Chasing the Dream of Fertility and Family
By: Edward & Sarah Dalton
If you are familiar with our little family, you already know we love #AllThingsAdventure, and living larger than life. We have shared many extraordinary memories over the years but for the most part, we are an ordinary couple with full time jobs and a fur child named Ophir Dog.
Sarah works for a non-profit health care provider, and I am in law enforcement. We don’t make a fortune, but we love what we do helping others.
We work hard while always looking forward to our next exciting adventure. We have experienced so much together. Some of which we have shared openly and hope you enjoyed, but we’ve also privately braved a more painful and personal wilderness as well.
While its hard to decide what my most favorite memory of our (mostly) happy 6 years of marriage is, infertility is by far our LEAST favorite adventure thus far. One we never chose to go, with places we never wanted to be. Like any other undesired plight in life, it chose us as its unsuspecting victims.
Our battle with infertility began 6 years ago. That’s short compared to some, but long enough to sadly realize if we ever have children, it’s not going to happen as spontaneously as it does for most, and time is not on our side.
The first thing any topic related to infertility needs to address is the statistic that infertility affects around 1 in 8, or 10-12% of couples.
If you don’t suffer from it yourself, chances are you are very close to someone who does. And to those who do personally deal with it, first and foremost, we are sorry and empathize with you whole heartedly! The nightmare is real. The truth is, there are few situations in life so devastating as infertility, and not even the well meaning consolation from someone who has also dealt with the disparity can fix it.
In the midst of realizing we may never have kids, at least the traditional way that comes so free and easy to the majority, and after learning more about the technical process of conception than I cared to know, I couldn’t help but marvel at the “ miracle of life” , as they call it. When you begin to view conception through the paradigm shift of infertility, it truly is just that, a beautiful miracle! A miracle that happens so frequently around us, it is easily overlooked and even taken for granted.
In the back of our heads, we knew IVF treatment or adoption was always an option. But as we learned of the costs associated with these alternatives, the little light at the end of the dark infertility tunnel began to fade away.
As if there wasn’t enough to be disheartened about already, these discouraging financial hurdles only make it harder. It can even begin to feel demoralizing having your vulnerability profited on, whether it be through treatment, adoption, or both. Neither of which most insurances cover.
I can only begin to imagine how devastating it is for couples who have already spent thousands on treatment, only to remain infertile with nothing to show for it but an empty wallet and broken hearts. Now all they have is adoption, which isn’t a bad thing at all, if only it too wasn’t so costly.
Our careers expose us daily to many of the tragic hardships society and life unfortunately come with, which helps us keep perspective and come home grateful knowing how quickly life can be flipped upside down without warning. While we do well at being grateful for even the trivial comforts we do enjoy, some days we can’t help but feel like somethings missing. It can be hard to muster the motivation to keep searching for a solution to a problem so physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially taxing as infertility.
One simple philosophy I have subscribed to throughout my life, and has proven true whenever I was faced with something hard, is that true growth, character and success doesn’t evolve in the safety of comfort and consistency. Only obstacles that demand the best of our wits and the deepest of our grit will render lasting fulfillment. A ship is safe at harbor, but that’s not what they were made for where they?
I once heard someone say “ too much sunshine makes a desert” , implying that our lives, like climates, are beautified more drastically by the occasional periods of inclement weather rather than by being sunny and trouble free all the time.
While this analogy may very well be true, we, like others navigating their own challenges, have struggled to find what is to be learned from it. Patience? Persistence? Or maybe there isn’t a lesson at all, and it’s just the bad hand we were dealt?
The answer might be found in an old parable you may have heard before. It says…
And so it is day after day in all our lives. Good and bad fortune is relative and subject to context. There are things we may never know the answers to, or be able to explain, such as child bearing, or in our case, the lack thereof.
But misfortune should never stop people from chasing their dreams. The greatest obstacles yield the greatest opportunities on the other side. After all, what are dreams for if they can’t be chased?
When I first created @TheDreamChasingFamily account, it had nothing to do with infertility. My initial intention was to create a place, if for no one else but ourselves and future children, to journal our family’s adventures together through life. While it has already been rewarding to look back on our memories together as a couple, we have alway wanted to add kiddos to those experiences we cherish. Without them, we feel incomplete.
We have been chasing our ultimate dream of fertility and family for 6 years now, mostly in private, hoping it would come true, but the dark clouds of infertility still loom overhead.
97.1 ZHT and Reproductive Care Center’s “ Maybe Baby” contest has provided a little break in the stormy weather. We are hopeful this opportunity will allow us to reach the summit of our Everest, so we can finally share our passions for life with our future children.
Please take a moment to vote for us! It will only take a moment of your time, but potentially result in years of joy for us.
Most of all, THANK YOU! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and positive comments. We are more resilient because of you.