Don’t Ignore…INFERTILITY

Don’t ignore that this is a very common story.

One in eight couples of reproductive age are affected by infertility. If that was you, wouldn’t you want to explore every possible option available to build your family? For many the cost and for some, the law inhibits their basic ability to become parents. As technology evolves so must we, in our understanding of what a family with infertility faces. The decisions you never thought you’d make. The questions you never thought you’d have to ask yourself. Like what is more important? Biology or parenting?

Don’t ignore the cost.

Have you ever had the thought that you cannot grow your family because it is too expensive? One cycle of In vitro Fertilization averages to be $12,400 and if your insurance doesn’t cover it you may have to pay upfront. Adoption is more expensive both domestically and internationally. There are state programs for families to receive health insurance based on their income level and the fact that they are having a baby. What if you are diagnosed with infertility and want a baby but cannot afford to undergo the treatments to get there? Money should never determine who can become parents. Yes you want to give children the best home but coming from a large family on a shoestring budget myself, I know that money doesn’t determine family. Yet my husband and I find ourselves weighing our options based on the costs, when our dream is simply to become parents.

Don’t ignore the irony…

…that the right to life or person-hood legislation may inhibit the ability to build a family for millions of couples who can’t conceive on their own. If you are hoping to become a parent by adopting an embryo the statistics for success are grim at best.

“According to the CDC, for embryo adoption the national average pregnancy rate is 43 percent and the national average live-birth rate is 35 percent. These statistics are from a database of all U.S. assisted reproductive technology clinics… Not all embryos survive the freeze/thaw process, and thawing of your selected embryos may not lead to a transfer. However, this may still offer the greatest hope of achieving pregnancy”* (see reference below)

Would the personhood legislation make it murder when an embryo doesn’t survive the thawing process? We cannot ignore the link between giving embryos personhood and  the ability for millions of Americans to create families. Nor can we ignore that these laws intended to protect life, could limit the legal viability of using In vitro Fertilization or other methods, to build a family. Limiting the very people who would love and honor that new life with a profound sense of gratitude that can only come after experiencing the profound loss that IS infertility.

Don’t ignore the pain.

“Besides the medical part of infertility treatments, women and men are dealing with the emotional stress of infertility. To put this into perspective, infertility treatment can be as stressful as a cancer diagnosis. Unique emotional challenges such as understanding the medical diagnosis, the relationship with your spouse and your family and friends and, finally, financial stress all combine together to make dealing with this issue more stressful.”**(see reference below)

Don’t ignore support.

Over the past five years I have found that no level of support makes you feel all the way better about your infertility. Grief is a lonely thing no matter the cause. But there are ways to connect and seek support. Writing about it on this blog has helped me organize my thoughts and connect with others facing the similar things; it is also a way to share with my family and friends. You can also contact Resolve.org and find or create a support group in your area.

Want to learn more? Infertility 101:   http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

Want to understand? An amazing video that I believe says it best for many of us: http://www.tearsandhope.com/

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week! Learn how to get involved and get support here:   http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

To learn more about embryo adoption: http://www.embryoadoption.org/files/2010_embryo_donation_adoption_101.pdf

* referenced from: http://www.embryodonation.org/index.php?content=adoption

** referenced from: http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/infertility-in-the-workplace.html

What I’m Learning

20120211-092515.jpg

Only you can know how long you should keep going on your fertility journey. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel and take time to take care of yourself. It’s ok to not be ok with this tragedy. It truly is a life crisis and even though you can have faith in God you learn how to trust him little by little with experience. I believe He is relational and gives grace for the moment we are in right now. And not an appeasing tolerating grace a warm understanding embracing grace that loves and permissions us to just be and breathe.

I am learning so much about God through this infertility process.

Here are some things that I’ve found ring true to me in this:

You can only trust God to the extent that you know his Love for you. And trust takes a leap of faith at the start. It also isn’t a given thing we should just have automatically. God is relational. Always. On this earth with each other trust takes time and experience. It takes testing and history. The same is true with trusting God. And that doesn’t freak him out at all. He created relationships, He is relational. He isn’t freaked just because we are. His love isn’t insecure either. He doesn’t need anything from me or you, He loves us. It’s not possessive like our relationships and our ideas of love can be. He doesn’t want to control me He loves me. How many times have I tried to change my husband “because I love him”? Ha! When I let go of that and trust and just love him he changes the most anyway. I realize I have been living out a possessive love not an open free true kind of love.

I’m also learning that there isn’t any fear about the future when you are so secure that you are loved. Grounded in Gods love. God help me to understand your love for me. Help me receive it.

