Dear Family & Friends,
Your questions, jokes & little nudges about having babies have been heard. We’ve been keeping a secret for quite some time. We’re not expecting, but we’re dying to make that announcement one day. We’ve been trying to bring a baby to our family for quite some time now. We’ve even sought help. We’ve been to an OBGYN to see what they can do to help us. We’ve both been tested to see what’s not working right. And we’ve been diagnosed with infertility.
Related: Why Your Infertile Friend Doesn’t Talk About Their Journey
When we say infertility, we need you to understand that this is an actual medical diagnosis and that means that for us, having a baby won’t be as simple as “just relaxing” or “not thinking about it.” We also need you to understand that infertile does not mean we are sterile (unable to reproduce). It just means that we need some help getting and staying pregnant.
Infertility is not for the faint of heart. And we’re not asking you to feel sorry for us. We’re asking you to strengthen us and lift us up when we’re weak. We’re asking for you to give us some grace when we need to step out of the room, stay home from the family party or miss a baby shower. We’re asking you to understand that we want to have babies and we want to give you grandbabies or nieces and nephews but that bringing that to fruition is easier said than done.
When you announce your pregnancies and see us exchange a funny glance, it’s not you, it’s us. We’re happy for you and your family, but we wish with everything in us that we could be announcing too. When you invite us to your baby shower and we decline, please know that we love you and are so happy for you, but we just aren’t in a place emotionally to be able to celebrate the way we wish we could. Baby announcements, baby showers, gender reveals, etc. trigger deep and real feelings and emotions that can cause us to spiral to dark places. We’re in the depths and trenches of grief and we have to take each day one day at a time. Oftentimes we have to protect ourselves which can often be misinterpreted for being rude or as overly sensitive.
We’re letting you know that our current plan and path to baby is unknown. We’re trying to have biological children through medication and infertility treatments but we haven’t dismissed the option of adoption or foster care. We’re anxious for our babies to come to our family in whatever way God sends them. But we also want to take this opportunity to educate you about the cost (financially, mentally and emotionally) that infertility treatments and/or adoption bring. Neither option is cheap and for the most part neither one is covered by insurance. We’re paying out of pocket to grow our family. For the sake of educating you, the average adoption costs about $40,000 and infertility treatments can range from $800 up to $30,000 per treatment. We’re saving, praying and working as hard as we can to be able to cover these expenses, but need you to know that our journey to baby isn’t as simple as “just adopt” or “do IVF” may sound.
Related: How to Pay for IVF
We understand the need to try to fix our situation and understand that you’re only trying to help when you offer suggestions or success stories. But we need you to understand that we’re working with healthcare professionals and only want and need your love and encouragement when we tell you of our journey. Success stories of other people can bring hope, but they can also be frustrating to hear when you’re doing everything you can with what you’ve got and are still unsuccessful.
Today, we’re telling you of our journey because infertility affects more people than you are aware of. 1 in 8 couples will experience infertility. So, when someone tells you they’re struggling to get pregnant, instead of telling them to “just relax,” tell them you love them and that you’ll always be there to cheer them on. Too many women and couples struggle in silence, cry in the bathroom at family functions or at church, feel alone and isolated on this journey.
Related: How to Help a Friend Going Through Infertility
If you are struggling in silence or feel alone in your journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I will do my best to encourage you, lift you up & help you find joy in your journey. You are loved and you have so much purpose during this waiting season.
Related: How the Good Grief Journal Changed My Infertility Experience
All images by Alice Shoots People. AKA the world’s most incredible photographer. She’s really the best. If you’re getting married or need some pictures of you and your love, she’s the best in the business. Don’t believe me? Check out her Instagram.
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