I woke up this morning with an urgency to share my story with you. Of course, the story about infertility is different for each of us, I know however how hard and lonely it can be. My hope is, that I can share more of my story and over time it can lend a voice and beginning of a conversation to bring hope, piece and even joy.
There was a time I thought I was never going to be a mother of two. I look back at the roller coaster and emotional struggles behind years of infertility. The power it had over my daily actions and thoughts was overwhelming. There was so much more to me than the struggle with conception, however at that time, I was lost. I know I’m not alone when saying that there were many times I felt ashamed, agony, complacency and anger.
Of course I found myself in a place of desperation. At the beginning I took everyone’s tips and opinions. Whatever they heard worked one time for their second cousin twice removed, I did it. I tried everything, did everything and literally stood on my head. I stopped eating certain foods and started eating other foods, stop drinking things and started drinking only certain things, changed my exercise routines multiple times; you name it, I did it.
“If I could go back to that me and tell myself one thing it would be this: Breathe, love and know you will be a mom.”
Funny enough, I even found myself angry at my doctor for all the years of birth control and the fear that as a younger person was going to get pregnant at any moment. Of course when you are not wanting to be pregnant “it just takes one time”. Oh yeah… where was my one time?
I had incredible friends, family and husband who were more than supportive. But to me, it was a path I was on, and unless you’ve been there, it was hard to understand. I will say, the process was 3 years and I’m very proud that my husband and I never turned on each other. We were a team wanting the same goals, in a place of pain. We saw that the only way to the other side was to stick together no matter what.
Even after years of trying, multiple tests and other not so fun investigations there was no clear reason for infertility. I was told over and over, “there is no medical reason”. So, what was the reason? Was it me? Did I do something, or not do something that other people were doing? Was it the environment, life stress or both? All in all, I considered myself to be a pretty healthy person so why wasn’t my body doing what it should do? Why does it comes so easy for others and not for me? I learned that this thought process and emotional path was not serving me, and although there were many negative and sad times there were also lots of lessons. I will say I found my passion for health and wellness and desire to live a healthy life.
By year two some things had to change. After all, there were so many other aspects of my life that continued on during that time and that deserved celebration, joy and love. So I stopped: the online “research” was no longer trending my behavior, no more self-shamming behind closed doors, no more taking every person’s opinion and implementing it into my life. If one more person told me “it will happen when it’s meant to be”, or “just relax”, I was going to scream. Then I accepted that they clearly did not know what this type A chick was going through! As hard as it was, I worked on acceptance every day like a practice. I practiced patience, somewhat unsuccessfully… But I was me. Infertility was not my definition.
If I could go back to that me and tell myself one thing it would be this: Breathe, love and know you will be a mom.
If you’re like me and it isn’t happening or didn’t happen as fast as you expected, I know. I’ve been there. Let’s open up the conversation. Even if you haven’t lived with the struggles of infertility, I hope joining the conversation will help you have a conversation with a friend who is.