I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you NIAW.
National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24th through May 1st.
Perhaps some of you are fidgeting in your seats because infertility is a taboo subject that isn't openly discussed among much of society, unless of course you are the Octo.mom or Kate +8 (what? you've never heard of them? do you live in a cave?). The people we hear about in the media are poor examples of the average couple seeking infertility treatments.
So, it is important to me that you understand this cause.
Infertility - The inability to conceive naturally within 12 months.
(As described by my insurance company.)
The average couple who have sex *gasp* for a few months and end up conceiving are not infertile. I'm talking about the couples who try for years to have a child of their own. Infertility is not a situation where you "Just need to relax." or "Adopt and you'll get pregnant!" These are myths that need to be understood. Infertility is a medical issue and adoption isn't always the answer either. It is extremely expensive and paperwork and placement can take years.
According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7.3 million Americans, or 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age are infertile. This is a staggering number. Let me repeat that. 7.3 million Americans are fighting to do what so many couples can do easily without much *ahem* effort and with little to no cost. It's sad and unfair.
Clinics and insurance companies won't even humor a couple as infertile until they've been trying to conceive for at least one year. (Unless the woman is of advanced maternal age; 35 years old). Even then, insurance companies do not want to help pay for the treatment of infertility for couples to get diagnosed and be treated (i.e. testing, meds, ART and even consults in some states.)
So why am I writing about this? I'm writing because we were once a part of this unspoken club. And although we have CT, it has impacted our life in many ways and feelings we can't describe in words. It taught us patience, empathy, compassion and most of all gratitude. Gratitude for the amazing miracle we get to enjoy every day. His smile, his giggles and his spirit.
I'm also writing because I know there are so many wonderful couples out there who want, more than anything in the world, what I have. I was in their shoes and so I honor them and their journey. And I will continue to stand by their side and support them until their dreams are fulfilled.
I ask that you be aware. Be respectful of peoples feelings and privacy. Say a prayer or two for the couples out there still on their journey to start a family.
Of course if you want more information you can always ask me or check out http://www.resolve.org/
And now we will return to our regularly scheduled programming.