In 2012, I finally decided to leave my job of six years and work for another company that offered fertility coverage. This was a game changer for us. So many companies offer health insurance but so many of those health plans consider infertility elective and will not cover treatments, testing or labs. Umm “elective”? Have these insurance companies ever met anyone who is suffering from infertility? Do they think that people choose to be infertile? Do they think that infertile couples choose to under go multiple tests, labs, procedures all on the hope that something will provide them with a miracle? Infertility is a disease. Those suffering from it experience trauma similar to a life threatening illness, so why do our states not mandate this coverage?
Only 16 states have infertility insurance coverage laws..this is not ok! Call, write, email your representatives and let the, know that infertility coverage is a need and not a want. #niaw #infertilityuncovered #nationalinfertilityawarenessweek
In 2012, I was turning 31 and my wife was turning 32. We were ready to start our family and we knew that we would need assistance to get pregnant being that we are a same sex couple. However, never did we think we would need all of the assistance we ended up going through to get our miracle in the end.
So many women enter their 30s having no clue what their fertility status is or even that they need to think about it. Why are our health providers not asking fertility questions in our 20s, offering testing and encouraging people to freeze their eggs when they are young? It is because as a society we believe that having a baby is easy.
Almost 4 million babies were born in the US in 2017. Yet 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, do you know your fertility status? If you want to start a family someday, ask questions, get tested and know your options. Take control of your fertility…
The past month and half have been nothing short of difficult. Dealing with the lost of our good friend; watching my first baby (cat) deteriorate and eventually pass away; being rear-ended; navigating thrush; teething challenges; working; and dealing with a hurricane as a solo parent while the wife was on business travel. The days and nights have been long, the tears have been plentiful and the snuggles have been needed.
Our little guy is 9 months old today. We waited so long for him and now he is growing so fast. I love watching him interact with us and the world around him.
Yet I have been struggling lately. Struggling to do it all, and not let anyone down. Fellow breastfeeding working moms, how do you deal with the demands of keeping up your supply; working; taking care of your house, pets and spouse; and being a great mom.
After dealing with infertility for many years and struggling to have our little miracle, one of my biggest goals was to breastfeed. Over the years of struggling to get pregnant and thinking about our options of having to possibly use a surrogate or adopt all I could think about was how I would miss out on the special bond of breastfeeding our baby.
After almost three days of induced labor and a c-section, I was relieved that Hawk latched right away as they laid him on my chest in the recovery room. He had no idea what to do and neither did I, but together in those few quiet moments we started our journey. However, let’s be honest, most days are not as easy and joyful as those first few moments.
After a few weeks of being home and nursing, I began to experience serious pain while nursing. I would cry through our nursing sessions but determined to not give up on my dream. After talking to the Lactation consultant (use these resources, they are very helpful for the most part) at our pediatrician, I found out that I had an overactive let down. An overactive let down meant that my milk was flowing too fast when he first latched. Therefore when Hawk was latching he was baring down to try to slow the flow. After learning a few different positions, breastfeeding was comfortable again.
Breastfeeding is hard! There are days when your baby doesn’t nurse well. When you are away and have to pump, it is a full time job. One that can be quite frustrating when you see little production. People may not be supportive and will tell you to quit or that your baby is too old just give them formula and a bottle. However you have to decide what works best for you and your baby.
Today we are 7 months strong and still going. Yes there are days, late nights and early mornings when I want to give in the towel and just give him a bottle, but there are also a lot of special moments when he reaches for me, looks at me with love and falls asleep in my arms.
I know that all can not experience this bond or may not choose to and that is ok too, but for me it is one I will cherish for the rest of my life. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
Years ago I started this blog with the intent to be completely honest and open about my journey through life and infertility. Since getting pregnant and having our miracle, I have held back on sharing and find myself falling back into the trap of the highlights of life, so I am committing to get back to the “realness”.
This week we got back from a good but long vacation (vacationing with a newborn is a different world…more on that later) to find out that a dear friend passed away and our cat has cancer. This week has really challenged my patience, my heart and my faith.
So here I am…less than 6 hours of sleep, eaten 1.5 meals, pumped 14 ounces of milk, cried lots of tears and snuggled my baby to sleep…
For years I have dreaded my birthday as it was often met with sadness, disappointment and neglect. Over the last 15 years, this woman has worked to make every birthday special and for that I will be forever grateful. The past five years were hard waiting for my wish of becoming a mom to come true. However, 36 turned out to be that lucky birthday, a year that I will never forget. I can’t wait to spend many more trips around the sun watching these two grow, love and interact. Bring it 37!
This quote is my infertility anthem. Getting pregnant, carrying a baby to term, and birthing a healthy baby are all a blessing as a woman and a mom. For so many women bringing a life into this world is just a dream, so let’s not forget to honor their strength in trying to make their dream a reality.
15… is the number of states that have some form of mandated insurance coverage for infertility. That means that only 29% of our states realize (or chose to recognize) that infertility like any other disease should have insurance coverage for treatment.
I live in a state that is not in that list of 15, however I was lucky enough to have a job that covered a portion of my treatments.
So many couples are not this lucky and often have to make the tough decision to give up on their dreams of a child due to the financial burden. Please contact your representatives and let them know infertility is a disease that should be covered.
Often people think that infertility treatments just involve a few drugs and appointments and bang you have a baby…if only.
This is what infertility looks like thousands of dollars in medications, constant monitoring and testing, needles, shots, and ultrasounds. Infertility is physically and mentally challenging.
So rather than telling someone what they should do to have a child, ask how you can help instead.
So often those who are going through infertility treatments have done the research. They have seen doctors, tried the old wives tales to get pregnant and everything in between. What they really need is a someone to say I am sorry you have to go through this, how can I help you?
One in eight couples experience infertility. That means that most likely you know at least one couple that is struggling to live the “American dream” of a great job, a house and kids. Often society assumes something is wrong with these couples for them to have not conceived.
Then you add in the added financial burden of infertility treatments for most couples and it gets even harder to reach that American dream, as some may have to sell their house, sacrifice vacations and extras just to have the money to even try.
All of this pressure and guilt on a couple can cause a lot of stress and strain on a loving relationship.
I am incredibly grateful that our love grew stronger along our infertility journey as so many grow apart and some do not even last.
So before you go casting judgment on a childless couple, please be sure to be mindful of the pain they may be experiencing together.