When you have kids it is pretty clear that nearly nothing will go exactly as planned. I remember when I was pregnant with Ryder I talked to my doctor about our birth plan and how I wanted music in the delivery room, aromatherapy, a birth ball…she flashed a knowing smile and said we’d try our best. Well, three kids (and three C-sections) later, I know that being a parent means being flexible and prepared, but ready for anything. And sometimes that ready for anything philosophy applies to the journey before you have kids, too.
We all imagine what our lives will be like from a very early age. I knew from when I was young that I wanted to get married and live in NYC and of course, have a big family. When Jason and I started trying for Ryder, everything happened seamlessly. We didn’t even really “try,” it just came together. I heard about other couples struggling to get pregnant but no one really talked about it — like it was an embarrassing secret if you couldn’t get pregnant.
We knew we wanted to have our kids close in age, so not long after Ryder was born we talked about baby number two. When we started trying for a second child things didn’t exactly go as planned. It took Jason and I over a year of “trying” to realize we needed to get a little intervention. I was so confused because our first try was so easy — obviously, I could get pregnant — why was I having trouble the second time around? What I didn’t know was that 1 in 8 couples struggle to get and stay pregnant and many couples experience secondary infertility, like I did.
Infertility can feel so isolating and frustrating. It is so important to have a community of people to turn to and a network of support on your fertility journey. We talk about building the mom community once we have kids, but we should also create an even more supportive community for couples trying to have kids. It is a vulnerable and scary time that many people keep themselves.
National Infertility Awareness Week is April 21-27, 2019 and I think it's important to shed light on this very difficult topic and share my story. It was a very emotional time in my life and I wish there were more resources and open discussions when I was dealing with this over eight years ago.