Birthing a blog…

… and nothing else.

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We all have our elevator stories.  We boil our lives down into quick couple-liners.  Me?  I’m a wife, I’m an archivist, I’m an academic.  I enjoy beer, football, technology, and history.  I code and I cross stitch.  I’m a displaced Pittsburgher, and a proud Pennsylvanian.

If that elevator got stuck, you might hear a little more.  I lost my mom to cancer far too young; I spent my teens over-achieving, while doubting my appearance, my sanity, and my self-worth; I married my best friend at 22; and, I’ve always wanted to be a mother.

I’m also infertile.

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At 26, my husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, we marked 1 year in our lovely little Cape Cod home, and I had a fulfilling and challenging job.  I did it all “right,” had all my ducks in a row, and it was time for a baby.

Now, at 29 (soon 30), my arms remain empty.

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I often quip that I wanted a baby, but all I got were these lousy diseases.  Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, Raynaud’s, and (the world’s best named genetic mutation) MTHFR A1298C.

In three years, we’ve also had three miscarriages.  I’ve hosted a large family Thanksgiving the same week I walked into maternity triage to terminate an ectopic pregnancy, I’ve driven 12 hours in one day for a 1 hour consult with one of the world’s only Reproductive Immunologists as my third pregnancy failed, and I can compete like a pro in the infertility pain olympics.

But, I don’t want to compete in the pain olympics, and I strive to wear my infertility like a badge of honor, not shame.  These three years have brought me friendships I could never have predicted with strangers across the globe.  Women with whom I’ve cried and celebrated, and for whom I’m daily thankful.

My infertility has made me strong.  I founded a RESOLVE (The National Infertility Association) support group, I’ve raised money for infertility awareness, I’ve walked in the Walk of Hope, and I’ve written Congressmen.  From a book-smart yet reserved girl, I’ve transformed into an assertive and proactive woman.  I’ve questioned doctors and lived to tell about it!  (A feat I once thought would never be possible.)

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So, my elevator speech.  Today even the short one includes my infertility.  It’s one of the largest influences in my life, and I’m not remotely afraid of it defining me to others as it has come to define a large part of me to myself.

I’m not a mother, and I may never be.  But I can raise awareness of infertility, I can try and rear in others a willingness to speak up and fight for themselves, and I can birth this blog.  And, that’s something I’m tremendously proud of.

10 thoughts on “Birthing a blog…

  1. I love it! Bless you! I have hashimoto’s, infertiliy, endo, MTHFR(both mutations, one of each, and a whole bunch of autoantibodies the reproductive immunologist found. You’re an inspiration. I think I may have to start a resolve group by me too. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much! Starting the RESOLVE group was startlingly easy, and had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my relationship to IF. I threw myself full force into starting the group during our 3-month TTC ban after Methotrexate. I think I may have lost my mind if I hadn’t had the group to focus on. It couldn’t have happened at a better moment in my life.

      I’ll be following along in your journey now, too. Thanks for being my first comment! 🙂

        • The process is explained pretty thoroughly on RESOLVE’s site.

          As far as finding members, I found RESOLVE’s online support community a great starting point (you can search by members based on ZIP), and I also hung signs in all the local RE offices. Once we got up and running we started getting referrals from other members, REs, and mental health professionals experienced in treating infertility.

          Their may be no groups in your area, but you can feel free to contact the next closest group (even if it is a few hours away) to get tips from the leaders from those groups as well. They may even have some leads on women in your area that may be looking for support.

  2. I’d like to second the comment that you’re an inspiration. I love the evidence-based information and logic you bring to FF (yeah, I’m a lurker), as well as your attitude to wear your diagnoses with a badge of honour, not shame. I also have PCOS, Hashi’s, and Raynaud’s, so have really appreciated your openness to share your experiences. Thanks – we need more women like you.

    • Thank you, Katherine!

      It is my hope that I can ultimately use this blog to collect links to (open access) journal articles, high quality discussion forums, and other evidence-based resources of the sort that are really hard to link to on FF and elsewhere. I’m trying to start that with the “Sites I Like” list on the right side of the page.

      See you on the other side!

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