You’d never know by looking at me.
I am tall, slender, active, intelligent. I volunteer, go to church, attend the opera, and can dig in the dirt like nobody’s business. I use to make babies for a living. And you’d never know by looking at me that I was 1 in 8.
You’d never know that I became pregnant with my first child the first time we tried for it.
And you’d never know that for 3 years after her birth that I tried for a second.
You’d never know the countless times I went to the bathroom looking for the tell-tale signs of that monthly cycle that I came to hate because it was a constant reminder of what wasn’t working.
You’d never know the countless dollars I spent on pregnancy tests, imagining lines that weren’t there.
You’d never know the guilt I felt – for not being happy with one, for not being fruitful, for creating babies for others when I couldn’t create one for myself.
You’d never know I was 1 in 8.
1 in 8 women in the United States struggle with infertility, whether it’s female factor, male factor or both. 1 in 8 women experience that 28 days of hope, only to feel incredible disappointment with the first signs of bleeding. 1 in 8 couples grieve the loss of a child they may never have.
1 in 8.
What does 1 in 8 look like? Your sister, your friend, your co-worker, your boss. You.
Luckily, the 1 in 8 (you, me, your boss) are not alone. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, sponsored by RESOLVE – the National Infertility Awareness Association. RESOLVE works to “promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders.”
RESOLVE is a great resource for those starting, or in the midst, of their infertility journey. They are involved in advocacy, education, and fundraising. They work to restore hope and want to make 1 in 8 a factitious statistic.
They want you to know you are not alone. They want you to know that there are options available to become parents. They want to you know there is hope.
I know – because I WAS 1 in 8.
For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit www.resolve.org.