This is a project that I feel like is amazing. It was started by Melissa Ford Author of Navigating the Land Of IF (Infertility). The essentials of this project are to write a "What IF" about Infertility and how its affected my life. This past week was National Infertility Awareness Week or (NIAW) and this week always gives me hope that our voices are getting out. First of all, 7.3 MILLION Amerians are affected by Infertility. The sad part is that it is horribly underfunded for research and so much lack of education among non infertilies about the topic. Infertility has affected me for the past nearly seven years. Its made me who I am today and taken me emotionally places that others from the outside looking in would think are irrational. Ive cried tears when I should be jumping for joy for another person. I've learned to cope in the way that is best for me, and I've certaintly learned the Ultmiate LIFE IS NOT FAIR rule of life.
So, My first What IF is: What IF I had gotten pregnant on my wedding night like I had planned nearly seven years ago?? There was something so innocent about who I was then as a newlywed and def something very freeing about throwing away the birth control. Seeing baby carriages gave me much hope and just knowing we were "trying" brought a smile to my face.
What IF: My heart can't take anymore? We can't afford fertility treatments needed so all around me people are getting pregnant and I'm seeing people go forward with their lives. My heart melts when this happens while we still feel stuck.
What IF: I have to face more holidays and me getting yet another year older without children? Last Chirstmas was horrible for me emotionally and this Easter wasn't much better. Seeing other people's children open presents and celebrate is tough even if its your own family.
What IF: We had coverage for infetility on our insurance? I wouldn't feel like there was a ticking time bomb in my uterus. Seven years ago we had all the time in the world (age 24) and I didnt' feel as rushed. As I near 31 its ticking away loudly. I wanted two children by 30. That was the plan. I did not want to be an older mother.
What IF: I never look in my child's eyes and see my husband's. My husband has the most amazing eyes. His eyes show every emotion he feels. My husband has amazed me so much in the past seven years. He's changed, I've changed and when I seem him with a child in his arms all it does it make me want one more. His eyes can take away any pain I'm feeling.
What IF: In protecting myself emotinally I alienate every person I ever knew, my family and my friends. We have decided not to visit family for a while and for Christmas we are having our own.
When its FINALLY my turn (hopefully sooner rather than later) will people be happy for me or roll their eyes?
What IF: I never get to decorate a nursery or get stretch marks and complain about fatigue and nasuea? Yes, I REALLY want all those things.
What IF: The only thing I get from my "monthly gift" is cramps and no baby. I feel women are designed to have children. Its stated many times in the bible along with God's understanding of the pain of infertility.
Now for my positive "WHAT IF"
What IF: EVERYONE "GOT IT" they understood the reality of infertility and didn't make insensitive remarks or judge us for the path we may take and others saw IF as the real life crisis that it truly is. We'd no longer be seen as selfish or irrational for wanting children. We'd have the inrusance coverage we so desperatley need, the emotional support from family, friends and bosses. There wouldn't be "OH how sad Why dont' you just adopt." As if their desire to become pregnant was the only one that mattered.
Infertility is not cut and dry. Its NOT new. Its been around since the beginning of time. There is real pain involved. Its tough to see other people take their fertility for granted.