Being Reproductively Challenged Today

I am thankful I am reproductively challenged today.

Yes, I just said that. And clearly, that comment goes down in the category of thing I never thought I’d say/write, because heck, I never even thought I’d be reproductively challenged, let alone thankful for something related to it.

But, hear me out. There is logic behind this thought.

Imagine being infertile in the 1900s, or even the 1960s. Imagine having virtually no medical experts able to help. Imagine having absolutely no support from you extended family and friends. Imagine having a miscarriage in the barn out back. Or imagine having no scientific support to help make it happen – the first baby conceived through IVF did not happen until 1978! Imagine not having IVF as an option. Imagine not having the option of a gestational carrier. Imagine not being able to figure out how quickly beta’s should drop. Imagine how much worse it could be.  Imagine…

While many of us may feel isolated today, if nothing else, we do have an online community where people share their experiences and we all bond through our unique struggles. We support one another. We love one another. We cheer each other on through the good and the bad.

Some of us, like me and Mr. MBP, fit into odd and obscure categories and percentages that make our specific experiences relatively rare (i.e. RPL is 1% of infertile couples). And it is only through the internet that we find others who understand our unique circumstances. I remember when we had our 4th miscarriage and our RE said to us you will likely never meet another person who has been through 4 miscarriage (how nice of him to point out just how isolating RPL is). But thanks to the internet I was able to connect with a few women who know my unique journey, and even more women (and men) who know the struggles of wanting a family and not being able to achieve one the traditional non-scientific way. And thanks to my blog and twitter friends and easily accessible internet research we are able to connect with the best doctors that understand our unique circumstances.

Thanks to the internet I have been able to connect with others evaluating and choosing different route to parenthood (i.e. gestational carrier / surrogate, adoption, childfree). Whenever we’ve made a decision we have had the luxury of learning from people who have been there before. We have had the luxury of receiving advice and comments from many people. And I cannot neglect to mention the modern day luxury of easily accessible academic information.

Imagine how isolating and lonely that experience would have been years ago? Honestly, I cannot.  And, I am thankful I cannot.

So, today, I am thankful that if I have to be reproductively challenged, that I am today. I am thankful that I am not alone. Even when I feel alone, you guys and gals remind me that I am not.

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25 Comments on “Being Reproductively Challenged Today

  1. I think about this all the time! Despite all of the trials and tribulations, just having the option of IVF is a gift. Also, since I have a root canal, like, every week, I’m also thankful that I live in a time of sanitary dental care with strong local anesthetic!

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  2. I thought about this constantly when trying to have kids. I would tell my husband that we’re lucky it’s 2010 and not 1980. If 1980, we’d. Likely be childless like his aunt and uncle. IVF existed, by it wasn’t within reach of normal people. Amazing.

    I remember watching Donahue with my mom once on IVF around 1982 or so and I asked her if I’d need that some day. She said of course not, but that at least it will be an option if necessary. Foreshadowing…

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  3. Such good points! Can you imagine what someone suffering infertility in the future will think of us? Or maybe “infertility” will just be a thing of the past…😊

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  4. Well said. I think that the one downside to the modernity of reproductive science and marketing is that we know a lot more about our heartaches, even down to the fact that we wouldn’t even know we’d had a very early miscarriage in the days before reliable HPTs, for example. And maybe that lessened some suffering but of course it also coincided with far fewer options. Crunchy with the smooth…

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  5. ahhh, gratitude! such a positive, helpful (healing?), healing thing. it’s great to be reminded of the basics, that we should be grateful for. thank you.

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  6. Imagine if your husband were Henry VIII!
    I think it’s beautiful that you’ve found not just the silver lining (which in my experience often turns out to be easily frayed), but the true blessing within being uniquely who you are. I have no personal experience of your journey, and have not really understood or empathized with friends who have experienced this. But love reading what you share. Thank you for opening my eyes.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing in my journey. I’m thrilled you have not had personal experience in all of this – it’s really not that much fun. That said, I’m even more thrilled that I have you, a compassionate and supportive person, in my life. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope this doesn’t come across wrong, but I’m a tiny bit thankful that you and I both are reproductively challenged, because then I wouldn’t have ever met you via blog-o-sphere! I’d be missing out on something amazing! Plus I am thankful for modern medicine! Beautiful reminder!!!

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    • I absolutely understand what you mean! As weird as it is to say, I am thrilled to be reproductively challenged with you! I’m so thankful for knowing you and getting to share in your life as well. 🙂

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  8. I’ve thought of that before – especially the part about miscarrying without any medical assistance if you needed it. Terrifying, given I’ve been hospitalised twice on my late first trimester ones. And the Internet – oh it has been a godsend – I truly think I would have sunk into endless black despair if I hadn’t been able to rage and rant online and (more surprisingly) connect with other people who had been through the SAME thing. No one in my real life could even begin to understand… So yes, we are very lucky in a crazy sort of way! X

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  9. My paternal Aunt never had any kids. She was always so good to us growing up even though she lived far away. Once we started down our fertility journey, I reached out to her to inquire about her child-free life. She told me back in the 1960s they just didn’t have the technology to properly diagnose like they do today. She assumes she had endometriosis, but was never officially diagnosed. They had looked into adoption, but decided not to pursue it. I think we are fortunate to be reproductively challenged today, but adoption seems more challenging. My husband has quite a few relatives who adopted and the waits back in the 1970s-1980s were minimal compared to today. That being said, technology, once again, helps speed up the process. 🙂

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    • Someday I think your aunt maybe had it easier – no countless rounds of testing and procedures, but most of the time I’m just thankful for my modern medical procedures and pain meds. 🙂
      You also make such a great point about the differences in adoption today and adoption in the 1970s-1980s!

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  10. Pingback: Sunday Synopsis | Expecting the Unexpected

  11. I agree with you on many points. However, I also think it’s HARDER in some ways to be “reproductively challenged,” as you put it, in this day and age. Since many women don’t experience miscarriages or infant death now because of medical advancements, being the one who can’t seem to snap her fingers and have a baby exactly when she wants one seems alien to so many people. Many times when I mention my firstborn died shortly after birth, the reactions I get make me feel that it might be easier to just have two heads.

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    • I really do understand what you mean. As someone who has had 5 miscarriages, I get the two head looks. Oh do I ever. I could easily write multiple posts on all the bad stuff, in fact I know I have. But, when I was seeing a silver lining and I thought I’d go with it. 🙂

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      • I like that you looked for the positive! I definitely don’t want to dissuade you from doing that 🙂 I’ve just often felt the opposite side. It’s remarkable how many people don’t get that BABIES STILL DIE! :/

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      • I hear, people just don’t get that babies still die in this day and age. And people sure don’t know how to respond in a supportive way to those of us who cannot have healthy pregnancies and cannot have healthy living children.

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