Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Did I mention...

that I told my family about our infertility and subsequently the birth origin of Eli & Emerson? I'm pretty sure I didn't but we did and it was kind of weird.

To back track a bit what got me thinking about this was this article (which is almost a month old now oops) on The Huffington Post called "Infertility: The Disease We Need to Start Talking About" and I have to admit that I haven't been overly open about our own struggles with infertility, but I've been plenty angry at the perception, portrayal and lack of insurance coverage for those struggling with infertility. Which pretty much makes me a hypocrite.

However, I have my reasons, which are essentially just excuses, but nonetheless some of them are valid (I think).

So here's my list of why I haven't been as open about our infertility as I would like to be (because I really would like to be more vocal).

1.) When we were first going through our infertility testing and trying to figure out what was wrong, I didn't share because I didn't want anyone to judge our decision making. I was in my first year of grad. school when we started the testing, Marcus was also a full time student, and worked at Sears Auto Shop. To much of the outside world the decision to have a child in these circumstances was stupid, not to mention paying for the cost of infertility treatment in these circumstances.

Never mind that Marcus and I were adults, we had incredible insurance (which we don't now) and as a student my schedule was pretty flexible.  I frankly didn't want anyones opinion on the matter.

2.) Our diagnosis sucked. Azoospermia completely altered our expectations of how we would have a family. We had two options: Adoption or use a donor.

3.) Because we used a donor our story of infertility isn't just mine and Marcus'. It's Eli & Emerson's too. I don't get the luxury of deciding how and when they share this story and I think that's the biggest reason for my silence. I don't want anyone to treat any of them differently because of this fact.

So that said we hadn't shared with my siblings the origin of Eli & Emerson and Marcus and I decided that since we were going to be open with the babies and Marcus' family knew, that we needed to share.
So we did on Christmas day and everyone was silent, and then they sort of just ignored it all together almost as though it was never spoken aloud.

So we shared, we got no response, and it was kind of weird.

But I so agree with this article and despite not sharing my own personal story I have tried to incorporate more education and understanding in my own field. I've preached sermons on infertility, in a class I planned an entire worship service centered around those struggling with infertility, I spoke with a group at my current job educating the on reproductive loss of all kinds, and how to provide care. On mother's day I recognize that it is a painful day and do something in my church to remember and honor those women who so desperately want to be mothers and aren't yet.

I am trying. Our infertility impacted me so deeply and it still does. It impacts our finances, it impacts our family planning, it impacts my faith, and I was left wholly changed from the experience and the pain that goes along with it. I really am trying to share and be an advocate while at the same time honoring the right to privacy of Eli & Emerson.

Of course with this blog post goes a lot of that privacy hmm....


Debbie said...

And because you invited me to your blog, I feel that it is okay if I comment.
Here is another weird spin on it. I love those little babies like no others. I can't even begin to tell you how I feel about them. So, if anyone, ANYONE tried to tell me that they aren't really mine (grandchildren), well.....I'm not a fighting person, but I just might have to deck someone then! On a more serious note, tho....I would be hurt, heartbroken and mad as hell.

When you write the book....I get a chapter. I get to say how heart wrenching it was to watch my children go thru infertility, and I couldn't 'fix it' for them.
(and I wanted to soooo badly. I contemplated stealing babies)
I get to say how happy I was with the decision you made--to go forth with a donor.
I wouldn't have wanted you to miss parenthood if there were any chance, be it by adoption or donor sperm.
I get to say how much I love them and how much they are a part of our family.

Love you!!

~Jess said...

Hear! Hear! to Debbie.

Having been down the same exact road as you guys (pretty much hand in hand). As you said it's not just our story, but theirs' too.