I Am More Then 1 in 6
We are infertile.
In fact, we are infertile in the most fertile way. We are also 1%. We are the one percent who can get pregnant relatively easily, but cannot sustain a pregnancy. Without significant medical intervention my body will likely never sustain a pregnancy to full term with a child. And even with medical intervention there are no guarantees our child will survive to birth or be compatible with life.
But I am more then this.
I refuse to sit in defeat and let the 1 in 6 statistic or the 1% statistic define who I am. Yes, we have struggled. Yes, I know immense pain of losing our unborn children. Yes, I have made the life altering decision to terminate one of our babies for medical reasons. Yes, our family may not look the same as yours. Yes, I have more lost babies then I will presumably ever have living.
But I am more then all of this.
I am also a women who dreams to be a mother. And will do whatever it takes to make this dream come true. Biology has never been an issue for us, so we will adopt to bring children into our family. We want children to complete our lives and even though adoption is hard, adoption is the best path forward for our family.
I am a professional who struggled to maintain her career while experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss. In fact, I resigned and put my career on hold while we sorted through our family dreams. This has been a life altering decision for me, and in so many ways I am grateful that I had the luxury and opportunity to spend so much time focusing on my health and our family.
I am someone who loves life. I will search for happiness no matter what. I smile at simple things like a sunset or the song of a bird.
I have known great loss and grief. First with losing my mom and sister as a young teenager and then with losing our 5 babies as an adult. But, with each loss, I have grown and I continue to live. I am a survivor.
I have blamed myself for our lost babies. But, I also do not dwell in self-pity or self-blame. I acknowledge the emotions around loss are complicated, and I do my best to keep a level head and be fair with myself.
I am someone who dreams of a bright future. I have hope that no matter what happened yesterday, tomorrow can and will be better. I cling to this hope with every fiber of my being.
I have bad days, sometimes even downright horrible days, but I always find a way to pick myself back up. Sometimes it takes a day or two, or even a week or two, but I always pull myself out of it and hope for a better tomorrow.
I am a daughter and a sister. My family is complicated and not perfect, but I try really hard to accept and make the most of what is.
I am a wife. My husband means the world to me and we are in this life together, children or not. Our life is based on a foundation of we, which is built out of respect, love and compassion.
I am a friend. I do my best to support my friends who need a helping hand.
I ask for help when I need it. It’s not a frequent occurrence for me to admit that I am struggling, but I am learning that there is always someone out there who can help.
All of this, all of me, is just like so many women out there going through infertility.
I am a complete women who is more then just my infertility / recurrent pregnancy loss statistic.
I never expected to be on the wrong side of the statistics when it came to having children. I did not expect to be the 1 in 6 or the 1%. But here I am, I am both. Rather then let this define my very being, I am pushing through it and leading my life in a way that will define me as something more.
Ultimately I believe I am bigger then just infertility. In the scheme of my life, this is just a blip in my greater plan (albeit a rather big blip). What matters to me is how I survive and how I lead my entire life. When I am 80 and look back at my life, I do not want to remember myself as an infertile and bitter women, rather I want to be able to say that:
I am women who loved with my whole heart.
I am not perfect, but I did my best during the good and bad times.
Life was not always easy, but I survived.
I lived with respect, integrity, grace and compassion.
This post was written to honour the Canadian Infertility Awareness Week which runs from May 19 – 25, 2015. As a Canadian I strongly support the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada and their work to promote infertility education and awareness within Canada. Please consider adding your voice to the movement to help those suffering in silence know that they are not alone and they do not have to be defined by the diagnosis of infertility.
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