Coping with infertility can be an incredibly isolating experience.
This is her story:
Anyone who has been through IVF or any type of infertility treatments can vouch for how isolating it is. The time period where I spent all of my energy and focus on trying to conceive were the most lonely times of my life. Sure, yes, you’re with a partner, but as only woman knows, creating life is entirely a maternal thing.
I could sit here and tell you my story, which would take all day. And believe me, I LOVE to talk. But to spare you, I’ll give you the short version.:
I went through approximately 6 1/2 years of infertility, on and off. It killed my first marriage, and with my second marriage, it definitely took its toll, but we had our limits. Our last attempt was a Frozen Embryo Transfer (or FET for you newbs or n00bs if you prefer leet speak). We both decided, for our mental health and our marriage, that this was it. If it didn’t work, we were going to become the crazy animal people in our neighborhood. There probably would have been weird things like ferrets and tegus.
But it worked. And we were…shocked. That’s the thing about fertility treatments, when they actually work, you feel like you pulled off a bank heist.
Cut to four years later, and we now have two healthy children, one, who was a big old natural surprise. We call her the Matlock baby. Because we joke that we had ten minutes before Matlock started, and well, you get the rest.
But my point to this is, that going through it, I felt…depression doesn’t even begin to cover it. The first time around, I felt as if I had this blanket of sadness wrapped around me, that I couldn’t take off. Ever. The second time around, I found solace in the internet. It wasn’t so taboo! I had people I could talk to. Blogs I could read. But it taught me two things:
One, you are not alone. Not by a long shot.
Approximately 7.5 [million] women are affected by infertility.
Two, use your voice. Educate.
I feel no embarrassment or shame in telling people that we had a hard time conceiving, or that my son was conceived via In-Vitro Fertilization. Was I ashamed that my body failed me? Yes, for a while, but it wasn’t my fault. So I tell people. I talk about it, and 70-80% of the time, someone will chime in, “ME TOO!” It opens doors. It helps us to find others like us. And it also helps to educate people that don’t understand what its like. When we were going through treatment, a good friend of mine was so interested in the process. She would watch me inject medication. She would ask questions. Some people will always be ignorant, but by and large, people are just uneducated about the topic.
Please don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be ashamed. Lastly, don’t isolate yourself.