Sunday, May 1, 2016

Infertility Awareness Week, Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and Decisions

Last week was Infertility Awareness Week. I know that according to some definitions I would qualify as infertile because of my recurrent pregnancy losses. But then, under some definitions I don't qualify as having recurrent pregnancy losses because, even though I've had four total, I haven't had three in a row. I don't consider myself infertile, however, and I believe in choosing one's own labels. It did get me thinking about the coming months, though.

A year ago, I was pregnant with Declan. Six months ago, I was pregnant with Lucy. After two pregnancies and two losses in under a year, I was physically spent and on the brink of collapse. Papa Runner and I agreed we'd wait at least six months for me to physically recover before we even thought about trying again. That time is rapidly approaching.

Physically, I'm feeling much better and yesterday even completed a half marathon in just a few minutes over my personal best time. Mentally and emotionally I'm in a better place than I've been in a long time, although I know grief can circle around at unexpected moments.

I really don't know what the next year will bring. It could be a long stretch of infertility, which would be hard. It could be another loss, which would be hard. It could be a successful but high risk pregnancy, which would be hard. Or we could decide to continue waiting, even though each month I get a little older and a little higher risk. (I'm already very high risk, what's higher than that?) It's a little daunting to look ahead and see nothing but hard.

My thoughts are scattered today, so random topic jump. Today begins Preeclampsia Awareness Month. I hope by sharing my experience with high risk pregnancy, other women can be aware of their own risks, advocate for the best possible care, be encouraged amidst their own hard, and find healing from trauma. This is not an easy road. I hope someday there will be better screenings, more effective treatments, and maybe even a cure, so no mother or baby will suffer from preeclampsia. That's why my family continues to raise money for the Preeclampsia Foundation through the Promise Walk. This year, my kids decided to write their own fundraising letter, sent it out to 200 people, and have raised over $2500 so far! They are very invested, and love checking every day to see their total go up. Monkey is just $20 from his personal goal. If you feel moved to give, check him out.

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