Infertility as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is:
Medical Definition of INFERTILE
: not fertile; especially: incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy over a considerable period of time (as a year) in spite of determined attempts by heterosexual intercourse without contraception <infertile couples><an infertile male with a low sperm count><an infertile female with blocked fallopian tubes>—compare sterile 1
—in·fer·til·i·ty noun, pluralin·fer·til·i·ties
Full Definition of INFERTILE
: not fertile or productive <infertile eggs> <infertile fields>; especially : incapable of or unsuccessful in achieving pregnancy <infertile couples>
— in·fer·til·i·ty noun
I read these definitions, and I just don’t think of us as being infertile. We can get pregnant. We are actually really good at the creation part. We’ve had four completely natural pregnancies in 19 months – but each one has ended in miscarriage (3 + consecutive miscarriages is known by the medical term of recurrent pregnancy loss). Simply put, we are good at the conception part, not so good at the rest of it. Why? The medical community has no idea – after many, many, many tests, they have determined that are perfectly healthy. This should not be happening to us.
So, since we can get pregnant, why and how do we fit into this definition? If, infertility, by its definition, means that a couple cannot conceive through the century’s old technique of sex, then why are we part of the definition? Why do we get sent to a fertility clinic which specializes is getting people pregnant through medical procedures such as IUI and IVF? I figure it’s because the medical community is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Only 1% of couples will experience RPL, so our numbers are too low for it to be considered a standalone pressing medical condition with its own medical specialization. So, we have nowhere else to go and no experts to solve our problem.
I know, there is a substantial difference between being unable to get pregnant versus being unable to maintain pregnancy. Yet, here I am also being a square peg trying to fit into the round hole – looking for someone who understands. And the closest I have is, people who cannot get pregnant. While, I am unbelievably thankful for the support I have received from so many of you, I also know the experiences are not the same. After following many blogs, I feel as though I can make the assumption that both experiences are grounded in similar emotions of frustration, loss, disappointment, anxiety, sadness, etc. But given our experience, I am nearly clueless when it comes to fertility treatments, and acronyms like IUI, IVF, CM, AF, etc. Our doctors have made it clear that these treatments will never be possible solutions for us, because our bodies have that part figured out and our testing indicates that we are healthy and since our genetic testing is fine there is no reason to do IVF with genetic testing. So, no medical interventions, regardless of how unpleasant, are possible for us.
That said, learning about all of this other infertility stuff from the questions we have asked our doctors and from everyone in the blogging community has been a great experience for us because it’s truly interesting to understand. And I have a deep appreciation for the immense struggle that infertility causes couples. It’s fascinating to know what people are willing to do to have biological children, myself included. I’m desperate for a possible solution, and only wish I had medical options.
But also, and likely more importantly, learning about infertility has been incredibly important because I find myself educating people on fertility treatments all the time now. When people here about our situation the first thing they suggest, even before adoption, is the miracle cure of IVF. Thanks to my education in fertility treatments, I can now explain more about these treatments, and how they affect those struggling to have children. I can also explain to the naive people out there, that fertility treatments are not physical fun, emotionally easy, affordable or even simple. Because of this, I am becoming an infertility advocate for education and awareness. And, thanks to my fellow bloggers I have a much better understanding of just how difficult these treatments are.
So, thank you to all the infertility bloggers for helping me to know more and for letting me hang out in the fringes of your world as I attempt to find comfort through my journey as a square peg in a round hole. In in return for your amazing support, I resolve to continue my quest to know more and to raise awareness through education of those I meet.
I love watching TED Talks. They are easy – it’s literally watching TV. No effort. The talks can be thought-provoking. They can be inspiring. They can also be life changing. Today I watched Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly’s Talk Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.