When Quiana Grant Pickney and Dr. James Pickney announced they were having a baby on social media, they didn’t know they were going to get the response that they did: thousands of messages of congratulations and professions of faith after seeing what the couple had to go through in order to have a child.
Quiana had suffered with issues of infertility, something many black women know all too well.
“The announcement we’ve been waiting so patiently for! After 839 days of loss, surgeries, needles, tears, pain, medicine, grief and a billion prayers we are #PREGNANT!!! #1in8 couples are affected by infertility, so chances are someone you know is silently going through this torment,” wrote Quiana on Instagram.
And she’s right.
Infertility among African American women is not only a silent and hidden problem in the African American Community, but one that continues to be on the rise.
According to Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Georgia Reproductive Specialists, research shows that among the 7.3 million women in the United States, approximately 11.5% of African American women experience a variety of infertility problems compared to 7% of white women.
Unfortunately, even though these alarming rates of infertility among African American women exist, studies show that black women utilize fertility services less often and seek medical care too late.
There are many reasons why African- American women fail to seek out infertility care. The following are few examples:
-> Cost of Infertility Services
-> Access to Infertility Services
-> Lack of Education and Awareness
-> Shame and Fear
-> Lack of Health Care
-> Lack of Support
In addition to lack of education and awareness, one of the leading causes of infertility among African American women is uterine fibroids. Many black women struggle with the pain and distress of uterine fibroids, which sometimes leads them to the road of obtaining infertility services and often times seeking out procedures such as hysterectomies and others as well
“To be honest it sucks,” Quiana tells truthfully. “I really don’t know what’s worse, people asking you when are you going to have a baby, giving you unsolicited advice, or the ups and downs of the entire process. For anyone going through this, I pray soon you will get your #bfp I want you to know with or without a child you are valuable, you are strong and you are enough. What I’ve learned in these 839 days is if you’re faithful to God, He will be faithful to you. I gave my desire for biological children to God and was open, truly open to any way He wanted to bless us with a family. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop believing. It’s easy for me to say God is good because of this great miracle, but the truth is if He hadn’t done this for us, He is STILL good! For every single person who walked this very emotional journey with us, thank you. God truly loves us through people and I’m thankful everyday.”