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The Fight for Family Building is Real

The past two nights, my little Harper amazed me just before we put her to bed.

Two nights ago, she laughed hysterically from something I did, not even trying to generate a reaction from her. I imitated the sound of the toy guitar her daddy bought for her, and her little body erupted in giggles.

Then last night, as I laid her down in her crib after our usual bedtime routine, she reached for my hand and grasped it. My heart melted.

Baby girl on sofa smiling
Baby Harper lying on the sofa smiling

Sometimes I think about how close we were to never getting to meet our beautiful, happy, smart, funny little girl.

Thanks to IVF, I became a mom. So when I heard about the people in Alabama whose treatments have been halted following the state's Supreme Court ruling, my heart broke for them.

I know the ups and downs of the IVF process, one in which I became consumed with -- seven rounds, eight embryo transfers, and other tests and treatments -- for four years. I actually became so used to its crazy drama that, now, despite my happy ending, at times, I feel uncomfortable when having extra time on my hands, when not being consumed by thoughts of this cycle and next.

It's a complex, costly, time-consuming, and all-consuming process. Stressful doesn't even begin to explain it.

Though I heard bad news after bad news for several years, I did not have to experience a disruption in my treatments. When engaging in a process in which you have such a complete lack of control, I can't imagine feeling as if you are even less in control than you thought -- with your future family life being in the hands of lawmakers.

I do feel that the couples who filed the lawsuits that led to the court decision had every right to sue and be entitled to some form of compensation, but it's sad that innocent patients are now having to pay the price for one patient's ridiculous actions.

I hope the IVF halt taken by those Alabama clinics is only temporary -- the ruling has certainly resulted in much outrage and with loads of support garnered for the cause.

It's ironic that in 2024 we are moving so far backward when it comes to women's reproductive rights. Thanks to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, we're living in a world where there are now more children being born to women who don't want them -- and, with 1 in 6 people affected by infertility and with the future of IVF at risk, fewer children able to be born to parents who long for them.

This doesn't make sense to me. Is this a world we want to live in?

I can only hope that this ruling comes with a silver lining: that it brings more attention to the cause, because, as it stands, there is already not enough access to treatment --- whether IVF or surrogacy ---or adoption because of the high costs involved.

The fight for family building is real. For the past two years, I've taken part in Resolve's Federal Advocacy Day to speak with members of Congress or their staff, with some strides already made. But with every move forward, we take a few steps back.

With a baby who requires a lot of my attention, I don't know what my participation will look like this year. I just know that I want to help in some way. This blog is one way. If interested, you can sign up for 2024 Virtual Federal Advocacy Day, taking place on Tuesday, May 14, via this page.

IVF made me a mom, and I want the same for others, too.


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