"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

22 July 2010

An Article Moved Me to "Come Out"

I was sent this article from the Self Magazine by a friend who has followed our journey from afar through this blog from time to time. She read the article and she wanted to share it with me, like hey, when I read this, I thought of you guys.

In my head I was thinking, oh yeah, it's probably just another short, detailed-lacking article about some celebrity who went through many treatments and finally had success. Some article that just ever so slightly brushes over the struggle and cost that this journey can be but happily shows the successful picture of her new addition or additions to the family.

But after I read it, I felt energized and moved to action. The article was very detailed and talked way more in depth about the internal emotional struggle and in the insurance and science worlds. It moved me enough to make the decision to 'come out' to my friends on facebook and share my blog with everyone. I feel strongly that this cause should get more attention for the following reasons:

  1. We need to come out to let others out there know that we're out here too! This is a very isolating struggle and we need to support each other.
  2. We need to come out to let others in our lives know how to support us in this struggle since we really do need strength from all around us.
  3. We need to come out to help the science get better. By getting involved in advocating for Infertility, hopefully we can push more and more studies to be done to answer these 'unexplained' cases of infertility, and help success rates increase.
So, for all of you who are just joining me and B on our journey to build our family, WELCOME! I hope you can learn from this struggle of ours by following us as we continue on this road. I don't want you to feel offended or that I am trying to make others feel badly by writing this. I just mostly want to share this perspective. Its not the right perspective. Its simply mine, in all of its jaded and battle-weary glory.

For those of you who have been along for the ride thus far, I so appreciate your wonderful comments and support and want you to know it has meant the world to us. 

I hope you all take a bit of time to read the article I linked to above, but if you don't, here's a few of the points in it that really struck me:
  • Infertility IS a disabilty.
  • Infertility can cause humiliation at spending tens of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it.
  • Once successful, people want to forget and often don't support others who are going through it.
  • The insurance industry likens infertility treatments to cosmetic surgery - its a want, but not a need.
  • Only 15 states mandate some form of coverage for treatments.
  • An average IVF cycle cost around $12,400 out of pocket.
  • Even with IVF covered by insurance, women still opt out of the treatment. Its just too stressful. Here's an example:  Last year, researchers at Harvard Medical School found 34% of patients under 40 yrs old WITH insurance for at least 3 IVF cycles dropped out after only 1 or 2 and 68% of patients older than 40 gave up before exhausting their coverage. 
  • Isolation is a defense mechanism against overload. Its not a good thing, but its what infertility patients do to protect themselves. 
  • There are the same rates of depression and anxiety in infertility patients as there are in cancer patients.
  • There is a stigma to infertility that somehow you are less of a person. That stigma has to come completely off. Patients need to start shouting from the rooftops.
So here I am, shouting from the biggest rooftop I can climb to right now. Thank you facebook! (Even thought I bashed you a month ago ;-) )


  1. Hi Kathleen,
    I just stumbled upon your blog from one of the fertility forums (been on so many I can't recall which one). I am treading through a similar experience though I am currently at the beginning of the trail. I am at a cross roads of deciding on the lap surgery for endo or go into IVF - both unfavorable choices for an all natural health nut such as myself. Your blog made me laugh and feel not so alone. I pray that you will have your baby soon! I'll keep reading :)

  2. I'm so happy that you liked the article and that it helped you to "come out". yay!
    I have learned from you that I can't plan everything and take nothing for granted. thank you! I hope someday I am walking in a 5K raising money and awareness for infertility in a walk that is as big as the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk in Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe we can start something. hmmmmm......

  3. I have been "out" for most of our journey and it has helped a ton. Good luck with your future plans A, B, C, or D.

  4. Hi there,
    I wanted to chime in here to introduce myself. I found you on ICLW and am very glad to have found your blog. I am blogging as well to help me cope with the next few weeks/months/years? as a RPLer.

    I wanted to chime in here because I thought that your synopsis of the article was wonderful and I am going to save is for future reference.

    Thanks for sharing

  5. I am linking to this post on a new post that I am writing. Keep a look out!