In May 2011 I shared that my husband and I were experiencing infertility (all the thoughtful comments were unfortunately deleted when my site was hacked a while later). At that point we had been hoping for a baby for eighteen months with no resulting pregnancies and had been diagnosed with the specific issue that was causing our infertility just a month prior. I was 25 and my husband was 28.
I made the decision to start writing about our experience in the hopes that it would strengthen those going through similar obstacles and to create awareness of a topic that is often not discussed openly. Here are some of my posts from that time:
– The lonely battle
– Things to avoid saying to those dealing with infertility
– What to say to those dealing with infertility
– How to respond when people ask if you’re going to have kids
– What to know before seeing a specialist
– Infertility is not a solitary struggle
– IUI 101
– The hardest part of infertility for me
– What I know for sure about infertility
– Letting go of the plan
– The point where I gave up
– The point where the IUI was successful
I also shared stories from real women going through infertility that were very insightful:
– Alicia’s story of adoption
– Victoria’s IVF journey
– Brenda shares about enduring multiple miscarriages
– Lisa shares, “Going to the doctor was the best decision I ever made.”
– Jules goes through IVF and has triplets
– Kelly shares about the long wait after a miscarriage
– Sarah writes, “I don’t know what better preparation for parenthood than to to have our hearts both filled and broken and then filled again with our experience of infertility.”
Other posts and sites dealing with infertility that are helpful:
– The R House: Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss “Don’t rank tragedy, every loss is a loss.”
– One More Mushroom: Our Journey With Infertility “I know I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.”
– A Blog About Love (Mara’s optimistic attitude is contagious.)
– Say Yes to Hoboken: Secondary Infertility: Being the Best Kind of Supportive Friend
– Resolve: The National Infertility Association
In July 2011, I was successfully able to get pregnant through an IUI procedure. It was the fourth one we had tried and was going to be our last attempt before we took a break and considered IVF. In April 2012, our son Beck was born and is the light of our lives.
I know our journey to a baby (2 1/2 years) wasn’t nearly as long as what so many others go through. But I don’t see our journey with infertility as being over. Unfortunately with our specific diagnosis, the chances of us ever conceiving naturally are very slim and it’s nothing that can be medically fixed. We will most likely have to see a specialist every time we wish to have a child and even then it’s not guaranteed to work for us again.
My main words of advice to those currently experiencing infertility are:
– Be proactive. If you sense something is wrong, seek help. To me it was always better to try and find out what was wrong than to be left in the dark wondering. A very small percentage of cases actually lead to intensive procedures like IVF, there is a lot that can be resolved before that point is reached. Of course seeking medical help is a decision that you and your spouse need to feel comfortable with and make together.
– Find a supportive listener to talk to about infertility. Whether that’s a family member, friend or a support group – it helps! Infertility can be so lonely but if you feel like you have someone you can share your struggles with, it makes it less so.
– Pray for understanding. Patience. Hope. Comfort.
Though my infertility looks different than anybody else’s and I am lucky enough to have a child, it’s still the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. But I’m grateful for the empathy it has granted me. Please remember, we need to support each other no matter what stage we’re in.
photo credit: Jennifer Little