I read a quote somewhere in the beginning of this journey that I repeated over and over to myself. “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”. Each person deals with every situation differently and that is ok. Through my personal experience I’ve thought a lot about how to handle each situation and try to stay as strong and as positive as I could. Infertility is a HARD pill to swallow. It’s not anything you ever want to go through but if it’s the card you’re dealt then you just need to do your best to accept it and think about the end result. The end result will get you through the hardest days.
I am only one person who went through this situation and this is MY advice on how to get through it.
The “rules” I set for myself -
Stay strong. After each time I received less than stellar news (which was a LOT) I allowed myself to cry once. That was it. I would have a good cry, let it all out and then move on. I’m not a cold person at all, I’m actually very emotional but I couldn’t allow myself to be emotional about this. It was not productive and the stress wasn’t going to help me get pregnant. So, after I cried I thought about the next step we were going to take and got excited about that.
Be confident in your decisions. The best decision I made was picking my RE. I was so confident in every decision that he made, I trusted him 100%. If I didn’t have that confidence I can’t even imagine how difficult this journey would have been. Pick a doctor that you trust, if you don’t trust them then switch to someone you do trust. It is so important.
Document document document! I documented EVERYTHING!! I had a little notebook in my purse that I wrote down every detail in. I wrote down each co-pay, prescription and dosage, amount of follicles, procedure done, side effects, parking cost, etc and it helped SO much. Just from making sure I paid the right amount if it was disputed, helped when tax time came or just so I knew what to expect for side effects or could confirm something with my doctor, having everything written down was a great help.
Don’t take things too personally. When someone else gets pregnant in no time or when someone tells you to “relax” just shrug it off. I always was happy for anyone who got pregnant no matter how easy it was for them. Did it sting a little? Of course. It is so hard when other people are having an easy time doing something that you are struggling so much with. It’s that way with anything in life but I always just made sure I congratulated them and got excited for them and if I was upset I held it in until I was alone. It’s not easy but everyone deserves their happiness even if you are having a hard time.
Have hope. We never gave up, we always knew that eventually we would have our baby. I was so touched when Austin's grandma told me that nuns at her church were praying for us. They didn't even know us and they were praying for us and our sweet baby. Little things like that got us through the toughest days. Remember that you aren't alone. There are so many other couples going through the same thing and understand how you're feeling. That's the only reason why I'm sharing this on my blog.
Advice for people who have a loved one going through infertility –
If you get pregnant or know someone who is don't hide it from the person going through their own struggles. No matter what someone is going through they will always be happy for you if you have great news. Even if it's the kind of news they'd love to share with others and just haven't been able to yet.
Don't ever tell them to just relax! Seriously, you have NO idea how annoying this is. Yes, I’m sure in many cases that is the issue and when your body is in stress it makes it difficult to get pregnant. I’ve heard it 758 times. But in more serious cases when a woman CAN’T get pregnant on their own, relaxing isn’t going to make it happen. It will just make her more annoyed with you. ;) For those of you that have gone through this, you understand where I'm coming from!
Be sensitive to what they are going through. It's emotionally, physically and financially draining and just overall a tough thing to experience.
Just be there. I definitely knew which of my family and friends I could lean on to talk about this to and I knew they genuinely cared about what was going on and that was such a great feeling. They didn’t know how I felt and they didn’t need to, they were just there to listen and support and it helped more than they ever will know.
Ok, so after the longest three posts ever, I'm done. I hope at least one person finds these posts helpful. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about anything at all!