National Infertility Awareness Week 2017 

Here is a topic you will not typically see on my blog but since this is a space where I voice out about matters that also matter to Me, I have decided to speak up on a topic very close to home. 

April 23-29 of this year marks National Infertility Awareness Week. This is a campaign in the US founded by the organisation RESOLVE, the association for Infertility Awareness. While there may be some resources for me as a Singaporean in local news, the coverage and discussions are not nearly enough. So knowing that there are these amazing online resources I can reach out to when I am struggling is heartening. And I wanted to share this with you, because sharing is caring ❤ Well, most of the time. 

Infertility can be a very lonely process. And media almost always seems to put the focus on women, despite the fact that men are just as likely to have infertility issues. In 2017, the onus is still on the woman to undergo fertility testing. 

Society and cultural standards don’t help one bit either. In my personal experience, That aspect of infertility is actually more upsetting to me than the challenging process of trying conceive. As a Southasian woman who has been married for 10 years, hurtful questions and comments come up. The men don’t have these conversations among themselves but the women just don’t know when to stop having these ‘helpful’ pep talks. And everyone turns into an armchair OBGYN: 

“Lose some weight and you’ll be able to conceive just fine” 

“Have you tried Ayurveda? Or Traditional Chinese Medicine? Or traditional Malay medicine?” 

“Don’t stress about it and it will happen.” 

“Miscarriages are normal. Try again.” 

“I don’t like kids and I don’t want kids. No big deal if you ask me. You’ve got your pets, no?” 

Cultural and societal judgement aside, your heart hurts when you see everyone around you (well it sure seems like it sometimes) having babies. You ask yourself questions you really should not. You ask “Why do they deserve children more than me?” 

But personal pain aside, infertility awareness is important to look at the big picture as well. IVF is not a walk in the park financially or physically. How is your insurance coverage when it comes to this? Do you even have insurance coverage for this? How do you go about planning and making it work? What are your other viable options and how can you access them? 

At this point, I have stopped mulling over Adoption. It is a very very likely possibility that we will adopt. And that is a different route of infertility that needs to be spoken of, without taboo. 

Miscarriages. I have had 2 of them. I know of many women who have had more but those 2 losses were scarring enough for me. Because you are given this little beacon of hope only to have it taken away. It is a pain I still have trouble concealing when mentioning it. 

The How, What, Why of miscarriages need to be addressed. I live with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis. My monthly cycles are never easy. In fact, i was  bleeding for 2 months straight at the end of last year because of a cyst. And the rest of my body is not exactly a wonderland. Carrying a child gets scarier to think about the older I grow because of the mounting injuries I am sustaining. Is it possible, of course it is. But It’s Complicated. 

Once again, I leave you with a more personal piece of me on the blog. My hope is that you came away with a resource or two, or some knowledge on the matter if it is of interest to you. And just like I constantly remind myself, there IS hope and support out there for us budding parents. Please never hesitate to reach out if you want to. 

Be Well, 

Aarti 

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