Sometimes I feel like it is a bad word. Scratch that, not a bad word, just a word that people don't use very often because there is a fear and awkwardness behind it. Fear that people will reject a couple because they are experiencing infertility. Fear that you'll say or do the wrong thing when around said couple, which makes it awkward to converse with this couple. Fear that people will judge you, or look at you differently because you are dealing with this disease. Fear about putting yourself out there and making yourself vulnerable by proclaiming, "Yes. I am dealing with infertility."
I don't like it, but that's just how it is.
I have been trying to make myself become more open about our situation. Not as a way to flaunt our trials and experiences, but as a way to promote awareness and as a way for me to personally deal with what we are going through.
So here goes nothing....
Dillon and I are dealing with infertility.
(Ok, I know most of you already know that, but remember, this is me achieving my goal of putting myself out there. And it is a LOT harder than it may seem.)
Our story in a nutshell...
We have been trying to become pregnant since May of 2009. I have been unofficially diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and officially diagnosed with Endometriosis. We have undergone countless rounds of Clomid (an ovulation induction medication), have become pregnant once only to be diagnosed with a Blighted Ovum Miscarriage and had to have a D&C. We have since undergone 3 unsuccessful IUI's (Intrauterine Insemination) and I have had surgery to remove a Uterine Septum as well as Endometriosis.
That is the last 4 years of our life in a teeny tiny basic nutshell.
Infertility is a real thing and I am amazed everyday at just how many people it affects. People that you would never guess, have experienced infertility in some degree. Obviously there are varying degrees to which people experience this disease, but it is just that, a disease that some couples are forced to experience. And just like any other disease, it takes a toll on you not only physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.
A few years back my sister introduced me to a blog written by a woman experiencing infertility. She was, and still is, such an inspiration and a figure of hope that I have and continue to look up to. In the last few years she has started a non-profit organization, Pound the Pavement for Parenthood.
"Pound the Pavement for Parenthood is a non-profit organization established in 2010. We are a group of dedicated men and women committed to helping the cause of infertility. We bring awareness to the struggle and help raise precious funds for those ready to start expensive processes including adoption and In-Vitro Fertilization."
I am amazed at how much she, and the rest of the organization, do for the world of infertility. I have been wanting to participate in one of their races for some time now but it never seems to work out. This time, I am doing it. And I am so excited to go and run and help out not just one, but two couples who are fighting this disease. I don't personally know either of these couples but I don't feel like I need to. I know (to a degree, all experiences are different) what they are going through and I want to help. I can only hope that if/when we are put in a similar situation, we will have strangers that want to help us achieve our dream of becoming parents just because they know what we are going through.
So one month from today I will be in Orem Utah, running 3.1 miles to help in the smallest way, 4 individuals dream come true.
So, again, I am not writing this post for sympathy or to say "Look, see how hard our life is?" No. That is not what I am going for. Just know that infertility is a real thing. If you could see into the lives of your neighbors, ward members, coworkers, etc. I promise you would be amazed at how many of them have experienced infertility. Infertility doesn't have to be a word full of fear, but it does take sensitivity and understanding when using it and talking with those going through it.
So be just that, sensitive and understanding as I try to continue to open myself up to the world about what we are going through. Like I said, it is a LOT harder than it may seem.