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Our Journey with Infertility: We're More Than Our Diagnosis

Infertility is a part of my daily life. In fact, even when I'm not in the middle of an injectable medication cycle, I write about infertility. Even if we are taking a break from treatments, I still talk about our struggle to friends who are going through the same thing. Jackson, our 4-year-old, is at the age where he is actively asking questions about why everyone in his preschool class "has a baby" at home and he doesn't. I can't seem to outrun my empty uterus, and it can get overwhelming if I let it.

But if you are struggling—or have struggled—to get pregnant, can I just remind you that you are more than your infertility? I know that I certainly need the reminder sometimes. Since I started this column with Parenting.com, my Facebook inbox has been full of messages from friends and strangers who can relate to all of this fertility chatter. I love receiving the messages and reading about your protocol, advice and fears. For me, it just affirms that I'm not alone. You're not alone either.

When I read each message, I'm overwhelmed with how alike we all are. No matter if you've been struggling for one year or 15 to have a baby, if you ended up pregnant as a surprise, or if you worked hard to have a birth mother place a child in your arms, familiar paths tie our journeys together. I've spoken to women who have echoed my feelings of inadequacy when people look at us with more pity than empathy. I have exchanged emails with women who are sick of their OB-GYNs placing them on Clomid cycles for more than 6 months, and through the hot flashes and mood swings, they don't know how to advocate for their treatment. I have also heard from women who are irritated with our society's way of measuring a marriage's worth by how soon a couple has children.

I started to think about all of these emotions and shared struggles as my husband and I get emotionally ready to go back to our reproductive endocrinologist's office in July to restart our journey for Baby No. 2. I realized I need to remind myself that I am more than my infertility, and I wondered if you need to remember that too. Let's be brave together and remind ourselves that we aren't defined by our failed ovulation cycles. Here is what I am; what else are you?

I am a writer who thinks it's hilarious, thrilling and terrifying that people pay me for my thoughts. I am a small town girl living in a big city who sometimes desperately misses knowing everyone in town. I am a wannabe yogi who is getting close to mastering a handstand but also fell on my face during Crow pose last week at class. I am a Christian who prays for my son and my marriage daily. I am a daughter who still calls my mom when I get sick or when my son gets sick, just so I can hear her voice. I am a proud sister who almost bursts when I talk about how flippin' awesome my little brother is.

I am an avid reader and brownie lover. I sneak in a nap any time I can. I am an introvert who prefers texting over voice-to-voice phone calls, unless said calls are from my hubby, mom or two best friends from high school. I think one of the best things I got out of my marriage (besides my husband) is my sister-in-law, who comes with me to guilty pleasure movies.

I am funny (sometimes). I am physically and emotionally strong. I am capable of running a household, writing four articles during my son's naptime and making a mean meatloaf. I believe that good beats evil, always. I am a lifelong learner. I am a really grateful mama to a 4-year-old with brown eyes and a compassionate heart. I am a not-so-perfect wife to a principal with olive skin and a hilarious sense of humor.

I am more than my infertility. So are you. Write in the comments section here what you are. I can't wait to read all about you!

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