I know the pain of losing a baby.
This week, as we decorate our tree, I will place an ornament front-and-center of a guardian angel. It represents a baby I wanted so dearly. That was not to be.
I know the hurt.
What I don’t know, is the pain of NOT being able to have a child. Of trying. Of begging. Of pleading and praying. Those feelings are foreign to me as I have three perfectly healthy children. Along with two awful miscarriages. For me, getting pregnant was never an issue.
But for so many friends of mine, it is.
A few years ago, I sat on my couch with my friend and quietly celebrated the tiny embryo that “took.” After months of pills and injections, doctors appointments and procedures that followed years of trying to have a baby…they’d turned to In-vitro. It was a costly endeavour…one that wouldn’t be repeated, they put everything they had into this one chance.
A few weeks later, I could barely breathe when I was told of the loss. A pain I knew all too well…except that in their case there was a much bigger loss…
Their hope was gone.
Since then, it’s happened with two other friends and I’ve heard countless stories of families who want so badly to bring a child into their lives…and can’t.
I don’t know what to say…or how to help? But surely, there’s more that can be done.
East Coast Miracles
East Coast Miracles is a Nova Scotia infertility patient group advocating for provincial funding of fertility treatments in Nova Scotia. They place a strong emphasis on single embryo transfer which would not only help infertile patients create families, but it also results in better health outcomes and real cost savings to the health system in the long-term. With the recent funding program and commitment to pay for one round of IVF in Ontario, there are now four Canadian provinces contributing to IVF funding for infertility patients.
East Coast Miracles are hoping to bring a similar program to Nova Scotia.
A recent cost benefit analysis found that Nova Scotia would save $11 million in the first five years by introducing a program similar to Ontario’s.
A few facts about infertility that I didn’t know:
- One in six couples struggles with infertility.
- A woman’s fertility begins to decline at age 28.
- The World Health Organization recognizes infertility as a complex health issue.
- There are now four provinces in Canada that offers some financial support for IVF (in vitro fertilization) Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Manitoba.
- Infertility is a health issue.
- Infertility occurs almost as often in males and it does in female – 40% female factor, 40% male factor and 20% undetermined, which means there may not ever be a reason given for undetermined infertility.
Sadly, infertility is very often a by-product of other health conditions and is often the only option for many couples when they have exhausted all other medical treatment. Many currently are forced to take out second mortgages, cash in RRSPs and work extra jobs to pay for in-vitro fertilization. As it stands right now, many people transfer multiple embryos because of the high cost of IVF ($7,000 to $10,000 per round in Nova Scotia, with medication).
IVF is often the last resort for people who have tried to conceive naturally and exhausted other medical options for treatment. Infertility is gruelling financially, physically and emotionally.
I have watched a few friends go through it and wish more than anything that there were better options for them financially. While it doesn’t affect me personally, the thought that one of my friends who want children so badly, could have better access to IVF making it more affordable to them…well, that’s something I can get behind.
I count my blessing every single day…and from time to time, I remember the little ones I lost. I’m one of the very lucky and wish there was more I could do to help my friends who wish more than anything, to have a child of their own.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored and I am working with Thrifty Mom Media to help tell this story. As always, my opinion is all my own.