National Infertility Awareness Week: Don’t Ignore…the big picture.

In recognition of National Infertility Awareness week which ends Saturday, Resolve asks bloggers to blog on the topic of patient issues and start with the phrase “Don’t ignore….” Here are my thoughts on the topic.

Infertility treatments are complicated, expensive and emotionally distracting ….BUT  you will NOT spend your whole life in treatment. There is a life “after infertility treatment” for everyone. What that “after” looks like depends on in part, some luck but also your perspective. Everyone has a different perspective-  their big picture. What really drives you as you seek treatment for infertility? Is it having a biological child that looks like you? Is it raising a child? Is it carrying a child? Ideally, all those things come together with infertility treatments. If not, you might have to take the long view or the big picture view. If I must choose among those outcomes, which one really matters most to me?

If it’s a biological child that matters most to me and my own gametes or partner’s gametes aren’t cooperating, can we ask a sibling or other blood relative to donate?

If it’s having my own biological child but my uterus won’t cooperate, can we consider using a gestational surrogate to carry our embryo to term?

If  the biological experience of pregnancy is very important to us but isn’t happening with our gametes, can we “adopt” an embryo from another patient who is looking for a good home for their “spare” embryos? We could give birth to our “adopted” embryo.

If it is the experience of raising a child, perhaps adoption of an existing child will fill that need.

If it is because we want to share everything with our beloved partner and make a difference in the world, perhaps there are other passions we can share to make our world better and our lives more satisfying.

Sometimes we see patients so deep in the trenches fighting the infertility wars, that they lose sight of the big picture reasons for this battle. We see patients pursue apparently futile treatments until financial reserves wither away leaving patients deep in debt.  Relationships among loved ones and friends can be damaged or even destroyed by the stress of infertility treatments. Sometimes patients achieve pregnancy only to find themselves divorced a year or two later. Keeping your big picture in mind may save you from these unfortunate outcomes as you go through treatment.

Infertility is really hard. Don’t ignore your big picture as you work through the treatments. Make sure that your treatment choices serve your big picture, whatever that is.

Additional resources:

© 2012, Carole. All rights reserved.

©2012 Fertility Lab Insider. All Rights Reserved.

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