The owner of Picket Fences Baby & Maternity shares her struggles with infertility.
By Saba Ghaffari, Photo by Courtney Runn
When Kathryn Kenjura started her part-time job at Picket Fences Baby & Maternity while a student at the University of Texas, she had no idea she would one day come to own the business.
By 2001, Kenjura was putting all her time and energy into the store as its owner. While she sold custom nursery furniture, fabric and décor, in addition to maternity apparel, the popularity of Etsy and Pinterest, along with Kenjura’s breast-cancer diagnosis in 2009, led to the elimination of that side of the business. From then on, she focused solely on selling children’s clothing.
Something that surprises Kenjura’s customers is the fact she doesn’t have any children of her own. In the last two years, she has struggled with infertility, and while she admits her line of work can sometimes be difficult, Kenjura has received overwhelming support from her customers.
Kenjura sat down with Austin Woman to offer her advice to those dealing with infertility.
Talk about it.
“You’re not alone. I guarantee you somebody very close to you has gone through it, is going through it or will go through it. And find your person, even if it’s a stranger. The greatest [help]I’ve found has been through Texas Fertility [Center]. … There’s a different bond. These are strangers, but they’re now part of my life. You just have to find the support.”
Get educated about your hormones.
“I feel like [when]most women go in for their annual exams, all [doctors]do is talk about [preventing pregnancy]. … At 30 years old, if you’re not ready, the gynecologist needs to start talking to you about how the longer you wait, the harder it could be. And just know where you stand. … Just know they can do an AMH and FSH, two very inexpensive blood tests, and it tells you so much about your hormone levels, which directly affect your fertility.”
Know your financial options.
“It’s a very expensive journey. A lot of it is not covered by insurance. I think there’s only six or eight states that mandate infertility be covered by insurance. Texas does not. So, it is a lot out of pocket. It’s very sad and very unfortunate.”
Be nice to yourself.
“Sometimes I think women are very hard on themselves. I’ve experienced weight gain, which has been very frustrating. But nobody knows what I’m going through. They just think I’m fat. Well, you have to be nice to yourself. You have to. And you have to sometimes just sit there and think about what you’ve been through, what you’re going through, what you’ve done to your body, the sacrifices that you’re making and knowing it’s [going to]be worth it.”
Your road to motherhood may not what you had expected.
“[Be patient] and [try]to stay positive because it is hard. It is so hard. And [know]that it might not be the way that you thought…but it’s still [going to]happen. And it was the way it was meant for you to get to your baby. Sometimes you have to surrender to other options. It’s taken me a long time to accept the fact that my eggs are not good, and if I want to carry a child, my best option would be with an egg donor. I wanted to know that I’ve done everything that I could. And you finally get to a place that [you are]at peace with that. … I want to be a mother bad enough that if that’s my path, then I accept it.”