It's that time again: National Infertility Awareness Week! For those not in the know about NIAW, it's all about breaking the silence of infertility & advocating for the infertile community. You can find more info on Resolve: The National Infertility Association's website.
If memory serves, this is the 3rd NIAW I am participating in. If you would've told me back when I 1st heard of Resolve almost 4 years ago that I would still be sitting on the childless side of the fence I'd have thought you were crazy. Now, if you were to tell me the next treatment cycle would actually result in a take home baby, I'd call you nuts.
So what keeps me going? Some days, I don't know. Every so often, I seriously think about just throwing in the towel & saying "fuck it.": no more treatments, learn to live child free, albeit not by choice. All the time, money & mental energy I have expelled fighting infertility seems like such a waste.
But then I remember I am not alone in this. There's my husband, who makes me crazy but really is a great guy; he deserves to be a dad. There's (some) of my family who may not "get it" but know how long this road has been & want to see me succeed in my quest. And I'd be remiss if I did not give a shout out to my infertile interwebs friends who have been my rock; I hope they can say the same about me.
I am not alone. 1 in 8 couples experiences infertility of some sort. Every time I think of how long my journey has been & how many failed cycles we have done I get slightly jealous of those who have gotten their take home babies after just a few IUIs or one IVF. But then I remember this is not a pissing contest & there are those far more battle scarred than I: those who have gone through donor egg or sperm cycles with no success, those who have had failed adoption matches, etc.
Every infertile's story is unique & should be shared. So if you're not "out of the closet" when it comes to your infertility, I invite you to use NIAW as an opportunity to step into the light. You have nothing to be ashamed of & everything to be gained by being your own best advocate.