How IVF changed my perspective on life
Person: "How many kids do you have?"
"Oh really, how long have you been married?"
Me: "X years."
"Oh!" (Awkward silence)
For me, this is a typical conversation that I have with anyone I meet. The question usually comes after noticing the wedding band I'm wearing, and let's face it, I don't look like the 24-year-old I was when I first got married.
With all the women's empowerment movements happening all around the world, the topic of infertility has yet to join the conversation, especially in our region. It's easy for people to bluntly ask about the reasons for delayed childbirth without being considerate about how it may affect the person facing them, but that's a whole different story.
One in seven couples has difficulty conceiving due to a range of problems. One in seven could be your sister, brother, bestie or gym buddy.
As a pharmacist who has both worked in the field of IVF and is a current warrior (and I don't use the word warrior lightly) undergoing IVF, I learned that the taboo of the word "infertility" is something that we should be aware of. It is a private medical condition that every couple has the right to disclose or not disclose with the shame associated with it.
Since I'm at an age where almost all my friends are already mothers or about to become one, I notice myself feeling a little lost. I am now an expert on diaper changes, feeding schedules and school registrations, well enough despite not having a kid to call my own.
The feeling of missing out is inevitable and the fear of it possibly never happening is unbearable. My faith in God, combined with the greatness of modern science, is what keeps me going. The advancement of technology since my husband and I first started our journey is so vast that I can't help but wonder what past warriors would have gone through if they had started their journey during this day and age; I believe it would have spared them lots of emotional suffering, not to mention the heaping medical bills that are not covered by insurance.
Online blogs have been my haven, asking and posting anonymously has been my playground. So if you are a fellow fighter, please do not feel ashamed to ask for help or guidance. Despite the advice your physician can give you, you need emotional support and sometimes it will come from outside your usual circle.
We do not have any TTC (trying to conceive) communities in the country I'm in, but you can start your mini-group with women who you admire but have no idea they have been trying for a second child for three years.
Positivity goes a long way. No matter how hard it gets, the light will always be there.