Year after year I would read posts on Facebook each April of brave women sharing their story and experience with infertility. I would often sit in silence, reading their stories, with tears streaming down my face and millions of questions. “How can these women so openly share their story? What do other people think? What would they think of me?”
Three years ago, I took a leap of faith and shared my infertility in a Facebook post. I publicly shared that I was one of the 1:8 women that face infertility. Was I scared? Absolutely! However, the outpouring of love and support I received from my family and friends was something I never expected. They didn’t judge me or think less of me, they supported me and many shared their own story.
Why is it that as women, we are ashamed and embarrassed of our infertility? When a woman conceives naturally, we talk about it; we celebrate it. We talk about morning sickness, cravings, swollen ankles, and the list continues. But when a woman is experiencing infertility, it’s less talked about. We don’t talk about what it’s like meeting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist for the first time, the millions of questions, the tests, blood work, etc. We also don’t talk about the fear, the sick pit in your stomach, the sadness, guilt and shame that many women facing infertility experience.
I’ll be honest; I was ashamed of my story and outside of my husband, did not share what we were going through. No one knew the highs and lows that we were facing, the struggles it created in our marriage, our friendships and in our finances. Looking back I realize how supportive my family and friends wanted to be, if only I had given them the chance.
Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week and I again saw post after post of brave women sharing their story. I am so grateful that I broke my silence two years ago and shared that I was 1:8. I was the face of infertility. I am so lucky to have a husband who has been by my side throughout my entire infertility journey. He’s seen me at my best, my worst and loves me just the same.
Many reading this may think that our decision to adopt is connected to our infertility and in a way, you’re right. Adoption has been in my heart since I was a little girl and something that I shared with Joe very early on in our relationship. We both knew that we were planning to grow our family through adoption, but had no idea what that would look like. Would we adopt through foster care, would we adopt an infant or would we adopt internationally?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
God has a bigger, greater plan for our life than we can ever imagine. He knows the plans of our future and we trust in Him as we continue through our adoption journey.
Infertility is part of our story and for that, I am grateful. It is no longer something that I am ashamed of. Infertility gave me the strength to be who I am today. I am blessed to have an incredible and loving husband, a marriage that many dream of, and faith in the beauty of the future. Whether it’s infertility or something unrelated, never be ashamed of your story. It’s yours and only yours.