Iowa Woman Learning to Cope With Emotional Stress of Infertility

Special Reports

IOWA — As a little girl growing up in small-town Iowa, Avis Keasey loved animals, dolls and playing house. “When I was three, for Halloween I was a mommy!” she says with a laugh.

She always planned on that costume becoming reality, but infertility has interfered.

“Ya know, you take that negative pregnancy test … I don’t even know how many I took and you’d squint at it and turn it the other way and say to yourself, oh this one’s faulty, and get a new one,” Avis explains. “And then that keeps happening month after month and that starts taking a toll. It’s mostly just disappointing and stressful and then you’re trying even harder and it puts a lot of strain on your relationship.”

Health insurance wouldn’t cover treatment or even testing, so every month Avis kept grieving and feeling more and more alone.  “It was just heartbreaking to see these people who had what I wanted,” she says through tears. “I haven’t been able to go to a baby shower for years. It’s just so hard to celebrate what you can’t have.”

Avis poured her sorrow into trying to start a support group.  It turned into a Facebook group where women share their stories and find strength from those who know what they’re going through.

She still thinks about dressing up as a mommy decades ago, but her definition of family is starting to change. “I would like to believe that God is going to give me a miracle baby, but he hasn’t so far, so I just have to come to terms with if that doesn’t happen it’s going to be ok,” she smiles, “A family of two is still a family, just not the family I thought I would have.”

You can find the Facebook support group here. Find information about the 2021 Des Moines Virtual DIY Walk of Hope here.

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