Around January 2015 a friend of mine asked if I could help her arrange a fundraiser for an organization helping people with infertility. I was so scared. How did she find out? How was I going to explain myself? I had a mentality of “we cannot show the slightest break in our façade” of “waiting for the perfect time” because they might judge us if they know the truth.
It was all completely in my head, and I was in such a place of fear, I was too scared to even Google anything because someone might see my search history. I don’t know why I felt there was such a stigma around being open about infertility, but because no one else talked about it, I didn’t think I should talk about our issues.
I ended up going through with it, and helping out with the event. At the event I met a woman who had been through so much, and yet here she was standing up and telling her story to an entire room of women. I spoke to her that night, and she took Akiva and me under her wing. We emailed/texted/spoke almost daily about what to do, who to talk to, and where we were going to go for treatment.
Having that person who I did not know socially, become someone I could share with, divulge information, and not worry about anyone else finding out, saved me. It helped me decompress about what I was going through, get some of it off my chest, and it helped me through the wall I had built around myself, refusing to get help. She pushed us to make appointments with physicians and get the ball rolling towards parenthood. Without her guidance we never would have had our daughter.
So many people I have talked to, tell me the same thing. They find out they have an issue, but they still don’t want to make those appointments, or find the specialists, because it is admitting defeat. Admitting that you are not perfect, and that there is something wrong with you. It is also losing out on the vision of obtaining a natural pregnancy, and all the emotions wrapped up in that experience. Being able to have something so special between you and your husband turn into this amazing source of life and happiness and building a family together, never be able to come to fruition.
This is one aspect that so many people who do not go through infertility don’t understand. Yes, I got my daughter. But to do that, so many people had to be involved. All the doctors I saw each day for an ultrasound. The team of nurses who called me on a daily basis. The coordinators at the doctors’ offices, our therapists, acupuncturist, the list goes on and on. Most people don’t have to consult with quite so many people in order to conceive.
A close friend of mine once told me while she was in the midst of treatment, “I just want to be normal! Why do I have to have an ultrasound every other day? It is just exhausting!” And it is exhausting. But we all have the same goal in mind, and to get there some of us need more people helping than others.
One thing that really helped me was having one constant through it all. This woman from the event was there from the start through my pregnancy test, and was one of the first text messages I sent when I gave birth. She and my mother sat next to each other at Adeline’s Simchat Bat, both crying tears of happiness knowing how far we came, because she was there every single step of the way.