You Are Not Alone


For those who are unaware, this week, April 19-25 2015, is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). The point of this week is to help educate the public about the realities of infertility and increase the conversation surrounding infertility. Each year they provide a topic for us to blog about. Last year was my first time blogging specifically for NIAW.

This years topic is You Are Not Alone. An idea that is near and dear to my heart. I have spent the majority of my time dealing with my infertility in silence. Answering prodding questions about when I would have children by brushing them off and not admitting to anyone that not only had we been trying for a long time, but that I knew something had to be wrong. I kept it all to myself and never have I felt more alone.

The problem is that infertility is a disease we suffer from in silence. There is so much shame in the idea that something is wrong with our bodies, and when we try to talk about it with our very Dr’s it is brushed off. How could we ever open up about it to our friends, family, and peers?

Reality however is different.

1 in 8 couples in the US will have difficulty conceiving a child.

That is over 7 million people.

Reality is you are not alone.

We need to break the silence. Break the fear, the anger, the hurt, the shame.

By breaking our silence and speaking openly about topics that make people uncomfortable, we break the barrier of shame and silence surrounding our disease. By breaking the silence we finally realize that while we might feel alone, we are not.

In the time since I have been candid and open about my struggle, the sheer number of people that have reached out to me and confided that they too struggled has been staggering. If we all raise our voices and fight to be heard, we can and will change things so that future generations will not have to suffer the same loneliness we have.

At the end of the day, always remember, even if you feel alone, you aren’t alone. Reach out. Own your story. Find your tribe. We’re here waiting for you.

I Need Your Help!

blogbutton250x250ATTENTION! I need everyone’s help! For anyone that has ever wanted to help me in my infertility journey and wondered what they could do, this is your moment.

As many of you know, I am going to Advocacy Day in May to speak with the representatives of Congress for my state. To help get the point across though, we are collecting letters from everyone we know, in any state, to show the level of support we have. We can’t affect change in how infertility and adoption costs are dealt with in this country without a legislative push.

And so, I need your help. I am collecting letters to sort and send to everyones state representatives. All I need from you is to go and fill out this form and I will do the rest. You will find a copy of the letter each of your representatives will receive on the form page.

It really is that easy. Fill out the Google form and I will look up your state representatives, fill out the letter for you, print it out and take it with me to DC.

Thank you all so much for your support. I need all the help I can get so please pass this on to your friends and family!

Making an Impact at Advocacy Day

As I have struggled with infertility, I have become an advocate for those suffering from an inability to build a family. A large part of that advocacy is fighting for better infertility and adoption benefits.

To further this cause, I will be attending this year’s RESOLVE Advocacy Day on May 14th in Washington D.C. I will be representing the state of Ohio (specifically the 14th District). More importantly, I will be representing the millions of men and women across the country that suffer from infertility.

I will be meeting with delegates from the offices of Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, as well as Representative David Joyce. We will discuss both the obstacles we are seeking to overcome, as well as the legislation to tear them down. I will also be presenting them with letters from those that could not make the journey, but still wanted their voices to be heard.

This is a volunteer effort, and, as such, I will be paying for all travel and advocacy costs (gas, hotel, food, materials) out of pocket. I am asking for donations to somewhat offset those costs, and to help spread the word of those not fortunate enough to make the trip.

One in ten people in America suffer from some form of infertility. Do you know ten people in your life? Twenty? Your donation will help spread the word of those suffering mostly in silence. Any contribution will help to spread awareness and to advocate for help for the 30 million people who are dealing with infertility across America.

Happy Birthday, I Guess?


I’m not typically one to be upset by my aging. Death, in some bizarre twist of fate, does not scare me. My birthday since facing infertility though has been a tough pill to swallow. I had hoped to be done family building by now, even having married “late”. Yet, here I am, turning 33 in 6 days, and it’s all I can think about. I will not have children before I am 34. That is simply reality. I may, possibly, be pregnant by this time next year, but even that is too much to hope for at this point given my track record. This starts in on the math. How old will I be when a first possible child graduates high school? College? Marries? I’m going to be the old mom at school functions and play dates. Will I be able to keep up?

Is it fair to them, given my family history to even have children at this point? No one has a crystal ball, but given my family history it’s definitely something that weighs on me.

I’m just frustrated. Frustrated by being lapped. By being excluded. By living life on hold for something that is 100% out of my control.

I clung to the idea for so long that if I worked hard, I could change things. That things will get better. But it’s a lie.

Instead I get another year older. Lose another year of fertility. I sit and age, watching my fertility decline while I scramble to find the money to pay out of pocket for treatment of a disease I have no control over. Something I did not inflict on myself. All the while watching everyone around me pass me by, isolate me further and further away.

I’m tired of being lonely in my corner, but too fragile to deal with the emotions that come with not being in the corner.

Here’s to another year I guess.

Compounded Grief

a44ae5d84dcad7fc80807bc2413b512dOne of the hardest things about infertility for me so far has been the compounded grief. It’s something I don’t frequently talk about, but something I feel on a daily basis. For those that don’t know, both of my parents are deceased. My Mom died suddenly from a massive heart attack when I was 13, and my Dad died after multiple strokes and struggling for several months when I was 26.

As far as it goes, my Mom’s death has been the hardest to deal with. Not surprising when you combine my age (13) with the fact that it was unexpected. There was no illness or anything precipitating her death. She went to work, I went to bed. I woke up and my Mom was dead. My Dads death was painful, but I had plenty of time to mourn his coming death, and in the end he was better off dead than he was suffering alive.

Infertility has been without a doubt the most traumatic and painful thing I have dealt with though. As a child, as horrible as it is, you expect to mourn the passing of a parent. That might not make it easier to do so, but it is a shared experience the majority of us will go through. Infertility is a minority experience. On top of it being something only afflicting a small number of people, it is also looked at as unimportant, given that having children seems to be viewed as a luxury when you can’t just make it happen on your own for free.

The most surprising thing for me out of all 3 of these experiences has been how they affect each other. While I would never claim to be “over” my parents passing, I have dealt with them in a healthy manner. I can talk about them and think about the past without becoming overly emotional and just remember the past. This is not a place I am at with infertility, every single month the wound is reopened on that grief.

The grief I feel over my infertility though brings back the profound loss I feel having lost my parents so early. It shines a bright light on the fact that I have no readily available family. Every month I fail I can’t help but think how much I wish my Mom or Dad were here, as I know they would support me in any way they could. It’s only made the isolation one feels being infertile that much worse. Not only are you isolated from peers, but you are also isolated in the fact that you don’t have any parents to turn to.

Now, that is not to say that I don’t have extended family, or my dear, amazing husband. I do. But in dealing with my infertility it has definitely brought back grief I hadn’t felt for a number of years. And it’s hard. It feeds the feeling of unfairness you have in the rabbit hole that is depression. While I’m well aware of the fact that life is not in fact fair, it still doesn’t stop the thought from occurring.

The more frequent thought I have though is just when is it enough? When has one felt enough pain and it is deemed they have suffered enough. I know there is no logical answer to this, but again, depression is never sensical in the thoughts that run through your mind.

94bf59ff24f8dc667d9078873d8afd15At the end of the day, all I can really do is just keep breathing. Celebrate the small victories and try to process the grief as it flows over me. Some days that means just being happy I got out of bed and showered.