Thursday, April 27, 2017

National Infertility Awareness Week

This day, one year ago, I was sharing our infertility story for #NIAW. We had just suffered 3 miscarriages, had several procedures done, and were starting our first round of fertility treatment. So much has happened in the past year. We went to the Utah Fertility Center. They were so sweet and helpful to us. We got pregnant during our first round of Clomid and I didn't have to use a trigger shot. We made it to 30 weeks with our baby girl (our 4th child), when my placenta abrupted this past January. Our daughter Lucy passed away and was stillborn and my body went into DIC from bleeding internally and I had to fight for my life during a mass blood transfusion. This isn't where I pictured our infertility story would be a year later or how our family of 6 would look like. Since it's National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would share some things I've learned that might help others facing that same feeling of "this isn't where we should be in our journey".

Infertility can happen at any time, at any age. Regardless of if you've had children easily before or not. 1 in 8 couples will face infertility AND 1 in 4 women will have their pregnancy end in miscarriage or a stillbirth. This was something I didn't know during my first 3 pregnancies or until we started going to our fertility clinic. I was shocked to hear of those stats, but it also has helped me realize I'm not alone. So many couples are affected by these things, so you are not the only one.

Infertility and Loss doesn't define who you are. It's not that something is wrong with you or that this is who you are. I had to look at it as though this was just a trial we had to go through to prove to others that it's something that you can overcome. I wasn't broken or failing as a woman. Infertility was just a bump in our road. I try so hard to be the same person in the dark that I am in the light. And to have more faith than fear. My faith and my family are everything to me. They are the only things that have kept me going through our trials. Having a support system at home is so important. 

Losing a child is the worst pain anyone will ever experience. It's so different from any other kind of loss. It changes who you are and the way you look at everything. Miscarriages are hard, but stillbirth is a lot harder and more heartbreaking than words will ever express. They are both painful losses but are very, very different. Having a baby that is stillborn is devastating. Giving birth to my baby girl and having her come into this world so silently after feeling her move inside of me for 3 trimesters is the hardest thing I've ever done. This has been a hundred times harder emotionally than any of my miscarriages and physially harder than any of the fertility treatments we went through. Through our loss, I also have learned that infertility doesn't end with a positive pregnancy test, unfortunately. Whether your story is where you hoped it would be at this moment or if it feels like you are a million years away from where you want it to be, God is going to help pull you through this, as long as you don't give up.

I love the quote that says, "The darker the storm, the brighter the rainbow!" I believe this with all of my heart. Losing our baby girl is the darkest, saddest storm I've ever had to go through, but it's also bringing me closer to Our Savior. I know that Joy lies ahead after every single Sorrow. I just have to be patient and look for all the blessings that will come from enduring infertility and the passing of our baby. I hope if you are suffering in silence from infertility or a loss, that you will feel comforted and know that there are many others out there just like you. I hope you will have faith and that joy will come to you after your sorrow. You are not alone.

The Keeper of the Crayons

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