So … you all might be wondering what NIAW stands for. Well let me take this little corner of cyberspace to enlighten those that don’t typically follow any other IF blogs.
NIAW stands for “National Infertility Awareness Week.” And yesterday marked the begining of this important week for anybody whose life has been affected with infertility.
And although this blog may be a mish mosh of stuff that chronicles my daily life and thoughts … it is still primarily a blog about infertility. And as I’ve said in previous posts, it’s a blog about loss.
Why loss, you might ask? Especially since infertility is a “medical” condition. Like diabetes. Or heart disease. Or cancer. Well just like any of these conditions, infertility affects every aspect of a person’s life. Just like heart disease requires a lifestyle change, so does infertility. Infertility also requires constant blood tests and monitoring to keep things under “control” … just like diabetes does. And cancer? How can anyone who has been affected by cancer, either personally or through a loved one, not be affected by a diagnosis of cancer?
Going along with the cancer scenario … imagine, if you will, a person — perhaps a loved one, a dear friend, or even a co-worker you might know — who you’re aware is struggling with cancer. Do you mourn alongside with them the loss of life? Or the loss of possibilities within their life? Well, this is the same loss that occurs with infertility. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a need for the one in eight couples who experience infertility to go through such emotions. Nor would there be any need for me to keep such a blog. About *my* loss.
Then I wouldn’t have to write about how challenging it is for a couple who is actively “trying” to conceive a child to manage working full time and still have to go through bi-weekly (sometimes weekly or even daily) doctor appointments for lab draws or ultrasounds. Talk about loss of time spent driving to and from appointments … Not to mention loss of personal and vacation time at work.
Or how about the loss of control over their body? How frustrating would it be for you to find out that after months of your spouse or either of your parents dealing with multiple rounds of chemotherapy for cancer only to see little or no progress … While a good friend, who has the same type of cancer, is found to be in remission after only one round?
Now imagine that similar scenario in context with infertility. Imagine spending months – nay, years – and thousands of dollars for treatment with sometimes little to no success in achieving a viable pregnancy. Imagine being disappointed month after month after month.
That loss of ability to “control” how your body responds to treatment while another person’s body does … It is enough to drive you crazy with obsession. Enough to drive you to do whatever thing you must do in order to achieve the best possible results to achieve your dream. After all, those other “seven out of eight” couples have no “issues” in creating the miracle that is life. And it’s my personal opinion that some people take that *miracle* for granted.
That loss is also enough to force an otherwise laid back person into a Type A personality … By trying to remember what things that *must* be done versus what things *must* be avoided in order to provide the “optimum” healthy conditions for a successful “pregnancy.” Alongside these medical treatments, there is also all the “old wives’ tales” and otherwise unsolicited advice from those that an infertile could possibily perceive as having the ability to “control” their bodies.
And then there’s the biggest loss of all … (to be continued, tomorrow)
8 Replies to “NIAW 2009”
This needs to be republished somewhere. I’m serious, Em. It’s really fantastic.
Great stuff, Emily… I can’t wait to read part 2!
I’m really disappointed in the lack of NIAW coverage in the media to date. I Google News-d it & came up with exactly 22 items, many of them press releases from various organizations. 🙁
Aw geez … *blushing* … Thanks, Becky!
Thanks Loribeth … I meant to start posting this on Sunday but have been incredibly swamped at work and at home. Plus the more I wrote, the more I wanted to say … and it just started to get incredibly large. Breaking down the post into separate posts seemed like the logical decision. And that’s why you’ll see me trying to “catch up” with posting, maybe two a day, until the end of NIAW.
And yes, you’re right. How disappointing there hasn’t been any coverage on the news about it. Perhaps … ahem … we should call our local news stations!
I think it really is a shame that there isn’t more public awareness or media coverage on this. I, for one, had absolutely no clue about this, especally about the emotional/ mental struggles until I started reading your blog. As you’ve said, as a society, we take for granted that pregnancy “happens”…what happens when it doesn’t and it’s desperately wanted? Definitely more education and awareness is needed…I know my eyes have been opened and my senses heightened in regards to infertility.
Thanks for delving deeper into this so that individuals such as myself are better educated.
Incredible. You have captured years in this latest post with words that are bold, honest, sincere and magnificent. I am truly blessed to have been with you on a very difficult journey. I love all that you are. I love how far we’ve come. And, most of all, I recognize our journey isn’t over. Each day is another day to love you more deeply. :*