I’m a chicken. I have been for the last few years. I’ve told my closest friends about our infertility struggles, but I haven’t been open about it.
I wasn’t able to go public with what we’ve been through until I got pregnant, and I waited until yesterday, the first day of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week) to do it. I asked Chief if he was okay with it while we were in the car on the way to breakfast. He reached over and put his hand on my stomach and said “Of course-it’s our story.”
Cue first set of tears.
So I wrote a facebook post:
Today marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week.
It took us a lot to get to this point. Three years, multiple doctors, many, many drugs, ultrasounds, a surgery for me, expensive and invasive procedures and tests, a lot of heartbreak and tears, money, and at the end of the day more hope than seemed possible during a very dark time.
I have endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Thanks to modern medicine, we are expecting our first child. 1 in 8 people suffer from infertility-your friends list is full of people dealing with this in silence because they’re ashamed and heartbroken. I know, because I’ve been there.
But you are not alone.
And then I put my phone away for a while and enjoyed my breakfast with my husband.
After breakfast I looked at my phone and I had so. many. notifications. So many people who were touched by my story, who had their own story, who told me I was brave, who wanted to share my story.
Cue second set of tears.
Over the course of yesterday I received many comments and so many likes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, honestly-but it wasn’t that. Friends that haven’t corresponded with me in years showed support. People who I suspect have suffered through their own fertility problems (there are always signs, you know?) liked the post. So many family members-even my catholic family members who by church doctrine SHOULD be against the way we conceived a child-supported me yesterday. Of course, not my sister, but I didn’t expect any different.
Yesterday was a good day. Chief and I got to rest and get things done. I had quite a few braxton hicks that left me breathless, so after the grocery store visit we always make on Sunday I took a lie down. We had lunch with my mom and she had the curtains ready for Charlie’s room, so before dinner we spent some time hanging the curtains and the art work and doing the final arrangement on furniture.
When we were done, we just sat in there for a while. I was on the floor because I’d been playing with the cats while Chief worked. Chief was in the glider. He got up and held out his hand to me (because I can’t get up on my own very easily anymore at 31 weeks pregnant (tomorrow)) so that we could go eat dinner. I looked up at him and said:
“I never thought we’d get to put a baby in this room.”
Because friends, that’s the truth. There were so many times I thought it wouldn’t happen. And I’m counting my chicken before she hatches, but as far along as we are I finally believe she’s coming home. Sometime in the next 9+ weeks I’m going to have a daughter, and her name will be Charlotte. And she will be my Charlie girl. And she and her father will be my everything.
So if you’re out there in this week of awareness, please know that I’ve been there too. Maybe not in your exact position. Many of you have been through worse than me, some have been through less. This isn’t the pain Olympics. Just know that all those doubts you have in your mind? I’ve had them too. I’m not going to sit here and say that if you “just keep trying” it will happen. The world is too cruel-I won’t be cruel and tell that lie too. But what I want you to know is this: YOU are not alone. I wasn’t alone.
You are not alone.