My apologies for some technical difficulties getting this post up on time today. Working mainly from home is great, except when the internet goes down, cause then you’re the tech guy. But whatever glitch there was in the matrix this AM is all fixed up now. So here we go!
My feely post about being “1 in 6”.
As I said on Tuesday’s post this week is Canadian Infertility Awareness Week (CIAW) and their campaign this year is “1 in 6”. 1 in 6 is the Canadian statistic of couples suffering from infertility.
I am 1 in 6. I am infertile. This peice of knowledge alluded my notice most of my life. This was a peice of knowledge I never saw coming. Here is my story:
Growing up I always played house. I know, don’t most girls? And I suppose they probably do. But in my house there was just me and my sister and, well, she didn’t play house. She never swaddled her baby dolls, never pretended to change diapers, never burped them lovingly after feeding. But I did. I wanted to be a mom. I always wanted to be the mothering nurturing person whenever we played games. It was just part of the fabric of who I was. I wanted to be someones caretaker.
As I grew I babysat everyone’s kids in the neighbourhood and ran a babysitters club (a la: Ann M. Martin). I also enjoyed mentoring and coaching the younger kids in most of the sports I was involved in. But as you age you start to really appreciate how much WORK goes into parenting and I knew that as I approached my high-school relationships that I would DEFINITELY want to take steps to make sure I didnt get pregnant too soon. I went on the pill before I became sexually active to be responsible and usually continued to use condoms anyways, just in case.
Like most sexually active young adults I’ve had a “pregnancy scare” or two in my time and remember praying and crying and begging for there to be blood every time I went to the bathroom. I never had a positive pregnancy test from these scare, I was just a few days late, but I remember the visceral rush of relief when my period finally started. I would never have believed that I would wind up crying over that blood one day.
But that’s what happened. After being responsibly sexually active and finishing University I married my fantastic Hubby. We were overjoyed and settled into married life with no timeline for kids. We wanted to explore the world and our relationship more before pursuing children. I stayed on the pill the whole time. I never wanted to risk becoming parents before we were fully ready. Getting ready took a few years.
When you are preventing pregnancy you literally hope that your period comes every month. I had been on the pill for 11 years when I finally decided at 26 to come off of it and start trying for a family. That was the first time since I was small that I felt a rush of excitement at the prospect of becoming pregnant instead of the metallic twinge of dread. Finally we were ready. Finally I would get to be a mom.
But it was not meant to be that easy. After a year of trying, with no luck, we got tested. I had diminished ovarian reserve, something that we still don’t have a clear answer as to why it happened. That reserve was making it harder for us to conceive. I was young, healthy, responsible, and had always wanted to be a mom… and all of a sudden it looked impossible. We entered treatment afraid and emotionally broken.
I am 1 in 6. I have a silent disease that most people would never suspect.
I am 1 in 6. I have tried for many years to get pregnant with no luck.
I am 1 in 6. I know the pain that blood can cause, searing through your heart, every month.
I am 1 in 6. I have had to resort to Assisted Reproductive Technology to try to conceive.
I am 1 in 6. We had to go all the way. I needed IVF to conceive.
Finally, after 3 years of struggling to conceive, IVF has landed me pregnant. We are still early in the journey ( Over 10 weeks pregnant now) but it’s a start! I am hopefully, joyful that now it is finally my turn to play house for real. Just like I did when I was younger. You know, with a lot more crying and pooping and soothing. But I am so grateful that I am 1 in 6 and that I was able to utilize technology to get me this far. I am grateful that I wasn’t silent on my journey because it let me know that I was not alone.
I am 1 in 6. I stand with you.