Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How open are you?

With the start of National Infertility Awareness Week I have been thinking a lot about, well, infertility. I am glad that this week exists, yet I find it sad that infertility is still so unknown and unacknowledged. It is not a new "issue" yet many people are completely clueless that couples actually have trouble conceiving. I think that there are several reasons for this, one being ignorance. And I believe that most ignorance exists because we (infertiles) decline to discuss infertility. I understand how difficult that it can be to share our struggles with people. Once you open up about infertility you open yourself up for criticism, advice and patronizing comments. All of which can be painful. None of us want to hear that we need to relax or pray harder, but we often do from well meaning individuals.

Another reason for the silence is that infertility involves S-E-X. Who wants to share these nitty gritty details? I sure don't! And I don't think that we need to tell the cashier at the grocery store about your latest hoo-ha inspection or your hubby's semen analysis, but we each have many opportunities to educate people on not only the clinical side of infertility but the emotional side as well. Until we do we will constantly be the recipient of idiotic advice.

I am very open about infertility. Very! Sometimes too much! But I am tired of people, especially in our Christian circles, condemning IUI and IVF due to lack of knowledge. So we feel shame over our diagnosis of infertility and now shame over our reproductive choices? How fair is that? I have studied that biblical side of infertility and see no basis for these opinions. And yes, that is what they are though many claim it to be the gospel truth. We alienate those that are hurting and it needs to stop.

Now that I have learned about embryo donation/adoption I am now quick to educate those that are interested about this choice as well. It saddens me that there are so many couples out there that are unaware of this options, both possible recipients and donors. I was on the baby.center.com website and someone posted about disposing of her embryos. She was feeling guilty about wanting to do this and was looking for someone to assuage her guilt. I posted my story of being a recipient of donated embryos and encouraged her to consider this option. I do not know if she will or not, but that one post sparked some conversation. One woman wanted to donate her2 embryos but was under the impression that you could not donate less than 4 at a time. I was quick to tell her of agencies that would take her two precious embryos and she has already contacted them to donate. Another women messaged me to ask me more questions because she was now interested in donating as well.

Infertility has been the hardest trial in my life and I refuse for it to be in vain. I will do everything that I can to inform and educate people about this often silent struggle. I hope that many of you feel this way as well. And for those of you that are still shy about it, maybe this week you can find an opportunity to share your story with someone and maybe help someone else that is struggling or educate someone about infertility.

So how open are you about infertility?


  1. Read this today and it is so true. Proverbs 30:15-16 (NIV) "There are three things that are never satisfied,four that never say, 'Enough!':
    the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'

    I am a mommy through adoption. I love my son more than anything. But the hell that I (we) went through before we adopted with all the treatments & failed ivfs, well that scarred me for life. A part of my soul died the day we found out that I would never get pregnant. I literally thought I was going to lose my mind. I would have given anything to have had blogs/support like this back then.
    Now, 5 years after the dreadful diagnosis, I feel like I am finally on the other side of that mountain. I still think about it every now and then, but having an active 3 1/2 year old little boy--well, I rarely have time to sit & dwell on it anymore (thank God)..lol

    I am so pro Infertility Awareness. It's about time our voices and hearts be heard!

  2. I am very open about infertility too. Like you, maybe a little too much. I think so many people see it as taboo. I remember when I first started working in my current job two years ago, my coworkers would literally flinch when I would talk about my being infertile and sharing stories. I wasn't graphic or anything, but I wasn't afraid to tell them what procedures we had done. I answered in-depth questions when people asked. I have always been open about it. It hurts too much to internalize and keep it to yourself. That is how people become bitter.

    To the people who condem IUIs and IVF, all I have to say is God gave man the knowledge to do these things. Iif He wasn't okay with it, He wouldn't let it happen. We have been given free agency, and I don't think that God will condem those of us who have to seek out science to bring His children to this earth. In fact, I think some of us go through this experience because it teaches us to be better, more appreciative people when we do make it to parenthood. The only people who condem it are the people who have never been aflicted by infertility.

    Saying God condems science intervention is like saying that we have no right to try and cure any infectious diseases or cancers.

  3. I'm very open too! I will tell anyone pretty much anything if they want to hear it.

  4. I'd like to be more open about my IF, and there are some days when I am. But for some reason it always seems to back fire on me. Constantly opening me up to unsolicited advice, or rude comments.

    But I'll get there one day.

  5. Jess,

    Great post! I am very open about my struggles with infertility as well. I share to keep hope alive in others that are still struggling.

    As a Christian I believe that God works through the doctors and has given them the skill and knowledge to perform infertility treatments.

    We prayed for guidance and received Gods blessing through IVF. We have remaining embryos from our cycle that we feel we are meant to share with another couple experiencing infertility.

    I think embryo adoption is a blessing to both donors and the recipients. I wish that it was more widely known about. As potential donors we are having trouble finding a family for our embryos. We are researching our options to donate. We are leaning toward donating through Miracles Waiting. We want to have full control over our embryos, but more than that we hope to spare a couple some of financial pain to the already aching hearts of an infertile couple.

    Thank-you for sharing your story and for being an advocate for embryo adoption.

    I also want to say thanks to you and others that have adopted embryos. I know that you have prayed for this child but I hope you know that you are also an answer to someone else’s prayer.

    Love, a future Donor Mom

  6. Great post! I have talked to you about this before but I am sooooooo reserved when it comes to talking about IF. Or in my case, RPL.
    Like everything in life, it can only get done by taking baby steps. So I will try to talk to just one person this week.

  7. I have found that most people (who haven't experienced infertility) don't know how to respond when you start talking about the struggles of infertility. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be talking about it but sometimes we have to be sensitive to the people we're talking to as well. However, I have been the recipient of several of those hurtful comments, such as "if you had more faith you'd get pregnant". So I'm all for educating people about infertility. As far as how open I am, I don't usually go into the nitty-gritty details, unless they ask, but I don't hesitate to tell people that we've been trying for 3 1/2 years.

  8. How awesome that you have had such great opportunites to share your story. I KNOW God will use you greatly in helping others! Think it is just wonderful that you are willing to do so!

  9. I do would like to be more open about IF but all of DH's sides have "perfect" AF cycles and get pregnant at a drop of a hat, so they just don't get it. They find IUI's and IVF weird. I try to say there are MANY people conceiving that way now and they don't believe me. So naive!
    You should be proud that you are not ashamed - many ladies with IF should take after you!!

    Happy ICLW

    Stop by anytime:

  10. Excellent, excellent blog, thank YOU for being so open to all women out there who could possibly end their painful journeys with embryo adoption. I am an infertility doc who is participating in ICLW for the 1st time & I have met so many remarkable women throughout this week...and heard many stories. Yours is quite compelling. I would like to repost some of your thoughts on my FB page this week, with your permission. I too am an infertility survivor along with my wife. Ironically, we TTC for over 12 years and in the late 90's had to resort to IVF for our one and only. It was never an easy journey, but resilience of the soul is one of the most important attributes women have, and my wife had the courage to face IVF without a great support group as exists nowadays. Hope your pregnancy goes well, congratulations! ICLW #7


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