My name is Amira and I, like many of you, battle with infertility. For many years I wondered if I'd ever be lucky enough to hold my own baby. After nearly 2 decades of perseverence, I finally heard those little cries as our son was passed from another woman's body into my waiting arms.
I have written a book about my journey and all I need now is your help to get it published.
Today's women are educated, they travel, they own businesses, they’re CEOs, are independent and hard-working. This modern-day development has resulted in a shift in the age that women are having children from being in their 20s to now starting in their 30s. Unfortunately, biology hasn't caught up with our changing society. We have achieved so many of our other goals in life, set ourselves up financially, romantically and situationally, but when it comes time to top it off with the most natural of desires – having children – it just doesn't happen easily. There are so many women struggling with infertility, not knowing what their options are or where to start looking for information. I am one of those women.
Throughout my 20s and 30s I lived a double life. I was the outgoing, adventurous, athletic and studious girl with lots of friends. I earned 2 degrees: in Biology and in Veterinary Medicine. I enjoyed my social life and travelled extensively. But the other me was constantly suffering from heavy periods and pain, due to fibroids and endometriosis.
It's a morbid desire to want to hear stories about people who are suffering like you are, but at the lowest point in my life, after a devastating pregnancy loss, I turned to strangers on a chat forum to find solace and to try to move forward with my dreams of becoming a mother. It was through reading their stories that I started to find healing. It made me realize that I wasn't alone and that, for all that I had been through, there were people going through even worse. I told my story to them. They listened, responded and provided me with the support and information that I so needed at that time.
With so many couples desperately needing help creating their families, more open communication is required regarding the options available. When feeling isolated, with seemingly no one understanding my pain, my sadness, my hopelessness, my frustration and my despair, hearing the success stories gave me faith that one day I'd be a mother too. For those of us dealing with infertility, the success stories fuel our fires when the flames start to dwindle.
Infertility is a real, massive global issue. There are hundreds of thousands of women and men struggling in New Zealand, and millions around the world, and yet it is hard to find the real stories because fertility and issues surrounding it continue to be shrouded in secrecy and taboo. Lets stop whispering and start talking to each other, helping one another, because we're all going through the same thing. We all feel the same way when our fourth round of IVF fails, when only one line appears on the tenth pregnancy test we've done, when we get yet another period. We are all in this together and we need to start telling our stories. In my book, nothing is sacred. This is infertility, unshrouded.
But, more than anything, this is a story about hope. As the years went on with my battle to become a mother, my friends and family supported and championed me. The more I talked about what I was going through – the fibroids, the medical misadventures, the endometriosis, the miscarriage and the surrogacies – the more women came out of the woodwork with their own stories. They were enduring their own infertility battles and they wanted to talk to someone who had been there and had come out on the other side - happy, pain-free, a mother.
I experienced two very different approaches to surrogacy, first in New Zealand and then in Canada, and was able to compare and contrast the two systems from the inside. I detail this information in the book, information that I would have liked to have had in advance, instead of trying to figure it out as I went.
Once Kairo, our son, was born (through a surrogate in Canada), I started writing down everything that I had been through and all that I had learned that I felt may be valuable for others going through similar trials. I decided to write the book that I would have wanted to read while I was on my unconventional, rollercoaster-of-a-journey to motherhood.
In the book I detail the fibroid and endometriosis treatments I tried and I describe the rigours of countless surgeries and the ups and downs of IVF. From the devastation of pregnancy loss through the highs and lows of two surrogacy journeys in two different countries, to the birth of our beautiful son, this book is a raw, real account of my experiences. For the thousands of women who desperately need a bit of hope that they too will hold a baby of their own, this book is for you.
This is an inconceivable journey with the happiest of endings.
I have teamed up with a wonderful publicist who has agreed to take me on despite the "risky" subject matter, but I need to fund $11, 700 NZD of the publishing costs myself. I am asking for your help to fund half of the total cost to make this book a reality. My aim is to have it published and on shelves within the next 6 months (by March 2017).
Please help me get this information and story of hope out there to all the women and couples that are still fighting their battle to achieve the most natural goal in the world: to become parents.
My little family.
A million thank yous in advance... xx Amira