The F Word
It's been heavy on my heart for a few months now to take to my blog and get personal. A lot more personal than showing you some pictures of a vacation, my favorite makeup, or an outfit I wore to go out to eat. Although, I do enjoy sharing those things. And will continue to do so.
Before I get going, let me say: this was an extremely hard post to write - and not because what I have to say was difficult to put into words. No, that was the easy part. It's hard because everything you're about to read is personal and honest; I feel I risk being too exposed sharing intimate portions of my life on a public form. That being said, I've benefited greatly by others sharing their stories and I feel as if the benefits of sharing this outweighs keeping it all to myself.
So here it is: Chris and I have been trying to have a baby for 17 months.
This month marks one year since we had our first miscarriage (we've since had another). It's also National Infertility Awareness Week. So I thought this would be a great time to start sharing our journey. We'll label this my introductory post, then I am going to do a series of posts taking you through our journey thus far.
I know this is kind of off the dusty trail of D&T, but if you've noticed, I've been pretty absent for a while (hints the dust). It's been well over a year since I've been consistent with my blog. I just haven't been motivated to post regularly and that's mostly because I've been busy with life (...like trying to make a baby).
And although I'm still busy with life, I want to be back. Writing, posting, sharing. I enjoy it. I do. Sometimes, though, you need a break (or you don't have time). I've had mine. Now it's time to move forward. Hope you're with me.
Now, back to the F word.
My husband and I have been trying to have a baby since December 2012 - 17 months. Which is a long time compared to some who get pregnant immediately after stopping the pill; it's also pretty insignificant compared to women I know who are on year seven, eight, or nine.
Whether it's been one year or nine years, infertility is infertility - and it's tough. There can be a stigma. Your body is not doing what it was designed to do. It consumes your thoughts. You're so happy for others, but there's a heavy feeling (only women who have dealt with infertility know) when your news feed fill with pregnancy announcements. You feel left out. When strangers ask if you have children, it stings. When friends ask when are you ever going to have a baby, it's even worse.
And if all that wasn't enough, infertility isn't life-threatning and getting any type of infertility treatment is considered elective - so insurance companies don't help out. At all. (<rant> This infuriates me. I didn't choose to be infertile. I didn't do anything in my past to cause this. Yet insurance will pay for a chain smoker to be treated for lung cancer despite a quite obvious warning label. And they'll pay for a 30 year old woman who has skin cancer after voluntarily spending every day for the past 15 years laying in a tanning bed. But, me? I haven't done anything to damage myself or cause this - I want a family and I need some medical intervention to do so. Sorry, can't help out. We're busy giving money to a chain smoker. You'll have to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars on your own to have a baby or adopt. </rant>).
It can be a dark hole.
And I promise I'm not as bitter as that previous paragraph may lead you to believe. But I'm not going to tell you that it's easy; it's very frustrating at times.
I wanted to share our journey thus far for a couple reasons.
My testimony. God has been ever-present throughout this entire journey. Before it even started, actually. Through His presence in this segment of our life I have drawn incredibly close to Him. I've learned that He has a plan for me. I may not (and do not) understand it all, but I do trust that He knows what He's doing. That any pain I may have at this time will not compare to the joy I will have in the future. And that if I pray for something and have faith that He'll give it to me - He will. And that knowledge, confidence, and faith gets me through it all.
More women battle infertility than what you might think. Millions. 1 in 8 women/couples trying to conceive. I find it unreal the number of women I personally know who have in the past or are currently suffering from infertility. Has there always been such a large number of couples struggling? Has the number risen over the years? Is is something we eat? Or the lifestyle we live? I don't know, but it's very present. And worse than it being so present - no one likes to talk about it. So I am.
If I can reach out to one person: be a ray of hope, a positive influence, or just someone to talk to - then it's all worth it. As I began to realize having a baby was going to be difficult for us, I wanted to talk about it. So I took to Google and learned a plethora of information. Came across hundreds of women on message boards telling their stories. So many women, so many different stories. As someone who's been online searching for answers - I know how wonderful it feels to read a post or a blog entry that's relatable. That has a success story. That gives hope. And although we don't have a success story yet, I know we will and I want to share it all - front start to finish.
I'm excited to share my story, my thoughts, and my journey as it continues.