National Infertility Awareness Week: My Infertility Journey
In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), I want to share my personal experience with infertility. It's a journey filled with pain, frustration and loneliness at times. And as someone who has encountered it firsthand, I know how important it is to discuss this issue and raise awareness.
I remember waiting for weeks to watch Wonder Woman on the big IMAX screen. It was a much-needed escape from the all-consuming IVF process. You see, I had just transferred my first embryo the week before. But before the movie started, my phone rang. It was my fertility doctor. I prayed for good news as I rushed out of the theater to catch his call. But it wasn't the news I so desperately wanted. There were no more embryos left. I was back to the drawing board, starting over again.
My journey with infertility began eight years ago in the Emergency Room after experiencing the worst abdominal cramps of my life. A visit to my ED the week prior revealed that my fallopian tubes needed to be removed due to an ectopic pregnancy. I would later learn my second tube would need to be removed and that IVF was the only option for having a baby.
I thought it wouldn't be a big deal because I had gotten pregnant before. But I was wrong. My insurance only covered diagnostic services and doctor visits. The $15,000 price tag for retrievals, transfers and medications needed to be paid in cash before treatment could even start. My husband and I could pay for the first few attempts out of our savings. But when those didn't work, we were back to square one. Fortunately, we were able to take out a loan to cover the next cycle, which was ultimately successful.
I was worried about the financial aspect of the treatment. At times, it was even more stressful than the treatment itself. That's why I'm passionate about connecting others with resources to afford their family-building journey. I don't want anyone else to go through the same financial anxiety I did.
Now, as a mother, I'm grateful for every moment with my child. Of course, some days are harder than others, but I will never forget motherhood's blessing.