National Infertility Awareness Week

Amanda is an amazingly strong & incredibly inspirational woman who i have had the pleasure of becoming good friends with these last 2 years. she is so kind, so genuine, and a huge example to me in my life. 

today Amanda is sharing something very important to her that i know many other close friends of mine struggle with as well. i hope you take the time to read her story today.

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Hi there, have we met before? If not, let me introduce myself:
I am a country-living, ice tea drinking, good book reading, farming, ranching, Jesus-loving, curly-headed wife of a seminary professor.   He's a teacher, I'm a writer. He's a thinker, I'm a creative. Together we make our home on a small farm in Texas.

I'm so thankful that Megan is allowing me to share a little bit of my heart with you today. We've been following each other's stories for a couple of years now, and she is such an encouragement and blessing to me, as I'm sure she is to you.

So today I am here with a very specific purpose in mind. April 21-27 is National Infertility Awareness Week, and as a woman who is currently battling barrenness, I am trying to make the most of this painful journey by spreading awareness about infertility
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A few facts about infertility:
  • Approximately 1 in 6 couples in the United States are diagnosed with some degree of infertility each year. 
  • "Infertility" defines the inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse for women under the age of 35. Women 35 and older may be diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse without conception. (The inability to sustain a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks is also classified as "infertility.")
  • 30% of infertility is the result of an ovulatatory dysfunction (i.e. there is a problem with the woman's ovulation cycle).
  • 30% of infertility is the result of a problem with the man (i.e. sperm structure or production).
  • Women who face infertility often describe their situation as "lonely," "isolating," and "painful."
  • There is a large spectrum of treatments for infertility, with varying degrees of invasiveness and cost.
My own journey with infertility:
  • My husband and I started trying for a baby almost 4 years ago.
  • We were officially diagnosed with "unexplained infertility" in February 2012 (the same month our foster boys were removed from our home). 
  • We have tried various therapies and treatments, from "alternative" therapies to traditional western medical treatments, including Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
  • In September 2012 we embraced a gluten-free diet, as gluten intolerance is closely tied to infertility. 
  • We've experienced the pain and frustration of two failed IUIs.
  • Until last November my husband and I kept our struggle to ourselves. We were completely unwilling to share our story, and to some extent we were unwilling to accept our diagnosis.
  • But now I feel called to share my story as a way to encourage others who are also facing this same struggle.

National Infertility Awareness Week:
This week on my blog, I will be dedicating the entire week to spreading awareness about infertility, offering encouragement for those battling the pain of barrenness, and providing resources for friends and family of those facing infertility. Topics will include:
  • Ideas for stepping up out of the pit of infertility and transforming negative emotions and energies into productive, worthwhile activities.
  • Collaborative efforts from women currently battling infertility, and how they overcame common lies women believe about being barren.
  • Online and print resources for those battling infertility as well as those who want to come alongside and encourage and support their infertile friends and family members.
  • How to encourage and support your infertile friends.
  • Owning your infertility + embracing the waiting period.
  • Collaborative efforts from women who have made it through to the other side of infertility straight to the hearts of those currently navigating the muddy waters of barrenness.
  • Infertility from the husband's perspective.
There will also be a giveaway during the week with items I've hand-picked to offer hope and encouragement to those battling infertility. My goal is to offer encouragement and inspiration not only to those currently facing the isolation and frustration of infertility, but for those who wonder how they can minister to their friends who are facing infertility.

I hope you'll join us, and help spread awareness about infertility. It is an isolating journey, but it doesn't have to be.

You can connect with me at my website, on twitterfacebook, and instagram. I'm also on pinterest and google. However you decide to connect with me, please take time to introduce yourself!

3 comments:

Kristin Schouten said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH MEGAN!! I am so grateful for this post I have been having a hard time with my infertility journey and this has helped me so much. You are such and inspiration and am grateful for your blog!

Kristin
byouloveyou.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

Megan, thank you so much for allowing me to share your online space this week, and for helping spread the word about infertility!

katilda said...

I love this post, and especially the plug for gluten-free awareness. I just posted on my blog today about going gluten free! Sending you virtual support vibes!