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Thursday, November 1, 2012

tick, tock

Giuliana Rancic has always been a fabulous advocate for the infertility community. In this month's issue of Health magazine, she opens up about a subject that, in my opinion, isn't spoken about enough when it comes to infertility: delaying motherhood.

We started trying to grow our family when I was young - just 23 years old. I was career driven, but I also married someone eight years my senior who didn't want to delay parenthood any further. I've met so many women who were at the opposite age spectrum on this journey. Some delayed trying because they were waiting for the right partner. But many waited because they wanted to make sure it was the "right" time financially and for their career.

Before going through infertility, I probably would have placed the "blame" on those women who waited for the fact that they couldn't get pregnant. Instead, having this disease has made me aware of all the factors that go into making the decision to wait to have a child and battling infertility as a result.

For one, we (society) place far too much importance on this idea of waiting until the perfect time, when on fact there is no perfect time. No one is ever truly ready to be a parent, because no one can predict what you'll face when it happens. You could have your dream job, the ideal home to raise a child, and it could disappear the second you bring a child home. You can't rely on what you imagine your life will be like.

We also - and this is the bigger issue - see far too many stories about women getting pregnant later in life with no mention of infertility treatments. Specifically celebrities. I understand that people want to keep certain details about their lives private. I'm not suggesting that the public has a right to know such sensitive and personal details. But I am saying that people who don't speak out about how they struggled to conceive in their 30s and 40s are perpetuating the myth that women are still extremely fertile at that age (when, in most cases, we aren't). I mean, hell. I have three more years until I hit 30, and my uterus is like a coffin nailed shut.

Infertility is only taboo if we keep it that way. I commend Giuliana Rancic for opening up about this topic, but what we need is for other women like her to talk candidly about it, too. She is already the face of infertility to so many, but she isn't alone. What we need is for more women in the spotlight to speak out against this idea that we can beat the clock.


Elizabeth said...

Well said! Good points! I too wonder why others 10-15 years older than us have no problems conceiving while it seems pretty impossible for us. :/

It Is What It Is said...

Prior to turning to donated embryos myself, I was in the camp that celebrities that used ART to build their families because it did bring awareness to the community at large. I am one of Guiliana's biggest fans and applaud her advocacy for both IVF and breast cancer awareness and I am so glad she made an informed decision to come forward on both fronts.
And, while I still applaud celebrities who bring awareness to ART, miscarriage, and adoption, I no longer believe that they are required to do so. But, it seems that unless they do, the mainstream media won't highlight the issues.

Jess said...

Great post!! I completely agree!!

Geochick said...

I like that she's been so open about her journey. I agree, it's never a perfect time and I wish we hadn't waited because of my career ambitions.

christine said...

Amen!! We started TTC when I was 23 and it still took 21 months and 2 IVFs to get our BFP. Oh, and it looks like I only have until 30-32 to have kids... It'll be early menopause for me. Thank God, like you, I married someone older so we didn't wait to find all of this out!

Thanks for all of your thought provoking, honest posts.

Jaclyn N Lil M said...

Great post :) I agree!! It is very nice to hear someone talking about IF. I do think it's great to keep it more open rather than hiding it

someday-soon said...

I 100% agree that it's only taboo if we don't talk about it. I am totally honest with anyone and everyone about my journey at this point and I think it's educated so many of my friends and family to the issues that those with IF face. The age factor is something I certainly came up against. I didn't get married until 30 and we started trying pretty soon after that. Even though IF has sucked I don't think I'd do it any different. I agree that our society does a disservice by telling women they can have babies easily into their 40's. For so many that's just not true!

MrsMann said...

Well said, as always. Everyone still tells me I am young and not to worry. Well I am in my last year before entering the 30's now, and my husband is closer to 40 than 30. I am so very glad we started trying long before anyone thought we should. Thinking of all that time we could've wasted makes me cringe.

Celia Fournier said...

Well said! My husband and I married early, 22 & 23, and didn't start trying for a few years. As soon as people started to realize we were struggling to conceive, we always got the comment "You're still young! You have plenty of time." I don't think people truly realize just how short this window can be, or nonexistent.
I've been very forward about our journey, and couldn't be happier about that choice. I've connected with so many other women and past friends struggling as well. It's helped to get me through, and I hope I've helped them as well.
Keep doing what you're doing. We need to be heard. <3

Logical Libby said...

I try to be as open as possible about it. I don't even flinch any more. I want women to know there is no shame in needing some extra help to be a mom.

Wife of a Wounded Soldier said...

I read the article and really loved it. Once I started opening up about infertility I realized many of my friends had been through it as well. It is wonderful she is shedding some light on it.