My Modern Family

Maybe it's because the holiday season is all about family - or maybe the universe is conspiring to make my biological clock explode - but recently I've been having a lot of talks about infertility.

This may be because I was so open and public about my own struggles with infertility as I approached chemotherapy (which can cause infertility in a number of ways) or because I am so grateful for the generosity of the community which helped me to harvest and preserve my eggs before I started treatment. Either way, I've been thinking about, and having lots of conversations about family, and infertility.

Yup, I am engaged, and I can't wait to get married and start my family. I would like 6 children. But the biggest, and most significant side effect of my current treatment is that I can't get pregnant. The medicine would cause severe damage to any fetus inside of me.

And that means Family Planning for us requires actual planning.

So we decided that in addition to registering at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel like the other couples, we were going to create a special registry to help us cover the cost of truly starting our family. The costs of IVF, surrogacy and adoption.

It's hard for me to think about not being able to have a baby myself. I have always, always wanted to be a mom. I go crazy over babies, kids, pregnant bellies. No story is too cute or too gross for me.

But when I feel myself getting down about not being able to get pregnant, I just remind myself that the 9 months of carrying the baby pale in comparison to what I'll get for the rest of their lives. Those 9 months are glorious, amazing and special, but that's just the beginning of the fun.

Infertility is not just a crushing emotional blow - it's insanely, prohibitively expensive to deal with. IVF, surrogacy, even adoption cost tens of thousands of dollars. I know in my heart of hearts that we will make amazing  parents, and that we have a gratuitous surplus of love to give, but first we have to figure out how to pay for them. So why not a wedding registry? Isn't the point to help us newlyweds as we build our new home and our new family? Plus, like, we already have a blender?

I know for some it may be weird to just put our issues out there like this. Trust me, it's not easy to be so open about this. Of all the things I've had to deal with in the last year and half since my diagnosis, this may be the most touchy and enduring of all of my challenges.

And so, in honor of thanksgiving, I just want to say that I am so grateful for all the love, hugs, laughs, wishes, positive energy, prayers, thoughts, smiles, pictures, stories, and gifts that have sustained me through the heinousness of the last year. If not for all of you, I would never be brave enough to ask for the help that I needed to get through this last year, and the challenges I will continue to face in the coming years. You make me feel brave enough to ask for the help to do things I want to do that cancer keeps me from doing.

And so, as you all sit down with your loved ones, friends and family this turkey day I hope that you can also be grateful for all of the blessing that you have, and will have, in the  years to come. I am so grateful and thankful for all of the love and support that I have in my life, for my amazing fiance, and for all of the progressive, thoughtful technology that exists around us which makes the impossible possible.

For those of you who want to see it, our very special registry can be found here, using the amazing websites created by my friends at Standbuy (an amazing resource for anybody with cancer who faces financial need).

So much love,
xoxox
Dena