Resolve to Know More…

This week, in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I will be blogging about the facts of the disease of infertility.  That’s right, disease.  In fact, an article I read recently stated that it’s the 3rd most serious health condition after heart disease and cancer.  Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age.

We are 1 in 8.

We are 1 in 8.

 

According to RESOLVE,  infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.  Infertility is often diagnosed after a couple has had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if the woman has suffered from multiple miscarriages and the woman is under 35 years of age.  If the woman is over 35 years old, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse.  One-third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one-third (30%) can be attributed to female factors.  In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.

My husband and I are in that small 10%.

There are many different risk factors that can contribute to infertility.

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Tubal Disease
  • Endometriosis
  • DES Exposure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

I struggle with PCOS and him with MFI (male factor infertility).  We’ve been trying to get pregnant since we got married in November of 2011.  We had a miscarriage in August of 2012 and in March of 2013 my OB prescribed Clomid, which hyperstimulated my ovaries (OHSS).  I ended up needing emergency surgery to drain the cysts that had grown.  In June, July and August of 2013 we went through medicated IUI cycles (one pretty heavily medicated), which were all unsuccessful. We are currently saving money for IVF through an online fundraiser – www.youcaring.com/munchkin-mcnabb – which our RE feels is likely the only way we will get pregnant.

There are often no signs or symptoms that will indicate a problem with fertility.  But getting to know your body and understanding patterns it’s set will make that process easier.  If you feel there is a problem, seek help right away.

This week I’ll discuss family building options and the emotions that come with this journey!  I am so grateful for the awareness that is being raised and the opportunity that I have to take part in it!!

2014-niaw-image

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)

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The Difference Between Strength & Courage

The Difference Between Strength and Courage

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains,
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

-Author Unknown

As most of you that have been reading my blog know, this is the first month in many that I’ve been doing NOTHING to actively try to get pregnant this month.  These last few weeks have been a painstaking crawl and a fast-paced blur all at once.  How is that even possible?  I have been doing many things to keep myself distracted – but if you asked me what, I couldn’t tell you.

I did look into some adoption agencies and my husband and I have our first consultation with an agent next Wednesday.  Moment of truth?  I’m NERVOUS.  You don’t have to go through an interview process to get pregnant (even though some women SHOULD!).  It rakes me over the coals to think that someone who we don’t know has to “study” our home like it’s a math test and then give us a pass or fail.  But it’s exciting, too!  They are sending a packet in the mail with a DVD to kind of let us know what to expect through the process and it will be very interesting to watch!  The woman I spoke to today suggested that we start a list of questions to ask the agent – WAYYY ahead of ya, sister!

steps

I follow Resolve on my Facebook page and they post random questions throughout the day.  Those questions often make me think!  Today they asked “What have you learned about yourself during your infertility journey?”  I’ve learned that while it’s hard for me to be disappointed each month, that it’s just as much if not more disappointing for my husband. He feels his pain and watches me feel mine also.  I’ve learned I’m stronger & weaker than I thought I was… All at the same moment sometimes.  I’ve also learned that all the years I prayed for my future husband, that God gave those blessings to the right man, and shared those blessings with me when He sent my husband to me.  I’ve also learned that even the SMALLEST things can tick me off!  But the FASTEST way is to hear a pregnant woman complaining about being pregnant!

middle fingers

The other morning, I woke up late for work.  I had to stop and get gas and the gas attendant was standing there talking to some random person about how she was “soooo sick” because of her pregnancy and then continued to talk about how IF she came back to work after she had the baby, how on EARTH was she going to get a 2-year-old AND and infant ready at 5 am, but her husband made $700 a week “under the table” so she could still apply for food stamps.  As I stood there, FORCED to listen to this woman complain about the gift she had, it became VERY hard for me to keep my mouth shut.  But I did – mostly.  I only made a few comments.  And only maybe loud enough for her to hear.  Whoops.  And then today… someone who I used to work with that KNOWS about the struggle that we’ve been having to get pregnant (because I’ve TOLD him) comes into my store and proceeds to yell down the aisle, “Hey Dacina! (while mimicking a round belly) Are you pregnant yet?!”  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  Infertility Etiquette 101:  If a woman is struggling with infertility, LET HER TELL YOU WHEN SHE IS PREGNANT!!  Asking only reminds us that we aren’t!  *sigh*

I have a devotional delivered to my email every day from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Some days I can’t get through them without crying.  The other day, the title was “Should I Quit?” by Lysa TerKeurst.  One line in there screamed at me.  It was “Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begins.”  Whoa.  You mean when I think I’m at the end, He may not be done?  You mean when I’m lying in a ball sobbing, He hears me?  You mean when my heart feels so broken that I don’t know if it will ever mend again, He has a plan?  Let that sink in for a minute.  I had to.  I hear it more than I expected to and certainly more than I feel it – “You’re so strong!”  I always think to myself – “You wouldn’t think I’m so strong if you saw the meltdowns!

I want to have strength & courage.  I want to conquer & surrender.  I want to be certain & have doubt.  I want to survive & live.  Some days I think I’m doing both.  Others, I know I can only manage one.  And that’s ok.

rough days