There are a few things that I learned during my years struggling with infertility. In an effort to pay it forward I thought I’d share them with you all. But, this list wouldn’t be complete without having a few laughs at my own expense. So please enjoy and hopefully for those in need, you’ll learn something along the way.
- You are born with a finite number of eggs. There is nothing you can do about that number. Too bad it’s not the same for tears. Those seem to be never-ending.
- Changes to your sex life. It goes from a spontaneous and fun activity to a calculated and pre-scheduled task and then to “will we ever have sex again … and not the baby making kind.”
- Your closest friends may never be able to understand your struggle. You might not lose those friends but you’ll need a new buddy to lean because this person “gets it”. Everyone needs support and an outlet to vent. Similarly, your marriage might be tested but if you can survive this, you can survive anything as a team together.
- Throw your modesty out the window. More people than you can count will be seeing ALL of you. Inside and Out. In time, you’ll be so used to getting undressed, checked out and dressed again that you’ll learn to do it in record time with no embarrassment.
- Be prepared to feel like you should break out the maternity pants even though you’re not pregnant. You could be one of the lucky ones and lose weight while you’re stressed but most likely you’ll get a bit puffy from being jacked up on the hormones and other drugs. And what about the theory that a full fat dairy diet helps with infertility? That certainly will add to the bloat.
- You will spend lots of money on trying to get pregnant and your insurance will cover little to none. Reality check – you might have to make some cuts to your lifestyle, skip a vacation, etc., but there is a bonus. With all those credit card points, you probably will earn a free trip to make up for it all.
- The Internet is a scary place. You can find some good, basic information but you can also get lost in the world of non-experts dishing out advice. If you have a concern, ask your doctor. If you need advice, reach out to a friend or support group.
- Don’t think of alternative medicines as some voodoo trick. Acupuncture, massage, herbs, etc. may or may not work. But, can you really argue taking some relaxation time for yourself during a stressful time in your life? Trust me, you’ll be thankful for that 30-60 minutes of quiet time a week.
- Even though the waiting room at your doctor/clinic’s office is filled with women, you are probably going to feel lonely in that room. For some reason, people don’t really talk with each while waiting. This is a shame because you might learn something about each other, help one another, etc. But on a plus side, you’ll have some time to catch up on your book, Facebook status updates or the latest mindless game like Candy Crush.
10. Don’t give up hope. Hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. This road you’re embarking on is a potentially long and scary one. Each person’s experience is different but it’s important to hold onto hope that your dreams of having a family will be realized. There are lots of paths toward parenthood and you have to believe that you can get there and achieve your dream.