This blog post was written by Julie Richardson Paige, a member of the RESOLVE New England Board of Directors.
They say one out of every 10 couples struggle with infertility. They also say one out of every 4 woman will suffer a pregnancy loss. Just my luck, i was dealt the hand of both. Really? I could not have been lucky enough with those odds to win the lottery?
My journey lasted about 7 years. 7 years of IUI, IVF, medication, ultrasounds, miscarriages, heartache, D and C’s, infant loss, grief, desperation, funeral, depression…… To say it was a long road would be an understatement. It was a lonely roller coaster of a journey. When I think back, I really wonder how I made it through.
When I survived the battle and came out the other side, being so lucky as to have 2 beautiful daughters, I vowed to use my struggles to help others. I have always been such a positive person and I needed to find some positive in this whole mess. That could not be the end of my story. I needed more.
I use my personal experiences daily through my profession. I am the Senior Director of Egg Donation Services for Tiny Treasures. I have been the director for over 8 years now. My personal experiences help me to navigate these intended parents through their journey of infertility with hopes of pregnancy through donor egg. I hope (and have been told numerous times) that my empathy helps them on their journey. I am proud to say I have helped over 700 parents on their journey to parenthood.
I also dug deep and used my losses (2 miscarriages and the loss of my twins due to prematurity) to help other grieving families who walked this ugly journey after me. I started the ACDK Hope foundation, where I serve as the President, with 2 other angel moms 5 years ago. We provide memory boxes to the Boston area hospitals. These memory boxes are given to parents who leave the hospital empty handed after their babies have died. I have been an active member of a local support group for pregnancy and infant loss for almost 9 years now. Even though I am a good place in my grief, I still continue to attend as I feel paying it forward is so important to these recently bereaved parents.
I became a Stillbirthday Doula. This certification allows me to be present during a delivery where the baby has passed away or where the baby will pass away shortly after delivery. It allows me to support the family with the overwhelming grief that comes along with infant loss. I decided to make the decision to hold this certification as it would have been so helpful to have a bereavement doula by my side during the delivery of my twins.
For all the reasons I explained above about my own personal experiences and wanting to use my own struggle to help others, this is why I volunteer my time to be a part of RESOLVE New England. In January 2013, I joined the RNE family by becoming a member of the Board of Directors because I believe this organization is so beneficial for parents.
RNE provides 16 support groups throughout New England lead by people who have been there and “get it”, as well as educational events and resources for navigating decisions and next steps on the journey to parenthood. Starting the 1st of the new year, I will begin to serve as the Secretary. This is such a great honor, and I am so looking forward to the challenge. I would hope every person struggling with infertility would look to RESOLVE New England for support and guidance as it is certainly an amazing resource.
Please consider donating to Resolve of New England. I promise it will make a difference.