"It's kind of a silent disease," Daynes said. "I think when you deal with such an intimate part of a couple's life, on one wants to talk about it."
Part of Daynes' motivation to begin these programs came from her own struggle with infertility. She and her husband had been trying for children for three to four years and had stopped treatments when she became pregnant almost seven years ago. Before this, she and her husband felt isolated in their struggle — they had tried all recommended treatments unsuccessfully, they were childless and no longer newlyweds living in family-based community and culture.
"We felt like we stood out like sore thumbs," Daynes said. "I was just feeling so alone in my struggle,"
Because of this, she wrote a book to be used as a resource for others: Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healiing. In an effort to increase awareness she began hosting an event in Utah in 2010 where experts including endocrinologists, doctors and people from the community come to network and be the recipients and givers of both education and support. The event has grown from 150 attendees in the first year to roughly 300 people for this year's event, held most recently in April.
Find Where You are Fertile
In addition to connecting with resources and others in the same situation, Daynes also suggests women should shift their focus from their infertility to their areas of fertility — ways in which they are successful, growing and experiencing happiness.
"Find life in other realms," Daynes said.
Still childless, Kofoed now views infertility through a new lens. She is grateful for her infertility, she said, in part because she is able to apply the lessons she learned to other trials, including divorce from her first husband. She has since remarried, and she her husband Danny approach life with the similar mindset that external situations do not dictate happiness.
"I feel love for my unborn children, so that inspires me to handle this trial with the most strength, the most love. I'm doing this out of love for them and that is powerful," she said.
Mara and Danny Kofoed jointly maintain ablogaboutlove.com, a site they started in September 2011. Daily posts from the Brooklyn residents about feeling sexy, emails between Danny and Mara sent while they were dating and pictures of great getaway cabins are interspersed with motivational thoughts on what makes life worthwhile. Not what you would expect from a blog with the main purpose of offering support for those struggling with infertility, but the Kofoeds have garnered quite a following and hope to increase their readership in an attempt to help others through similar trials. The Kofoeds approach life with the mutual goal of controlling what they can: in this instance, their outlook on life.
"Circumstance is really irrelevant," Danny Kofoed said. "I can't actually control whether or not we have a baby but I can control how I react to it."
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