Going through infertility is hard.
I've been there.
But I'd venture to say it's just as hard watching two people you love go through it as well.
Today's post was written by my amazing, brave sister-in-law, Jess.
1. No one outside of infertility will completely understand how you feel or all of the things that you’re going through…
You can write page after page, explain things again and again, but your family and friends will not understand.
Many of them will try, but they won’t get it and you shouldn't expect them to.
It’s your journey.
I have met a handful of women struggling with infertility in the past couple years.
These women get it, and it’s been essential for me to have that support and friendship.
2. Starting a family can be expensive…
Whether you choose IUI, IVF, donor eggs, donor sperm, embryo adoption, domestic infant adoption, or international adoption, it’s all expensive!
You’ll re-prioritize your budget- cutting shopping, going out to eat, vacations.
What’s free for most costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for you.
3. Although people have good intentions, sometimes things they say can hurt. You’ll learn what not to say…
I will never again ask someone when they will have kids or when they plan on starting a family.
I’m sure I've done it before!
But if you've experienced infertility, you know how difficult it can be to answer these questions.
I will never ask someone if they’re pregnant.
I've been asked, and I have briefly thought about saying, “No, it’s just the weight I've gained from going through... (IVF, IUI, femara, clomid, etc.).”
I've been pretty open with my family about what we’re going through.
During an IUI cycle a family member of mine commented on how exciting it would be to test on my own.
No, actually it’s not; I've taken a bazillion pregnancy tests. It’s not exciting, and it was like every other one: negative.
4. Staying busy can help…
In a world where you constantly think about what cycle day you’re on (more than the day of the week), I've found it helpful to try to stay busy! The two-week wait can be a killer!
When we first found out I had PCOS, 6 months into trying, we decided to get a dog.
She’s a handful, but it has been one of our best decisions. She keeps us busy and active!
I also took up sewing, originally making a quilt for my future child, burp rags, and blankets.
I started making some for others and may sell them in the future. I find it somewhat therapeutic.
I started a crocheting class recently, and I’m hoping to learn how to crochet blankets, baby hats, and some of those cute baby sandals!
5. It will affect your marriage…
For better or worse.
Fortunately, for us, it’s made us stronger.
I worried when I was diagnosed that my husband wouldn't love me as much and that this could tear us apart.
But it hasn't, it has only strengthened our relationship.
We communicate better, can comfort each other more, and are closer (just because we’re the only ones who know what we’re going through).
We lean on each other.
6. It will affect your other relationships…
Something I've really struggled with has been envy.
It has affected my relationships with family and friends.
Some of my relationships have struggled because of this.
Things that won’t work for you, will work for someone else.
Some people won’t agree with your decisions or your plan to start a family. That’s okay; trust your heart, but also your head!
But some of my relationships have grown because of our struggle.
You’ll learn who your true friends are, and you will cherish them.
People have been so supportive!
They have sent flowers, meals, cards, and kind words (just simply saying I’m here if you need to talk).
7. I’m stronger than I thought I was…You won’t be the same person.
You’ll do things you never thought you could do.
When I got my meds and schedule for IVF, I felt like backing out.
It was overwhelming.
But you’ll do the injections, the ultrasounds, the blood draws, the negative tests, the positive tests and miscarriages…the heartaches.
You’ll get through it.
And when you do get through it, however that may be, you’ll come out a different person.
8. Someday you will be a mom, and this will all be worth it
I haven’t reached this point yet, but I know it’s true.
I know one way or another I will be someone’s mom.
Everything I've been through will have been worth it to get to that point.
This is not the end.
I've always believed life is a miracle from conception, but now I believe it even more…if that’s possible.
So many things have to go right.
When I hold my child, I know it will be impossible for me not to remember what a miracle they are.
I will cherish every moment.
National Infertility Awareness Week is April 19-25. This post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "You Are Not Alone." If you are an infertility warrior and willing to keep this conversation going, please contact me.