Monday, September 6, 2010

Where's the Team?

I came across a great article in Self about infertility.  The crux of the article is since people aren't vocal about their fertility issues they aren't getting much needed support with family, friends, other people battling the same issues, or insurance companies.  There were a couple of points in the article that struck a chord with me.

1) If you have a disease, there are tons of organizations that offer support.  There are organized walks and people proudly wear ribbons in support.  Since infertility has been kept in the dark, many people don't feel like they can talk about it or where they could turn for help.

2) Who can help: The article tells of being in a fertility doctors waiting room. Nobody speaks or directly looks at someone else.  But in the chemo room, people offer suggestions for mitigating side affects. Recently my friend mentioned that at the fertility doctor her sister saw, it was all anonymous.  Another thing, the article mentions the group Resolve, that focuses on infertility support. Throughtout my entire process, from the day a nurse praticitoner handed me an infertility packet, through my surgery, to countless meetings with doctors and all the handouts available at the OB/GYN and RE's offices, I never saw literature or was told of Resolve or any other support group for that matter.  My sister-in-law said she bet there would be a group at the women's hospital.  There wasn't. 

I checked out the Resolve website,, and you can look up resources in your state.  It also has guides to insurance coverage for fertility treatments by state, overview of tests you can take to identify fertility issues, options for treatment/adoption, articles about how infertility affects your relationship, and how to get involved in advocacy issues.

3) The article accurately described many of the feelings I had trying to get pregnant.  In addition to dreading certain social situations, they mentioned how it was hard to plan the rest of your life, like trips, buying a car, house, etc.  Many times I thought about switching jobs, but thought I would rather stay at the same place if I am going to get pregnant soon.  I didn't want to plan trips.  We wanted a new car but I didn't know if we needed a bigger one.  We bought a bigger condo on the assumption that we would have kids soon, but I didn't feel confident to get one in the suburbs, because I didn't want the suburban life without kids.

4) It made me think about something I never thought about previously.  I feel like I am the eternal optimist when it comes to other people's fertility.  If it is someone who I had fibroid, I say look at me.  If it is someone going through IVF, I mention friends who have had successes.  You want people to have hope and I really do believe that it will happen in time.  But the article says, there isn't really support for people that it doesn't work out for.  And that is why these issues need more attention.

Here is the article. Let me know what you think.