This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (or NIAW). Even though I am Canadian, I am still taking the time to mark the occasion.
The definition of infertility (according to my favourite site - Wikipedia) is: infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological causes of infertility, some which may be bypassed with medical intervention.
In other words: those who want a baby and don't have one despite trying and trying and trying.
Each Infertile has a different story. Mine is simple, we could not conceive. Well, we did once on our own, but miscarried. Extensive testing showed that our infertility is "unexplained" - so basically we should be able to have a baby, but can't. My story has a happy ending though - my son Nathan.
Most people do not know that we had to do IVF to get pregnant. It's not that it's a secret, but I still haven't shared. For that matter, most people do not know that we lost a child 3 years ago either. Coming out of the Infertility closet is a big deal. It's embarrassing to admit that your body cannot do what the body of a crack addict can do. I know that I shouldn't feel this way as infertility is a medical condition over which I have no control. Infertility also comes with a roller coaster of emotions too.
So before I go rambling on and on, please take a moment this week to think of the people in your life who may be infertile. Infertility has no physical markers so you might not know who they are. But know that they are out there. Know also, that every Infertile couple dreads the question (or variant of) "when are you guys going to have kids?"
Also, while there are many treatments and options for the Infertile couple, please note that they are not interchangeable. Some treatments can not be accessed by everyone due to cost. Adoption is not the answer for infertility (although for some it may be).
In order to conceive my son we had to:
- Sept (ish) 2006 - February 2008 - No birth control used
- March 2008 - I'm pregnant!
- April 2008 - miscarriage at 9 weeks, 6 days
- TTC on our own May 2008 - November 2009
- December 2009 - Clomid
- January 2010 - Clomid and IUI
- February 2010 - a month off while we waited for the Clomid to get out of my system
- March 2010 - IVF