It’s Not Too Late…

I got my hopes up.. again. I swear I tried not to but when it was four days past the usual start of my cycle, I woke up early and couldn’t sleep. I tried not to count the months and imagine the joyous announcing and relief. It was 4 am and I waited until my husband left for work around 6:30 and went to the nearest 24/7 walgreens that would be open on a sunday. I milled around the cosmetics trying not to head straight for the aisle I wanted to go.. picked up some bobby pins and panty liners I figured I could use them either way… and got the walgreens brand pregnancy test. I found myself gushing to the cashier way too much. And she wished me luck no matter what outcome I was hoping for. It was negative and I told myself that I’d wait a few more days and use the second one. I didn’t want to even tell my husband that I had bought one because he would tell me not to get my hopes up. And when he called asking why I had spent $20 at walgreens, he did. He understood and said that I didn’t have to keep it from him. But I just didn’t want to make it a big deal. Later that afternoon, right as we were heading out the door I got my period. I was numb and stuffed any feelings away as much as possible to make it through a family reunion. But today it all came crashing down and the aching hole in my chest found new flames. I have been learning guitar and all the songs I write are sad. I feel like I must be one of those people who you scroll down and try not to read on Facebook. I don’t mean to make others uncomfortable by talking about it all the time but I am sad. And I can only compartmentalize my feelings so much and so often. Therapy tomorrow. I hope it helps. Thanks for reading. It really does make me feel less alone to see people are taking the time.  If you like, take a listen below.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to process through not being able to have kids. This was recorded on my iPhone and it’s not perfect but here it is.

It’s Not Too Late

http://soundcloud.com/curiousjoelle/not-too-late-rough-draft

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

Stuff People Say to IF People.

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Sometimes you just need to cry.
But not at work.
I swallow hard to push down the perpetual lump in my throat.
You can make it through your whole day but it’s the little things that break you down.
Sometimes it’s a one peanut butter cup in the pack kind of day.
Sometimes you hit your head and the thin veneer that was holding all your sadness in comes bursting out because your feelings are hurt more than your head.
It’s offensive to hit your head.
January was rough.
I cried a lot at work in January.
To help me laugh it off I started making a list of “Stuff people say to IF people.”
I hope it makes you laugh too. Please add more in the comments if you have them and I’ll make a complete listing in a future post. Maybe we should have a YouTube video made.

Stuff People Say to IF People.
“So when are you guys going to start having kids?”

“You just gotta get really drunk. That’s how my sister did it.”

“I was wondering why you don’t have kids already!”

“You’re really young. You have lots of time.”

“This will make a great story someday!”

“You’ve got to have more faith!”

“Afterwards, you gotta stick your butt in the air for like a half hour and maybe sway from side to side.”

“Don’t eat anything that isn’t organic!”

“The doctor didn’t find anything wrong?! Praise the Lord! We were praying that they wouldn’t!”

“Don’t worry. Worrying makes it worse.”

“I completely understand.”

“So, where are you’re kids?”

“I have a friend who tried for way longer than you and still nothing. So sad.”

“It must be part of Gods plan!”

“Are you sure you’re doing it right?”

“Relax! It’ll happen”