This is a picture of my oldest daughter and I sporting the resolve ribbon, helping to spread awareness during National Infertility Awareness week.
What I want to share with you today is very personal. It is important for me to share this with you because it’s my hope that it touches your heart. I hope if you are someone who is struggling with this very issue, you realize you are not alone. There are others walking in similar shoes as you and there is someone who understands, myself included. I hope that by me sharing glimses into my journey, it makes you want to help spread awareness and help make a difference on a topic that is misunderstood and not talked about often. If I am fortunate enough to have kept your attention, please listen up!
Some of you know our story, some of you don’t but I wanted to reflect on 2 years ago around this time. My husband and I had just went through our 5th medicated cycle and our 4th and last IUI which had failed. We were heartbroken. I can’t speak for my husband on how he felt exactly. However, I can touch on how I felt. I felt so broken. I felt mentally, physically, emotionally and financially broken. I didn’t know how to cope. I most certainly didn’t know where to turn for help. I spent many days crying & stressed out. I also isolated myself. I was extremely overwhelmed about what this meant for our future. I was angry for being forced into a break from family building due to the financial burden of not being able to continue to our next option.
It just all really felt unfair.
I can’t even explain to you how it feels to try so hard and to do everything you possibly can to have a baby, a baby you already love, that doesn’t even exist. A baby you want so badly, a baby you want so that your other child can have a sibling and experience what a forever friend is like. When it doesn’t happen month after month, year after year…it’s devisating.
It’s especially hard when you are told and taught that this it is something that should happen so naturally and easily without all the stress and overwhelming amount of grief. No one ever talks about this side of “trying for a baby”. When it happens to you though you start off in disbelief, denial almost. I just coudn’t believe this was happening to me, to us. Then it hits you-this is your reality and it’s a living, breathing, heart wretching nightmare.
Yet 1 in 8 people are affected by infertility and more then 3 million women in the U.S. are affected by Secondary Infertility. So, why does this continue to be such a taboo topic and one that is misunderstood? Knowing this, I decided I was done being silent and feeling like I was alone. Around this time 2 years ago is when I “came out of the closet” so to speak and started openly sharing with everyone about our silent struggle with secondary infertility that had been all consuming for such a long time.
Breaking the silence is one of the best things I could have done for myself-it truly saved me. To be able to shed light on this topic at the same time felt empowering as well. I’ve learned so much about this topic and about myself during my struggle and throughout this entire journey. Its one of the things I am grateful for. It’s opened my eyes to so many things and has forever changed me (for the better). Although I don’t wish this upon anyone, I am forever thankful for those who are in my circle and have reached out and said, “me too”. A few things I have learned while going through this that come to mind are: to be kind always because everyone you know is fighting a battle we know nothing about no matter how little or how big and the way you treat someone on a daily basis could make all the difference in their lives in that very moment, judge less and love/help more, and have hope, it will be the anchor to your soul!