Today marks the end of the National Infertility Awareness Week. It has been my intention all week to write a post on my feelings about infertility and I just did not get around to it. I am making time this morning to do it because I feel it is very important.
I’ve touched briefly in my blog about our infertility struggles. It is a hard subject to talk about. It has been almost 6 years since we first decided to try for a baby, and 5 years since our miscarriage in what has been our only pregnancy to date. It was a very early miscarriage but that doesn’t lessen the pain, anger, hurt, and sadness we felt. As we approach the middle of January every year, I am reminded of the happiness and excitement we felt when we found out we were going to have a baby. When the end of January comes along, I am reminded of the incredible sense of loss we felt when that happiness was taken away from us. I remember it like it was yesterday. I realize, 5 years later, that those feelings will likely never go away. the pain of infertility is very real. I, myself, have battled with depression and anxiety over it. It is not something that can be forgotten or pushed aside.
The steps we took after that loss to try to have a child were always determined by our finances. That is the hard and cold truth. Our insurance does not cover infertility treatment, so much of what we did came out of our pockets and we will continue to pay on that for awhile. It is a monthly reminder of what we did and our strong desire to be parents.
I became friends with many women on an infertility message board. They are some of the strongest women I know. Some are still trying, and some have been blessed with a baby or two. Natural pregnancies, some with the help of modern technology, and others by adoption. None of them forget the struggle they faced. The road for every one facing infertility is different. Our bodies are different and no matter how advanced modern technology is, there are no easy answers or magic pills to guarantee that every one of us can have a baby.
Do not ignore infertility. Do not ignore the struggles that couples face to try to have a child. But you must also be kind when addressing it. Be mindful of what you say to someone who cannot have a child. Saying things like “some people aren’t meant to have a child” is one of the most hurtful things anyone can ever hear. Everyone’s struggles are different, but the desire of everyone facing infertility is the same… To have a child.
I can’t say that we’ve come to terms with the fact that we will likely never have a child. I don’t know that one ever really does. Age is not on our side. Neither are the unlimited funds for the medical assistance we would need. Changes need to be made to insurance to allow for infertility coverage. Some states mandate it, others do not. Florida is one of the ones that does not. The desire and ability to have a child should not be determined by finances and the ability to pay for treatment.
Don’t ignore infertility, a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples. Everyone knows at least 8 couples, which means everyone knows someone fighting this battle. It is a physical, emotional, and financial battle. Infertility awareness should last more than one week a year. To find out more about infertility, and all the resources available, visit http://www.resolve.org/.