“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
1,244 days. That’s how long my husband and I have been married and that’s how long we have been trying to start a family. One thousand, two hundred and forty four days and not one positive pregnancy test. Seems kinda crazy, right?
Never did I think in those moments during our wedding planning, or the crazy fast paced days that followed, would we be here, over 3 years later, still trying. In June of 2017, we were diagnosed, yes DIAGNOSED, with infertility. It is a medical condition. It’s not something that you can just fix with a better diet, or rest. Did you know that? Probably not, because at the time, and the time leading up to that day, I had no idea what infertility truly meant either.
I am writing this to shed some light on what it’s like to be part of this ever growing statistic.
We are the 1 out of 8 couples who struggle with infertility.
What does infertility feel like?
Let me break it down for you:
- Infertility feels like the whole world is out of your control. Being somebody that lives off planners, post-its, to-do lists, calendars and planning way too far in advance, this diagnosis threw a HUGE wrench in that way of living. We don’t have a say in anything that happens, we don’t get to choose the dates of procedures, or what kinds of tests need to be done, or what time meds get taken or injected. Life literally revolves around the one thing you want the most. There’s no back burner to set things on, or a light switch to turn it off when we want to.
- Infertility feels hopeless. Having a doctor tell you that there is a 1% chance that you will get pregnant naturally is a real dream crusher, let me tell you. Having that same doctor tell you that you have a 60% chance of getting pregnant with IVF, and then still not seeing those two pink lines…let’s go ahead and just toss hope out the window. It’s almost impossible to hold onto after that.
- Infertility feels like the ENTIRE world is getting pregnant. Like…I know that’s not true, but still. Once you are in this bubble of wanting a baby more than anything in the world, all you are going to notice going on around you are the non-stop pregnancy announcements, maternity photos, baby showers, moms and babies walking, playing outside, commercials of babies, movies about babies, songs about babies. Every. Single. Thing. Babies. Babies. Babies.
- Infertility feels like you are broken. I’ve covered this in a previous post. In a nutshell, let me remind you, how shitty it feels to not be able to provide my husband with a baby as easily as we had planned. I feel like somewhere along the road, I broke, and am now beyond repair.
I cannot stress this enough. Before you start talking to us about how your neighbors, cousins, ex girlfriends, mailman went through IVF and then had the most perfect twins. Educate yourself. We are happy for that mailman and his family. We are not happy, however, to get ‘tips’ from people who have absolutely NO idea what this process is like, what it entails, what it feels like etc. Here’s what you can do, and believe me, it’ll be worth your time. Turn on Netflix, log on to your friends account if you need to, and look up this documentary:
This is the most real and honest film about the entire process and all its up’s and downs.
I’m like the master of researching and Googling, and this film taught me things that even I didn’t know. So, take some time, and watch it. You’ll be a better human for doing so, and might just be able to have a conversation with somebody about it and actually know what you are talking about, compared to just assuming. I used to be that person, til I had to go through this process. Now I just want to share about it, educate about it, and spread the word that infertility is NOT a bad word, a bad disease, or something that needs to be kept secret.
Know this. Matt and I are OKAY. We are happy. We aren’t damaged. We are in love. If I could pick anybody on this planet to go through this struggle with me, it would be him. He sometimes knows more about this stuff than I do, he is by my side, for literally ALL of it, even the not so visually appealing parts, and does it with a smile on his face and his hand in mine.
Some extra little tid bits of info for you that you might not think about, because I sure as heck never did before this.
- Please don’t tell us to ‘relax’ or ‘quit trying’ and then we will get pregnant. Believe us, that doesn’t work.
- When we see a pregnancy announcement or find out that one of our friends are expecting, we are TRULY happy for you! We are SO excited for you! We just might not show it like others do because it’s VERY hard for us to celebrate something that we are wanting SO very badly. We are happy for you, sad for us. But, SERIOUSLY, we are happy for you. Like really, we are. 100%. Don’t let my RBF fool you.
- We don’t need to hear your thoughts on what diet worked for your friend, or what vitamins to take…theres a 100% chance we know it all, tried it all, and it didn’t work.
- Don’t be scared to talk to us about what we are going through. We already feel VERY alone, so the feeling of being shut out or avoided just makes it worse. Include us, ask us questions, or simply, just be there.
- If you don’t know what to say when you know that we are hurting or going through a rough time, just tell us that. The messages I’ve gotten that say ‘I honestly don’t know the words to say except that I love you’…those are the ones that make our day brighter.
- Understand that our life is altered by this and that we might not be able to do the things we once did…please don’t give us a hard time. Believe us, we miss being carefree with life. Sometimes we just can’t pull it off though.
We have ALL THE FAITH IN THE WORLD and I know that we will be parents one day soon! God just wanted us to take the scenic route, and I’m using that as a way to help spread the word, to meet some amazing people, to educate, to really be grateful for everything that we have, and I know that when the day comes that we finally have a child of our own…it will all be worth it, and I will NEVER, EVER take that for granted.