I am the mama to a gorgeous and brilliant nine-month-old and I would love nothing more than to be able to say that I cannot remember life before her. But, that would be a lie.
I remember life before our girl. I remember the anxiety that filled my body during each OB/GYN visit. I remember the dread of opening an ovulation test or dipping a pregnancy test in a cup.
I am part of a 1% group of women. We had three miscarriages before finally having a successful early-term pregnancy. In women who have a history of two or more previous losses, the risk of yet another miscarriage increases to about 40%. In total, that’s about 5% of women who will have at least 2 consecutive miscarriages while only 1% experienced 3 or more.
During that season of our life, we were devastated by our recurrent losses and we were on the verge of exploring fertility options, even though we were far from being in our 30’s. We finally received a positive test and sonogram after sonogram of a healthy baby girl. Now that we have a beautiful girl, you would think that it would be easy to move on and leave the pain in the past, but it isn’t. Now, more than ever before, I think about those couples who still struggle with infertility.
The most sincere and honest way that I can describe having an empty womb is devastating.
So, here we are in the midst of National Infertility Awareness Week. During this week, I would like to challenge you to look at your friend, sister, brother, and even the stranger standing in line behind you in a different light. This week, I want to challenge you to talk about something that so many of us hide in the shadows while wearing our misplaced shame as cloaks.
Here are some ways to become engaged this week:
- Explore the facts behind infertility When someone you know does come to you with the story of their infertility you’ll be able to show them that you not only care but understand what they’re experiencing.
- Take to social media and show your support Update your Facebook status or Tweet about infertility awareness (“I stand with the 1 in 8 who live with infertility. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, repost if you’re standing with them, too.”)
- Share Your Story If you are currently struggling with infertility and feel comfortable, share your story. By sharing your story, you won’t only experience personal healing, but you may also be helping others who have yet to share their story.