Without Infertility, I would not have my babies.
Yeah, that sounds wrong, I know. But the journey we have made, the hurdles, the struggles, the obstacles, and the victories; this journey brought me my babies. These babies are the miraculous product of overcoming infertility. Plain and simple.
They were not a product of luck. They were not a product of "just relax and it will happen". They were not a product of trying each month for years on end, either. They are the product of many, many prayers and the second successful round of IVF. Thank you God, and thank you modern medicine.
I am infertile. I am not uncomfortable mentioning to someone that "No, twins don't run in my family. We did IVF!". I am not uncomfortable admitting that I could not get pregnant the good ol' fashioned way. I am not uncomfortable discussing the tests, the procedures, the needles, the monitoring, the egg retrieval, the embryo transfer, and the blessed 8 frozen embryos we have remaining.
I am also not uncomfortable talking about that unbelievably difficult time after our first round of IVF that resulted in an ectopic scare, two doses of methotrexate to end the ectopic pregnancy, the discovery of a normal uterine pregnancy, and the resulting miscarriage and D&C.
The reason I am not uncomfortable sharing this incredibly personal and intimate side of my life is the very heart of NIAW, this year's theme for the awareness week: "Do Not Ignore"
I can't ignore the years I spent worrying about my fertility after I was diagnosed very early with stage 4 endometriosis. I can't ignore the scars that has left on my confidence, my sexuality, and of course, my body. I can't ignore the lasting imprints of having to tell my then boyfriend that having a baby with me wouldn't be easy, so if that's something he wasn't willing to deal with, he should just get out now.
I also can't ignore the amazing blessing of being able to look into my then-boyfriend's eyes and know that he was completely genuine as he told me he would be by my side every step of the way.
Finally, I can't ignore that I am so incredibly lucky to have escaped the trenches of infertility. And there are so many other wonderful men and women who cannot say the same. I can't ignore the fact that I have a story to tell that could change someone's life, that could help them through a very difficult journey, that could comfort them in those isolating moments of "why me?"
Infertility affects one in eight couples in the United States. One in Eight. That's a huge number of people who are (often times silently) battling this devastating disease. What if we made our voices heard? What if we stood up to say that this is not an issue to be swept under the rug? What if Infertility was no longer a uncomfortable conversation or a hushed topic?
Most of us in this blogging community know the below video, filmed a few years ago by a fellow ALI blogger. The words on this screen are so devastatingly true to millions of people. It's easy to keep this disease at a distance if you're not personally affected by it, but remember all of those who may be silently suffering, who may not have the voice yet to share their story. Remember that I am a success story. Remember Grace and Caleb. Remember hope.
If you are reading this and are in the trenches right now, don't lose faith, don't give up hope. It took a lot of suffering to get our two miracles, but miracles do happen. What IF?