Guest Author: Krystle Chavez
My name is Krystle Chavez and my husband and I have been Trying to conceive, trying to maintain a safe pregnancy, trying to carry a healthy baby and trying to carry a baby to full term.
I’m about to get really vulnerable and talk about trying to grow our family and continue our legacy. When my husband and I got married 3 years ago, we were so excited to start a family. Although we knew I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and hydrosalpinx (blocked Fallopian tube) we never thought in a million years that we would have a very hard time getting pregnant like we are experiencing.
The first year we tried with no success, we went to see a fertility specialist and began our road to fertility. We shared our struggle with very few close family and friends. Our loved ones were very supportive and encouraging but none of them had experienced anything like this as they had families of their own or they weren’t in the position to want kids at that moment.
As the years went by, the questions, opinions and judgments started coming in from strangers, colleagues and even some loved ones who were not privy to our journey. It’s interesting how the people who don’t really know you and who don’t understand your situation are usually the ones who are very opinionated, blunt and sometimes rude. I learned very quickly how much emphasis society attributes a woman’s self-worth to her childbearing abilities and the pressure it can put on couples, especially women. I also realized how little people understood about infertility, which sometimes makes them insensitive because people have an unhealthy fascination with people’s reproductive plans. The challenges in my journey made me retreat and when people asked when I was going to have a child, I’d be evasive and either get sad or upset. With time, I started to withdraw from certain situations e.g. I refused to go to church once on Mother’s Day because I couldn’t bear being in the spotlight when the mothers were told to stand to be acknowledged and presented with a gift. Soon I realized that the more I said nothing about my fertility struggles, the more it felt like it was this big bad “SECRET,” which wasn’t good. Secrets have a way of holding you captive and building up negative energy which then makes you feel shameful and guilty when you shouldn’t.
Eventually, after giving it a lot of thought and discussing it with my husband, we decided to share our journey publicly on social media. The infertility journey is long and lonely and I wanted to open up a forum where women who are experiencing infertility can come to a safe place and speak about it openly and honestly and share experiences and lend a helping hand to each other.
Although it’s a very personal thing, you don’t have to deal with it or go on this journey alone. You can find a community and build a strong support system to get through it and that is what we choose to do. I also want to share my journey publicly because I wanted to take control of the narrative, share my truth, normalize it, empower others and make it ok for them to do the same. Everyone’s journey to conceive is not the same, but there are similarities in the emotional, mental, physical and financial stress it puts on families, and people generally feel isolated, ashamed and stigmatized hence they need better access to resources, treatment and support. Overall, I want my story to be heard even if my voice shakes while sharing it.
Krystle and Jesus Chavez