Today is the start of Infertility Awareness Week, a week set aside to bring awareness to the infertility struggle. Obviously, those who are close to me (and read this blog 🙂 ) are already aware of our struggle with infertility. I started out this journey afraid to talk about what we were going through, but that only made me more miserable. It made me feel isolated and alone. Infertility is something that many people struggle with and it is something that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about. It consumes your life and talking about it helps you cope with it. The last 18 months have been some of the hardest of my adult life. They have been filled with a lot of tears and worry. But infertility hasn’t been all that bad for me. There have been some pros to our struggle, ones I never would’ve even thought about.
- Continuing to go through life without a baby – Obviously, this one sucks.
- Lots of needles (only for the lady of course) – This was one of the toughest things for me to deal with considering I started off this process with a paralyzing fear of them.
- Bitterness – It is the worst, to be so angry and bitter towards others who have something you so desperately want in this world. I hate the way that I felt towards people I love, but I am only human and it happens.
- The monthly disappointment – Every 30 days you know if your treatments work, which means every 30 days you have to deal with the all of the emotions that come with learning that they didn’t work, yet again.
- Overcoming my needle phobia – Dealing with my needle fear was a huge hurdle for me. I have gone from never having blood drawn to having it done multiple times a month. I have gone from only having medical professionals give me injections, to my un-trained husband stabbing me. Overcoming this phobia has helped ease my “white coat” syndrome. It makes going to the doctor a little less of a traumatizing experience for me.
- Learning I have some pretty wonderful people in my life – This one is amazing! The amount of support and encouragement that I/we have received from people has been wonderful. I’ve had old and new friends send me cards of encouragement. My neighbor brought me brownies the other day. I’ve gotten lots of text messages from friends just letting me know they are thinking of me and are here if I need to talk. We truly are blessed to have such caring and supportive people in our lives. This struggle has helped me realize that I surround myself with some pretty great people. 🙂
- Strengthened my relationship with God – I’ve always been a believer in God. I was raised in church and was very involved as a child/early teen. But I’ll be honest, my faith was slacking a little bit. Life got in the way. Being an adult and working full time, it was easier to catch up on my sleep and stay in bed on Sunday mornings than get up and go to church. This whole experience has strengthened my relationship with God. Our fate is in His hands. I can do all that I can to have a baby but ultimately, it is up to Him and His timing. The amount of relief this realization has brought to me is indescribable. I’ve been less stressed and more calm, less bitter and more accepting of this journey. I’ve started to get my butt up on Sunday mornings and go to the local church. I’ve missed going to church and spending that time learning more about God. This has been a great pro for me.
- Love my Hubby more – My love for my husband has only increased. Sometimes it is really hard to go through all you have to as a women with fertility testing. It’s frustrating that the man doesn’t really do much. But hubby has been so incredibly supportive and he has been right there with me. He dealt with his own anxiety and overcame his fear of giving me injections. He has been there to wipe my tears each time that I’ve had an emotional breakdown. I am so incredibly thankful for him and I love him more now than the day we got married.
Dealing with infertility has not been easy, by any means, but it hasn’t been completely awful either. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my husband, God, and the wonderful people that I have in my life. Infertility Awareness Week exists to make people more aware of the struggle. If you are struggling with infertility and afraid to talk about it, look at some of the pros that this struggle has shown me. Speaking out will help you get through it and the struggle will help you learn some things about your life and the people in it.