Infertility has taught me that my marriage is bulletproof. If we can survive the struggle of infertility, we can survive anything. The depression, the heartache, the anger, and the stress of infertility will put a strain on anyone’s marriage. Only the strong can survive it. I am determined that is why God picked us for this struggle. I believe he picked us because he knows we are strong enough to survive the storm.
“A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for the other.”-Ashley Willis
Infertility has taught me that you never know what other people are going through. The quote Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle has never been more true for me. I have struggled with infertility for over a year now and those around me have no idea. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried in the bathroom at work (usually over test results or negative ovulation test) and walked out like nothing was wrong. None of my coworkers or even my closest friends/family have any idea that I am falling apart right in front of them. I spend most days on the brink of tears and no one would ever know it. This has opened my eyes to the fact that we have no idea what someone else is going through. Just because someone smiles on the outside doesn’t mean they aren’t empty on the inside. Just because someone doesn’t smile on the outside doesn’t mean they are empty inside.
A few weeks ago, I decided to write down all the things infertility has taught me. My next few blog posts are going to be about the positive side of infertility. I know you are thinking, “what could possibly be positive about infertility?” I thought the same thing, until I made a list. Choosing to focus on the positive instead of dwell on the negative has really helped me lately. If you don’t have a list of what your struggle has taught you, what are you waiting for?
My journey with infertility started in April of 2017. After two (wonderful) years of marriage, my husband and I decided that we were ready to take on parenthood. We have been together for 9 years but we decided to wait until we were actually ready to have a child. I will tell you, it is such an exciting feeling to decide to have a child with the person you love. I don’t mean decide to have a child because your best friend had one or because you want to be pregnant before 35 or because you don’t want a huge age gap between your other children. I mean to sit down with your spouse and decide that you are both truly ready for a child (mentally, physically, and financially), that is the best feeling.
I remember the exact date we “tried” for the first time. I picked April because I wanted a January baby (how naive I was to think it would be so easy). In the weeks following that date, I was on cloud nine. I looked at pregnancy announcements on Pinterest, I started a baby name list, I day dreamed about gender reveal parties, I followed every smocked clothing website under the sun. I also did what any woman in this position would do, I interpreted every.single.symptom as a pregnancy symptom. Headache? Pregnant! Stomach hurt? Pregnant! I remember feeling emotional during an episode of Boy Meets World and immediately thinking, “that’s it! I’m pregnant!”. I remember telling my husband one afternoon that I didn’t feel well so I was going to pick up a pizza for dinner; His response was “do you feel pregnant???” (the excitement in his voice would later haunt me)
Unfortunately, that cloud nine feeling only lasted a few weeks. I told myself I was not going to test until I was a week late. I had never taken a pregnancy test before in my adult life but a quick google search told me that certain test could tell you a few days before your missed period. I was so excited that I ran to the store and bought $30 in pregnancy tests. I waited until two days before my period was supposed to start to take a test. I knew I had to take it first thing in the morning so I set my alarm and went to bed. I ended up waking up at 4 am and I was so excited I couldn’t go back to sleep. I tip toed to the bathroom and took the test. It was a big fat negative. I didn’t freak out when the test was negative, I just told myself I was silly for listening to google and I needed to wait until a few days after my missed period to get an accurate reading. Before I could test again, my period came. Again, i didn’t freak out. I told myself that we must have just missed my ovulation window this time. This cycle went on for 4 months before I began to worry.
I saw my OBGYN and told him that we had decided to have a baby. He told me that since my cycles are irregular (that’s a whole other story), I would need to try Clomid. Clomid is an oral medication that helps stimulate ovulation. This medication would help me narrow down my ovulation window so we don’t miss it. I took the doctors advice and tried Clomid. I was nervous about taking Clomid but I was excited at the same time. I just knew this time I was really going to be pregnant. A few weeks and negative pregnancy tests later, we discovered the Clomid didn’t work.
Since then, I have tried month after month with no positive result. I have tracked every cycle, every symptom, every intercourse date, and still nothing. I have researched infertility and ways to help naturally and none of those have worked either. I have tried every crazy recommendation on the internet (eating ridiculous amounts of pineapple, holding your legs in the air, drinking coconut water, etc.) and still no baby.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”-Lao Tzu
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I am 27 years old and I have recently discovered that I am a member of a secret club. A club that many couples are a part of but only few are brave enough to talk about. A club that doesn’t discriminate against age, weight, sex, gender, religion, race, social status, etc. I know you are thinking, a secret club with cool people, how do I join? Trust me, you don’t want to be apart of it. You wouldn’t want your worst enemy to join this club. Club name: infertility.
I read recently that one of the best ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy outlet to express yourself. I have decided to create this journal to help me cope with my struggles and to help other people in my same position. My hope is that when I feel overwhelmed, I will not stress or cry. Instead, I will write.