Who are you?
I am Brittney Cain, an African American woman in her 30s residing in Atlanta with my husband Doug and our 18 month old Kai.
What’s your fertility/infertility story in a nutshell?
In essence I have PCOS which is the main issue. Along the way we also experienced a very rare molar pregnancy and at least one chemical pregnancy.
Why is it important that your story is represented in the story of infertility?
I think it’s important to share our history with others so that they don’t feel alone. Before being public I heard a lot of stories about infertility but I could never really identify with most of what was told. I hope someone can see themselves in our story and not feel so alone.
Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with lifelong conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis but historically the fertility treatment conversations are centered around upper class white women. I think it’s important to normalize discussing infertility especially in marginalized groups so women can be empowered to make decisions about their reproductive health.
How did you meet your partner and what did you imagine your family building to look like?
We met in college at Georgia Tech! We always thought we would travel the world for a year and then when we decided to try, “boom” a baby would manifest. We’d done everything in order up to this point so we expected the natural progression. Needless to say it didn’t happen that way.
What does infertility look like?
Strife. Endurance. Empathy
Infertility also looks like using a lot of pregnancy tests for many people who are struggling to conceive. How often did you test?
I am a constant pre blood test taker. I felt like if I got the news on my own time it would ease the blow of being blindsided by a nurse with results. After every cycle the night before the blood test I would do a test myself. During my molar pregnancy experience I think I tested almost every day for two weeks in disbelief and drove myself up the wall with anxiety about what was happening. After going through that and having to wait months and months for consecutive negative tests until I was cleared I think it kind of cured me of obsessing so much over the test. When it came time for our transfer I held out four days after transfer before I started testing. I tested everyday until my blood test at 10 days post, then I did a digital and was done testing myself.Seeing two lines on a test meant different things to me at different points in my journey. The first two separate times I saw a positive ended up being miscarriages. By the time we got to a transfer that worked I started to see it as the first hurdle in a different part of the journey to baby. I learned to stop and embrace that this moment in time is good news and to celebrate all the wins as they come.
When you saw the 2 lines on your pregnancy test…did you believe it or did you think it may be a mistake?
I was a super early tester from 4 days after transfer. I had a super squinter line so I didn’t believe it for a few days until the line was blaring. I believed the test was accurate, I just was in disbelief that this would mean a take home baby for us. I don’t think I started to believe that part honestly, until I was checked in for my induction to have him.
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