Infertility

Christmas 2011 will make it three years…

Three years since we stopped using contraceptives…

Three years since we decided we wanted to start a family…

After a year and a half it started to take a toll on us – individually and as a married couple.

It became difficult for me to see and be around pregnant woman… it became difficult to hear/read pregnancy announcements…it became difficult to attend baby showers…it became difficult to walk past the baby aisles in stores…it became difficult to understand why we were not pregnant yet…it became difficult to trust God’s plan for us.

The worst thing it did – it made me a sad, angry, bitter, jealous, guilt-ridden person… I couldn’t be happy for other couples who were blessed with pregnancy – well, I was happy for them, but my sadness and pain overshadowed that happiness.

That being said…

When I was at my lowest…I found a community of women online who could relate to how I was feeling. I connected with women who helped me to understand that what I was feeling was normal for someone struggling with infertility.

Now – I do not use that term lightly… in the medical community, if a young couple tries to conceive for one year without success, they are infertile. Infertility does not mean that one cannot get pregnant and never will…. It just means that it’s not as easy for them as it is for other couples. Of course, there are couples who are diagnosed with specific infertility issues – such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, sperm motility or morphology issues, or repeated pregnancy loss. Then there is unexplained infertility… when there is no medical reason why a couple is not pregnant after years of trying. There is also secondary infertility – when people have difficulty conceiving a second/third child.

We have not been to see a specialist (reproductive endocrinologist or RE) but we have tried ovulation prediction kits, medication (clomid – which basically makes you “super ovulate”), and basal body temperature charting (bbt charting – which lets you know when you’ve ovulated based on your temperature upon waking up). Therefore, we have not been diagnosed with any problems… and do not really know if there is something wrong or not.

All we know is that after 3 years (at Christmas 2011) of trying to conceive – we have had no success. We also know that we serve a faithful and merciful God… therefore, we know that we will get pregnant… it’s just a matter of timing… and we also know that God’s timing is perfect.

After about 2 years of not being myself…of feeling sad and empty… I am finally surrendering everything to God. I refuse to spend another day sad, bitter, or angry because of the past… instead, I am going to live and enjoy every day – and look forward to the future God has planned for us. A future that I know and trust includes a family… because it still is, and always will be (unless God changes my heart) our prayer and hearts’ desire to have a family.

At the end of the day – infertility has made my marriage stronger, it has strengthened my relationship with God, it has given me perspective with regard to the gift and miracle that is new life, it has blessed me with new friends, it has given me a voice and the passion to share my feelings and life experiences, and it has made me more aware of how my actions and words impact those around me – those who may be suffering in silence and so it’s made me more compassionate and sensitive.

 

The Facts and Reality of Living with Infertility

The reason why I am sharing this is because 1 in 8 women in the U.S. are struggling with this disease (that’s right – in November 2009 the World Health Organization declared infertility as a disease). These women have longed to fall pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term for 1 + years…

They’ve had to see everyone around them fall pregnant within months of deciding to try to conceive…

had to run to the bathroom to cry during baby showers because it reminds them of what they want so badly and cannot seem to achieve…

they’ve had to watch friends and family members name their children names that they’ve dreamed of naming their future children…

they’ve had to watch their siblings give their parents their first grandchildren…

they’ve had to awkwardly answer questions such as “do you have any children?” or “when are you two going to have children?”, then most likely cried on the way home or in the bathroom for the children they’ve lost in miscarriage or the children they long for…

These women have had to watch how pregnant women take their pregnancies for granted (either making bad health choices while pregnant or constantly complaining about how awful it is to be pregnant)…

had to endure painful procedures to find out what is wrong…

had to “live as if they’re pregnant” for months and months (because first, when you’re trying to conceive, for 2 weeks of every cycle you could be pregnant, and when you’ve wanted something for so long, you’re going to do everything in your power not to risk losing a pregnancy, and secondly – many of the things you shouldn’t do when you’re pregnant also affects your fertility)…

they’ve had to (along with their husbands) endure evasive treatments (such as intrauterine insemination [IUI], in vitro fertilization [IVF])…

they’ve had to sacrifice financially and emotionally for each of these treatments – especially if the treatments fail…

These women have had to endure seeing more than twelve negative pregnancy tests and likely fallen to pieces month after month, cycle after cycle, only to have pick themselves up and do it all over again…month after month…cycle after cycle…

they’ve had to pick up the pieces after a miscarriage (or more than one) and keep trying, even though there is an overwhelming fear of losing another baby.

Some have had to endure months, years of adoption procedures to try and add to their family…

Finally, many of these women have had to learn to be happy with only one child in their family, because infertility has robbed them of their dream to have a large or two child family.

These women are not strangers…

They are the women you’re friends with on facebook, your friends, your family, the women you talk to at church, the women in your yoga class, the women you work with…

1 in 8 couples in the United States…

1 in 7 couples in the UK and worldwide…

1 in 5 couples in South Africa…

“Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.  One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30%) can be attributed to female factors.  In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.”

“Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive.  If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months. ”

For more information, click here (it will open a page to the Resolve website – a great organization to support, to find more information regarding infertility, and to receive support if you’re struggling with infertility). 

(If you click the above pic, you will be taken to a page with links to some awesome blogs on the subject. Another great place to find a blog specific to what you’re dealing with is the Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer)

9 thoughts on “Infertility

  1. Pingback: I’ve Been Keeping a Secret… « My Unassuming Life

  2. Pingback: Opening up « My Unassuming Life

  3. Hi, new here. 😀

    Just wanna let you know that we’re similar in some ways. Never been pregnant, never got diagnosed properly, dunno if there’s something wrong with us. However, after a long journey, we’ve surrendered to life without children. I’m 33 going on 34, hubby’s soon turning 41. 🙂

    • Hi Amel,

      Thanks for stopping by…
      It can be the most difficult thing sometimes – to surrender… but, once we do – wholly surrender… it gets easier!!

      All the best for your child-free journey ahead – I pray He guides you and gives you peace and joy beyond your wildest expectations!!! 🙂

      xx

  4. Pingback: Long Overdue Update « My Unassuming Life

  5. Pingback: Don’t Ignore the Pain… « My Unassuming Life

  6. Pingback: Farewell 2012….Last call « My Unassuming Life

Comments brighten my day...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: