Hey everyone, I hope you are enjoying the rest of the summer.
I have to admit, as much as I'm trying to enjoy the last few weeks before the NFL season kicks off, it has been a bit challenging for me. On top of being on a special assignment last week where I was sometimes working up to 14 hours a day, I also had to set aside time for IVF treatment. For those familiar, you know it's a time-consuming and emotionally draining process. This is my 7th one, and I've been going through these treatments since I was 35 years old.
I'm now 43, so my body is kind of stacked against me. I have been trying to do IVF treatment for a while now, but sometimes it doesn't go the way you want it. Your body just doesn't allow it. Every cycle is different in a woman's body, so some months are better than others. When I heard this was the best time to go through another treatment, I had to figure it out all over again. How am I going to juggle this treatment on top of my work schedule? I got so stressed out. When this happens, it really makes you question: is it the future of my family or is it my job?
I work in an industry where I think women feel the need to keep things like this quiet. But no, there are so many other women who maybe put their careers on the back burner because they don't want to miss out on any opportunities. It's so common that people are starting families late and put so many other aspects of their lives on hold.
I decided that this time around, I would be open with my show producers about having to come to work a little later than normal because I was attending daily fertility appointments. And I am thankful I did it. They encouraged me to be open about it because this is real life. It's not like I'm leaving to go take a hot yoga class, I'm trying to have a baby. I am not ashamed, and I want to be vocal and honest about this.
So, as I sat there in that waiting room last week, I gave myself a Tom Brady pep talk! I was like, "You're 43, you're giving this a shot!" Everyone said his arm was dead. Everyone said he couldn't be on a new team and win a championship, and look what happened! Anything is possible, why not us?
It can sometimes be embarrassing when you are in the waiting room and they say your name out loud. It makes me think, "I want this to be quiet, I don't want people to know," but I don't care anymore! It sucks, but I am right there with all these other women in the waiting room. It's a team that no one wants to be a part of. We're all going through this and having a tough time. It can be so isolating, but in reality, we are all there together.
The entire treatment takes such a mental and emotional toll on your body. You feel like shit. You feel bloated and hormonal for a week and a half. You could go through this whole experience and get absolutely nothing out of it — that's the crazy part. It's a ton of money, it's a ton of time, it's a ton of mental and physical anguish. And more times than not, they're unsuccessful.
I think that's why a lot of people choose to be quiet about it. Because maybe we feel as if this is something we have to do, and we don't want to jinx it. On the other hand, we can also feel like we're a failure as females or to our partners. But we are all warriors for going through this! The fertility clinic can sometimes be so full, it's heartbreaking, but we really aren't alone here. You never know who else is going through this; it could be another co-worker or the person making your coffee every day. There are more people than you think.
Now that it's my seventh time, something just hit me. Why am I keeping this such a secret when this is just a part of our lives? Instead of feeling ashamed, we need to give ourselves more love. It freaking sucks, because it can seem like it's such a lonely thing. There are so many of us going through this though, and it's just not talked about.
Have you or someone that you know gone through a similar experience? I'd love to help change the conversation here so people feel they can be more open.