JOIN THE MOVEMENT
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I am submitting this blog post to RESOLVE, a non for profit organization that advocates for infertility, in honor of it.
Our first failed IVF was this past March. I fell and I fell hard. Reality really sunk in that not only do I have infertility, I may never be "cured" of it. Even with the most advanced treatments and all the money in the world, I still may never get to be called mommy...something most women wait their entire life for. Something most couples want is a little piece of each other to tuck into bed every night....something to nurture....a legacy. I may never get to hold my sleeping baby or see my husband in my child's face. This unwanted guest in our lives has robbed us of many things: Our sense of privacy, our intimacy, our finances, our sense of feeling "normal" and healthy, our identity, and our future dreams. It has tested our relationships, pushed our patience and shook our faith. No matter the outcome, infertility will always be a part of who I am, and while sometimes it can control me, it doesn't define me. My name is Rachel and I like to travel, I love my 2 fur kids, I like to spend time outside, I love to spend time with my friends and family and trying new things....like skydiving. As hard as it is, I'm trying my best not to let it steal anymore of who I am. Infertility is a big part of me, but not all of me.
1 in 8. 1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility. Unfortunately my husband and I fell on the wrong side of this statistic. While we know we are not alone, it often feels that way. While infertility is diagnosed as a disease, it is a silent one....one that is often forgotten and unrecognized...one that most people are naive to. Because we seem normal from the outside, I feel we are often forgotten, and often times our feelings are trivialized which makes it harder to "come out" and speak the truth of how we feel and what we are dealing with. Just because our scars aren't physical doesn't mean we don't have side effects and struggle through our disease. Often times the emotional scars infertility creates are bigger and more unseen than any physical scar. Many people are ignorant to what happens in the trenches of this disease, some don't care to know and others know all too well. My "day time" job is a physical therapist. Daily I treat people with all sorts of aliments and diseases. I know first hand how the healthcare system works and how unfair it can be. I find it unacceptable that while infertility is classified as a disease (and it should be...part of me isn't working....the part that keeps human race going), it is not mandated that it be covered under insurance. Like most, I work hard for my money, pay my dues and yet end up without the support of my insurance company and law makers. So many other diseases get so much attention. Why is infertility different? I urge everyone to "join the movement" in either big or small ways to try to make a difference. Maybe if others are educated instead of ignorant, they'll understand the impacts of infertility. Maybe attitudes, stigmas and laws will change. My way of joining the movement is to blog and share my experiences and feelings, to educate and reach out to others who are either ignorant and want to learn or to reach out to people who have struggles much like my own.
Like many of you reading this, you've probably all had those thoughts above...the "it'll never be me". But here I am and here we are. While our stories are different, we are still held together by one common thread. It's the best messed-up version of a sister or brotherhood you could ever be inducted into. No one asked to be dealt these cards but let's at least play the best hand we can and do our best to either support one another, educate our friends and family or help to change laws that impact us.
For more information on infertility awareness visit:
http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)