No one tells you that infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. No one tells you that 20% of infertility cases are categorized as “unexplained.” No one tells you that your insurance most likely won’t cover ANY tests or procedures for infertility. No one tells you about the endless amount of pee sticks, raging hormones, blood work and the emotional and physical pain you and your spouse will endure on your journey to have a baby.
I think we all have this vision in our head that Prince Charming will come along, you’ll have your dream wedding, buy your dream home and then you’ll have a picture perfect pregnancy and welcome a beautiful baby into your family to complete the American dream. Sounds just like reality, right? Unfortunately, approximately 12% of married women have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant. I am that 12%. My husband and I are that 1 in 8 couple.
You never think this will be your reality until it is. For me, and like most people, I knew nothing about infertility. Each doctor’s appointment came with more acronyms and testing than I knew what to do with. I googled my way through it with the support of my husband and I spewed word vomit on this very blog to cope with the information and emotional overload. This blog was never intended to be public. I thought I’d share it with family and close friends and use it as more of a journal. After I sent the first post to a few people they encouraged me to share my story and I’m so glad that I did. I never knew the impact my thoughts would have on people. And more importantly I never knew the impact others would have on me. I’ve always said, “It’s a club I never wanted to be a part of,” but the support from others has gotten me through the best and worst days. These people have shared in my triumph’s, let me complain about snarky nurses, brought me wine and more importantly… they haven’t once told me I’m crazy! They have validated each and every good, bad, irrational and Google-driven feeling.
I never realized the stigma that surrounds infertility. People are scared to talk about it openly for fear of judgment, criticism and the lack of knowledge that most people possess on the subject. If I had a $100 for every time I heard, “Just relax,” or, “it will happen when it’s supposed to,” I would be rich! Looking back now, I don’t blame those people. They are simply uneducated as was I before I made it into the club. Infertility is a condition that affects so many men and women and the more we talk about it the more awareness we can bring to the topic. And maybe if we’re really lucky one day all 50 states will mandate insurance coverage for infertility instead of only 15.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I encourage you all to join the movement, #StartAsking and educate yourself. You never know if you and your spouse will become a member of the club one day.
For more information on infertility please visit: http://www.resolve.org/