[Join the Movement] Kosir: Party Of Three
"When is baby two coming?!"
Nick and I have heard that question countless times over the last few years from family, friends--even viewers.
Here's the answer: your guess is as good as ours.
Nick and I have been fighting infertility issues for the last two years. It's an extremely emotional and private struggle for us, which is why we have kept quiet about it for so long. But this week, we're breaking the silence. Why now?
Sunday marked the start of National Infertility Awareness Week. To you, infertility may be just another cause marked by a colored ribbon. To us, it's our story.
The theme of this NIAW is 'Join the Movement.' Couples who are going through infertility treatments are encouraged to open up about their experience or tell how they 'came out' about the diagnosis to their family and friends; to spread awareness. As a journalist, I make a living telling other people's stories. So why have I been so afraid to tell my own?
Did you know that 1 in 8 couples have been diagnosed with infertility? I was shocked when I first heard that statistic. Well, shocked and oddly comforted. We're not alone! In our case, we have been diagnosed with secondary infertility because we had no problems conceiving a child the first time. Quite the opposite, in fact. Yes, we are fortunate to have one healthy child but that doesn't change our desire for a second. To paraphrase our infertility specialist, "the maternal drive is a beast."
Chances are you know someone who is struggling with infertility. Through this post, I hope that I can help you understand their journey.
Here is my list of the top three things couples struggling with infertility want you to know:
1. Infertility is exhausting. Emotionally, physically and financially. As with nearly every disease, there is not one area of your life left untouched by infertility. Every month is a new mountain to climb. Couples have to follow a strict regime of medications and procedures each month. Not only is it time consuming, it’s also very expensive. For us, and for most other couples, insurance companies don't cover a single cent of testing or treatment. All of this makes the side effects from the medicine the least of our worries. Weight gain and mood swings become the norm.
2. Infertility is invasive. Let's face it--Nick and I have learned more about our own bodies (and each others) than we ever cared to know as we have endured test after test. An article on Resolve.org describes it like this, "You feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money." I couldn't agree more.
3. Infertility is awful. Please, don't downplay the seriousness of the diagnosis by telling an infertile couple to, "just relax." Or, "stop trying so hard, it'll happen." Couples who are trying to start or expand their family have likely spent years and thousands of dollars on tests and treatments. The best thing you can do is listen.
Resolve.org, which is a wonderful resource for couples struggling with infertility, has posted this article on Infertility Etiquette. If you know someone who is going through this, the read is worth your time.
For additional information about the disease, or about National Infertility Awareness Week, visit these links:
If you're reading this post and you struggle with infertility, please know that you're not alone! As for Nick and I, we will keep enjoying our party of 3 and hoping for the best. Because if there's one thing I have learned over these last two years--that's all you can do!