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Infertility warriors gather for support

Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Haylee Kaiser and Katelyn Lang launched a get-together at Doepke Recreation Center to mark the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week. Both struggling to have children, they connected at the wedding of a mutual friend.

“You get the question when you don’t see people all the time, ‘when are you going to have a baby? Are you trying?’ So we get asked that question a lot and we kind of just looked at each other and it was just like a known thing,” she said.

Lang already had a support group online. But she and Kaiser could share similar experiences and loss face to face. They both tried in-vitro fertilization as well as fetal implantation, and both had multiple miscarriages.

“We did a frozen transfer, and that one was a chemical pregnancy which was like a very early miscarriage so it ends before 6 weeks,” Kaiser recalled.

The cost of procedures is high, and in Wisconsin, it all comes out of pocket. In addition, there are no fertility clinics in this area.

“Around here, there isn’t a fertility clinic. You just have to travel either way. So you’re going to go to Illinois, or Minnesota or Green Bay. Madison just got one too.”

Lang now has three children. Kaiser is still trying, even after a natural pregnancy.

“The baby couldn’t hang on, and I had him at 25 weeks and five days. My son Beau was born. He survived for eight days and then passed away in the NICU, so this is my Beau bear. It is in honor of him, and it weighs 2 pounds, 1 ounce, which is what he weighed when he was born.

While she continues what she calls her “journey,” Kaiser says they also want to help others.

“We want to grow a community of infertility warriors... is what we call each other, and we want people to know that they don’t have to struggle alone. That they can reach out to us. That they can reach out to anybody,” she said.

Both women credit their husbands for being very supportive. They understand the stress and have seen infertility tear families apart.

Lang said that while one-third of the cases of infertility lies with the man, they often don’t like to talk about it. But she said there are specific groups online for men to deal with it as well.

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