|Build an infertility support group in your life|
Recently, I discussed the day I learned of my husband’s and my infertility. There are many things I’ve discovered over the years; it’s hard to say if they would have changed my path but for anyone who is new to this or still on their journey, maybe my words will make a difference. We can only try, right?
Here are a few things I wish I’d known in my family's struggle with infertility:
*Please note that there are many different levels of infertility. There are very complicated conditions that will require invasive procedures and I can’t even begin to relate to that type of struggle. My infertility is the type more commonly found among unsuspecting women: [mostly] unexplained infertility.*
Getting pregnant is only half the battle. For a full year, we drove ourselves crazy to conceive a child. And then it happened. We were on cloud nine. We celebrated. We told family. And then the floor came out from underneath us. I suffered a miscarriage. What? No, miscarriages only happen to people who get pregnant on their own. I used MEDICINE to conceive my child. He/she was guaranteed to me. Unfortunately, this heartbreak is extremely common. I’m not saying to worry yourself sick but don’t stop the prayers or finger crossing or whatever you’re doing as soon as you see those two lines. There’s much more to the journey and it’s not always good.
Find a doctor you trust. You do NOT have to stick with the specialist your gynecologist recommends. For six months, I worked with a high class, powerful doctor. His office was expensive, far away from where I lived and didn’t get me any closer to being a mom than when I started. Looking back, my husband and I both comment on how we were never truly comfortable with him. We constantly felt as if we weren’t good enough to be his patients or as if our infertility wasn’t a big deal compared to his more severe cases. I never ended up changing doctors myself and I often wonder how my journey would have been different if I had.
Do your own research. Do you know what your diagnosis is? We were originally told our infertility was caused by morphed sperm. In a second semen analysis, it was determined that everything was fine with my husband. The doctor continued treating me with medications saying simply that I wasn’t ovulating correctly. I didn’t find out my official diagnosis (PCOS) until several months AFTER countless visits and treatments. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Get your health under control. I’m not saying you won’t get pregnant if you are overweight or out of shape but I am telling you that if you find yourself unable to get pregnant on your own, look into some natural changes. Do a makeover on your diet and exercise routine. Some will view this as a waste of time and that’s understandable. No, it’s not guaranteed to get your pregnant but it’s not for nothing. Really, has anyone ever complained about being healthier?
Find Support. More than anything, I wish someone would have simply told me how valuable a support team was. I found a community of women close to my age, married around the same time, going through the same things. We were able to turn to each other for advice, to shed tears, and rejoice in the little triumphs of our journeys. These are women that I cherish still to this day. They live in all parts of the country but in this technological age, I feel like they are some of my best friends.