You learn so much about love and family through this. By having to face the question
“Do I want a biological child or do I want to parent?”
And for me it wasn’t so clear-cut.
Adoption has been in my heart for a long long time. I just thought I’d experience pregnancy as well. Not being able to become pregnant without Gods help used to seem hopeless, but now that I’m not as focused on what I can’t do for myself. I see it as a huge opportunity for Him to be the one who grows love in my heart for the children he blesses me with. I’m excited to live out the family kingdom come on earth. Love expand and challenge my heart. I’m not afraid of being devastated by love lost anymore. The “what ifs” have calmed and I am exited to love like I was made to love. This is my gift this is my blessing. This is my heritage and will be my legacy: to love,  and invite people into my family. Being that family is how I will live out heaven on earth.
Thy Kingdom Come.

Ready, Steady…

Art.
Not for itself, but for you.
Creator and observer,
its breath hits us all.
It whispers new vision,
so we write our revisions.
Longing to reach some tale of glory,
we risk it all.
But reality likes to replace hope with fear.
Even if your aim is clear
you have to be ready, steady, my dear.
Don’t let it destroy us.
Make way before us!
Never forget that Love is here.

Anniversary Thoughts

photo taken by patricia espidal:  http://rejoyphotography.com

       my husband and i have our 5 year anniversary coming up and it feels like a big milestone for me. we have both grown up a lot as individuals since we got married in 2006. a lot has changed and a lot has not. i am not as lost and unsure of myself as i used to be, and i feel like our love has its own life. its own heart and it beats separate from our bodies in between us bonding us together no matter where we are. like a tree with roots connected to another tree. alive both separately and together. the more time and work you give them the deeper the roots, the more you want to bear fruit and make little lives happen in your shade. our roots are deep, our love is strong, but there is a funny thing about feeling love so intensely, there is an awkward thing about growing.. that pubescent in-balance that makes your ability to show how you feel seem uneven and clumsy. feelings are weird that way. i think it was Maya Angelou who said that words are things, and they should be treated with respect. well, i think feelings are much the same. they have their own life. and expressing, respecting, understanding them, heck even feeling them can be hard sometimes. i find myself pushing down deeper and deeper roots of love for this man everyday. and that makes the ache to share that love seem more and more important everyday. its time to make a plan to have kids. for real this time.

The Pursuit of Motherhood

The Pursuit of Motherhood.
the ups and downs
the waiting
the unknown obstacles
the fear of inadequacy
the preparation

The normal desires to be excited about having your genetic child come into the world- new and with all the blessing of being 100% yours. A new creation, a miracle. A prayer answered, a promise kept.

But I don’t let my heart wander too far into that space. I temper my old fantasies of carrying a new life inside of me- feeling so proud and full of anticipation to know this person fully- of nursing and bonding and using all the knowledge I’ve worked so hard to build about child rearing.

When adults asked me that loaded question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
My answer wasn’t swayed by ballerinas or princesses. I knew then more than I know now-
That “I want to sing and be a mom!”

Just to sing and love my children like my mom and dad sang to, and loved me.
Then as a young adult my parents became my teachers- sharing their long wisdom of love, God, and my value in this world. Sitting in the direct blessing if their love, their lives- made me want to give what I’ve been given-

The simple truth that love wants to reproduce and grow makes me feel like someone’s blasted a hole right through my chest. It burns and aches like a reoccurring condition without a cure.

Will you be faithful to complete a good work in me God? Will you fulfill your promise? Will you comfort me in my pain? Will you? Will you-

I’m reminded “A thankful heart prepares the way for you my God.”
So I remember-
And I try to be content
but it aches just the same.

the fight for authenticity

last year i realized that i was hanging onto the idea that if i am who i am fully and freely then i will hurt

people because there is just something so invasive and over the top about who i am that i need to suppress..it took me a long time to be ready to see that i was even thinking that.. and once i could say it out loud

“if i am who i am i will intrinsically hurt people”

i could see it for the lie it is and reject it. i was ready.

i have to fight with myself still- from filtering myself. Just doing what i think others want or expect from me-

but now that i know that this is the battle i am in, i can fight. i can fight for more freedom and authenticity.

if you are who you are, what could happen?

Favorite Film Of All Time

i just watched “the human experience” on netflix yesterday and it is my favorite of all time check it out at Grassroots Films.

Synopsis

From Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, New York comes THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE – the story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana, Africa. What the young men discover changes them forever. Through one on one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.

It aches much the same

Infertility is like losing a loved one.

Your longing to see that person hurts and you grieve them over years just like a loss.

Wanting to see their face and hear their voice- it aches much the same. Its like missing a member of your family.

The only difference is that all hope is not lost. You reopen this aching idea -with uncertain potential for change- over and over again- even if you’ve given up.

You know it’s not over.

It lives with you as long as you do.