Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giving Thanks

In the weeks leading up to Giving Tuesday, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is encouraging people to help spread awareness about infertility. This month, as we all have Thanksgiving on our minds, they are inviting bloggers to share what they are thankful for and specifically why they are thankful to RESOLVE and the people who support the infertility community.

It's that time of year. A time to pause, take stock, and be grateful. I always tend to feel a little guilty that it takes a national holiday to make me truly reflect on what I am thankful for, but in lieu of those guilty feelings, I'm going to revel in a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving!

I am thankful for:
  • Medical technology in the field of reproductive endocrinology. A mere 36 years ago, I would not have had the privilege of carrying a child. I'm incredibly thankful for the brave pioneers in this field!
  • Our incredible partners in fertility. The doctors, nurses, embryologists and staff at Conceptions Reproductive Associates in Denver truly became our partners. We felt empowered, informed, and most importantly loved and cared for. In the process of IVF, things can get terribly clinical and it was such a relief to have the warmth and support of their staff.
  • Our beautiful egg donor. I do not know her name, but I have her health history and a few precious photos of her as a child. She provided an incredible gift to us. Healthy eggs, good genes, and blue eyes and curly hair that traveled from her DNA to my little boy. Thankful doesn't do it justice. There will always be a piece in my heart just for her.
  • The resources and support of RESOLVEResolve, the National Infertility Association, was established in 1974. It is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. Beyond this, they have taken great strides to remove the stigma from infertility and have encouraged those affected to speak out and share their stories. They have created a rich community of men and women who are now informed and supported. RESOLVE also works diligently to educate our legislators about the disease of infertility, the importance of tax credits, insurance coverage, and the dangerous implications of personhood legislation. Their work is vital to 1 in 8 people who are faced with infertility.
  • The women I have never met in person, but have left an indelible mark with their support. The IF community online is remarkable. I started this little blog with hopes of having a therapeutic outlet and gained a rich tapestry of online friends and cheerleaders.  JessahAmandaJess, and Em are just a few of the AMAZING women who have helped make our journey a little less lonely. 
  • The fact that our DE-IVF worked the first time. Building your family with a donor egg and IVF is no small feat. Insurance rarely covers reproductive diagnosis and treatment. In our case, we paid 100% of treatment out of pocket. The costs were staggering and we are supremely grateful that our first treatment resulted in pregnancy. 
  • My husband. He watched me break down with the news that the odds of me conceiving with my own eggs naturally were less than 2%, and less than 8% even with the assistance of IUI and IVF. He provided an incredible emotional support, stood by me, injected me, and held me when I cried. I've seen marriages falter with an infertility diagnosis and I am so thankful that our diagnosis forged us together and made us stronger.
  • An uneventful pregnancy and swift birth. I think if you have to take 2" needles in your keister twice a day for 12 weeks just to get pregnant, you should get the courtesy of a relatively easy and uneventful pregnancy and birth. Aside from your normal pregnancy issues (uncomfortable, shortness of breath, heartburn) I was very lucky to be healthy and happy during those 41 weeks.  I couldn't have wished for an easier childbirth. I pray for all my fellow IF sisters that you get the same!
  • My son. I am so grateful for this little boy that I doubted I would ever hold, but who owns my heart completely. I've heard people say "pride and joy" for many years, but now having experienced it firsthand, I think I know what they mean. :)
  • The opportunity to share our story. I've always hoped that our story would provide support, encouragement, hope and information to those struggling with infertility. Letting go of the shame that can surround infertility has been incredibly freeing. Keeping your struggles under wraps only leaves you to suffer in silence. 
So, what are you thankful for this year? (this is not limited to infertility) I'd love to hear from you! 

~Moderate Momma (Lindsey)