Two “fertile” women walk into a fertility clinic, and one year later, both walk out infertile.
We thought it would be simple: extract the wife’s eggs, transfer an embryo into my uterus and live happily ever after. The reality? It was more like this: wife extracts eggs, gets hysterectomy, I have multiple failed transfers, and then we suffer a miscarriage. After two years, we were left with what felt like nothing but heartache.
Now, two infertile women walk into a fertility clinic, hoping for a miracle. As a Latinx woman, culturally, fertility treatment is rarely sought out. As an LGBTQ+ woman, it was my first choice. Explaining transfers, miscarriages, egg retrievals, and medications to a family that was not familiar with anyone who’d undergone treatment was very difficult. After all, it’s a common belief that Latinx people are extremely fertile, so why was I having such trouble? How do I justify tens of thousands of dollars for “nothing?” I realized our community had a lot of misunderstandings, not only with seeking medical fertility treatment, but even talking about it. I decided I had to do something to help.
The TTC community is truly one of the best resources for individuals and couples. However, I hardly came across anyone Latinx in the fertility clinics or online. After months and months, I had finally connected with two infertile Latinx women with the same goal in mind: creating awareness and resources for the infertile Latinx community. We teamed up and started an Instagram page, a website, and a podcast to help bring stories and resources in Spanish, English, and Spanglish.
After our miscarriage, our journey came to a screeching halt. We were out of embryos, and we knew we would have to start all over again. Considering the cost, we decided to sell our home in the city to save for upcoming treatment.
Our doctor is now recommending IUI, and simultaneously, another egg retrieval with my wife, as she was able to keep her ovaries. It’s a lot for us to process at the moment, considering I’m still grieving from our loss, and I am not physically or mentally ready to embark just yet. However, I feel more empowered than ever to advocate for my needs and to take breaks if I need them. You must listen to your body, and it’s perfectly OK to not feel good enough to keep going.
My hope in sharing our story is to create visibility for LGBTQ+ and Latinx individuals and couples undergoing medical fertility treatment. You are not alone. Having common stories and support does make all the difference. Using a resource like RESOLVE, you can find those support groups that help you feel validated and represented. I hope that we continue to see the stigma of infertility be replaced with love and understanding for all members of this community.