Sometimes I feel like having two beautiful, healthy children completely invalidates me ever talking about fertility problems again. Like I’m no longer a member of the group of people I once clung to when I was in the thick of the “trying to get pregnant” stage of my life, and again during the long, drawn-out miscarriage between my boys.
I am one of the lucky ones. But I didn’t know that was going to be the case when I was going through countless doctor’s appointments and rounds of testing and learning about things like hormone imbalances and polycystic ovaries and talking about treatment plans to do something inside my body that everyone else seemed to be able to do even when they didn’t want to. I never called myself “infertile” or claimed to be the spokeswoman for every woman going through fertility issues — I just told my story. Day by day. As it happened to me. And through sharing that journey I found websites and built relationships and connected with other people going through similar things. And it was exactly what I needed at that time to keep my head up and to keep moving forward in my own way.
Since then I receive emails regularly from women (and sometimes men) going through their own fertility story. Usually they are at the beginning of their journey, and they have questions for me about Clomid or when I decided to see a doctor or how I stayed positive when seeing negative test after negative test threatened to pull me down into an emotional spiral. Sometimes they are in the middle of their journey, and need support to keep going. Sometimes they are newly pregnant and are having trouble transitioning from the “struggling to get pregnant” crowd to the “I’m pregnant with twins and I didn’t even have to try!” crowd. Sometimes it’s people who have struggled for a long time and are thinking about options beyond pregnancy, and they just want a listening ear from someone who has faced some of those questions, even on a much smaller scale.
I respond to every one.
These emails remind me that even though I’ve “graduated”, struggling with fertility is still a very important part of my own story.
For those who are still in the struggling part of your story, I encourage you to find the resources that can act as your “village”. And try to think of stories like mine as images of hope, and not as a slap in the face. We’re all just taking it day by day. And though these days my Instagram feed is full of brotherly antics and chubby baby cheeks, it wasn’t so long ago that I was on the outside looking in.
Below are some resources from people who have reached out to me over the last few months that I thought I would share with you. I cannot vouch for the products and do not have any connection with the sites, and I know that there are thousands upon thousands of wonderful fertility resources out there. You just have to find the ones that speak to where you are in your journey.
Philadelphia Fertility Project Survey
The purpose of this survey is to learn about the social, mental, and emotional experiences of women with fertility problems. It will take about 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is completely anonymous. Women who are between the ages of 18-45, not currently pregnant, and have difficulty conceiving naturally through unprotected intercourse and/or carrying a pregnancy to term are invited to participate in this study.
In appreciation of your participation, two $100 donations have been made to the American Fertility Association and Resolve: The National Infertility Association by the research team to thank you for sharing your experiences and to benefit others who struggle with fertility problems. If you have any questions about this study, you may contact the Principal Investigator, Dr. Pamela Geller, Ph.D., or the research coordinator, Mona Elgohail, at 215-553-7121
Click on this anonymous survey link to participate:
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Heart to Heart Video Contest
The 6.1 million Americans facing infertility and their loved ones know the emotional toll associated with the diagnosis and the impact it can have on your life. A study of couples dealing with infertility found that half of the women and 15 percent of the men noted infertility as the most upsetting experience they’ve ever faced.
Last week, Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of its 2014 Heart to Heart Video Contest, which provides a look into some of the personal stories of families dealing with infertility and their journey to parenthood.
Details of this year’s Heart to Heart Contest can be found at www.hearttoheartcontest.com. Highlights include:
- Video: Contestants submit a creative video that captures their journey to parenthood and encourages others to ‘have heart’ through the difficult experience of infertility.
- Theme: Have Heart, Share Hope
- Timing: Now through August 31, 2014
- Prize: Grand prize winner receives $10,000 and four runners up receive $4,000 toward their child’s education.
- Website: Submissions will be collected through www.hearttoheartcontest.com.
For more information, or to view last year’s winning video and runners-up, visit www.hearttoheartcontest.com.
Key to Conceive
My name is Lindsey Elling-Thompson and I am the mother of a 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. It was over 6 years ago when my husband I started our journey in trying to conceive and it was a long, emotional, difficult and overwhelmingly blessed journey. I have a heart for other women who are on their own TTC journeys because I understand the emotional, mental and physical toll not being able to get pregnant takes on a woman and her partner.
I am writing to tell you about a new product because I believe in the product’s claims and what the company stands for…offering hope and helping couples get pregnant. The company is not just about selling a product, it’s also about providing new and helpful information on the infertility front, which is why the keytoconceive.com website contains videos, articles and other helpful information. I believe this information will be helpful for your blog’s audience and maybe for yourself.
I encourage you to check out the website (http://www.keytoconceive.com/).