NIAW 2020 // Advocate Spotlight with Maranda, Shauna and Amy


Blog, Infertility / Thursday, April 23rd, 2020
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NIAW

You know what my favorite thing about #NIAW (National Infertility Awareness week) is? It is when someone shares out about their family building challenges and infertility for the first time. When someone says “I’ve been so scared of doing this for so long, but here it all is.” They let it out into the universe in a ball of nerves, squeeze their eyes shut and wonder if they should hide under a rock. Instead, they are ALWAYS found with an overwhelming response of others wrapping their arms around them and saying “I’m so glad you told me. I’m here for you. I’m sorry.”

There’s always some sour patch in the crowd that is not going to be supportive and will serve a crap sandwich filled with unhelpful advice like “why don’t you just adopt?” (eyeroll) or “you know when you just relax or stop thinking about it, it will happen.” They won’t show up the way you hope and they’ll shrug their shoulders like what’s the big deal. Never mind them. I repeat, never mind them.

It’s best not to engage, and to focus on the relationships that listen when you say, “I don’t know what I need but I need you to know this hurts and I hate it.” And I know that’s harder to do, especially when it’s people you expected to show up differently. But I promise, if you shift towards the light in the people who want to be there even though they have no idea how to – you’ll start to feel a fog lift. Infertility is heartbreaking, hard, messy, invasive, exhausting, and so incredibly consuming and while I can’t fix that for you (but SHEESH do I wish I could!), I can tell you that finding a support system, especially one that just gets it, makes all this just a tiny bit easier.

For me? The infertility community that I found on Instagram saved me. Truly saved me. In fact, one of the girls in today’s spotlight (Shauna) has played a major role in my support system. We met on Instagram (all the cool kids do it) and then we met IRL, and even though I mega suck at texting and respond like four days later always, she’s been a rock in my journey – on the good and bad days.

Who knows, maybe one of these girls stories will resonate you and they will become one of the people in your support circle.

RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association @resolveorg has asked us to participate in a #NIAW 5 Day Photo Challenge. Today, April 23, they want to know what support looks like for you. If you feel inspired to share, use #ThisIsMySupport with your photo.

Maranda, Shauna, and Amy have some thoughts on what kind of support they crave and what this community means to them.

Maranda ( IG:@maranda_wright1035 )
Female Factor Infertility, Male Factor Infertility
Mom to IVF miracle, Roman

“Infertility sucks. Eat the pizza.”

What fertility treatments have you done?
Letrozole, Follistim & trigger shot, IUI, IVF

How long have you / did you navigate infertility?
2 years

Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet? Where are you in your journey now?
Going through IVF! We have a miracle who is 7 months.

What does this community mean to you?
I love having a place to connect with others who get it!

What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
It’s been hard to remember that you have to live a life outside of trying to conceive. TTC seems to take up your entire being when you’re going through it.

 

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We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
I loved when someone would say, “I’m sorry you’re going through that. I wish I could make it better. You’re going to a great mother.”

What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
There IS light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how you get there.

 

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What would you like to say to someone that is either just beginning this process and/or is going through this in silence?
Do your best to try and be flexible!

Shauna ( IG:@ttcbabyawesome )
Female Factor Infertility
Expecting IVF baby girl

What fertility treatments have you done?
IUI and IVF

How long have you / did you navigate infertility?
4 years

NIAW 2020

(Photo from Shauna’s Instagram. Photo taken by Amber, @willhikefordonuts, another fabulous woman in this community)

Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet? Where are you in your journey now?
About two years into our journey; after two egg retrievals and one transfer is when I created my Instagram account. Now, I’ve done four retrievals and four transfers and we are currently 8.5 months pregnant with our miracle babe!

What does this community mean to you?
Support! Having an audience of people who have either been through what I have, or at least understand. Having people to vent to who understand the pettiness and crazy emotions that come with infertility. Having people who understand the loneliness, helplessness, and defeat that comes with infertility. And being able to find local friends to meet!

 

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What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
Oy boy..so much. Watching our friends having multiple kids while we were still struggling to conceive our first. Drifting away from your support system because they don’t understand you anymore. Feeling like a burden on all your friends because you just have sad news to contribute. But mostly- our own mental gymnastics- ‘Will this ever work? Are we just getting ourselves into tons of debt for no reason? What will our lives look if we find success/if we don’t? How much hope do you give yourselves before you have to protect your heart instead? How do we, as a couple, get through this grief? How do we, as individuals, get through this grief? When do we give up?

We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
When people just reach out to ask how I’m doing/check on me. So many fertiles tend to think we don’t want to be reminded of our troubles…but it’s literally the only thing on our minds most of the time. We want to be asked and to be thought of.

What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
Infertility consumes your life like you wouldn’t believe. Every day is mapped around your cycle and potential treatments. It’s hard to make plans when you might have a treatment that day, or might need to work around doing injections at certain times. We might have bad side effects and be too tired or too crazy to participate. That well earned vacation we finally booked? Well looks like we’re going to have to postpone your next transfer now because it would fall right in the middle of it. Planning to meet up with your friends next month? Well that’s the day after your beta, and I need to build in time to grieve instead.

NIAW 2020
(Photo from Shauna’s Instagram)

What would you like to say to someone that is either just beginning this process and/or is going through this in silence?
You don’t need to be going through this alone! There are a LOT of us out here. The more open you are, the more people you’re going to find who have been through this already, or are going through this now. And there’s literally nothing like finding a fellow infertile- “Did we just become best friends?”

Amy ( IG:@amyalied, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags Blog)
Contributing Author on Still Standing Magazine, Sharing Magazine, Courageous Mothers, and Still Mothers
Unexplained Infertility

Mother to Asher who was born into heaven and IUI twin girls, Harper & Scarlett

What fertility treatments have you done?
Clomid, IUI, Clomid and injectables with IUI, straight injectables with IUI
How long have you / did you navigate infertility?
1.5 before my first pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage. Then another 9 months after our son, who was conceived naturally was stillborn.
Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet?
I didn’t know this corner existed until I openly shared about our struggle. Then the world opened up to me. I was 4 months into fertility treatments.
NIAW 2020
(Photo from Amy’s Instagram)
What does this community mean to you?
Support. Just so grateful to have people who “get it”.
What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
For my husband, it was his inability to actually do anything to help me with the procedures; injections, exams, blood work. For me, it was fear of it not working.
We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
When people would ask how I was dealing with it and just listen.

NIAW 2020
(Photo from Amy’s Instagram)

What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
You are not alone. The same can be said for child loss. Unfortunately, so many of us know the pain and struggle.

What would you like to say to someone that is either just beginning this process and/or is going through this in silence?
I am here if you ever just want to vent about all the unfairness.


DON’T FORGET to review your doctor on FertilityIQ for a chance to win a $10,000 Fertility Grant. Today is the last day!


NIAW 2020      NIAW 2020

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