My husband and I have been receiving fertility treatments for the last 18 months. Our insurance policy does not cover a single cent toward infertility treatment. Our insurance policy describes infertility treatments as “elective.”

By way of medical description, the term elective is “chosen by the patient rather than urgently necessary.”

Please lean in, and listen closely.

I did not choose to be infertile.

I have not chosen to be fertile or not. There is no part of me that would have ever have chosen this for my life. Nowhere in my life did I ever make a conscious decision to become infertile. Do you really think if I could have planned out and chosen every path I’d cross in my life that this would be in it? Absolutely not.

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Never in my life would I have chosen this path. Never in my life would I wish it upon anyone else for that matter. This path is so unfair, full of anguish, and a whole lot of tears. This path is weighty. This path is so expensive, even with two full-time, well-paying professional careers. We did not choose this path. This path was put before us, with no other option. You may say, “Well, just adopt.”

Well, friend, unless you’ve walked down this road in its entirety, you don’t get to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do.

I did not choose to be infertile. 

I did not choose my infertility. This was not an elective option in my life. I did not decide to take the absolute most difficult route to conceive a baby and start my family. I did not choose to make my body not function like it properly should. I did not choose the choice that would bring so much shame to my womanhood. It was not my choice to be childless.

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My doctor recently said infertility isn’t like cancer where we just tell you what to do, “You have a choice.” I don’t remember choosing to be infertile. I don’t remember choosing to be childless. I don’t remember choosing empty arms. I don’t remember choosing to feel broken. I don’t remember choosing to feel inadequate.

Infertility is not a choice, and it surely wouldn’t be elected in my life if I ever had the chance to change it.

I did not choose to be infertile.  

Ashley Richburg

Ashley Richburg is a 29-year-old who lives in a suburb of Austin, TX with her sweet husband and two spunky Labrador retrievers. She loves topo chio, hammocking, and all things outside.