Fellow blogger and infertility advocate Kaeleigh MacDonald released Extra! on January 22, 2018. Extra is a children’s book that tells the story of a family that needed a little extra help to create their son. It’s a story that reveals how families are created in a myriad of ways.
This film eloquently displayed the raw and difficult emotions that people who are going through infertility experience. I am always grateful for those who are willing to put themselves in a vulnerable position so that others will not feel alone.
So what can we do for those who have lost so much? How can we support them? Perhaps we can reach out with an old fashioned card, or even a phone call. We can say “I was thinking of you this week and wanted to check in. I’m here for you.”
Sometimes this can make a world of difference to people who thought they and their earth-shattering loss were forgotten.
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I sometimes second guess myself about my degree of honesty with a younger child. Will I scare him? Will he believe that he will die like the baby did? Will he tell his friends and teachers?
Then I realize there’s a reason we advise people to be honest. Children are resilient. They can comprehend and embrace what we tell them more effortlessly than we give them credit for.
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It can be difficult for those who haven’t been through Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) to comprehend all that’s involved. It can also be extremely challenging for those who have been through ART using their own genetics and womb, to understand what it would be like to make the decision to use someone else’s.
In the infertility, childless not by choice, and pregnancy/infant/child loss world, there is a mixture of those who have chosen to publicly speak about their experience and those who have remained anonymous.
What causes someone to speak out and another to withhold? Why do some use their names in real life and others choose to remain anonymous?
There are many reasons people withhold and remain anonymous.
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It has been five years, yet I can remember it so vividly. I can recall the raw emotions that pierced through every part of my being. Although life has moved on, I still long for what was not meant to be. And it still hurts.
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I understood the havoc that infertility wreaks on millions of men, women, and couples, and I was not done after completing my family. I simply couldn’t walk away from the ability to support and empathize with those who continue to experience it.
That fateful spring day in April 2012 turned my world upside down. We had just entered the second trimester of pregnancy, and were looking forward to seeing our baby and hearing his or her heartbeat for the second time.
The words came crashing down like a ton of bricks. We hadn’t experienced a loss, and to say that we were unprepared would be an understatement.