Today kicks off National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), and the theme they choose for 2015 is You are not alone. I’m definitely loving this theme and I think it is probably one of the most important things while going through the journey of infertility.
Never in a million years did I think I would conceive a baby via IVF. If you would have asked me what the process of IVF was, what were the correct measurements of a mature follicle were, a good thickness of uterine lining, and to go home inject myself in the stomach, I would have looked at you crazy. This is not the path of life I had laid out for myself. I think it would be safe to say this isn’t the path Darren saw his life going down as well. But, this is our reality and we’re embracing it and we’ve accepted it. I have no issues talking about our struggles with infertility. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s nothing to hide. 1 in 8 couples will suffer with infertility. Chances are some one very close to you is suffering and you have no idea.
I have recently decided to come out with our story and allow people inside of our journey because I remember exactly how I felt going through the process. We knew one person in our family that had conceived both of her children through IVF. ONE! I may have known more but didn’t realize it. Infertility is something you don’t just throw out, like “How’s ya momma and them?!” It was tough taking that huge step into IVF. I was bombarded with emotions and thoughts of how we would make it work financially and physically. I remember leaving the doctor’s office after our IVF consult and Darren and I had so many questions. Unknowingly, I called Darren’s cousin (who had conceived through IVF) and Darren had called her husband. They really became a guiding light for us and I’m not sure if they realize how much they helped us through it all. Whether it would be a random text or just asking us how things we’re going. They didn’t ask just to be nice. They really cared about this rollercoaster we were on. Not too long before they had been in our exact shoes. They knew exactly every feeling we felt. They were sad when things didn’t go exactly as planned and celebrated the ups with us. It was truly an awesome feeling to have someone who understood!
It’s around this time last year that my friend, Emily, asked me to attend a Sarah’s Laughter meeting with her. I went not knowing what to expect. My first meeting was okay. I kind of just listened to what Beth and all of the other girls had to say. I found myself going back and really finding friendships with these girls. These girls had seen me and each other sit in Beth’s living room cry and express our frustrations. We have heard each other at some point say things we wouldn’t even tell our best friends. Sometimes while venting frustrations, nothing was said. Nothing needed to be said. hey understood. They got it! These girls were in the same boat as you. They didn’t need to ask, “What makes you feel that way?” because at some point in time they thought they same thing. These girls grieved with you through miscarriages and cycle failures and celebrated what may seem as a little thing in life but in the infertility world, is a huge milestone. It really is an amazing feeling to have such an amazing, strong, Godly group of women by your side. The friendships formed are all ones that will continue after we have all graduated past Sarah’s Laughter!
It really makes me sad to know there may be someone out there going through this alone. Infertility is hard enough as it is, but to do it alone is impossible. If you are struggling with infertility, please reach out to me or find a support group in your area. Having a support system around you is very important. There were times when I felt very much alone. I still have that lonely, nagging feeling sometimes, but I think that’s natural.. I try to brush it aside and think of the positive. I. AM. NOT. ALONE.