The Silence of Infertility: What I Wish I Knew

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I had always imagined myself as a mom; the more kids, the better (well, maybe four kids, not a dozen!). As a teenager, I was in hot demand for babysitting jobs. I was a camp counselor every summer, and I volunteered in nursery and Sunday school at church.

I love children so much…there was never a doubt in my mind that I would have my own large family someday.

As a child, I imagined carrying my babies with my cute little pregnant belly and maternity clothes. I thought pregnant women were amazing and just so beautiful. I couldn’t wait to experience and feel it for myself.

I didn’t get married until I was in my early 30s, and I think my husband and I simply took it for granted that as soon as we were ready, getting pregnant would happen easily for us. Fast forward a year and nothing was happening. It was so disappointing, time and time again, when my period would come.

It seemed like everyone I knew was announcing their pregnancy on social media.

I wanted to be happy for my friends, but I spent so many nights crying myself to sleep. With where I was emotionally, it was a slap in the face every single time, especially considering many of them weren’t trying and hadn’t planned on it. I would ask myself, “How is this fair?”

For me, someone who has never wanted something more, to be unable to conceive while everyone around me was growing their families was devastating.

I spiraled.

I removed myself from social media for several months, which I think was the best thing I could have done at the time. I didn’t need to add the guilt of being jealous or bitter of my friends’ happiness to my already very full plate.

I spoke with my doctor, who referred me to a fertility specialist. He believed I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) tendencies, which can make it difficult to conceive.

We began our IUI journey not long after that.

In the first round of IUI, I had six stimulated follicles, and not one took. We were devastated. I can still remember exactly where I was when we heard the news. We were so hopeful this was it. We were more worried that it would result in multiples than we were worried nothing would take!

The next time, we switched my medication, and I only had one stimulated follicle. I was doubtful anything would happen. I was already three steps ahead in my mind, planning for the following month because my doctor was recommending the next course of action would be to give myself shots every day and then try to get pregnant naturally. I was so convinced it wouldn’t work that I already bought the shots for the following month.

Imagine my shock when I had a positive pregnancy test. It seemed too good to be true.

We were over the moon but also so scared. Would it stick? Was it a mistake?

I wanted to scream it from the mountaintop, but at the same time, we were terrified something would happen. Then I’d have to go back and tell everyone more devastating news.

My twin boys will be seven years old tomorrow. It’s crazy how it feels like yesterday and so long ago, all at the same time.

If you are currently experiencing infertility, please know you are not alone.

If I could go back in time and tell myself anything, it would be that it’s ok to not be ok.

It is ok to talk about it.

It is also ok to not talk about it with people who don’t have your best interest at heart.

It is ok to take a social media break.

It is ok to distance yourselves from close friends or family if it’s taking a toll on your mental health.

It is your decision with whom you share your journey or you don’t.

Everyone has their own journey, and unfortunately, it’s not always on the timeline we imagined. Hopefully, the end result is beautiful. However that looks for you.

I’ll be silently saying a prayer for you.

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Sarah Walton
Sarah is a Coastguard wife and moved to Pensacola from Charleston, SC in the summer of 2022. She's a mother to 4 little ones - 5 year old twin boys, 3 year old daughter, and their new Frenchie puppy, Lucy. She is a certified child sleep consultant with Bella Luna Family and is currently in school to become a certified child behavior consultant. Sarah's sleep journey began 5 years ago, when her boys were 5 months old and only sleeping one hour at a time. She reached out to a twin mom sleep consultant and it changed her life, setting her on the path to help others in the same way. She works with families all over world to help them to be happy, healthy and well-rested. When she is not working with families to be well rested, she enjoys quality time at home with her family, losing herself in a good book, baking, Peloton and trying to keep her plants alive.

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