It took eight rounds of in vitro fertilization, 850 injections, and six years of patience for Stacey Edwards-Dunn to conceive her “miracle baby.”
Today, at age 44, Edwards-Dunn and her husband have a healthy 11-month-old girl named Shiloh.
Like many women, she kept her struggles with infertility secret for years. Like many of them, she was ashamed. “We are told that black women aren’t supposed to have these problems, that we are basically baby-making machines,” said Edwards-Dunn, who lives in Chicago and is an ordained minister.
She refers to infertility in the black community as “The Silent Giant.”
Two years ago, after a miscarriage, she decided to go public with her struggles and help other women dealing with the same issues. In 2013, she created Fertility for Colored Girls, a nonprofit support network that recently expanded from Chicago to D.C., Virginia, and Atlanta. Part of their mission is to educate women about their options and to raise money for women who can’t afford in vitro fertilization, which costs an average of $12,400 per cycle.
The taboo around the topic has created so much mystery and misinformation around infertility, Edwards-Dunn says. One of the greatest misconceptions is that infertility and IVF is a “white” problem.