We have an amazing week of posts lined up, all on the subject of infertility.
Why, you might wonder, is a mother of multiples blog hosting an infertility event? After all, all the writers here have a bunch of kids already.
It’s because a number of us have lived with infertility. Most still do. Having a baby or two doesn’t usually render a couple suddenly fertile after years of struggle. And those of us who conceived our children spontaneously may not know much about how infertility feels, but we have to answer questions about it all the time. Much of Western society assumes that all multiples are the result of fertility treatment.
Infertility is a touchy, even taboo subject. Fertility is equated with masculinity and femininity. Being diagnosed as infertile can be like being told that you are incomplete, even incompetent. Infertility on the part of one partner in a couple can strengthen or devastate a relationship. Infertility is an intensely personal experience that must be tackled in view of medical staff or adoption agency personnel. As with almost all aspects of parenting, there’s a tendency to think that there’s a right answer, when in fact different answers are right for each person. Bring differences in moral opinion into the picture, and infertility becomes an even more difficult topic to discuss.
Infertility doesn’t just affect the parents-to-be. It can also have deep impacts on the children that eventually enter the family. At what point do you explain to your children what strangers mean when they ask if they are “natural”? How do you handle telling the child who happens to be adopted that they are in your family as Plan B, after conception didn’t work out?
We ask you to be sensitive to the individuals who have braved taboo and laid their hearts and stories bare to us here this week. They may not have made the same choices you would have in their shoes. And that’s okay.
The very personal nature of reproduction is also why you will see a number of stories this week written by anonymous authors. Whether to protect a spouse’s privacy or a child’s, or because friends and family have never been privy to the details of infertility in the author’s life, some contributors have chosen to remain unnamed. Their stories speak for themselves.
We’ll have stories of infertility with relatively easy and fast resolution as well as drawn out tails of failed IVF after failed IVF. You’ll hear about joyful conception that tragically ends in miscarriage or stillbirth. We’ll talk about healthy higher order multiples, infant loss, and selective reduction. Behind each of these stories is a woman who wanted to be a mother.
While infertility can often seem like a lonely path, there is strength in knowing we are not alone in our travels. While some of the stories may be hard to read, we look forward to sharing our voices this week in support of infertility awareness, as part of (the National Infertility Association) Resolve’s annual Awareness Week.