Thursday, April 30, 2009

Infertility Stories

The fun post with my romance novel recommendations is being pushed back yet another day. But for an even better reason than yesterday's reason.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I wish I had realized it sooner, but it was only yesterday that I read about it on the blog a little pregnant. (I believe I missed it last year too, because I'm bad for remembering dates of things.)

I've talked a bit about our struggles with infertility and I've written a whole post about my miscarriage. So I'm not going to go into my stories any more right now. Especially since we were especially lucky to have needed only ONE medicated IUI cycle to get pregnant with the peanut currently in my belly.

Instead, I want to share some other stories of people I know who have struggled with infertility, because there is so much that people go through that others don't even realize. Happily, the stories I know have good endings, although that is simply not true for everyone.

I have a family member who struggled with maybe 7 or 8 years of infertility with his wife. She had to have surgery for polyps and all sorts of other treatments. Finally, after learning that her eggs just weren't viable, they tried donor eggs with the husband's sperm. After a couple of IVF tries, two transferred eggs implanted and the wife was able to carry the twin! Although born premature, the two boys have done well and are now celebrating being 6 months old. They are very much loved and wanted, and my family is all very happy.

A colleague and friend of mine started fertility treatments around the same time I got pregnant with the Pumpkin. She started the treatments because she had had 2 or 3miscarriages and realized it was time to see a specialist. After more miscarriages (a total of 5) and talk of looking into adoption instead of continuing to go through the heartbreak, she finally was able to carry a baby to term! She and her husband now have an adorable little girl who is almost 1!

A friend of my husband and mine had also suffered from multiple miscarriages due to a unusually shaped uterus. She and her husband kept trying, though. They looked into fertility treatments, but decided after one cycle that it wasn't right for them, since the problem didn't seem to be conceiving but maintaining the pregnancy in her uterus. I believe she looked into alternate medicines, but I don't know too many of the details. What I do know is that she was able to carry a baby girl, and though she was put on hospital bedrest for more weeks than I want to think about (I think like 2 months), she delivered her baby at almost 31 weeks. After a stay in NICU, their daughter came home, is doing well and is incredibly adorable!

Another colleague of mine was going through fertility treatments at the same time I was when I got pregnant with the Pumpkin (and at the same place). After 2 IVF cycles, they got pregnant with a beautiful boy who is about a month or less younger than the Pumpkin.

Yet another colleague of mine has PCOS. She is now pregnant with her second, and her first is just a few months younger than the Pumpkin. She fortunately didn't need to go to a specialist, but she and her husband worked with her OB/GYN to get her on the right medication for the cycles when they were trying to conceive.

An acquaintance of mine (and good friend of my good friend) got pregnant right away with her first child. When she and her husband tried for their second, they suffered through 3 miscarriages and a much longer wait than they had "planned." They saw a specialist, and though I didn't pry into what they went through, I do know that they had a healthy boy over a year ago.

These are just some of the many stories I've heard IRL as I am more and more open about my struggles. I have heard other stories, too, and I'm sure there are many people around me who have struggled but don't talk about it.

For all those who are struggling with fertility issues, I wish you a happy ending to your story, and hopefully not too rough a journey in getting there. And if the treatments aren't working, then I hope that you find your peace in another way, be it adoption to have a child or happiness without a child.

For all those who have never thought about fertility issues, I'm so happy that you haven't had to deal with it and hope that you won't have to. I also hope that reading these stories gives you an idea of the struggles some of us go through just to have children.

Children are a blessing to all around them. Please do not take them for granted. Please do not assume that others can easily plan when and how many or easily conceive the first time or any subsequent times. Please remember these things when speaking to others on the topic of children and/or conceiving.

Thanks for listening.


Becoming Mommy said...

Thank you for this post. We're going thru a "thing" right now that's kind of upsetting. Hearing from people who understand is great.

Aunt Becky said...

What a lovely post. You're a wonderful person.

songbird said...

Yup, I've been there. 6 months trying on our own, another few months for a diagnosis, 6 months trying to find a treatment that had a shot of working, and finally 4 medicated IUI's resulted in my current pregnancy. I'm 30 weeks along and there are still days that I'm not convinced I'll ever be a mom. I think the experience leaves scars, even when you have a happy ending.

Bella said...

This is only the second or third time I've visited your blog, but I'll be back... Thank you for posting this and making your readers aware of the huge challenges some of us faced to have children. Although I have two children now, I was, and continue to be, infertile. Five years, many bouts of deep, deep blues, 6 IUIs, and 3 IVFs later, I had my squirmy little boys finally. And although the painful years are thankfully behind me, you don't ever forget... It's really wonderful that you are sharing these stories.

Trannyhead said...

I sometimes forget how incredibly lucky my husband and I are that we're ... um ... one shot one kill pregnancies. *ahem* I have to always remember to be grateful.

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