A woman has earned praise online for bravely sharing her negative pregnancy test on her Instagram after reportedly spending the previous 1,200 days trying to conceive.
33-year-old Tara Engelberg posted the photo along with a lengthy caption about her heart-breaking struggle with unsuccessfully conceiving.
"Another negative pregnancy test. Another period. Another reminder that for whatever reason, we cannot get pregnant," she wrote.
On the pregnancy test itself, Engelberg wrote: "It will be ok."
Another negative pregnancy test. Another period. Another reminder that for whatever reason, we cannot get pregnant. . . I sometimes wish there was a video camera to show the nightmare that is #infertility. How after the first sighting of a new period that I somehow have to muster up the courage to tell my husband that once again, we won't be pregnant this month. It's a scene all too familiar in my home. It is a scene that is followed by grief and utter heartbreak. Where my husband and I hold each other close as we mourn this unbearable journey. It is the part where we allow ourselves to release our pain and then try to figure out how we are going to pick ourselves back up and get through this. It is the part where I wipe away my tears, put on fresh makeup, and then go back out into the world and act like we haven't been bruised and broken from this fight. . . After each negative pregnancy test, I somehow gather the courage and the hope to try again. But after nearly 1200 days of trying, something inside changes. That hope that use to flow through my body so powerfully diminishes a little more each month. . . After this failed cycle, we have come to understand that our next step will require needles, hormones, and meds I cannot even pronounce. It is the step that requires even more physical, emotional, and financial strength. It is the step we were praying we would never need, but we are so grateful to have. . . But the truth is we are tired and we are drained. We are emotionally exhausted and scared out-of-our-minds. We never thought becoming parents would be this hard, and we never imagined our mountain to climb would be so large. . . I wish there were adequate words to express the deep heartache and frustration of infertility because my words never seem to do justice to all the heaviness in my heart. All I know is that nobody deserves this struggle, this fight. I have to believe there is a reason for this journey, and that somehow it will all be alright. ♡ . . #ivfgotthis #endosister #ivf #ttcjourney #ttc #infertilitysucks #ttccommunity #health #normalizeivf #ivfjourney #pregnancy #ivfsistersunite #infertilitysisters #iam1in8 #1in8 #ivfsupport #warrior
A post shared by Tara | Fertility + Wellness (@nutritionbytara) on Jan 13, 2020 at 8:31am PST
Infertility is described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a "reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse."
While infertility is common, it's rarely spoken about publicly. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 12 to 13 out of every 100 couples in the U.S. will have trouble getting pregnant. About 10 in 100 women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 to 44 will have difficulty becoming pregnant or staying pregnant.
But for Engelberg and her husband, their problems with infertility were a secretive burden for two years.
"We were shy and a little embarrassed by our struggle to conceive. No one was talking about infertility, and it was difficult for us to open up with others about it. It was a very isolating and lonely experience, and I hit rock bottom," Engelberg told Insider. "We hope our struggles will raise infertility awareness and help support others going through this incredibly difficult struggle as well."
For the last year, Engelberg has been documenting her struggles and process on Instagram. She has over 2,800 supportive followers.
"Don’t give up!! It will happen someday and you are too young to lose hope! After 3 years I’ve won my battle.... I’m sure it will be the same for you!" wrote one commenter.
"It took over 5 years and a miscarriage before we got our first, and another 3½ before we got our second. I hope all these stories give you strength to keep trying. Hang in there!" replied another.
"When I added this post to Instagram I hoped that somebody would resonate and find a connection with it, but I had no idea it would reach and touch the number of people that it has," Engelberg said. "There are so many ways to support people going through infertility, and I encourage everyone to learn more about the ways to help their loved ones this difficult journey."