National Infertility Awareness Week April 22-27th

I’ve debated with myself many, many times about whether I wanted to write about this topic on the blog. Does it have a whole lot to do with bras? No. But it is an important women’s issue that I think gets overlooked often. And I am quite passionate about bringing light to this epidemic and sharing information with others so that they understand it better.

1 in 6 couples needs assistance conceiving. You are not considered “infertile” until you have been trying to conceive for more than a year.

My husband and I are no different. We started trying to conceive in September 2011. You’d think it would just be a matter of timing and putting the parts together, but no….for us, it has not been that easy. I had a miscarriage in April of last year (2012), but have not had any positive tests since then.  Around the time my best friend told me that she was pregnant in November 2012 and I spiralled into a deep depression, my husband and I decided that we needed to see a specialist. In January of this year, we finally met with a specialist and so far we have only had diagnostics done. All of our results have come back normal, and we’re still waiting. I had a test done in late January that was supposed to enhance fertility for 3 cycles; well…no luck with that either.

It’s hard to describe to people how it all feels. You feel alone. Angry. Confused. Hurt. Heart broken. With every month that passes, I keep thinking “What am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me?”. And there’s no answer. You build up hope that this is going to be the month that you get pregnant – every single month – and every single month you have to go through the grieving process again. It’s the most heart wrenching, exhausting experience ever. I would never wish it upon anyone.

Even harder are the comments that you get from other people. “You just need to relax.” or “It’s not your time yet.” or “Maybe God has a different plan for you.”  To that I say this: No. Your comments are insensitive, infuriating and upsetting. They belittle what we and many others who struggle with infertility are going through.

So… what I really wanted to do was share some great resources that I think every man and woman should read. If you’re struggling with infertility, these things will make you feel like “Someone finally gets it.” and if you have a friend that’s infertile, perhaps they will give you a perspective other than your own, and help you to figure out what to say and how to be supportive.

Ten Words that Describe Infertility

Infertility Etiquette

Resolve.org is a fantastic non-profit organization that seeks to get the word out there about infertility. If you are going through infertility issues, look no further. Resolve has a network of support groups across all states and there will be options for you. Just pick your state and see if there are any in your city. OR you can volunteer to host a peer-led support group 🙂

I know how hard it is to talk to family and friends…..to read about someone getting pregnant, going to a baby shower, or seeing a birth announcement (My best friend’s baby shower is the day after my birthday, and it breaks my heart just thinking about going…. I know. Worse yet will probably be the gift shopping)

Please share the above links with everyone you know…..and please check out Resolve’s website and find out what you can do to help.

2013-join-the-movement-image

Clicking this picture will take you to Resolve.org

-Nicole

11 thoughts on “National Infertility Awareness Week April 22-27th

  1. Well Nicole, the last thing I want is to add my comment to that long list of upsetting phrases that most women who have not shared your experience tell you. I feel very touched by your story. You are very brave and strong sharing this in your blog. My heart and support are with you and with all the women who are going through the same as you are. I really don’t know what else to say.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that. I will say that I have MANY friends who have undergone various fertility treatments with mostly success. It’s amazing how common it is. That’s great that you’re opening up about it. I’ll be crossing my fingers that you, your husband, and your doctors will figure out something that will work for you guys.

  3. Thank you for sharing this very personal post with us, and for speaking with such compassion and eloquence. I’m so sorry for the challenges you’ve faced so far, and I hope with all my might that your journey ends in a way that leaves you with peace. I’ll be thinking of you!

    • You said it well – a way that leaves us at peace. Whatever the way the journey ends, I too pray that it is one that we can make peace with.

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  4. Oh dear, just saw this…
    I am so sorry you have to go through this, and I felt ashamed because the last two comments you hate so much was the first thing I thought of 😦
    But the thing is, those people love you and want to help you even though they might not understand first hand. Don’t be angry at them, it only makes matters worse.

