Although it's rarely discussed, infertility is a problem that exists for black women too. Reproductive problems like endometriosis and fibroids are among the list of issues that can make conceiving a child after a certain age nearly impossible. Women like K. Michelle and Kenya Moore, who recently found out that she was pregnant, are sharing how they've managed to take control of their bodies (more specifically, their uteruses) by undergoing In vitro fertilization.
The procedure is an assisted reproductive technology that allows extracted eggs and sperm to be manually combined in a lab dish. Once fertilized, the embryos are transferred to the uterus and the mother is able to carry the child to term. This process is useful to women who have trouble conceiving, and is increasingly becoming more normalized.
Although the procedure can cost upwards of $100,000, the process is priceless for women who are infertile and dream of having children. Though sometimes this process may be performed a number of times before it is successful, Kenya Moore said that she got lucky on the first round.
"I don't have a horror story. It's weird because you hear other people's troubles with the injections and the hormones. And for me, it was a pretty simple process."
Scientifically, our eggs are less viable as we age, making this process popular among women who are hyper-focused on their careers or who have considered having kids after the age of thirty. Women like Kenya are opening up about the procedure to encourage other women to try procedures like IVF and egg freezing as means to outsmart those ticking time bombs that are our uteruses. In her interview with People, she opened up about the details of the procedure:
"You take the hormones to stimulate your ovaries, you go in for the procedure — obviously you're being monitored every day to where they need to see how many [ovarian follicles] you have, how big they're getting, when to extract. And then, obviously, the process when they grow to make sure they're growing at a certain rate and reach a certain size.
After that, they're ready to be implanted. You don't go under any anesthesia for the process and it doesn't hurt. You have to rest, which is always a great thing. To be quite honest, the thing that hurt the most was them sticking me with the IV when they had to extract the eggs because my veins are so tiny. But that's the only thing that was uncomfortable. The rest of it wasn't painful."
Kenya said in the interview that she administered her own hormones and, unlike other women who have undergone the process, did not suffer from any side effects and noted that the hardest part about the process was dealing with her fear of needles.
"[With IVF] they specifically tell you a start date to go and take a blood test because the ones you take over the counter, the pee-on-the-stick kind, don't always show the hormone level if it's not strong enough … so it may give you a negative when it's actually positive. So they rely on a blood test to show you how much of it you have in your system and how it's progressing.
As soon as I take the [blood] test and I'm driving home, I'm like, "I should just go and get a test from the supermarket." So I rode to the supermarket and literally took the test in the supermarket bathroom because I could not wait. It was just overwhelming. I could not wait. And it was positive. And then I got the call from the doctor later that day confirming that I was indeed pregnant and had a positive test and what my HCG levels were. She said it was all really good news. I was like, "Oh my God, I don't know what to say!"
Although she and her hubby don't know the sex of the baby yet, she reaffirmed in the interview that girl or boy, this baby would be her biggest blessing and we are super excited to watch her bump grow and finally meet Baby Twirl.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis years ago and I'm almost 25 years old; It's amazing to me that I'm at an age where I have to consider my egg count, and start planning my life around when I need to have a child before it's physically impossible. I'm in my bag, but I don't want my window of opportunity to have children to pass me by while I chase it.
Kenya's story is a reaffirmation for women like me who are worried that they may never conceive and a reminder that it's always a good time to pursue what really makes you happy. Kenya wanted a baby, and thanks to mother nature and modern technology, she'll have her wish before the end of 2018.
For generations. women including myself have been pressured to race their biological clocks; having to put their personal goals and ambitions aside so that they could have children before it was too late. Modern technology turns those tables and gives women the opportunity to make the decision to become a mother literally whenever they want to, and it's pretty lit.
To read the full interview click here.
Featured image via Kenya Moore/Instagram