So, as I've mentioned before, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to become more of an advocate for infertility awareness. I wasn't really sure how to go about this, since I've got no money or power of any kind, lol. One thing I figured I could easily do was get information about, even if it's just on a small scale, about what it's like to go through treatment.
Apart from this blog, I also write for Fertility Authority. I wrote this blog about being an advocate.
I am out of the closet . . . the infertility closet.
My friends know, my family knows, my coworkers know . . . heck, the random person walking down the street might know something about our infertility.
If you know me at all, you most likely know that my husband and I are infertile. You probably know that I’m a teacher, I love kids and that we’ve always wanted a family. You know we started trying two years ago and that we’ve undergone treatments. You may also know that one round of treatment was successful, at least for a little while.
If you bring up babies in a conversation or ask me why I don’t yet have a baby, prepare to know. In detail. If you ask my husband, prepare to know even MORE detail.
Why? Because I know that for changes to be made in the way people think about and treat infertility, people need to talk about it. I know that it’s a rough subject and I know it can be uncomfortable, but most important subject are.
The need for advocacy, when it comes to infertility, is vital. If you are currently on your own infertility rollercoaster, then you are probably already aware of the lack of knowledge most people have about the subject. Dealing with people who aren’t going through the same thing can be really difficult. People, in general, don’t get it. They can’t unless they’ve been there, and while I’d never wish infertility on anyone, I definitely wish they had more knowledge about it.
Teaching people about infertility seems to happen in layers. Layer one seems to happen when you don’t want it to. It’s the layer that happens when people ask, “Why haven’t you started a family yet?”
Now, I know that not everyone is comfortable answering directly, but if you are like me, then normally it goes something like this, “Actually, we’ve got a whole team of professionals working on that for us, hahaha” or, “Actually we would love to start a family, but for us it’s going to be a long journey.”
Layer one, for me, is the hardest.
After that, the layers, seem to be a little easier. I like to tell people a little bit about what type of infertility we’re dealing with, and what our treatments are/will be, and what our experiences thus far have been.
Then I like to delve into a bit of advocacy. I want people to know that most insurance doesn’t cover infertility. Not because I want their pity, but because people need to know that insurance, basically, is not covering procreation. For many people this means that if you are unable to procreate in a totally naturally way, then you are unable to have a family. I want people to know that even if treatments are “covered,” like with the insurance we used to have, that it can still cost thousands of dollars per cycle.
People don’t know this, they really don’t. They don’t get that this is like saying, “If you can’t walk into a building naturally, you don’t get to come in” or, “If you can’t see a book, you don’t get to read.” It’s unfathomable to me, and it should be to anyone, that a person’s right to have a family can be denied, even though -- as we all know -- many people out there choose to recklessly play with their lives and have children in unstable homes every day. These people aren’t “tested,” they aren’t expected to pay thousands. They get what is natural, and so should we.
I refuse to be ashamed of the path that my husband and I are taking to achieve having the family we deserve. I don’t want my children to ever feel ashamed that their family was not built in the “normal” way. Advocacy can help change the way that people view fertility treatments, and hopefully over time, it will change the way that insurance companies see treatments as well.
There is no pity at my party. I am proud to be an advocate.
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