One in Eight

Throughout this journey of infertility, there are several prominent moments that stick in my memory.

The time that my doctor gently explained that my irregular and painful periods, my weight gain and acne, my body hair and mood swings, were caused by the hormonal nightmare that is PCOS. 

The time that we realised that things 'just weren't going to happen' despite naively hoping we'd be one of the success stories who didn't need any help to start a family.

The time that we were brushed off by our first fertility specialist because of our age, our concerns never taken seriously.

The time that our first IVF failed, and we realised that this journey wasn't going to be as simple as it seemed, despite all of the research and statistics.

The time that we found ourselves hoping, once again, to be a natural success story for a second child, and swiftly realising that it just wasn't in the cards for us.

The time we found out that we had silently lost our second pregnancy, and then the third, and then the fourth.

The time people told us to ' just adopt' or to 'find a different path' or 'be happy with what you've got' - those words that were like swift stabs to the heart, over and over again.

I'm not shy when it comes to sharing our story. For us, it's not a taboo. We can't have children without help, and that journey can be a dark and twisty one. Without support, compassion, understanding, empathy, it can be a pretty lonely place to be.

It grates me when people make assumptions and judgements about infertility. Read any article sharing the word about infertility, and skip ahead to the comments, if you dare.

Maybe they just aren't meant to be parents. Maybe they should just stop being sad and find something else that makes them happy. Maybe it's God giving them a sign. Maybe they should stop being selfish and adopt. 

Why should it be my problem? Why would I want to understand this? Why is this even a big deal? Why should my tax pay for someone else's kids? Why would this be my problem?

Why? Because 1 in 8 makes this a common concern. 1 in 8 is someone you know. 1 in 8 could be your children one day, or your grandchildren. 1 in 8 people are grieving, hoping, wishing.

And so, we sit here during this Infertility Awareness Week, almost 16 weeks pregnant with Baby #2. It's a strange feeling, knowing that you're in limbo. You've suffered to get here, but you've unintentionally left people behind by moving forward yourself. I can't count how many times I was on the other side of this story, and I know, I KNOW how much it hurts.

Not everyone feels that they can share their story - and that's okay.

But for as long as I can, I'll keep on spreading the word. If just one person comes across this blog and can relate to my journey - even if it was a post from five years ago, then I've done my part. Infertility doesn't disappear; whether you end up with children, or on a different path. It's always there.

You're not alone.

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