for those family and friends who have never visited the blog before: i began blogging anonymously about our infertility journey a little over a year ago as a way to connect with women around the world going through similar (but often very different) circumstances in their own lives. infertility sucks, and it’s not something that we talk about in our society. you need someone to talk to who gets it.
but i’m not going to be anonymous anymore. and i’m not going to hide our infertility anymore. i want to be an advocate for the community and for couples like us who aren’t ready to be open with their journey. i want to be there for anyone in our lives going through this hell. or anyone in your life. or your uncle’s neighbor’s babysitter’s sister-in-law. please share this blog. share my contact information with anyone you think might find it useful. no one should have to deal with this shit in isolation
a brief disclaimer if you are going exploring around the blog: infertility and treatments are messy. i talk about my uterus and bodily fluids – a lot. i talk about my emotions all the fucking time. oh, and i curse quite a bit (sorry mom!). i have edited out results of Ralph’s tests at his request, and filtered some of the more personal emotional/family stuff that we are just not comfortable sharing with everyone. but it’s not all puppies and rainbows here. and sometimes, the puppy shits on the floor. i want to apologize in advance if you read anything that offends or upsets you. but this is what i needed to stay sane.
and thank you to those of you who have been there for us all along, even if it wasn’t quite at this level of detail. we wouldn’t have gotten here without your support.
statistics say that one in eight couples in the united states are infertile (although there is evidence that this number is underreported). infertility is the failure to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term for more than 12 months (6 if you are over 35). (and ps – infertile is not the same are sterile. even though i am pregnant, i am still infertile. the overwhelming odds are that we will have to go through this all again to give Pignut a sibling). Ralph and i aren’t the only people you know who have struggled to build our family, even though we may be some of the only people you know who are (now) talking openly about it.
our society doesn’t talk about infertility. it doesn’t talk about pregnancy loss. it makes people uncomfortable. all that talk about sex and pain and loss and greif is hard. but that silence needs to end. all it does it perpetuates misinformation and myths, shame and embarrassment, fear and isolation. it feeds into the belief that there is something wrong with being infertile, or in pursuing any of the many paths to resolve your infertility. and this silence makes in incredibly difficult to get the information, help, and support that you need to deal with this diagnosis.
infertility is a medical diagnosis, not a lifestyle problem. it is a failure of one of the many aspects of the reproductive system (for either party). i should not be ashamed that i my body doesn’t work the way it should, or that Ralph and i have chosen to spend considerable time and money to create our family. and i’m not anymore.
so i’m taking this last step to come completely out of the closet. it’s dark, and scary, and lonely in there. welcome to what has been to focus of my life for the past two years.
most of this blog was written with an audience in mind who was familiar with infertility. does some of it confuse you? here are some great resources for more information if you are interested:
- Resolve, the National Infertility Association, has some amazing resources on getting a diagnosis, the many ways to build your family, support services, and advocacy information. they also have a great page for family and friends who want to support someone through their journey. i strongly recommend reading the infertility etiquette page. oh, and a list of some of the acronyms that may be confusing you
- the CDC’s page on Assisted Reproductive Technologies, which includes information on the most current stats for clinics if you are seeking treatment
- Mel, over at stirrup queens, was a godsend. i am not exaggerating when i say that finding her site was a life changing event for me. she maintains the amazing list of ALI bloggers that helped me find people out there who understood
- Keiko at the Infertility Voice is an amazing advocate for the community. her video, what IF, is amazing
What IF: A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.
- Carole at Fertility Lab Insider writes amazing posts about the science behind ART