April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately two years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face.
Week 16: Labels
As I was climbing the long and winding staircase to the top of the lighthouse on our vacation, I thought about how we often become caught up in the labels we and/or others place on ourselves. For example, when I was first diagnosed with MS, I was terribly afraid I would lose my mobility because that is the association I had with the disease. Here I was though, two years later, climbing to the top of Mt. Greylock’s lighthouse, not succumbing to anyone’s preconceived notions – not even my own. In fact, much of my thinking has slowly changed over the last several months.
I recently read the book, Inconceivable by Julia Indichova, which chronicles this woman’s journey beyond the labels she is given (high FSH, not IVF eligible). In the end, she achieves a miraculous pregnancy because she does not allow herself to be restricted by the categories under which she falls. She refuses to succumb to anyone’s preconceived notions.
Personally, I feel as though I surrendered to the label of infertile entirely too easily. Before the one year point, I was nervous about not being pregnant and had all of the fertility testing done. At the one year point, I immediately began fertility treatment and moved through the range of options with little to no consideration of my own intuition because I was already labeled as infertile. Thus, I simply did what the fertility center instructed me to do. When I took a break, I was tired of being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I needed to reclaim some personal control over what often becomes an impersonal process.
As I did some research, I learned that I would not have already been classified as infertile in Europe because they do not recommend fertility testing until the two year anniversary of trying to conceive. If I were in Europe right now, I would just have finished my fertility testing and would have only recently begun considering my treatment options. One of the lessons I have been slowly learning over the past year is that my own perception and intuition is far more important than any category I am placed in according to a statistic or by a physician.
Statistically, Julia Indichova had virtually no chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. She was told to consider using donor eggs and/or a surrogate. Sometimes I become disheartened by the low statistics for pregnancy achievement for someone in my category (trying for more than two years), but then I remember that I am more than a statistic and that giving up simply is not an option.
I hope that we can each look deep within to see beyond the preconceived notions so that we are able to truly tap into our intuition, find the strength from within and move forward in the way that is right for each of us. Although a baby is miraculous, isn’t our ability to persevere and believe miraculous, too? My goal in the upcoming months is to forget the labels and trust that inner voice which I sometimes forget to recognize.
April all Year
Below are links to April’s past articles in case you missed any of them: