One in every eight couples in the United States are affected by infertility.
Nearly six million families are childless. Some chose this option, but many more long for children that never come.
According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than 1 million couples grapple with secondary infertility, a couple’s inability to conceive a baby, even though they’ve had at least one child in the past.
My husband and I are one of these couples. Since my son turned one, I have had five miscarriages, one with the aid of IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment. We are now using a different doctor and are in the middle of more testing. As always, we remain hopeful that we will one day successfully add to our family and give our son a sibling.
Until then I have come to rely on support groups and friends that will listen.
Six months ago, I apprehensively attended to my first RESOLVE support group meeting, and after hearing the stories of each brave and compassionate woman sitting around the table, I didn’t feel so alone anymore. Here were women, just like me, that are angry, sad, confused and longing to have a child, their first or another.
I had made new friends.
One of those new friends was Annette Prieto-Llopis, who has written a wonderful piece on CNN.com’s In America today called, The unheard voice of infertility: A Latina’s story.
Annette introduced me to Molly Nichols, better known as Inspirational Mama, and from there I learned about Women Speak. In recognition of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 22-28), Molly is hosting Women Speak this Wednesday, April 25 in Orange County, California.
This event will bring together those who have been touched by infertility and will be filled with support, education and inspiration.
Molly has asked me to be a panel member at Women Speak and I am very excited about sharing my secondary infertility story. When she asked me to be a part of her event, I did not hesitate. I believe the more we talk and share and learn from one another, the better our experience will be. If my story helps just one other women who is suffering with infertility then I’ll be happy.
Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of.
If you live in Orange County and are suffering with infertility or know someone that is, I encourage you to attend this important event.
Infertility causes stress, sadness, frustration and loss for many couples. If you and your spouse are facing this condition, please learn all you can through reputable resources and organizations, such as RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association.
The mission of RESOLVE is to provide timely, compassionate support and information to people who are experiencing infertility, and to increase awareness of infertility issues through public education and advocacy.
Founded in 1974 by nurses, RESOLVE is a national non-profit organization providing local support and educational programming to meet the needs of women and men diagnosed with infertility. Supported by a strong volunteer network, RESOLVE is a source of information and support for the family building journey.
Attain the support you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.
Trust me when I tell you, you are not alone. You are among friends.
Photo credit: sklathill