Infertility: it effects 1 in 8 couples.
I AM 1 IN 8.
My husband and I will be married for 8 years come June 18th. 8 beautiful, amazing, difficult, crazy years, but one month after getting married we started getting the question. If you’re married, you definitely know what question I’m talking about. The one your family, friends, neighbors, and strangers will ask you: “So, when are you going to start a family?”
That question wasn’t so hard to answer during our first few years of marriage. We always said school would come first, then getting settled somewhere, and then we would start our little family. People always understood when you would tell them you wanted to finish college first. Having a career and money is a HUGE component when starting a family. You, of course, would want to be successful before bring a beautiful little life into this world, but 3 years later people just want to know why it hasn’t happened yet. You know, why you haven’t gotten pregnant or why you’re not trying. For some reason people just have to have their nose in your business of starting a family. By year 3 I was okay with telling people we just weren’t ready yet, but by year 5, we ourselves wanted to know why it hadn’t happened yet.
When we found out we couldn’t have a baby on our own we were devastated. There are people in this world who just snap their fingers and BAM they’re pregnant, but my husband and I, we were 1 in 8. The questions “When are you going to have kids?” and “Do you have any children?” became some of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer. My answers of “no” and “maybe someday” always took my breath away. I didn’t know when or if I was ever going to get pregnant, and I came to a point where I just loathed seeing pregnant women, women with babies, or people who asked me about growing our family. I hated seeing pregnancy announcements, belly pictures, and newborn baby photos. I became depressed, and angry. Not only at myself, but at my husband, at our life, and at our luck. We spent one year trying to prove doctors wrong before we realized that if we did want to start a family, we needed help.
In March of 2017 we went through with our first round of IUI, and in April 2017 we got a positive pregnancy test. We were finally starting a family. At this point I was okay with people asking me questions about my family, about becoming and being pregnant, and about our struggle with infertility. I had quite the circle of friends who had or have also been struggling with infertility, and for those women and their families, I felt terrible.
I knew exactly how it felt to see someone else be happy about something you so desperately wanted to be happy about, that you wanted, needed, and craved. I became one of those women who took belly pictures every week, who posted a pregnancy announcement, and who updated their social media pages everytime they went to the doctor. I became the person I envied, and I felt terrible for the friends and family I knew who struggled or were still struggling.
So, where am I going with this? I’m telling you a long winded story about becoming a person I envied for two reasons:
STOP ASKING COUPLES WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO START A FAMILY, OR WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN.
You don’t know what these people are going through (to be fair, there are some couples who just don’t want to be parents and THAT’S OKAY) but for these people who are struggling with infertility; they don’t need to be reminded constantly.
IF YOU BECOME PREGNANT AFTER STRUGGLING WITH INFERTILITY OR THE LOSS OF A CHILD, IT IS OKAY TO BRAG ABOUT IT.
It took me a long while to finally feel comfortable in sharing my pregnancy journey. Especially when I knew how others who had miscarried or were struggling with infertility felt. These people are happy for you, and you should be happy for yourself and your family.
FOR THE FAMILIES WHO ARE STRUGGLING:
It is okay to be angry. To cry. To be sad. Someone else has what you want: a son, a daughter. Know though that sometimes that person fought so very hard to have that son or daughter. You are not alone in this fight. There are plenty of amazing support groups, and strong women who have gone or are going through what you are going through. Do not be afraid or ashamed to reach out.
When you finally become pregnant you and your family are looked at with happiness and joy. PEOPLE ARE HAPPY FOR YOU. I was always happy for others even though I still cried. I only cried because I was sad for myself, but I was always so grateful that an amazing family was getting something so beautiful. I would always tell myself that it would happen for our family in time, and when it did, I was so thankful.
INFERTILITY AWARENESS WEEK is APRIL 21st-27th.
Together, let’s change how people view infertility.
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