I wrote this post at the Atlanta Airport on the way to my favorite beach.
I ran through the huge Atlanta airport, which is like the Olympics of travel, and got to the gate with just enough time to spare. I had the opportunity to be bumped for a nice amount of money, so I sat.
And waited. For about six hours.
A lot of life is about hurry up and wait.
I think about this every time I listen to Tom Petty’s “The Waiting”
The waiting is the hardest part.
Every day you see one more card.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.
In the infertility treatment world, there’s a great deal of hurry up and wait.
Waiting to see if you get pregnant on your own and stay pregnant.
Waiting to get scheduled for your initial consult with a doctor to talk about why this is happening.
Waiting to stop crying so you can digest and process the information you just received.
Waiting to come up with the money to pursue treatment.
Waiting to get scheduled for procedures, from a little bit to the biggy of IVF.
Waiting to find helpers in a sperm or egg donor, or donor embryos, or a gestational surrogate.
Waiting to proceed once you’ve found your helpers.
Waiting to see if you feel anything after each try. Are you pregnant? Is this different? Or is this just progesterone messing with your mind and body?
Waiting for those hopeful/terrifying/loooooonnnng days waiting for the tinkle test at home or the first blood test.
Waiting for the second blood test.
Waiting for the first ultrasound.
Waiting to meet with your OB/GYN or…
Waiting once again to get scheduled for procedures, from a little bit to the biggy of IVF.
You get the idea.
Surrogacy journeys start with so much excitement, only to be chipped away by the many, many, many, months of waiting to get everything completed with psychological, medical, and legal screenings. The waiting is always a shock to intended parents and the gestational surrogate.
Waiting to come up with the money to proceed.
Waiting to have a baby.
Waiting to be a parent.
Waiting to tell your parents that you are pregnant.
But you’ve been waiting for that for a long time, haven’t you?
Hurry up and wait and wait and wait.
This year, the theme of National Infertility Awareness Week (#NIAW) is #InfertilityUncovered. You know a lot about the things I’ve been writing about in this blog post.
I’ve put these things to paper because they are the things that other people don’t know. Maybe because you and many other people don’t tell people. The endless waiting. The longing. The ups and downs of the infertility rollercoaster. The drained bank accounts. The sinking of your spirit. The passage of time.
Maybe you keep it covered up, because you are embarrassed, or ashamed, or humiliated. From my heart, I am here to tell you that you are not a failure. Please stop telling yourself that. You are a precious human being with a medical problem or difficulty getting access to what you need to have a family. This. Is. Not. Your. Fault.
It can feel so vulnerable and difficult to tell others what you are going through, because they may help, hurt, or “whatever” you (see “7 Infertility Helpers from Hell” for my snarky take on “help”). Do it anyway. Let’s uncover it all. Let’s bring things out into the sunshine so the people who love you can know all of the many steps you are going through.
Because, honestly, most people don’t know anything about infertility. And they can’t know what they don’t know. And they can’t love and support you in the way you need it, unless they know about it.
Let’s uncover the realities of what living through the infertility journey is like. Thank you, Millennial Generation, for talking openly about infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy losses. One in eight couples in the United States (1 in 6 in Canada) have trouble with family building.
I made it to my destination. I so hope that you will make it to your destination…a family of your own to love.
The waiting is over. Tell your story. I want to hear it.