by Kristen Magnacca
Have you seen The AFA’s Infertility Awareness stamp! Boy, have we come a long way!
Fertility awareness on a stamp: talk about making strides in the shift in conscientious about fertility and creation.
I remember when…. (Do I sound like your parents?) We used to have to walk ten miles to school in a blizzard. Well, way back when - almost two decades now - when I was knee deep in family creation mode, open awareness of fertility challenges did not exist. Back then the thoughtful support now easily accessible 24/7 on the Internet was just a futuristic dream.
But at the end of the day, back then and now, we need to focus on creating the optimum situation for one egg and one sperm to come together either in the intimacy of your bedroom or with the help of medical intervention.
In my last blog, I wrote about how the semen analysis is one of the least invasive tests and can begin to determine if there is male factor contributing to the challenges of the creation process.
My personal experience with a male factor issue included a very clumsy conversation about the possibility of having to use donor sperm.
I blurted out: “We could use a donor” to which my husband at the time quickly quipped back: “Well, then we could use a donor egg too!”
But fast-forward through the years and now fertility awareness is so much more abundant. Most clinics have a staff member, whose sole job is helping patients with donor issues, including using donor sperm.
Last year during an in person support group in my office, there were two professional women who were leafing through donor sperm profiles to order some for their current cycle. As they were sitting in the sacred support circle, these women told of their journey to be at this point where picking a sperm donor from a book was as normal as having intercourse in their homes.
But through each and every twist and turn and all the ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster, know that you are not alone. As you are trying to create your family, know there is someone walking in similar shoes. This is why it is important to find a buddy so you can create your own sisterhood. I found my fertility buddy by accosting all the ladies in the waiting room of my clinic. The woman who became my buddy answered every question I asked!
An instant friendship occurred. Ironically, her husband and my former husband both had a similar sperm issue and became male buddies through our journey. At the end, we both conceived and delivered healthy baby boys.