Nine Things That Got Me Through Infertility

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I’d like to share some advice with you about how I survived infertility. I know what you’re thinking: “Another random stranger who wants to give me advice about my infertility {eye roll}. What do they know about how I feel?” But, hear me out.

I struggled with infertility for over four years. I did it all– ovulation tests, herbal supplements, acupuncture, charting, ultrasounds, bloodwork, Clomid, and IVF. I’ve been in your shoes. Maybe we don’t have the exact same diagnosis or outcome. However, I, too, begged, pleaded, and prayed for a baby just like you.

Here are nine things that got me through infertility:

1. Find your people. It’s crucial that you surround yourself with people who support you throughout your journey. People who love you unconditionally, won’t judge you, and know when to be quiet and simply listen. I also found it extremely helpful to seek out support groups (both peer and professionally-led) to process my emotions and get me through very tough times. Finding women who have been in the trenches of infertility was eye opening. I began to realize that I was not alone, and the feelings I had were normal. You can find local support groups through Resolve, Honey, and your fertility clinic.  

2. Trust your doctor. Find a doctor who you trust, gives you hope, and, most importantly, listens to you. Even if that means trying out a few different doctors (or clinics) until you find one that you click with. My team of doctors and nurses were amazing. They were truly emotionally invested in getting us pregnant. They celebrated every milestone we reached and compassionately supported us when delivering bad news. I always trusted that the protocol they were giving me was best for me and my diagnosis.  

3. Stay off Dr. Google. I know, I know– it’s SO tempting to Google every symptom you experience and scour the web for success/failure stories with your diagnosis. We all do it. However, more often than not, it does nothing but heighten stress and make you doubt your doctors. I found it much less stressful to ditch the search engines and trust the process.

4. Know your limits. Talk to your partner and set a limit of what types of treatments and how many attempts you are willing to endure to expand your family. Of course, those limits will likely change over time. But make sure you are in lockstep with your partner to avoid unnecessary tension between each other.   

5. Keep the faith. My faith was tested during our struggle with infertility. I wondered why God would punish me like this when I was a good person who was able to provide a loving home for a child. What I failed to see was that God was putting me through this to help prepare us for the blessings we were about to receive. He put me through this pain, so that I could pay it forward and help others through their difficult infertility journey. I learned to be more compassionate to people’s hardships in life.

6. Give yourself grace. It’s OK to not be OK sometimes. Infertility is not your fault. There is nothing that you did to deserve this diagnosis. If you are anything like me, you are your biggest critic. Take this time to learn not to be so hard on yourself. Give yourself the space and time you need to grieve the fact that pregnancy does not come easily for you.

7. You are stronger than you think. You are are a warrior for facing these battles. Even though you have been beaten down with negative pregnancy tests, poor test results, and maybe even pregnancy loss, you picked yourself back up. You should celebrate that. Be proud of what you’ve endured. You are an infertility warrior.  

8. Listen to your intuition. If you feel like something isn’t right with your body, you need to be your own advocate. Speak up and tell your medical team what you are feeling.

9. This will end. Yes, this infertility roller coaster will end at some point. In one way or another, all of this madness will not rule your life any longer. I pray for you that it has the ending you desire. But, please know this is just a temporary phase in your life. It will forever change you, but you will not be defined by it forever.

What advice would you give to someone struggling with infertility?

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