One year. No that’s not that amount of time it’s taken me to write this next blog post, although I definitely have not made the commitment that I anticipated making when I started this. It’s been one year since I posted this on my Facebook page:
It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Here’s our story: Jared and I tried for nearly two years to get pregnant, including three rounds of IUI (insemination). One of those IUIs resulted in a chemical pregnancy and the other two failed. We have unexplained infertility and according to the clinic we went to, we have about a 1% chance of getting pregnant naturally. Still, we decided more invasive forms of treatment are not really a part of our plan and began adjusting to the idea of life without children. In January, I saw my first ever positive pregnancy test! We were nervous and hesitant after everything we had already been through, but after hitting the second trimester our anxiety began to ease a bit. Three weeks ago, we found out there was a chance our baby had a chromosomal issue called trisomy 13. Most babies with this diagnosis are not carried to term, and those that are typically have very short lives filled with suffering. Two weeks ago an ultrasound and amniocentesis confirmed the diagnosis. One week ago we chose to terminate our pregnancy. We are heartbroken and already miss this little baby we never met so much. As an infertile couple, this baby was a welcome surprise and was so so loved. It is not in my (and certainly not in Jared’s) nature to post something so so personal and vulnerable online for all to see, but I want to do my part to remove any stigma around infertility, pregnancy loss, and pregnancy termination (for any reason).
It’s been one year since I took what I consider my first steps towards moving forward with my life after such an awful loss.
It’s been one year since I declared very publicly that my reproductive parts just don’t function in the way I want them to.
It’s been one year since I felt like I was at my absolute most wibbly-wobbly state and yet, had women reach out to me to thank me for my strength.
And now, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week again. Where am I one year later? What have I learned? What has changed?
Where am I? I’m still in my perfectly sized house in Eastern Bumblefuck with my amazing husband and sometimes less than amazing dog. We are making our home the perfect place for our life. In a less geographic and more philosophical sense, I’m in a good place. I still struggle. I have bad moments. I have bad days and weeks. But, overall, I am happy. Deciding to be childless rather than still trying to conceive was one of the healthiest decisions I’ve ever made.
What have I learned? AS LONG AS IT’S A HEALTHY DECISION FOR ALL PARTIES INVOLVED, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO DEFINE YOUR FAMILY. Full. Fucking. Stop.
There’s plenty more that I’ve learned, but let’s save some content for future blogs, right?
What has changed? I’m no longer trying to have kids. I feel manipulated by the industry created around fertility treatments. I have connected with people that live across the country and on other continents that make me feel validated, seen, and not so alone. I don’t feel bad about my “broken” body. I now feel strong enough to be support for others and not just be supported all the time.
It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Here’s our story: We’re an infertile couple and we’ve been through some shit. But we are constantly healing, constantly getting better, and constantly fighting to remove any stigma around infertility, pregnancy loss, and pregnancy termination.