infertility. We are a part of an ever growing number of couples trying to start and/or grow a family. It is very probable you or someone close to you is part of this group. Every story is different, but we are all similar. Those stories all have different endings, outcomes and defeats. Infertility affects anyone, no matter age, weight, or race; it is an indiscriminating issue.
FLIP THE SCRIPT
#FliptheScript is meant to help bring about change regarding views and conversations we have about infertility. This subject is a hard one for many couples and one you rarely hear spoken about without some hushed voices and looks of sympathy for the person brave enough to advocate. It does not have to be a negative process, just a longer process. There is so much we do not know about infertility, the how’s and why’s.
I am an AMA, Advanced Maternal Age. My “regular” obstetrician (not fertility specialist) shared with me that about 50% of her patients were this designation. It can feel like a big red stop sign on a medical chart. Many times it means additional testing, appointments and doctors. Reading blogs and articles about infertility over the years, many have said they wanted to establish careers, finances and stability in relationships before starting families. I can only speak from my own experience, but we wanted to be “stable” before starting a family. I wish I had known sooner of some of the obstacles we would face.
For me, it was hard to relate my feelings to a family full of successful child bearers. It was hard to find empathy from those who just did not understand the obstacles we faced. I wish I had been able to convey our thoughts and emotions more successfully to those around us. We were facing some of the darkest years of our lives and found it hard to share our struggles. Emotional support without judgement was essential and not always readily given. #FLIPTHESCRIPT is attempting to bring awareness to these thoughts and feelings.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Infertility comes at more than an emotional cost; it comes with a pretty high price tag. Most insurance companies do not support treatment. The medications are expensive and not always easily accessible. While it is great that there are specialized pharmacies that provide next day delivery, cycles are hard to be predictable. There are times when a patient needs one day worth of medication because of misplacement or the doctor wants just one more day to grow those follicles prior to next day of “trigger” drugs. Local pharmacies do not carry these specialized drugs, but the nice lady at the specialty pharmacy will overnight with Sunday delivery.
SILENT SUFFERERS OR OPEN EXPRESSERS
We were more in the category of silent suffers. We did not overshare our processes with family members. I have had friends who kept blogs or Facebook pages so that others could follow along on the journey with all the details. They kept open dialogues with everyone, every step of the way. To someone who has never known an open expresser or someone who has gone through infertility, you will not know the steps that one goes through to get to a “fertile place.” I admire the couples who are open about their journey.
YOU KNOW SOMEONE
The chances you know someone facing infertility is high. Educate yourself on the issues to support your family members or friends. We enjoy our kids; some of us had to overcome many obstacles to have those children. We need to support those trying to have what we have. Support #FLIPTHESCRIPT this week and become an advocate for your loved one facing infertility.