This week is National Infertility Awareness Week – a week focused on creating awareness that 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. You guys, that’s a lot. And I have to say, I am proud at how far we have come in the last few years. “Infertility” seems a little more talked about, people are responding with a lot more grace than discomfort, and more often than not, it invites others to say “me too”.
This year, RESOLVE is urging the infertility community to help spread the message “You are not alone.” Dealing with infertility can be isolating. So many people who struggle wonder why. We feel broken as we see our Newsfeed filling up with pregnancy announcements, gender reveal pictures, photo after photo of child-filled outings. The thing is though, there are others who understand how you are feeling. No one should have to walk through this alone.
If you are reading this today and are struggling, let me assure you of the fact that you are not alone.
You are not alone if you have never seen 2 pinks lines.
You are not alone if you have seen two pink lines but your arms are still empty.
You are not alone if you have to give yourself shots.
You are not alone if going to see the doctor (again) drains you of all your energy.
You are not alone if you are hopeful during a 2 week wait.
You are not alone if the thought of another 2 week wait makes your heart anxious.
You are not alone if you have ever laid in bed crying and wondering When? and Why?
You are not alone if you have felt like the only one who really feels like this.
You are not alone if you feel like you just can’t act like you have it all together one more day.
You are not alone if you are scared and confused.
You are not alone if you are questioning everything from trying to have your own child to learning about surrogates and gestational carriers.
You are not alone if you have heard that you are dealing with bad eggs.
You are not alone if you have heard that your partner has male infertility factors.
You are not alone if you are just giving it one more month.
You are not alone if you are afraid to say something to anyone because you anticipate a hurtful comment.
You are not alone if you need to seek a support group, find a counselor, take a break.
You are not alone if you engage in social media for support. (Instagram is the BEST group of ladies out there!)
You are not alone if you can’t remember the “pre-trying to conceive” you.
You are not alone if you aren’t sure when to seek help or talk to a specialist.
You are not alone if you are dealing with secondary infertility.
You are not alone if you are lead down a path to adoption.
You are not alone if you need to use donor eggs or donor sperm.
You are not alone if you feel like you can’t plan your life because you don’t know what the next 4 weeks will look like.
You are not alone if you have cut out gluten, dairy, sugar, red meat, vegetables that rhyme with “bale”, caffeine, anything with red dye …. all in hopes that this could be the thing that helps you get pregnant.
I could go on and on and on.
The point is, you are not alone. There are others out there with a similar story as you, feeling similar emotions, running down similar paths and wondering the same questions. Can I encourage you today to share your story? No, maybe it’s not going to be “coming out” on Facebook, but perhaps it’s telling a friend or a family member. Perhaps it’s starting the conversation with something like “What I am about to tell you is really hard for me because this is such a vulnerable and sensitive subject and I am just asking you to listen and be supportive …” I have a feeling that there will be many domino effects created as a result of your bravery to break the silence surrounding infertility.
Can I share one more thing?
I think that the greatest thing in the message You Are Not Alone is that you really aren’t ever alone because there is a God who loves you so much who is on the road with you, day in and day out. There are times and seasons where He seems so quiet. The silence of God is only temporary and I find it’s in the seasons of silence where I learn the most about Him and about myself. But apart from the seasons of silence, there are seasons of rich fellowship and community that is built by bringing our requests to His feet and trusting Him to walk with us down a path that is so hard, a path where we feel so weary.
God doesn’t always do exactly what we want Him to do, when we want Him to do it. I do believe though that even in the waiting and in the struggle of infertility, He is with us and because of that, we are never ever alone. We are never alone in the wee small hours of the morning when you’re hunched on the bathroom floor staring at another blank test. We are never alone when the ultrasound tech whispers “I am so sorry … let me get the doctor.” We are never alone when the emotions are bubbling.
I pray that during this week of Infertility Awareness, that others find deep, meaningful, rich relationships with other who are struggling so that they are reminded that they are not the outcasts, and even more so, I pray that others find the precious, peace-giving life that God has to offer in the midst of this battle.
Keep your chins up ladies, infertility does NOT get to beat us. We are not alone.
Here are some resources for those wanting to learn a basic understanding of the disease of infertility, for those who want to learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week, or that wants to read more facts from my NIAW blog last year or the year before.