Today is the next to last day of National Infertility Awareness Week. I applaud Resolve® The National Infertility Association for sponsoring a wave of activities including media and advocacy visits to Capitol Hill. The most striking part of this effort, to me, has been Project IF.
Project IF is RESOLVE’s ongoing public education project. The goal is to make sure the public…
• understands that infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age;
• acknowledges that there are many ways to build a family;
• understands that the disease infertility impacts the physical, emotional, and financial health of those that are facing it;
• knows when to seek the advice of a specialist.
The online abbreviation for infertility is “IF”. And when you’re faced with infertility there are so many “IFs” involved. “What IF we can’t afford treatment?” “What IF it doesn’t work?” The “IFs” are endless… When you’re a friend or family member of someone with infertility there are many IFs you can’t always understand. “What IF we aren’t grandparents?” “What IF my friend doesn’t come to my baby shower?”
These “What IFs” have run through the mind of everyone I know struggling with this issue including myself. Thank you to all the bloggers who have taken up the challenge to expose your personal What IFs to the world towards creating greater understanding, empathy, and action. The best example, amongst many heartfelt and heartbreaking entries this week was Keiko Zoll’s video seen here on her Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed: Redefining Faith & Womanhood in the Face of Infertility blog.
However, after reading and watching so many of my sisters pulling back the veil of the oft-troubling thoughts that ravage our minds and hearts, I wanted to put forward something a little different.
When I think of how to describe the infertility experience I ask people to picture a roller coaster or a swing. Emotions and moods going up and down. Most of us just want off the ride. So although there are many lows there are also highs and reason’s for hope and that’s what I want to add to this conversation.
What IF . . .
• I end up with not one, not two, but three kids (from 3 healthy singleton pregnancies) like 3 of my friends who went through IVF and then had subsequent natural conceptions
• I get pregnant next month
• All the things that I am doing to make myself the healthiest “vessel” establish life-long habits that enhance my life whether I get pregnant or not
• The meditation classes I take make me a better wife, daughter, sister, boss and business person
• I am a better mother when this is all said in done because I had to learn patience and endurance
• The clarity with which I know that I love my child even now is so powerful it changes the world