St. Louis Woman Raises Infertility Awareness Through Books and Support Group

Danielle Faith always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. Whenever asked the question, Faith always answered “a teacher”. But if she were honest, the answer would be “a mother.” As a little girl, Faith had a room full of dolls she played with, training for the day when she would feed and care for a child all to herself.

But all that practice taking care of her dolls didn’t prepare her for the fact that just becoming a mother would be the hardest part. After being diagnosed with endometriosis in 2015, Faith knew she would have to jumpstart her plan to become a parent. But even that wasn’t easy – it would take more than five years of trying, multiple fertility treatments, six embryo transfers and two miscarriages before her daughter, Makayla, was born in August 2021.

Although she and her husband were ultimately successful, Faith will never forget how painful, exhausting and lonely the process was. As National Infertility Awareness Week approaches April 24-30, Faith wants to share her experience with other women in St. Louis and beyond so they know what to expect and, above all, that they are not alone. .

“If we don’t talk about it,” Faith says, “people will feel like no one else is going through this. It’s already a very lonely process.

According to Resolve, a nonprofit advocacy group for women dealing with infertility, one in eight couples struggle to get pregnant or stay pregnant. And yet, conversations focused on supporting women undergoing fertility treatments and other barriers to pregnancy aren’t all that common. This is one of the reasons Faith has created a Facebook group for women who have undergone treatments such as in vitro fertilization. For next week’s National Infertility Awareness Week, the group is writing notes of support for women undergoing embryo transfers and other procedures.

“I’m going to take the cards to a local fertility clinic just as a little reminder for women that we understand what you’re going through, you’re seen, and we’re here for you,” Faith says. “IVF is a very, very lonely, painful, sad, exciting, but very exhausting thing to go through with all the beatings and meds and hormones. It is a difficult journey.

Because of her experience dealing with the uncertainty of infertility, grieving miscarriages, and battling endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and ovulatory dysfunction, Faith wants to be a voice for other women. She has created a series of journals, planners and notebooks for women navigating the infertility process, and she also hopes to work with local lawmakers to pass legislation that would mandate insurance to cover fertility treatments. in Missouri.

Even after the birth of her daughter last year, Faith says her journey is far from over.

“When it comes to infertility, whatever you go through will always be with you,” she says. “Going through this for so long has made me who I am, and I want others to know that you are not alone.

Virginia S. Braud