Kansas families share their infertility struggles, what they wish you knew

Kansas families share their infertility struggles, what they wish you knew

Infertility can have many different outcomes. We are sharing several Kansas families’ struggles during Infertility Awareness Week. Catch this story on KSN News at 5 on Monday. Cheryl Childers – Wichita

Doctors surgically removed an ovarian cyst from Cheryl Childers when she was 15 years old. In passing, her pediatrician mentioned she could have trouble getting pregnant someday. But at age 15, Childers nor her parents thought much of the comment. “Again, it was, ‘You might have a little bit of a hard time, but you should be fine in getting pregnant, don’t worry about it,’” Childers says of doctors.

After she and her husband married, he was in a car accident resulting in spinal cord injuries. Years went by and Childers still could not get pregnant. She turned to dietary supplements and vitamins, as many women who experience infertility report doing. By age 34, Childers fielded comments from family and friends about how the clock was ticking. At age 36, Childers went to see a fertility doctor.

(Courtesy Cheryl Childers) Childers continued to struggle with cyst issues, requiring another surgery years later.

The heartbreaking reality hit Childers hard after years of being told she would be okay. She and her husband explored different avenues of starting a family which ultimately ended up in two failed adoptions. “At the time, it really bothered me,” Childers said. “But now, I’m so appreciative that he was very honest and said, ‘Honestly, with your medical history, and the combination of the two of you, we could do IVF, we could do all these things, but more than likely, it’s not going to happen in years. We’re wasting your money.’”

“They were doing that whole thing of handing out the flowers to moms on Mother’s Day and they asked, ‘Are you a mom?’ And I said no. And they said, ‘Okay,’ and then they took the flower away. And, you know… I understand, but they had no idea what that did to me emotionally,” she said. In 2019, Childers got pregnant in what she calls a fluke. The pregnancy resulted in a late second-trimester loss. Childers now knows her triggers and what to avoid, including days like April Fools’ Day or going out on Mother’s Day. She recalls a particularly hurtful experience at a Wichita restaurant on Mother’s Day years ago.

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