As National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close, I can't help but reflect on our messy journey to parenthood. In the US, 1 in 8 families have trouble conceiving or sustaining a pregnancy. That's about 10% of the population but infertility still remains somewhat of a taboo topic. You know that it exists in this fuzzy sense, but you never imagine that one day you'll have trouble starting a family. All of a sudden your dreams of becoming a parent include needles instead of candles, confusing acronyms instead of romantic music, and bursting into tears as you rush by the baby section of Target instead of wandering through while dreamily planning a nursery.
Infertility is a frightening and emotionally-charged word, diagnosis, reality.
I'm thankful for all of the people who listened, supported, and guided us through years of disappointment, surgeries, losses, and hope. Hope especially, because sometimes you need others to hope for you when it gets to be too hard to do it yourself. And I'm forever thankful for our three little rays of sunshine, from the first time we saw them and every day since. They fill our lives with so much joy, love, and smiles. There was a time when I honestly didn't think anyone would ever call me "Mama" and I'm so grateful that I get to hear that every day.
Whatever family building path you choose, it can be an emotional and isolating process. If you are struggling to build your family, know that it's ok to not be ok. Reach out, get support, and know that you are not alone.