‘Just knowing I wasn’t the only one, knowing I wasn’t alone.’ Examining the myths of infertility

Examining the myths of infertility

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Looking at Loren and Mike Bassett, of Charlotte, with their “rainbow miracle baby,” you’d never know the devastation they endured to get her.

The losses. The heartache.

Infertility affects one in eight couples. You probably know someone who struggles with it. But, it’s often misunderstood. Many couples have no choice but to turn to in-vitro fertilization. When we hear about IVF... we usually associate it with the extreme cases... like Octomom or Kate Plus Eight. Women who have had triplets, quadruplets, or more... because of their fertility treatments.

But, that’s not the typical case, says Dr. Michelle Matthews, the medical director of Atrium Health’s CMC Women’s Institute.

“We spend a lot of time dispelling the notion that IVF results in those kind of multiple pregnancies and in fact, there’s a national initiative to decrease the risk of multiple pregnancies,” the 20-year veteran said. “And I think the reason sometimes those people are on reality TV shows is because they do tend to be the exceptions to the rule. But unfortunately, people often because of that have the perception that anything more than a singleton baby is very common in IVF and quite honestly it’s not anymore.”

The same goes for other generalizations we make. We often only hear about a women's side of infertility but men struggle with it, too. Or, we think it's age-related -- but it can happen to anyone at any age. There are different factors, different treatments, and different risks.

RELATED: ‘We never gave up hope and tried to stay faithful’, Charlotte woman on her six-year infertility journey

Loren and Mike Bassett are millennials, and began battling infertility when they were just 30 years old.

“Just knowing I wasn’t the only one, knowing I wasn’t alone,” Loren recalled. “Because here I am -- I can’t get pregnant.”

The college sweethearts had no idea the road they lay ahead of them – or the strain it would put on their marriage.

“That’s a lot of thing that people don’t talk about right,” said Mike. “The strain that it can put on your marriage. You think you know everything is just going to go as planned and then it doesn’t and you know really tests our patience. Just knowing and seeing her go through it every single month. And, seeing the attitude that she comes with you know: 'Yeah sure there’s gonna be rough days here and there-- but when isn’t there rough days, right?’ I’m mean, she’s been a champ through all of this.”

And Loren recalled the day she realized Mike was just as affected by their infertility as she was.

“We were both having a hard day or frustrated with each other,” she remembered. “And I remember you saying you know, ‘you don’t understand the toll that it also takes on me.’ And in my mind I’m thinking, this is all me. This is all happening to me. And I needed to set aside or you know kind of look at him and be like, ‘oh my gosh - I’m neglecting everything that’s happening to him as well’.”

Loren and Mike eventually got their miracle baby – but it didn’t come without some devastating losses. I’ll have that part of the story coming up at 7:30 p.m. Friday on On Your Side Tonight with Jamie Boll.

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