October 11th: A New Beginning of The End

Eleven years ago today marked the beginning of an end in my life.

Wisps of smoke drifted up to a sky still fresh with the wounds of such a massive loss of life that I wonder to this day why we chose to embark on the last leg of our climb up our infertility Mt. Everest at that particular time.

Yet it made perfect sense back then.

That day was the beginning of the end of being afraid of anything having to do with our infertility. Before that, I was riddled with anxiety about the prospect of even filling a sperm sample cup, and then at the prospect of spending three or four hundred dollars on an IUI at a clinic only twenty minutes from our home.

On October 11th, 2001, we were over two-thousand miles from home, across the river from the worst terrorist attack in US history about to spend nearly twenty-thousand dollars between the IVF and a month of living expenses to cycle at an infertility clinic with success rates in the top 5 for IVF in the country.

Now, on October 11th, 2012, I am marking the beginning of a new end in my life.

This is the beginning of the end of my complacency when it comes to using my voice, writing and experience to create awareness about infertility.

The end of saying I am going to be an advocate for the Family Act without actually taking action by calling local politicians and committing to attending Advocacy Day in Washington DC.

I have to thank the Night of Hope 2012 for this rejuvenation. It was like going home again.

I thought I was done with infertility when our October 11th, 2001 trip resulted in the birth of Elliana in October of 2002. I had finally joined the ‘we have our baby’ world and wanted to forget the past while we filled scrapbooks of memories watching our daughter grow second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, far from the angst of our primary infertility days.

Yet ten years after we were blessed with that beautiful baby girl, I found myself sitting with my wife and daughter at Resolve’s Night of Hope 2012 fund raiser. I have published a book, Almost A Father, that recounts everything we went through, and no matter how many times my wife and I read the book, we are instantly transported back to those days as if they are happening now.

There must be a reason for that. And I finally know the reason.

On October 2nd at this year’s Night of Hope, a pair of brown eyes that Lisa and family and friends swear are identical to mine stared intently at the large movie screens showing hopes and success stories of other parents striving to overcome their fertility challenges to have a chance at a baby.

Elliana had not wanted to come to the event, because we told her most likely she would be the only child there. And she was.

The funny thing is, the more grown ups she talked to, the more I could see a light bulb going off in those 10 year old eyes.

She looked at me after the dessert reception and said “I’m really glad I came to this. These people really want to help other people have a baby like me.”

The words hung in the air a few minutes, and my aha moment happened.

I still want to be a part of this community. I AM still a part of this community. I want to be one of the people my daughter admires for their successes helping other people have a baby like we did.

Or a little bit easier than we did. A tax credit towards our expenses would have gone a long way when we were trying. That tax credit would lead to less financial pressure to push the success envelope with procedures by transferring too many embryos which results so often in multiple births. Less multiple births would reduce insurance and medical costs related to the complications from multiple births. We might even see a standardized level of care and more choices for infertility patients who don’t live in states that offer health insurance for infertility treatments.

But most of all, more people would be helped to have a baby like we have.

That would mean the beginning of the end of hopelessness for thousands, maybe even millions more fertility challenged couples.

So on this October 11th, 2012, let this new beginning of the end…begin.

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