My Journey, A Personal Story
I have been married to my 8 th grade sweetheart for 12 yrs. We talked about getting married and starting a family “one day”. He wanted 12 kids. I remember laughing out loud and said “maybe 4” to include adoption. Fast forward through dating off and on for several years, conversations about a smaller family, and not even 4 months post marriage; I shared news that would rock our world. I have a condition called Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (formally Failure). The most difficult symptom is serious fertility complications that lead to less than 1% of us birthing children with our own eggs.
The initial news shook me to my core. I checked out of relationships, rarely left my bed, and cried so much I couldn’t cry any more. Hubs let me be, but one day said–enough. I got up and have been trying to deal ever since. Sometimes it has been like I am riding around on a unicorn sprinkling glitter around the world just as happy as can be. Other times have been similar to people finding out a loved one is an alcoholic where they are completely shocked because the family member seemed to be functioning, while being a mess behind closed doors. In all of those feelings I have tried to find balance, hold onto hope, and look for guidance on next steps but–it is hard. I have held onto the idea that if I just do ‘xyz’ then I won’t need to use donor eggs, though almost 12yrs post diagnosis–here I am at the same crossroads.
It has made me feel less than a woman and wife. My husband’s nickname is the ‘baby whisperer’ because he has a gift with kids yet doesn’t even have one to call his own because his wife’s body won’t cooperate. That’s a heavy burden to carry around on top of my own personal issues with this plus the other non-fertility symptoms associated with my condition. When looking at donors over the years, I have been shocked and hurt by the lack of Black donors. I perform a search and see a few hundred donors but when I filter for a local Black donor, I have 7 to choose from which is no exaggeration for most databases I have looked at. It has stopped me from moving forward on several occasions. Why can’t I find anyone that looks like me and has the same background as me? Why do I care so much, shouldn’t I look for the best and healthiest donor? I won’t even get into the financial burden this places on us. Donor cycles can cost over $30k and you need about $10k to just reserve the donor.
I believe that our trials are meant to be shared to help others. Fertility for Colored Girls (FFCG) is an organization that has helped me and lead me to Pulling Down the Moon (PDtM) by way of conversations about local holistic health options with various members. I had tried acupuncture before, but hadn’t been to a space with comprehensive service options until walking into to PDtM. It has given me the opportunity to learn about nutrition, yoga, supplements, acupuncture, and massage as it relates to fertility. I am in a space where some women on both sides of the desk are either on a fertility journey or have completed a journey. I appreciate the peace I leave with after completing a service, I appreciate the supplement options as it is hard to find quality products, and I appreciate the nurturing knowledgeable touch of the staff. Both women and men come in for services and it makes me smile when they have good news to share. This is a sisterhood I never wanted or imagined I would join. Having holistic options for support and treatment has been a lifesaver and greatly appreciated as I move forward with a plan of attack towards a healthy pregnancy. This sisterhood rocks!