Today is National Birth Mom’s day. This day is special to me because if it wasn’t for my son’s selfless birth mom, I would not be the mother I am today.
For numerous families, adoption is the only way to be parents. I want to reiterate that we do not take lightly that the day of our greatest joy is another’s day of greatest sorrow. Thank you to all the birth mother’s out there! You are seen. You are valued. You are loved.
When we think of infertility, we often think of the woman’s plight. Next to that woman, there is a man with inconspicuous grief and pangs of fatherhood. He may not experience the physical pain of infertility, but his pain is just as real.
My husband is an amazing human being. Oftentimes, he has silenced his own grief in order to take care of mine. I see the hurt in his eyes and I know that he always wants to ensure that I am okay first. I’m thankful for him.
In this picture, he is holding our firstborn son. We did a private adoption. We were able to meet our son at just a few hours old. We were able to spend all three days in the hospital with our son and his amazing birth mom. This is one of my favorite pictures of my husband. He has always longed to be a father and this picture was the first one he took as one.
As we are near the end of NIAW 2021, I am praying for the families still waiting to bring a baby home, still waiting to announce that they are expecting, still waiting for the double pink lines on the pregnancy test. I have been there… waiting.. not knowing… still hoping through all the pain and wondering if I should give up.
I pray He will restore the years of shame and sorrow with double the joy. “Instead of shame, there should be a double portion.” Isaiah 61:7
I pray that God will restore what you have lost. Deuteronomy 30:3 God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered.”
I pray That you will have more children. Deuteronomy 30:9 God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life.”
One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” I can’t help but think about the song, “He’s Able” by Deitrick Haddon & Voices of Unity inspired by this scripture, “don’t give up on God, cause He won’t give up on you. HE’S ABLE!” ”
The scripture Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We may never know why God allowed infertility and loss in our lives. I still struggle with the ‘why.’ Yet, I’m learning to trust God despite the unknown.
I know that He is good. He is same God that restored Job’s family. He still the same God that opened Sarah and Rachel’s womb. He didn’t forget about them. He didn’t forget about numerous other women in this world. He didn’t forget about me. He hasn’t forgot about you.
Infertility is often a lonely road. Sharing every experience, whether positive or negative, becomes a rollercoaster of added stress and emotion. It seems the fewer people who know the details, the easier it is to grieve, process, and plan. The easier it is to make the best decision for your family without the comments and opinions of others. Yet, the small circle of family and friends privy to the intimate details are often plagued with how to be supportive in a world unfathomable, especially if they have children of their own. Though there isn’t a playbook for grief of any kind, there are common ways to be supportive, even when you cannot relate.
How do you support your friend experiencing infertility?
I found a great article that articulates the answer to the question perfectly.
There are numerous solutions when it comes to helping families get pregnant. Often, the barrier is not the availability of treatment but the cost. It is rare to find an insurance company that covers fertility treatments. I recall feeling discouraged about my diagnosis, hopeful once I learned my treatment options, and then discouraged again at the cost. To make matters worse, my two insurances at the time would not cover a dime.
Healthcare is already crazy expensive. Refusing to cover fertility treatments only increases the stigma and hesitation behind seeking treatment. This is why raising awareness is essential, especially when it comes to politicians and lawmakers. We must change the narrative around seeking fertility treatment. The truth is there are too many of us who wouldn’t be parents right now without them. I am one of them.
What option do you have when you cannot afford treatment? Luckily, there are a few.
Fertility Loan: There are financing programs specifically for covering fertility treatment. My husband and I utilize a fertility loan to help finance IVF. The positive is we were able to do it. The con was we ended up paying more for the treatment due to high-interest rate. Thankfully, we were able to payoff the loan early and save interest. If you use this method, I recommend having a quick payoff plan.
Insurance Coverage There are resources dedicated to finding insurance companies that will cover treatment. Here is tip: Most insurance companies will cover everything up to your diagnosis. So, if you know or suspect something is wrong, do not be afraid to call your doctor or contact a fertility specialist to get checked out. Remember, you will still have deductible cost.
Grants/ Scholarships: There are numerous programs that will assist with fertility treatment cost. Most of them require you to write about your story. I know couples who have gone this route for treatment as well as used to grants to fund adoption cost. So, it is definitely worth giving a try.
Savings: There is the old-school method of just saving up your money or if you are already a good steward of savings, you may have the money. I recommend opening a savings account that will build interest as you save. In addition, consider any yearly bonuses and tax returns to help.
I hope these resources will help your family and friends when it comes to the financial aspects of fertility treatments.