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Infertility Awareness Week

If you follow this blog you know I've written in the past about my struggle to decide whether to have kids or not. What you might not know is when I was 19 I was told I would never have children naturally and the odds of me having one with medical interventions like IVF were very low. So at 19, I started to adjust myself and try to come to terms with the fact that I would never have biological children of my own. 

However, medical science has changed a lot in the last 20 years and now there is a chance I may not only be able to get pregnant with IVF but possibly carry a pregnancy to full term. The odds aren't great (13-25% chance) but they are far from the big fat 0% I was told when I was 19. This has caused me to question over the last year, how much I really want to have children.

Don't get me wrong, I want to be a mom, I want to watch a little version of me grow, develop and change the world in their own way. I want to see how becoming a mom would change me. What I'm not sure about is whether now is the right time, whether it has to be a biological child for me to feel complete or do I need a little child at all.

Am I okay with just being a kick-ass Aunt to the group of kids who currently light up my world?

This is a touchy subject for a lot of people. The number of people I know personally who struggle with infertility in some way is more than I could've ever imaged when I was 19. However, we still don't talk about it. Even sometimes with our closest friends, we don't tell them about the really hard things we worry about. The choices we aren't sure about or the mental struggle infertility can bring.

We feel less as women because "We have one job on this planet, have babies" and we can't do that. So we struggle with where we find ourselves.

We struggle with how the world sees us at 35, 36, 39 when we don't have kids.

For people who have wanted kids for as long as they can remember the simple fact that I'm not sure anymore about where my heart lies on this topic could be triggering. That, however, doesn't change the fact that I'm not sure. I'm not sure it's responsible to have a child when I know how hard having one is financially, emotionally, physically and of course spiritually.

I don't know if I could handle having a miscarriage.

I don't know if I could handle having a difficult birth. Knowing as many people as I do that have had children around me over the last ten years I've seen a lot of good and bad experiences. I've watched strong, confident women who I admire, struggle with birth trauma and nursing.

I don't know if I want to do it alone. (A struggle a lot of people have lived in this world we now live in). The clock is ticking on my time to make a choice about this because no one told me when I was 25 to start thinking about freezing my eggs so that I had more options later in my life. No one told me that by the time you feel emotionally ready, it will be too late. No one told me that by the time I figured out what the hell I wanted in life I would be considered "geriatric" from a fertility standpoint.

(Side note, who was the man {yes, I'm assuming it was a man} who decided that was how we needed to label older women who have less viability from a fertility standpoint)

I wish we talked more about this openly and honestly with each other. Not just because it's hard to struggle alone but because you really do feel alone on this journey. Even when you know people who have gone through different kinds of fertility treatments you still feel like your feelings aren't normal. What you worry about isn't normal and maybe you don't deserve to have that part of the life experience.

Most of all, I wish we talked about it more so that by the time the kids that I know now are 25, they know what their options are. They have the time to explore them all and make the choice that will help them to have every aspect of the life that they want to be happy.

I'm 1 in 8 women who struggle with infertility. I'm also one who isn't sure where, when or how this fits into my life, my happiness, and my dreams.

It's National Infertility Awareness Week and if you're reading this, even if you don't know anyone who has struggled with infertility, I challenge you to become more aware. Talk to the people in your life more, I bet you really do know someone who has struggled. I bet you do know someone who feels like it's their fault that they can't do this thing that women should be able to do.

Even if you don't know someone, I challenge you to be apart of the change that makes it so that the world we live in 20 years from now, doesn't have women who feel ashamed if they can't get pregnant. A world where we don't judge people if they decide not to have children. A world where our value as women isn't judged on our ability to procreate. 

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Thursday, 21 January 2021
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