Surviving the Wait of Infertility: A Letter to My Former Self

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infertility letter

Dear Self,

You are heartbroken right now. There was yet another negative pregnancy test result. You just received the news from your kind, almost apologetic doctor.

You are at a loss. So much loss.

Right now, you want to get into your leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, binge-watch a British mystery show, and just not talk about it….maybe not for a while.

BUT You are stronger than you think.

I know this with certainty because I am you.

I am you four years from that Christmas Eve Eve when your second IVF round has led to yet another unsuccessful outcome during what should be a joyous season.

However, you made it through, and your 21-month-old is watching Sesame Street.

Life is good.

But it isn’t right now. It is going to hurt a while longer

You are going to both contemplate “giving up.”

You won’t, but if you did, know- it would be okay!

You both would be okay.

BUT… for now, you are doing many things that are helping you both survive this season of life. I want you to know just how important they are.

Keep having something to look forward to.

Do not let life revolve around your fertile window. Look past the three days or two weeks and set personal goals for yourself. They help keep you sane and remind you of the whole person you are, not just the heartbreak you are feeling.

There was a point when you stopped buying clothes- CLOTHES– because “when you are pregnant, you cannot wear them.” You really did not buy a pair of pants for over two years.  Well, guess what, you will wear them when you are pregnant too.

On the same lines, do not stop planning vacations just in case of a timeline you have in your head. GO ON VACATION!  Trust me- it will do you better to get away for a bit, and you and the hubby won’t have a lot of alone time one day.

Keep those personal boundaries that protect your heart (and sanity).

A big part of your heart will forever carry the guilt that you could not force yourself to attend your best friend’s baby shower. However, it is okay. She understands. And she loves you.

Those personal boundaries that you are setting for yourself, whether it is attendance at an event or even participation in a conversation over the holidays asking about your “plans for the family,” are healthy and acceptable.

Keep trying to relax.

Massages help (because how could they not?). Acupuncture will become your new best friend. Pedicures are great too, as is exercise…(and cheese and wine nights.)

Any and all of them are just healthy. Keep taking care of your heart and soul with personal time.

Keep reaching out! 

Approximately 1 in 8 couples in America have trouble getting pregnant. In fact, some of your closest friends are going through similar circumstances, and the crazy thing about infertility is we just do not talk about it enough, if not at all.

Reach out to friends. Reach out to your clergy. Reach out to people you know who have journeyed down this path as well. Don’t stop reaching out to your husband.

Just reach out. It will help to talk about it, and it is healthy to let those people in. They love you. They want to be there for you.

This week (April 18-24) is National Infertility Awareness Week.  This is a campaign aimed at raising awareness and erasing the stigma associated with infertility.  This is my most personal article because I am still shy in sharing my experiences and struggles even today. My family had a happy ending, but not every story does.
Let’s end the stigma and break the silence.
#NIAW2021 #WhatIwantyoutoknow.

 

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