    And what all those comments suggest is that maybe a change of mindset is in order. I have been covering fertility reaserches and studies for years.
    I have worked with women that have been in ivf treatment fir 12 years before getting pregnant, I’ve done some reasearch and have met a lot of couples and I’ve seen what it can do to marriages.
    My experience on the matter, even though it’s not my own, shows that those opened to any option (alternative methods, adoption, or just plain que sera, sera approach) do better. In terms of mental health, keeping a stable relationship and even conceiving faster. There are *tons* of reasearch that backs it up. It does have a lot to do with ones mindframe and letting go of the notion you can plan every detail of your life. I’ve met dozens of couples that conceived only after they stopped trying and adopted.
    So maybe, just maybe, those comments make you so mad because you do see a grain of truth in them?
    My heart goes out to you and I hope this didn’t aggravate you too much, I just had to speak my mind.. You know you are very dear to me ❤

    And the reason I've started to write this comment is to give you this link. I know a lot of people who have had great success with this method that is based on all natural approach. It's worrh exploring :*

    http://www.fertilitycare.org/

    • Hi Vee!

      Thanks for your sweet comment!

      I had to read it and come back to it because at first it really rubbed me the wrong way. I went shopping for my friend’s shower gift, so I’ve been a little bit on edge today. It didn’t bother me at first, but the more time I spent at the store, the more it got to me…and it was because I was enjoying myself so much and picking things that I thought I would want for my kid….and it just kind of struck me and made me sad.

      I think what bothered me about your comment is that we haven’t had the chance to personally talk about mine and my husband’s story in great depth, and this post is just one piece of our journey and of our fertility journey….so it seemed like you were making quite a few assumptions, which I didn’t really like – even though they were coming from a good place, which I recognize 🙂

      To clarify: I have had close friends say “Maybe God has a different plan,” or “Maybe you just need to wait,” over and over and over and over again. I know that as a friend of someone going through infertility problems, it can be really hard to figure out what to say. But as someone who has struggled with it for such a long time, those words grate on your nerves. I don’t see a grain of truth in them, because how can you ever know what will happen?

      If I gave the impression that my husband and I are against IVF, adoption, etc., then I must have misspoke (and actually, I didn’t write about those things at all because this isn’t the place for it)….But to set the record straight, my husband and I are willing to do whatever is necessary to have a family. Whether that means IVF, adoption, or owning a million dogs 🙂 We’re very open minded about things and are not trying to limit ourselves.

      There was a point (most of last year) where we were trying to plan everything and it was just too much for us. It really started to take its toll on our relationship. Over the past four months we’ve really been able to have a healthier perspective about the process. It had been where we weren’t planning vacations, or adventures because we were working on the “what ifs?”….We were trying to save every $$$ that we have in preparation for something that we don’t even know if it’s coming. I’m happy to say that we have relaxed and are making more efforts to just enjoy each other and enjoy life.

      Thank you for the link and I will definitely check it out! Also, if you ever want to talk more about it in a more private way, please email me at nicole@fussybusty.com

      Thanks dear! 🙂

  5. I’m just seeing this one, but I just want to say: been there, done that.

    Infertility sucks. A lot.

    My husband and I started trying to conceive two months after we got married (pretty much as soon as my birth control was depleted) and I got pregnant about 5 months after that… and promptly miscarried. After that, my body decided ovulation was optional, so we did 4 rounds of clomid with my ob/gyn with no luck. I lost my job in the middle of the first round of clomid, so we didn’t do anything else besides that for another few months when I finally saw an RE, and realized IVF was our only real chance. So we saved up for a year. In the process, we also discovered I had a uterine septum (in addition to our primary issue, which was male-factor) which had to be removed before we could go forward. We were extremely fortunate that we had success our first cycle and we have an almost-three-year-old now. But it took two and a half years to get to the ‘getting pregnant’ part.

    The thing is, people just don’t understand. People say all sorts of things, but I truly believe that if you haven’t been there you really don’t know how you’ll react. We said we’d never do IVF, but when we discovered it was our only real chance, NOT doing it felt like giving up without trying. I don’t have any issues sharing this — there is such an aura of shame and guilt and secrecy about infertility that shouldn’t be there. It makes people feel alone and like they’re the only ones (the same thing happens with pregnancy loss) and when you’re surrounded by people who seem to be popping out babies you do have those moments of saying to yourself ‘If this is another effing baby shower invitation, I am not going.’ I try to share because I hate people feeling as alone as we did. I think that people should be told what not to say — they want to help, but they usually end up making things worse, yes.

    And yeah, ‘God’s plan’, ‘Just adopt’ and ‘Relax and you’ll get pregnant’ were my most hated ones. I’m not religious, adoption isn’t as easy as going to the store and picking out a baby, and relaxing doesn’t improve sperm quality….

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