Struggling with infertility was one of the hardest, most heart-wrenching things I have ever been through. It was emotional, scary, and lonely. I felt as if my dream of becoming a mom was always out of reach.
Looking back at our journey, I learned a lot. Infertility didn’t define me, but it helped shape me. Here are five things that I learned from our struggle.
I was not alone.
At one point, going through infertility felt like the loneliest journey in the world. I felt as if no one fully understood what I was feeling. My friends were moms, my sister was a mom, heck even my husband had kids. There were times I’d look around the room at a family event and realize I was the only one that wasn’t a biological parent. Pregnancy came so easy to all of these people, why wasn’t it coming easily to me? In high school I was made to believe if you have unprotected sex once, you are likely to get preganant (okay, that may be an exaggeration, but it felt pretty close to reality) so what was the problem?
Once I opened up about our journey, others would reach out with their stories. It made me realize how many women secretly suffer. I was not alone. In fact, one in eight couples struggle to concieve.
The TTC (trying to conceive) community is a STRONG community.
There are message boards, support groups, and Facebook groups all dedicated to women who are struggling to get pregnant. These women are on an emotional rollercoaster month after month, failed treatment after failed treatment. They are strong because they continue to fight. They lift one another up and cheer each other on. I made some great friends within infertility-related Facebook groups and I am so thankful for them! They understood me better than anyone who actually knew me in person.
My husband is a strong man.
He saw me month after month, laying on the bathroom floor crying my eyes out when I would start my period. He held me in his arms as I cried hysterically after failed IUI’s. He saw me at my absolute worst, yet remained my rock. Infertility hurt him just as badly as it hurt me, but he stayed strong so he could be there for me when I needed him the most.
I am stronger than I thought I was.
I once read that struggling with infertility is like going through the five stages of grief month after month. First you deny, then you bargain, get angry, cry, and accept. You do this every month, because you want to one day be a mom.
I felt weak as I went through our journey, but looking back– anyone who endures that kind of pain over and over is strong. You have to be. Fighting to become a parent is something that I think is worth fighting for!
There are MANY resources out there.
Resolve.org is a great place to start for anyone who is just beginning (or even well into) their infertility journey. They have all kinds of information on what can cause infertility, and what kinds of treatments are available.
Detroit Mom also has a great support group for women in Metro Detroit who are going through infertility and loss. Check out their resources here, and be sure to join the Detroit Mom Infertility & Loss Group on Facebook.
I became pregnant with my first child through IVF after nearly three years of trying to conceive. I no longer deal first-hand with the stresses and anxieties that infertility brought before I had my son, but the emotions and struggles will always stay with me. I will always be passionate about sharing our struggle in hopes that it will help someone else out there who is living this nightmare.
If you are reading this, and are one in eight, I am here for you.