We are the 1 in 10 | Our Story and Our Struggle
Written by Lindsay Ropella
If you didn’t already know, this week is national infertility awareness week. A topic that, unfortunately, Eric and I are all too familiar with.
This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for months, almost a year if I’m being honest with myself. But for having a personal blog, I’m actually a pretty private person. I’ve written about 10 drafts of this post now, but every time I do I can never bring myself to hit the “publish” button. Some days it’s because I feel like my post sounds too much like a “poor me” serenade. Some days I get nervous that someone I know is going to read it and want to talk to me about it in real life (something I’m not sure I’m emotionally ready to deal with yet). Some days I’m just plain scared to put my life that “out there.” But today, my friend wrote a beautiful post encouraging me to share my story, and I’m finally taking a step in courage.
So whether you are reading this post because you yourself are struggling with infertility, you know someone who is, you know us personally, or you are just plain nosey (all of which, by the way, are totally valid reasons in my book), I want to say thank you. Thank you for your interest and your support and for letting me share my story. Sometimes you just need to share…
Did you know that 1 in 10 couples struggle with fertility issues? I sure didn’t. And I sure as heck didn’t think it would be something I would ever experience personally. Going into marriage I knew that women on both sides of my family had dealt with road-blocks to getting pregnant here or there so I wasn’t expecting it to be a total walk in the park for Eric and myself, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for what was to come.
You never think it could ever happen to you, until it does.
It’s been just shy of two years, and Eric and I are still no closer to starting our family now than we were almost 21 months ago when we decided to “stop preventing.” I don’t want to get too weird on ya’ll, but in that time we’ve tried pretty much every “home remedy” for infertility that you can think of. If you can google it, we’ve tried it.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the most patient person ever. In fact, think of the most patient person you know (let’s be real, it’s probably your kindergarten teacher or your grandma) and then consider the exact opposite of that person. Hi. That’s me — nice to meet you. So when I wasn’t pregnant after a few months, I could only assume that I was doomed to never bear my own children (did I admit I’m also a tad over-dramatic?). Once I was able to pull it together I realized that I am in fact not doomed, and instead just have to prepare myself for a journey that is different from what I was previously anticipating.
Eric and I are Christians, and I can tell you honestly that our faith in God and His perfect plan for our lives has been the only thing that has kept me from pulling my hair out. We are so thankful that God gives us what we need and not what we deserve, and know that His Will will guide our outcome, no matter what it may be. But that doesn’t mean we still don’t struggle. There are so many days I have to remind myself that our lack of a baby is not a punishment, and it is not the result of us not praying hard enough or not having enough faith. It’s just what is right now, and that’s okay.
Lately, our greatest struggle has been deciding how much and what type of medical help we should pursue. Personally, I’m struggling with deciphering where the line is between just sitting around idly twiddling my thumbs and being too overzealous pushing my own personal agenda and timeline.
I can tell you that for right now Eric and I have decided to proceed cautiously with treatment and just keep moving forward slowly until something feels wrong or a road-block is put in our way. We both feel very settled with that decision. So, in a few weeks Eric and I will go in for our very first fertility consultation. And if you are the praying type, I would love if you would pray that our first steps would be made clear and that we would be given an obvious path to pursue. Because the unknown can be scary, but in a weird (and possibly twisted) way, I’m also kind of excited.
And for those of you who may be concerned, no this place is not going to turn into a health and fertility blog. In fact, I don’t plan to talk about it much at all other than to give periodic updates if anyone would be interested, and as an attempt to keep my sanity throughout this process. For the most part I want this blog to remain an upbeat, fun, sometimes even funny, place where you can reflect and relax. However at the same time, I do want this place to be an open and honest forum where you can get to know my life and my marriage. And right now, infertility is a big piece of both.
So tell me — have you ever struggled with infertility or known someone who has? How do you and your spouse work through difficult situations together? Let me know in the comments below.