Hi Friends, This week while I’m doing some traveling I wanted to let some of my dear friends share their hearts with you. Today Amanda from Royal Daughter Designs is visiting the blog and sharing a little bit about what’s on her heart.
She is an incredible women and I admire her so much! I hope you will take the time to visit her blog, say “Hello,” and even follow along.
Did you know that last week was National Infertility Awareness Week? Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see a lot of “awareness” going around in the blogogsphere last week. Oh, there were a few posts, but in general bloggers kept to their normal blogging routine.
So I thought this would be a great time to share with you what’s been on my heart lately: infertility awareness.
Here’s a few statistics about infertility:
- Approximately 7.3 million American women have an “impaired” ability to conceive.
- 44% of couples who struggle with infertility seek medical help.
- 2.1 million women have been diagnosed as “infertile” – the inability to conceive after trying for 12 consecutive months.
- Of those who seek help, 65% will eventually end up conceiving and giving birth.
- 3% of couples need advanced reproductive therapies, such as IVF.
- Only 15 states require insurance companies to cover some infertility treatments.
- Nearly 2 million pregnancies end in miscarriage every year.
sources: cdc.gov, resolve.org, americanpregnancy.org.
Those facts seem very general and impersonal. I mean, we’re talking about seven million people.
But infertility is a very personal struggle. It is isolating. It is devastating. It is complicated.
|Used with permission from Katie Silveira/KIS Photography.|
Just hearing the OB/GYN’s receptionist say, “You’re here to see the doctor about your infertility, right?” can send shock waves straight through a woman. The label hurts. It crushes the soul and stifles hope.
There’s a question that seems widely accepted as appropriate. Innocent. Curious. “So when are you guys going to have kids?”
That question hurts too. It pricks the heart. And to the infertile couple, it seems wildly inappropriate. They wonder how in the world they’re supposed to answer that question anyway.
“We’re practicing as much as we can.”
“We sure enjoy trying.”
“Not nine months from last month.”
“Well, my doctor said we have a 3% chance of conceiving on our own, so the odds are against us.”
“We need a sperm donor, are you interested?”
“We can’t have kids, can we have yours?”
“The last time we tried to take one from Wal-Mart the cops were called.”
You see, many infertile couples do not want to talk about their struggle to start a family. They do not want to answer the most innocent of questions, much less any detail questions. They struggle to know if they should answer honestly, or try to make a joke about it so the inquiring person doesn’t feel awkward.”
|Used with permission from Sarah Fontenot/The Fontenot Four|
Furthermore, there’s an internal struggle of wanting their friends and family to be educated about infertility, but not wanting to be the ones to educate them.
I want to encourage you to educate yourself about the facts of infertility. Learn about the causes of infertility. Learn infertility etiquette. If you know someone who is going through fertility treatments, spend some time educating your self about what they’re going through.
And remember this: not everyone is childless because they want to be.
|Used with permission from Samantha Schultz/The Peanut Gang|
Thanks, Alissa, for letting me be here to share what’s on my heart.
christine @ grateful for a coffee break says
Amanda – thank you so much for sharing your heart on such a delicate topic.
Stephanie Hillberry says
Amanda, I am so thankful that you took the time to bring up this issue, especially in the blogsphere that tends to be very mommy-centered. I totally agree that educating yourself about infertility etiquette is such a good idea. You can’t know what hurts if you’ve never a) been through it, or b) haven’t asked or learned from someone who has.
Three years ago the doctors told me and my husband that it would take a miracle to have children. It. Rocked. Our. World. Frankly I’m not sure it’s something you ever recover from. We’ve had to start envisioning a different kind of future from everyone else. It’s been hard, but it makes me glad to know that people are trying to be more aware and sensitive about it.
Kate @ Songs Kate Sang says
Thank you for tackling such a delicate topic. I still struggle when people say “how many children do you have?” I never know if I should say 5 or 2, oh and 3 are with Jesus.
Julie Marie says
infertility is horrible. and its even worse when people dont get it. i think its good for everyone to be aware of how devastating this can be. i, obviously am not infertile, but i did have 5 pregnancies and the first 2 ended in miscarriage (one of those was mid term which was devastating)…. one of the many things that stuck with me was a friend asking me ” to borrow my maternity clothes” after i lost my baby and she was pregnant.. i was blown away and quite frankly told her off..
it is good for people to be aware=) thanks for sharing…amanda..
and for having her alissa =)