Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sometimes There Isn't a Miracle Baby

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.

I'm part of a Facebook group for childless couples. They are a group for those who are no longer trying to grow their family, but instead, trying to make peace with their situation of a childless life. Everyone is in a different part of their healing, so its a pretty diverse group.

Yesterday, one of them mentioned how they kept reading infertility posts, but they all seemed to have the same theme. "Hang on, it'll happen. See our miracle baby. We are living proof it ends." This started a great online conversation. I said my two cents worth, but now I have to do a soap box post.

My short response was:

"I think they are trying to keep hope alive. Once their dream comes true, I don't think it means they forget the pain. They just think it's going to end. They no longer can comprehend that for some, it never happens. I don't see them as being malicious, their just hoping your story ends like theirs, with a happy ending. They can't see past that."

But after posting it, I kept thing about it. Then I stumbled onto several posts that were similar. Suddenly, I better understood why the original poster had been upset. It seems like every story you read ends with the same results. "Keep trying, your time will come. It took us "X" amount of years, but look at our happy family now."

I know people in that situation. They tried for years and years and finally got their happy ending. But this post isn't about those people. Its about the ones who never get the fairy tale ending.

I use to try compare my situation to others, but I've learned that each couple is different. Each couple faces their own unique medical issues. Each couple must go through a deep soul search to decide what they are open to. IVF? Sperm/Egg donation? Surrogacy? Adoption? Foster care? There is no clear cut answer and it is different for each couple. Only they can decide what they want to try. Only they can decide what is best for them.

Only they can decide when they are done. I think we all reach a breaking point where we just can't try anymore. Even when you decide to stop treatment and move on with life, it still kills you. Its hard to give up on a dream. After all the years, all the money, all the treatments, all the waiting, its hard to walk away with nothing. Especially when its something that you have chased for so long.

Not every case of infertility ends with a miracle baby. 1 out of 8 couples are infertile. But not everyone one of them eventually has a baby and/or adopts. I tried a Google search to see how many couples never resolve their infertility, but if those numbers are out there, I couldn't find them. But there are several couples out there who will remain childless for life.

Not every case of infertility ends with a baby. But just because a couple choose to move on, doesn't mean their infertility is over. It will always be a part of us. We will always be reminded of what we are missing. That doesn't mean we can jump back in and try again. Somethings can never be resolved. That's a part of life. Its not fair, but that's how it is.

This week I not only want to promote infertility awareness, but that there is also a community of childless for life people out there. They seem to be the ones that are forgotten. I want to show the world that even when you don't get your miracle baby, life can still be happy. I don't want to be the story of a miracle. I want to be the story about survival. A story of an alternate happy ending.


  1. Yes, OMG yes. This is the thing that infuriates me with the IF community at large. I'm still seeking treatment, but I have to be honest with myself that there very well might not be a miracle baby for me. And all the people showing me their miracle doesn't make it any more or less likely for me. All it does is piss me off and belittle the fact that not everyone gets that ending. I hate that the childless couples end up being some sort of dirty little secret. I love having their views and opinions, as it lets us know that if we end up on that side it isn't as bad as we think it will be.

  2. <3 Your so much to so many. Well said.

  3. This is such an important message!

  4. In Canada the number for infertility is 1 in 6 couples. I found some numbers for IVF in Canada For CFAS. For
    2012, ,there was a total of 27,356 cycles was reported at Canada's 32 IVF centres. These cycles resulted resulted in 5971 live births. (source: Canadian Assisted Reproductive Technologies Registry - CARTR). That is 21.83% success rate, that not heck of happy endings. I am sure the rate would be similar in the USA.

  5. Great post. It's hard to tell just how many of us wind up without children, since many just sort of fade into the woodwork, but I think there are a lot more of us out there than anyone realizes. Looking at Debbs's numbers above, you just can't tell me that every couple who abandons IVF winds up adopting or having a surprise pregnancy. I think Jody Day of Gateway Women has said that 1 in 5 women will enter their 40s without having had a child (by choice or otherwise), and it's estimated that number is going to rise to 1 in 4. That's a BIG number. So why isn't anyone paying attention??

  6. Hey Savannah..I think we are in the same group on FB. I think that is where I found your blog. I totally get where you're coming from. I consider "infertility" as couples who truly can't nor ever will have kids. Even ones who adopt I consider fertile (sorry, but I do..though I know it's TOTALLY different). We can't have kids, due to MANY health concerns. Thank you again for sharing your blog and your life with the world. It helps knowing that I am not alone.

  7. During NIAW, I made a point of tweeting about the childless resolution and how a family of two still is a family. It's not an easy message to send within the community and sadly,not many of us in there; thank you for your voice.