NIAW 2020 // Advocate Spotlight with Nicole, Kylee and Michelle


Blog, Infertility / Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020
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NIAW

We are halfway through NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week) and I cannot say it enough, I am blown away by this community. No story is the same, yet each one is so important. No outcome is the same, yet each one holds so much value.

RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association @resolveorg has asked that we #WearOrange today to help raise awareness during this week and I am loving all the posts I have seen so far. I hope to see yours out there also!

Another incredible thing happening in this community, is free money for fertility treatments! You heard me! FertilityIQ does great things for this community, and all you have to do to win a $10,000 Fertility Grant is leave an honest review on FertilityIQ.com and share why or why not you’d recommend your doctor. That’s it. Seriously! Don’t forget to do this by tomorrow and if you’ve already done so, then you are automatically entered.

If you didn’t have a chance to catch the Advocacy Spotlight participants for Monday and Tuesday, you should definitely make sure you do so. These women and their raw honesty and openness in sharing about their journeys are incredible.

Today, meet Nicole, Kylee and Michelle. Incredible women. Incredible strength.

Nicole ( IG:@nicolegriswoldphotography )
Unexplained Infertility
Expecting

What fertility treatments have you done?
IVF, IUI, ICI

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

View this post on Instagram

(Part 1/3) We’re expecting! With so many low points in the world right now, we relish this enormous positive. We are SO excited! ⁣ ⁣ We don’t take this joy lightly. In this COVID down time, I’d like to share our #infertility story and a personal photo project I’ve been working on to celebrate my body. ⁣ ⁣*** You know that deep obsession some people have? Mine has always been kids. When I was little I used to pray that someone would leave a baby on our doorstep so I could raise them as my own. But after 12+ years of an eating disorder in my teens and 20s, I wasn’t sure it would be possible to have my own. Actually, deep down I somehow knew it was going to be a challenge. ⁣ ⁣ Doctors said otherwise— at least at first. My labs came back showing possible PCOS but things looked fine… Actually great! I knew I was at risk for premature menopause, so I took regular testing seriously and began to research options so I felt informed. I tracked my cycle and realized it was irregular. I knew that despite what the numbers said, something wasn’t right. (Part 1/3)

A post shared by Bellevue Baby Photographer (@nicolegriswoldphotography) on

Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet? Where are you in your journey now?
TTC (Trying to Conceive) and currently pregnant.

What does this community mean to you?
It helps to overcome the cruel, lonely, and horrible pain of suffering alone.

What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
Struggling in secrecy, surrounded by a society that might not understand.

View this post on Instagram

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We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
Acknowledging that all feelings are valid from the supportive infertility village I’ve built around myself.

What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
I’d like others to know that we all have our peaks and valleys. They don’t all look alike. But empathy can overcome this, and walking together through these things with empathy is sometimes the only thing we need to have in common.

What would you like to say to someone that is either just beginning this process and/or is going through this in silence?
Your story matters. It might not be the way you chose to write it, but regardless of where you are in the journey, each chapter matters and will shape you in new ways. It’s okay to not be okay during this time, and allowing others in might help relieve some of this.

Kylee ( IG:@kyleej.wilson )
Male Factor Infertility
Mom to IVF miracle, Amelia

What fertility treatments have you done?
IVF
How long have you / did you navigate infertility?
3 years before our miracle girls birth.
View this post on Instagram

These last couple weeks have stirred up a lot of feelings that have been buried by the hustle + bustle of motherhood. Life is slower these days, and although I never wanted my babies this close together, I’ve secretly hoped for a miracle over the last year. A miracle that we wouldn’t need IVF again.. Also the thought of not even being able to do a transfer when I want (since clinics are not currently doing cycles) makes me anxious for some reason ?? The scars that infertility left on my heart and soul ache a little more these days. Watching Amelia get lonely with no one to play with, feeling like this would be the perfect time to be hunkered down with a new baby figuring out a new way of life, or even hunkering down during those first few weeks of pregnancy with nausea, those moments sound like dream. I will forever be grateful for these slow days with Amelia, I just can’t help but feel a little anxious and guilty over the idea of #OperationSiblingWilson.

