Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NIAW: Just relax...

Maybe this seems out of place, me writing about infertility, but it's not. It fits right into every day of my life. This week, April 25th - April 30th, is National Infertility Awareness Week. Did you even know that existed?

BlogHer has a great site set up for this week. And one of the challenges for those who struggle with {or are affected by} infertility is to "bust a myth". You might not qualify me as a person who struggles with infertility because I'm currently 8 months pregnant. However, I am. My body is infertile and does not conceive without the help of a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) and that's something the Lord has given me a great peace about.

All of my baby's stories start in a doctors office, technically speaking. I've never had the pleasure of thinking I was pregnant and taking a positive pregnancy test just because. I have always had problems and each child that God has allowed me to carry has come about through His hand in modern medicine.

I know what a miscarriage feels like. I know how awful it is to take a lot of drugs and have a lot of ultrasounds and have a lot of needles stuck into you. I know what it feels like to be insane and crazy because of the amount of hormones and drugs raging through my body. I know what it's like to not have a period, to not ovulate, to not know. I'm okay, though, with the fact that I have PCOS because it's apart of who I am and how God made me. It's a terrible struggle, but a road that only leads me closer to the arms of God and His plan for me. Even if it's not how I would have chosen.

As a way to participate in raising awareness of IF (did you know 1 out of 8 women and men are diagnosed with infertility?!) I wanted to bust a myth for you. I certainly could write a book on the myths busted over the last six years of my life :) But let me expand on this: "Just relax, you're trying to hard"

I have had so many emotional break downs because this person or that has told me to stop trying so hard to have a baby. "Stop thinking about it so much", "Just adopt, then you'll get pregnant", "Give it time". These words are so hurtful to a women who know that her body does not work, so just don't say them - please.

Having PCOS means that I don't ovulate and my body does not have enough hormones to support regular activity that should take place in a woman. Do you know how often I've felt like such a failure as a woman?! I can only have babies with the help of drugs. {Side note: I believe in miracles and that God is in control of all things. Should He want me to get pregnant naturally, I know that would happen.}

A recent statistic noted that 90% of infertility is medical, and not simply "stress-related". Just another good reason to watch your words! Chances are some one without a child, who has been trying for awhile, is working through that issue with help from a medical professional. No need to add insult to injury - even if you mean well :)

My blog is scattered with our struggle with infertility. My heart has been tested and tried and broken and healed through infertility. My body has been convinced to work and then failed. But know this, I don't regret any of it. And I'm not upset with you because getting pregnant isn't hard, for you. There is still a sting, sometimes {if I'm being honest} when someone gets pregnant so easily. But there is no reason for me to let myself get consumed with what I don't have. Because what I do have is more than enough to fall to my knees in gratitude for.

Every day I'm grateful for the child I have and the one I'm carrying. I consider myself blessed beyond words that God has given us children at all! After four and a half years of tears and medicine and doctors and negatives, we had our first son! And after six months of trying and one round of Clomid, we've been given another blessing {who is more than welcome to come after May 11th, but not before}.

Our journey isn't over, though. We want more children. That means more doctors and medicines and trying over and over again to conceive. But we aren't opposed to adoption - not because we think it will cure my body - but because there are a lot of little babies in this world who don't have a mom or dad right now. And friends, there's a lot of love in me that I want to give!

If you struggle {or have in the past} with infertility hop on over to the NIAW website and bust a myth! There is so much strength and beauty in the community around you! There's no need to hide or struggle alone! Let the world know that you want babies and that you need a hand to hold, or a shoulder to cry on through the process of getting pregnant!

Also, check out The Resolve website - which is the National Infertility Associations website.


Katie said...

"Stop thinking about it so much", "Just adopt, then you'll get pregnant", "Give it time".

Let me add one of my personal favorites I've been told: "Don't worry, having kids isn't all its cracked up to be...". This coming from a mother of two beautiful kids.

When someone goes through pain & tragedy, its not our job to offer them a solution.

Good post Ashley!

A Note from Nathan and Shanna said...

Hey, Ashley! Thanks for your post and you couldn't be more right. We didn't adopt "hoping to get pregnant" and we are totally busting that myth! Two kids later - we are a happy family of four through adoption. People just don't think before they say things and they don't realize how hurtful their comments are, but they sure do sting, especially at the *right* time of the month. :)

Thankful for you that God has blessed you with your 2 boys! You can do it - I am living proof of surviving with 2 boys under the age of 2!
Love from your old TX friend!
Shanna Conner

Erin said...

Because my oldest is adopted and my twins are only 12 months younger, I have people comment ALL THE TIME about how "that always happens". People think they can't get pregnant, adopt, and then BAM. Well, that's not how it happened for us! My babies are clomid babies, after 18 months of trying. The adoption was the part we didn't plan--Jono was truly God's surprise. I usually want to lecture the people who make those comments to me, but then again, they're usually strangers who I don't want knowing that much about my reproductive life. So, I smile, nod, and inwardly cringe.

a field of dreams said...

Brilliant post. Thank you for participating in this challenge. I also wrote about "Just Relax". Wishing you all the best on your journey.

Here from NIAW blog list.

Steph said...

Thanks for this, Ash! It's nice to not feel alone.