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Finding a Purpose on the Way to Motherhood :: National Infertility Awareness Week

Six hundred and three. No, that is not the cups of coffee I consume each year (though close) or the items on my poor husband’s “honey do” list. It’s the number of injections to my stomach and hips that stood in the way of me becoming what I always wanted to be—a mother.

Had I known it would “happen” after all of it? The pain and emotional turmoil wouldn’t have been so bad, of course. However, nearly 500 needles pierced my skin before I ever even received a positive pregnancy test.

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In the very beginning of our infertility struggle, I was an open book. I told anyone and everyone what we were going through. Why? I guess because I was naive enough to think that it would be a short struggle. We would have our perfect little family on the first try. In the years that followed, I began building walls and shutting people out from what was going on. It wasn’t that I didn’t want people to know. Every time I “failed” it just got harder and more debilitating to face the questions. I didn’t really have any answers.

With each passing “sorry it didn’t work” phone call I received, the feelings of embarrassment and disappointment mounted. I mean, women have babies. That’s what they DO! I buried my feelings of resentment toward my body and wondered what I had done so wrong that I was being subjected to walking this path. I cursed under my breath when people gave me their words of wisdom. “If it’s meant to be, it will” or “just relax” or “my sister’s best friend’s cousin’s wife gave up trying and got pregnant naturally.” My all time favorite? “Everything happens for a reason.” I knew they meant well, but what I really wanted to do? Scream obscenities at them at the top of my lungs.

There were VERY few people who knew what we were going through, and even fewer who REALLY knew. Truth be told, it became the best and the worst time for our marriage. I ruined the “honeymoon” phase of our marriage. I became so hyper focused on becoming a mom. And I just couldn’t turn it off. My husband bore the brunt of my crazy, medicated mood swings and rarely flinched. (Can you say Clomid?!?!) Once I knocked an entire box of Cheerios from his hands because he simply said he didn’t want me to make pizza for dinner. It went everywhere! I walked out and left him to clean it up. Which he did. But, year after year, cycle after cycle, heartache after heartbreak, he stood by me, and we pushed forward. I realize now the pricelessness of foundation it gave us.

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Since our insurance did not offer any sort of provision for infertility, the burden of having a child of our own fell on our shoulders, as it does for so many. They told us that pregnancy was an “elective”procedure—not treating something life-threatening—and therefore not covered. So…let me get this straight. I can “electively”smoke my entire life, and you will cover my lung cancer? Yes. Did you know that only fifteen states have mandated infertility coverage? With 1 in 8 couples struggling with infertility, it’s heartbreaking to think that for so many, the cost is so insurmountable.

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In June of 2013, our prayers were answered and our blessings came in the form of our boy/girl twins Bexleigh and Braxton! We have since dedicated ourselves to raising money and awareness for a disease that many keep hidden from the world. While I hated every injection I took, I’m also truly grateful for each and every one. Not just because it gave me what I always wanted in motherhood, but something else I didn’t even know I was looking for—a purpose.


Kara Edwards is founder of Starfish Infertility Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to providing financial support for those struggling with infertility in the U.S. Founded in 2015, the foundation awards two grants annually to individuals and couples who do not have infertility provisions through their insurance to help fulfill their dream of having a family. Starfish is the only organization in Tennessee that awards grants for infertility treatment. Visit the website to learn more, donate or apply for a grant.

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2 Responses to Finding a Purpose on the Way to Motherhood :: National Infertility Awareness Week

  1. Sara April 26, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Amazing write up. Exactly how I feel about going through my journey struggling with infertility. There are so many of us that walk the path alone and struggle with feeling isolated. Getting the support of others going through this emotional journey is what got me through.

    Warrior sister forever !!!

  2. Katie April 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It’s so timely with Mother’s Day around the corner. I went through 5 years of IVF hell before becoming pregnant. Your description is perfect- it highlights the emotional and financial craziness!

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