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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I can't do it alone.. I need support (we all do)!

It is so important for us to surround ourselves with a positive support system throughout our lives and in particular with infertility. Infertility is one of the areas that we need the most support but often times don’t ask for or seek out support because of the stigma and shame associated with it. This was really highlighted to me this morning in a “non-infertility” situation.

We are doing a weight loss challenge at work as a group. I decided to be part of the group even though I only wanted to lose 5 pounds because I felt like being a part of the group would help me to achieve my real goal which was to start exercising again. So far it has worked and I am incorporating exercise into my life each week. BUT that is not the point here! I was in charge of logging each person’s progress this morning. One of the participants got on the scale and lost several pounds from the week prior. What a BIG accomplishment! Of course, I told her how wonderful she was doing as a matter of habit almost. She in turn responds, “It is because I have had such wonderful support that I have been able to accomplish my goals”. That really made me stop and think for a minute about how much our words and actions can really help (or in the reverse destroy) someone’s confidence to achieve their goals. As a group we have supported her in ways that we probably don’t even realize. In turn she has found the strength within herself to accomplish these goals. Therefore, I am adding to my lessons learned list that I have learned that….…. I cannot do it alone! I need to solicit support, recognize all the ways in which I am supported in my life and acknowledge when I receive it.

My support system can help me to....
  • Just get through the day (or maybe even the hour)
  • Help me to see a different side of the situation that I didn’t see because I was too close to it
  • Lead me through my journey through their knowledge and personal journey
  • Be there to listen to me vent and blow off steam and at the end say nothing at all
  • Give me a hug, a pat on the back OR a swift kick in the butt
  • Tell me I look nice today when I feel a mess on the inside
Who are the people that you get support from?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lessons Learned from Infertility

I learned...

  • Infertility can happen to anyone.. at all ages
  • Struggling with infertility actually has made me a stronger person
  • Patience
  • Sometimes no matter how hard you try to, you can't control what happens in life
  • To appreciate what I have and to not take for granted my family
  • To put things in perspective
  • Sometimes doctors don't have all the answers
  • There is still so much unknown about infertility
  • Infertility affects LOTS of people
  • Insurance coverage needs to be changed to include infertility diagnosis & treatment
  • That the emotional pain is so much worse than the needles (even the huge ones for progesterone-ouchie!)
  • What sacrifice really is
  • That once you have dealt with loss and IF, you never are worry free even when you do get pregnant
  • Lots of new terminology like follicles, estrogen, FSH, progesterone, LH, cysts
  • To not look too far in the future..sometimes minute by minute, hour by hour and day but day is good enough!
  • I need support from others.. I can't do it on my own (added 8/31)
This is going to be a work in progress.. so I will continue to add to this post.  Feel free to send me your updates and I will add them to OR you can add them to the comments below.

My hope is that through research, advances in medicine will help more and more women realize their dreams.... but I have to say infertility taught me a lot of lessons in life that I probably would have never known.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I took “The Pledge” last night… Will you?

So... What is "The Pledge" you ask? The pledge is a promise to...

  * Recognize that infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age.
  * Raise awareness through conversations about infertility with friends and family.
  * Show compassion to others who are diagnosed with infertility.
  * Get more involved with RESOLVE's advocacy, awareness or education efforts.
  * Use RESOLVE's resources for myself or refer others in need to RESOLVE.
  * Help people diagnosed with infertility find the resources and support they deserve.
  * Stay connected to RESOLVE, even if I have reached resolution.

Click on the RESOLVE link (scroll half way down) to enter your information and make the pledge!

As a result of a promise that I already made to myself, I was working quietly to try to find ways that I could help other women through this project. I am committing to be more vocal about IF. I believe we need to join together and support one another to get the word out. There is power in numbers. I believe WE can make changes about the way infertility is perceived by insurance carriers, government and overall socially!

But think about it this way, can you imagine if you had the power to help someone realize their dreams of becoming a mother (or father) because of something you said or did to inspire them? I hope that I can touch just one life in that way.... how amazing!!!

You don't need to donate lots of money or time to advocate for infertility. Just find a way that fits into your schedule to show support in YOUR own way!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Finding A Voice for Infertility

The Self article, "Breaking the Silence on Infertility" by Jennifer Wolff Perinne gave me the push that I needed to start this blog.  Please take a few minutes to read this article. 

I have experienced infertility for over 5 years.  There is a certain guilt associated with infertility.  Women seem to find refuge in sharing information anonymously in forums and blogs (like this) but can't share their experience with their closest family and friends.  I do understand...

I felt like I needed to get support from my family and friends and when I tried to explain the frustrations of treatment and my progress or lack of progress the conversation turned into an advanced science lesson about reproduction... what is a follicle, why does it matter that your estrogen wasn't increasing the way it should, etc.  I ended up feeling like I was providing the support and spending so much time just explaining.  This was NOT what I needed! 

For the first few years I didn't talk to the women that were sitting next to me in the waiting rooms even though they were going through exactly what I was.  After awhile I started to meet the women that I was sitting next to and across from.  I started to form a support system with these women.  We encouraged each other, we spoke the same language and we shared information.  How can we better support each other in our journey?  As tough as it is, we need to create a support system, whatever that may be.  We need to take control. 

Please share here what worked for you and what did not work for you.