I Am 1 in 8

Last week, Nick and I had the privilege of announcing that we are expecting our first child. We are overjoyed and in awe that God would say “Yes” to this long-desired dream. We pray daily for a healthy, full-term pregnancy and to get to meet our son or daughter in October.

These moments once felt impossible. You see, at 17, I was told I probably would never have children. At 24, Nick gave up on that dream as well. So, as we looked towards marriage, we knew that if our family was to grow, God would have to do a biological or legal miracle (adoption). We desperately prayed He would be that gracious to us.

Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. In fact, I am one of 8 grandchildren on my mom’s side and they have all had children already. I am literally 1 in 8.

Here are some fast facts from www.resolve.org:

Here’s a quick list facts you’ll want to know about infertility:

Who has infertility?

1 in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC)

7.4 million women, or 11.9% of women, have ever received any infertility services in their lifetime. (2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, CDC)

Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained. (www.asrm.org)

A couple ages 29-33 with a normal functioning reproductive system has only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any given month (National Women’s Health Resource Center). After six months of trying, 60% of couples will conceive without medical assistance. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)

This journey through infertility has been far more painful than we could have imagined. It’s always been a cloud that hovered over me since my diagnosis. But, when you are looking at the love of your life and desperately wishing to expand your family, but facing the failure of your body month after month, it takes such a toll.

This week, I saw a post by a photographer on Facebook, Holly Ferencuha that was the most poignant expression of this I’ve seen. Please, take a moment to visit her project:

I am blessed to have a husband who carries this equally with me. Many couples get lost in the mire of blame and disappointment. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that I would be given this ominous news and also the hope that Nick would be my husband in the same year. The Lord knew I needed him to walk through this life with me. We’ve fought hard to make our marriage a priority and not allow the disappointments to sink us. I couldn’t be more grateful.

These 2 kids had no idea the journey ahead of them!

And, as much as I wish we could move South, Illinois is 1 of only 16 states that require insurance coverage for infertility. On top of that, one of the top doctors in the country for my condition is practically in our back yard. Dr. Laurence Jacobs of Fertility Centers of Illinois has been amazing through this process. I’ll be sharing more about him and his amazing team in the coming weeks.

Next week is National Infertility Awareness week. It’s a good time to be reminded that you probably know someone who is walking this very difficult road. Some, like Elisha of Waiting for Baby Bird share their journey openly and boldly. Others, like us, share only with those closest to us or others who are facing the same trial. Still others never speak of it beyond the safety of their marriage. It is a deeply personal and painful journey, a road no one chooses to walk.

I am 1 in 8. This road is hard. It affects every aspect of your life in ways no one truly anticipates. But, we have seen God do amazing things in our bodies, lives, and hearts through this journey. We have certainly been carried by the love and prayers of the saints and comforted by the God of all comfort.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We look forward to sharing more of our journey with you! We LOVE to tell of the good things God has done through even this.

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