BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Infertility is generally defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex.

Bismarck resident Chelsey Feist, who has suffered from infertility herself, says a third of infertility issues are men, a third are women, and a third are for unknown reasons.

Because of the unknown variables, she decided to share her story with KX News.

“My husband and I got married six years ago. Within the first year, we hadn’t had a child yet so I had a bunch of blood work done for three months in a row and it all pointed to premature ovarian failure, which is early menopause, which is a loss of normal function of the ovaries before age of 40. So at this time, I was 26 and they said I needed to do IVF immediately. We did IVF in December and found out we were pregnant December 19 of 2017, lost the baby. It was a chemical pregnancy and then 10 months later we did, we lost our little boy. He was a blighted ovum on October 19 like the yolks it grew but he did not grow in it. And then we did a third transfer. By this time Sanford Fargo was too expensive so we flew to Syracuse New York, they’re like a third of the price and we were there three different times. So the first time we went and it didn’t work and then our second time we got pregnant with a little girl her name is Willow Marie she didn’t have any kidneys so she was stillborn on December 19 of 2021,” shared Feist. 

Feist says local resources, like Walk of Hope in Bismarck are good for those struggling to know they are not alone.

“I think it is incredible that so many people like me felt totally alone, the fact that now we have resources and people like myself where people can just call and be like Chelsea. How did you do this, how challenging was this or the shots, how did you make it through,” said Feist.

She says the hardest part of dealing with infertility is the mental aspect.

“Nobody really talks about the mental health aspect of this it’s more like oh you’re going to give yourself shots you’re changing your body and getting ready to have a baby not like oh you just found out you lost the function of having a child naturally and now it’s becoming a short to have a child where I never thought that was gonna be a thing,” Feist told us.

For those struggling, Feist says to speak out.

“Speak to others like you speak to a counselor who specializes in this and I think that’s what you need most is someone who’s been through similar situations because anyone can give it base but if you haven’t been through a similar situation you don’t really know what to say and some of the things people have said to me over the years I’m just like why would you say that you don’t you’ve never been in my shoes you can’t relate on my level,” said Feist. 

But why a walk we asked?

“It’s to help raise awareness about even like the insurance aspect getting insurance companies to help pay for this disease because it’s the only disease not covered by insurance and it is a disease. It’s not my fault that my ovaries decided to quit working but I’ve had to pay more than well over $75,000 to have multiple heartbreaks and have a pink urn sitting on my piano,” said Feist. 

There will be a walk at the capitol on Sunday, September 18, from 10 a.m. – noon.

Registration for the walk is still open until Saturday.

But you can still enter late on Sunday, however, your chances of getting a t-shirt then are slim.

For more information visit Everlasting Hope’s website.