I’ve learned in life that everybody has a story but most often, many are not willing to tell it. This, I believe, is especially true when it comes to infertility. For many years I refused to let people enter my world of shame and embarrassment. It was not something I was proud to own, and I was not about to let people know about the thing that I thought degraded me.

Not being able to have children can have a dramatic impact on your life. I know because I suffered from infertility which impacted me in ways I could never have imagined. It had an altering, gripping effect that changed the very way I viewed myself and those around me. The effects of infertility are not easily understood by those who have not experienced it.

During my infertility battle, my focus was primarily on what I felt had gone wrong or what I thought I could not have. I became so consumed with my emotions that I forgot about the many wonderful things that I had in my life. Because of its consuming impact, I missed out on many of the great gifts life had to offer me. It became so overwhelming that the joys of life no longer seemed to matter.

I wanted to create a life with my husband and feel that life growing inside of me. I wanted to experience that mother/child bond I’d heard so much about. I longed to know what it felt like to hold my new-born child for the very first time and feel its tiny body on my chest. I wanted to be fruitful and add to our family tree.

The desire to conceive was so strong that it shook me at my very core. I wanted what my mother achieved and my sisters had. As time went on, not only did they have children, I began to witness my nieces and even my stepdaughter bring life into the world. With the birth announcement of each new child, that desire continued to grow and my heart ached continually for what I felt I would never experience.

Frances J, TN