National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-May1!

Infertility 101: Get the facts

Myth: Infertility is a women’s problem.

Fact: This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.

Myth: Everyone seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.

Fact: More than 7.3 million people of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility. When you seek support, you will find that you are not alone. Join RESOLVE, a support group, or talk with others who are struggling to build a family, so that you won’t feel isolated.

Myth: It’s all in your head! Why don’t you relax or take a vacation. Then you’ll get pregnant!

Fact: Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system. While relaxing may help you with your overall quality of life, the stress and deep emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Improved medical techniques have made it easier to diagnose infertility problems.

Myth: Don’t worry so much — it just takes time. You’ll get pregnant if you’re just patient.

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that may be treated. At least 50% of those who complete an infertility evaluation will respond to treatment with a successful pregnancy. Some infertility problems respond with higher or lower success rates. Those who do not seek help have a “spontaneous cure rate” of about 5% after a year of infertility.

Myth: If you adopt a baby you’ll get pregnant!

Fact: This is one of the most painful myths for couples to hear. First it suggests that adoption is only a means to an end, not an happy and successful end in itself. Second, it is simply not true. Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.

Myth: Why don’t you just forget it and adopt? After all, there are so many babies out there who need homes!

Fact: For many, adoption is a happy resolution to infertility. But choosing how to build your family is a very personal decision. Learning about all the ways to build a family can open your eyes to options you may not have thought of as a possibility. Education is key to finding resolution.

Myth: Maybe you two are doing something wrong!

Fact: Infertility is a medical condition, not a sexual disorder.

Myth: My partner might leave me because of our infertility.

Fact: The majority of couples do survive the infertility crisis, learning in the process new ways of relating to each other, which deepens their relationship in years to follow.

Myth: Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you that you two aren’t meant to be parents!

Fact: It is particularly difficult to hear this when you are struggling with infertility. You know what loving parents you would be, and it is painful to have to explain to others that you have a medical problem.

Myth: Infertility is nature’s way of controlling population.

Fact: Zero population growth is a goal pursued in a time of world overpopulation, but it still allows for couples to replace themselves with two children. Individuals or couples can certainly elect the option to be childfree or to raise a single child. Infertility, for those who desire children, denies them the opportunity to choose.

Myth: I shouldn’t take a month off from infertility treatment for any reason… I just know that this next month will be THE one!

Fact: It is important periodically to reassess your treatment and your parenting goal. Continuity in treatment is important, but sometimes a break can provide needed rest and renewal for the next steps.

Myth: I’ll be labeled a ‘trouble maker’ if I ask too many questions.

Fact: The physician/patient team is important. You need to be informed about what treatments are available. What is right for one couple may not be right for another, either physically, financially, or emotionally. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor.

A second opinion can be helpful. If needed, discuss this option with your physician.

Myth: I know I’ll never be able to stop treatment until I have a pregnancy.

Fact: Pregnancy is not the only pathway to parenthood. You may begin to think more about parenthood than about pregnancy. You may long for your life to get back to normal. You may consider childfree living or begin to think of other ways to build a family.

Myth: I’ve lost interest in my job, hobbies, and my friends because of infertility. No one understands! My life will never be the same!

Fact: Infertility is a life crisis — it has a rippling effect on all areas of your life. It is normal to feel a sense of failure that can affect your self-esteem and self-image. You will move through this crisis. It is a process, and it may mean letting go of initial dreams. Throughout this process, stay informed about the wide range of options and connect with others facing similar experiences.

Get involved to raise Infertility Awareness at

chronic illnessfaith

Friday Words of Faith – Grace in the Midst of Chaos

I continue to be amazed at the wonder and power of grace and how God chooses to bestow it upon us as His children.

I’ll be honest.  Ever since I got that call yesterday from the Doc’s office my mood has went down hill.  Initially after the call, I felt hopeful but that quickly faded.  This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I am sure I was an absolute terror to deal with at work.  I could not figure out why I was so ill.  I grumbled as I got into the car to drive to CPE.  I was definitely not in the mood to talk to anyone.

So I got into the car, rolled down the windows, and blared Skillet.  As I listened and sang the words, I felt my shell begin to crack.

We began with IPR (Interpersonal Relationships) where we discuss what is going on in our lives, what we’ve learned, etc.  One of my classmates shares a very personal and touching experience.  Another crack in the shell.

Then I get asked if I had gotten any of my test results back.  My shell becomes completely broken and I lose it.  I was not expecting this at all.  It was just a flood of emotions as I shared the results and the subsequent reactions, feelings, and worries.  I worry that this potential diagnosis is not it.  That there will always be something else.  I will never have control of my health.  I worry that I will never be enough for my family.  I am just so tired.  So tired.  All of this just spilled out.  I felt so broken.

But it was in that moment that I was picked back up.  My classmates surrounded me with support and grace. I had 21 total hours of on call time this weekend.  One asked our supervisor, “Is it possible to gift call time?”  He shook his head.  Within seconds, two classmates volunteered to cover my on call shifts and gift that time so that my hours would be complete for the unit.  I was so overwhelmed.  I did not know what to say.

In my head there was a battle waging.  The Enemy was whispering “They just feel sorry for you.”  “You are weak.”  “You are incapable of doing anything.”  But God’s grace is overpowering and He whispers, “You are loved.”  “You are perfect in Me.”  “Grace flows from Me and is more than enough for you.”

In the darkness and in the chaos, God continues to prevail and is always with us regardless of how alone we may feel.  It is in those moments that He provides reminders of His Power, His Love, and His Grace.

My favorite song of all time is “Whispers in the Dark” by Skillet and the words of the chorus say, “You will never be alone.  When darkness comes I’ll light the night with stars.”

Today those 7 people were the stars in the darkness that surrounded me.  In the midst of the chaos of my health nightmare, grace abounded and covered me.  How can I not love a God that is so in love with me and provides everything I could ever need?

My cup runneth over.

chronic illness

Quick biopsy update . . .

Since my EGD/colonoscopy on the 15th, I have been anxiously awaiting biopsy results. They ended up not taking any colon biopsies but took several upper GI.  So I just got a call from the Doc’s assistant.  There were some signs of reflux (no big shock) but she said that the biopsy of the ileum showed the markers of Celiac Disease.  Definitely not what I was expecting.  I had thought that had they found anything from these procedures that it would have been something colon related (which I guess it some ways this is).  I have previously researched Celiac just as an option to explore when we couldn’t pinpoint the source of my pain and symptoms.  Several years ago (at least 5) they did the blood test but it came back negative but there were no signs during my first EGD/colonoscopy (though honestly I don’t think they even took any upper GI biopsies).  So I go back on May 3rd for a follow up to discuss the results and for more tests.  While I will be glad if this provides answers (super glad actually) I am a bit sad as Celiac requires a major diet overhaul which makes things like eating out difficult.  But if it makes me better, I will do what I have to do!