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Resolve to Know More. Period.

a blog by Maya Moskin, April 23, 2014

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, a week dedicated to sharing information about infertility. As I sit down to write this entry following the prompt, “Resolve to know more…” I realize all of us going through infertility really have to know more about everything fertility related.

When my husband and I first started trying to make a baby four years ago, we knew nothing about how babies were made. There are girl parts, there are boy parts, and when you put them together, you make a baby, right? We didn’t know much about our bodies. We didn’t know about all the things that could go wrong. We didn’t know about the available fertility tests to check on hormone levels and the functioning of fallopian tubes. And we didn’t know to second guess my Ob/Gyn when he told us we were young and had nothing to worry about. We also didn’t know anything about infertility.

Once conception is taken out of the bedroom and into the doctor’s office, we all have to know more. We have to learn more about the science of how babies are actually made. We have to better understand our own bodies, and trust when something doesn’t seem right. We have to know more about the doctor we choose, and be unafraid to ask questions. We have to be a savvy consumer and an informed patient. We have to know more about our family building options. About the choices we have available and which choice will work best for us. We have to learn to be open and accepting of the process, and we have to really get to know ourselves and our partners. We have to know the best ways to communicate with our friends and family, and how to advocate for ourselves. We have to know when we should try a certain procedure again, and when it’s time to move on to another intervention.

This is a LOT to figure out and can feel completely overwhelming. It is overwhelming, but it’s also important. This is your life, your body, and your potential baby we’re talking about. But we don’t have to let ourselves be overwhelmed. We can break it all down into small chunks, and move forward one step at a time.

While knowing your doctor’s success rates and the financing options, and the different interventions available to help you reach your goal is all very important, so too is knowing what your mind, body, spirit, and relationship can handle. It’s all a very delicate balance.

I think one of the most important things to know is that you have options and the power to make the best choice for yourself. By learning about the various family building alternatives, you can clearly look at what’s in front of you and make the best choice you can. My husband and I didn’t even know some of the options we had. Early on, we never could have imagined going through IVF, then IVF with my sister as an egg donor, and now an embryo adoption. Often times another alternative arises from the ashes of your last disappointing attempt, just when you think all hope is lost.

Hope is never lost. It just has to be rediscovered sometimes. If a family is your end goal, then there are various ways to reach that goal. Sometimes it requires a lot of compromise and reframing. Sometimes it takes a lot of money, time, and effort. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And the more you know, the more empowered you are.


Comments (1)

Maya, Like all of your posts, this is insightful and relevant. I especially appreciate your comment about understanding all of your options from the beginning. Many fertility patients just look at the first step, the one immediately in front of them, be it Clomid or IUI or IVF, without looking at the big picture. The big picture is, as you discovered, that the first method may not work and you may eventually have to change course to have a baby. If you understand this from the beginning, you can make an informed plan for achieving parenthood. All assisted forms of family making are expensive, both emotionally and financially. It's important to think about your health and your financial resources so you have enough left to choose a new course if necessary. I have one suggestion: the SART statistics on success rates are self-reported and are not vetted by SART. Doctors do not all follow the same reporting guidelines, so the statistics are not a reliable measure of performance. I hope you have success with your embryo donation!!

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