A post shared by Kylee Jo Wilson (@kyleej.wilson) on

Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet? Where are you in your journey now?
We were preparing to start IVF when we started sharing our situation. Currently I have a beautiful 16 month old from our third embryo transfer – while wondering how on earth I will do another to give her a sibling.
What does this community mean to you?
Support. Love. Raw real connections. This community helped me grow into the person and advocate for infertility that I am today.
View this post on Instagram

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What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
I think the never ending disappointment is so difficult. Whether it’s a negative ovulation test, a low sperm count, a failed IVF cycle, a miscarriage. It seems like there’s always something to knock you down.
We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
My love language is words. Hearing people appreciate the journey we’ve captured and shared makes me so grateful that I have!
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kylee Jo Wilson (@kyleej.wilson) on

What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
Imagine your most deepest internal desires, and then imagine being told that it’s impossible. Or that it will cost you $$$. Put yourself in others shoes. Listen without giving advice. 1 in 4 couples experience this – I promise you know someone struggling.
What would you like to say to someone that is either just beginning this process and/or is going through this in silence?
I just had a million thoughts/motivational quotes come to mind. Ugh. There’s just so much to say! Even if you’re doing this in silence – find a friend, join and FB group, you can still find support while keeping it on the DL. If you’re just starting out (or even if you’re not) – write everything down. Keep a journal, start an Instagram, write a blog. Never forget all of the details that will build you up.

“You’re amazing. You can do this. And I promise you, it’s so so worth it!”

Michelle (IG:@malama.me.mama )
Unexplained Infertility, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Mom to IVF miracle, Emi

What fertility treatments have you done?
We started with some medicated IUI’s, all 4 out of 6 attempts were unsuccessful. We tried Clomid, then Letrozole, and a combo with Follistim. We then went on and did one full round of IVF and one frozen embryo transfer after that.
View this post on Instagram

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How long have you / did you navigate infertility?
We started trying to conceive around March of 2016 and we welcomed our miracle girl in February of this year 2020. So about 4 years.
Where were you in your journey when you found this corner of the internet? Where are you in your journey now?
I’d had my second miscarriage in 2017 and then went on to having no luck in getting pregnant again for well over a year both trying on our own and going through several rounds of medicated IUI’s at this point. During Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month of October 2018, I desperately needed an outlet to share my story and my thoughts. I was drowning in my grief and depression and I was about to embark the difficult road of IVF. Making my Instagram page and joining this community was one of the best decisions I ever made for my mental health, navigating my journey.
I am lucky enough to say that IVF worked for us and I am now a happy mama to my double rainbow baby girl.
What does this community mean to you?
Support. I never could have imagined the amount of love and support these women bring to each other day in and day out. It’s truly amazing.
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What has been the most challenging for you (and your partner)?
By far the loss of our first two pregnancies. It affected both of us in different ways. For me it was the grief and depression, the social anxiety and isolation that came with it. I can’t speak for my husband fully but I know that my mental health was affecting him a lot at one point. I felt like he felt he was helpless in what he could do for me. And all he wanted was for me to be happy again. We both felt like we were just suffocating in all the pregnancies happening around us.
We all crave support in different ways. What makes you feel the most supported?
When my feelings are validated, whatever it may be. This journey comes with a lot of ups and down, positives but also a lot of negatives. Checking in and physical actions of support like a card or flowers going through my losses were always so helpful.
View this post on Instagram

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What would you like others to know who haven’t been through this?
That it’s really hard. And it’s not something that anyone would choose to go through in a million years. What we say is that it’s a club we never asked to be a part of. It’s mentally and physically painful, extremely isolating and lonely. It’s ok if you don’t know what to say or how to support someone going through this journey if you haven’t been through it yourself. But your sincerity on trying to understand, showing compassion and not giving out insensitive suggestions or opinions means a lot. So if you know someone who’s going though it, reach out but don’t push them. Take their lead and listen if that’s all you can do. Be present for them so that they don’t push you away.
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 have to go through it alone in silence. There is a whole community that will rally behind you and support you. Women who understand exactly what you’re going through, those who can relate and share in your struggle. Sharing your journey of struggle and grief can be very empowering. The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my journey has been to just take it day by day, do the best that I can and then leave it up to God’s plans. I’ve learned I have no control over how things turn out in the end. But all I can do is the best I can in my power. Also, allow yourself grace for everything you’re going through.

NIAW 2020      NIAW2020

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