MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WTVF) — It's a silent pain many couples face - the struggle to get pregnant. The numbers are even higher for women of color. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.
The Center for Disease Control says one in eight women struggle with infertility -- which is an inability to become pregnant after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse, without any form of birth control.
"I knew that I was not alone. I knew that there were other women who were suffering in silence," said Ambi Smith.
Smith would probably tell you, her most important job is being a mom, which is why this author wanted to share her story.
"There were other women that I knew personally who was on the same journey with me and as women, in particular as women of color we have this perception we have to be strong. And have it all together."
Smith and her husband wanted to grow their family but the journey to get pregnant wasn’t easy.
"My mother, my aunties they suffered endometriosis so in the back of my mind I always felt like, okay this is a genetic thing," Smith said.
Smith says she talked to her doctor about her desire to become pregnant but no matter how much this family planned and tried – there was no baby.
Smith’s doctor encouraged her and her husband to keep trying.
"She encouraged me to give it a year to try naturally for a year and so that’s what we did."
And on the 12th month, the day Smith scheduled an appointment with an infertility specialist to discuss other options like IVF, they got pregnant.
The Smith's daughter is now 6-years-old.
"I’m blessed that mine was only a year, but I know women who have been trying years and some even a lifetime and it doesn’t happen," Smith said.
According to CDC data from 2014, around 15% of white women between ages 25 and 44 seek infertility treatment, compared with 8% of Black women. The report states education and income play a factor.
Smith says don’t be afraid to ask for more help – she was steps away from doing so herself. This is why she believed it was important to share her journey to motherhood with the world.
In her book, Healing and Flow Smith says she hopes it helps women fighting hard on the journey to motherhood.
"Keep believing and keep trying," said Smith.
National Infertility Awareness Week, (NIAW) is a movement, founded in 1989 by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Its mission is to empower you and change the conversation around infertility