Things I have learned on my infertility journey:
- Some doctor appointments don’t get easier and you may think you will remember those questions that have been circling your head-but still write them down. Trust me on this one-you will get nervous or overwhelmed or better yet-confused with medical verbiage! Just write them down. While you’re at it-Bring your cycle charts to each appointment-it’s easy to forget dates.
- Seek the doctor’s advice- its ok to not like it or even agree with them but you then again you can see another doctor or 6 in my case! And after a while I even found myself speaking in TTC (Trying To Conceive) acronyms-it’s like a secret language you’ll learn to keep up with blogs and online info!
- Ovulation Predictor Kits are cheaper on Amazon.
- Prenatal Vitamins really do make your hair and nails grow long (this was my favorite benefit from all this so far!)
- Apps like Ovia and Glow are great for tracking cycles and symptoms. Taking your basal temperature every morning is a pain in the ass, but awesome when it aligns with all of your other charts.
- Pregnancy symptoms and cycle symptoms have extremely close resemblances and are completely not fair and will cause your mind to play games! You’ve been warned!
- Keep an open line of communication with your significant other-two are more powerful than one! You will need the support and they will also!
- That ironic feeling of when you want something-a new car-a new purse-oh I dunno, a pregnancy- suddenly it’s in your radar and its seems like everyone has it and effortlessly. You will see “Baby on board” signs in every car window, all of the pregnant women at Target, and suddenly every conversation will start with “do you have kids?” All of these will happen-I don’t have advice on how to handle it- because it will continue-I know that much!
- There will be bad days-and sometimes it will feel like they out weigh the good ones-read blogs, listen to pod casts, get out and exercise, vent to friends and family that lets you talk-no one understands this journey except the ones on it-period! Remember You. Are. Not. Alone! P.s. Chocolate never hurts too!
- Suddenly things like acupuncture, fertility massage, yoga, handstands after sex, looking up fertility saints, cough syrup (it’s a real thing) Feng shui, crystal magic, giving up caffeine, and vegan organic diets don’t sound so crazy-if it’ll work. Yes, these are just a few of real things that women try-and no in case you are wondering I have not tried them all-even I have limits!
I never thought I’d be 1 in 8 to deal with infertility but here I am. I feel like I am finally able to share my experiences of dealing with the condition for a few reasons including the openness of the blogging community- (a true Silent Sisterhood), stopping the shame or taboo talk and educating those who either don’t know or too scared or ashamed to ask.
So, to quote Maria in the Sound of Music: “Let’s start at the very beginning, A very good place to start!”
My husband and I were married on a beach at sunset that easily became the best day of my life! We spent the next few years in wedded bliss- traveling, working lucrative jobs, renovating our home in Florida, and spending time with family. We had always talked about children and what traits the kids would get-my eyes, his skin, my height, his math smarts, a name so perfect that today it still makes me smile, and we’d have one maybe two and always joked how twins would be perfect!
Once we thought the timing was right to start a family, weeks turned into months and we were having a good time, (ya know what I mean)! I began referencing apps to monitor my cycles, taking my basal temperature and using ovulation predictor kits in hopes something would be the magic trick. After about 8 months, my husband and I decided to go back to my OBGYN and discuss what was going on or lack thereof! I didn’t know then that appointment would be my first of many more on my journey into the unknown because as it turned out why we would need a more thorough approach to understanding why we were not pregnant yet.
We went from appointment to appointment trying to make sense of it all-all the while thinking-Why us? A literal money trail following us-(Side note-I really wish I could recoup all the money that I spent on birth control over the years!) from blood work, invasive tests, more blood work, boxes of Kleenex, medications, more blood work, lots of chocolate, and more medications, and then the multiple procedures that- all failed. So much of it that I have pushed out of my head as not to relive it or think about the woulda, coulda and should haves. However, almost a year ago at our last appointment with a fertility specialist I remember sitting across the desk from him reviewing the latest tests and procedures and watching him shake his head in disbelief and repeating “but you are so healthy”. I don’t remember much after that appointment-but it was a turning point-I could finally point this part of my life into a different direction.
For me, there is really no need to discuss my actual infertility diagnosis-it doesn’t make a difference what the cause or reason is that infertility has impacted my life. The truth is that through my journey I have learned that there are literally over 10 causes-some cured with treatment such as the popular IVF and some- sadly not.
I read a great article recently that said, “Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered.” (https://thoughtcatalog.com/tim-hoch/2014/06/10-ways-youre-making-your-life-harder-than-it-has-to-be/) This struck a chord with me because almost a year later and it still hurts. I feel like infertility has robbed me of a lot-dreams I’ve had since a little girl playing with a doll, watching my husband be the amazing dad I always knew he would be, or finally using the perfect name we picked, but it has done a lot for me too. I am so thankful for my husband-he truly is my rock and has been by my side day in and day out-wiping away tears, being my side at every appointment, and offering his unconditional love. Another area is the silent sisterhood of women I have met who are there for each other and know all your feelings because they are scared and sad too. I am most thankful for my faith because it has helped me get this far!
I’m not sure where the future will take me on this journey-I’m well aware that miracles happen and I will continue to pray for mine! In the meantime I hope I can be a voice for those who are on their journey as well!