When we first started seeing our fertility specialist, I knew that I needed to focus more on my mental health. I went and saw my primary care doctor and talked to her about my anxiety and concerns when it comes to my mental health and this is where I was diagnosed with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and anxiety. I started taking Prozac in June, right before we saw our specialist for the first time and it’s been a game changer. All of this has hardly anything to do with infertility but I think it’s so important to take care of yourself the best you can. After the infertility diagnosis and seeing the word all over our medical documents, I was afraid to let infertility change me. I was afraid to let it change my relationship with my husband. I didn’t want infertility to take over my life and although it has, it’s all about we manage it.
I’ve mentioned in many past blog posts that I’ve reflected on all of the negatives, the failed cycles, the short cycles, and the late ovulations and I’ve tried to find silver linings in them. So that’s how these lessons came to be. I forced myself to sit down and put pen to paper, brainstorming at least five things that I learned about myself while we have faced infertility.
And below is the list of five lessons that I came up with:
01 - LEARNING NOT TO WORRY ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING
I learned that there is no point in worrying because it won’t change anything. Sure, this is kind of a given but as someone who suffers from severe anxiety worrying is second nature to me. Somehow dealing with infertility I became a positive person and I truly don’t know where it came from. I think I just got tired of worrying about every little thing because I realized that in the end, it didn’t change the outcome.
02 - MY MARRIAGE IS UNBREAKABLE
I learned that my marriage is pretty strong, stronger than I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and I think that we have a great relationship. It’s not always been rainbows and butterflies but we have grown together in this journey to parenthood and one of the key things that we learned was communication. It’s so simple but we seem to forget that people don’t know what we are thinking or they may not remember every little thing and that’s okay. I truly believe that my marriage is stronger than ever because of infertility.
03 - HAVING A REGULAR CYCLE ALL OF MY POST-PUBERTY LIFE MEANS NOTHING
I learned that just because I had a normal and regular cycle, doesn’t mean that I am a fertile myrtle. I’ve always had very regular cycles but my periods have been so painful that I’ve laid out of school, work, and even visited the ER once or twice. I always wondered in the back of my mind if that could have affected my fertility. It wasn’t until we hit the year mark that my doctor thought that maybe I had Endometriosis. That is still just a clinical diagnosis but it’s a huge possibility. Also, just because I had a regular cycle, doesn’t mean that my ovulation was regular. I ovulated late for my length of a cycle, so that was our biggest issue!
04 - I BECAME MORE MATERNAL
I learned that I’m more maternal than I ever thought I was. Growing up, I always imagined getting married and starting a family but I think it was more because it was the way to do things. When I was in high school I would babysit for a few families but I never felt connected to the kids. I never felt like I knew what to do or say to them. I just always felt really awkward around kids. As I got older, I tried to be less-awkward but I always felt so out of place around babies and toddlers. When we first started trying to conceive, it got better. As time goes on and we are trying to conceive for seven months, eight months, nine months, a year, and so on, I noticed that the maternal side of me came out more and more. It’s almost like as my desire to be a mother grew, so did my ability to not be awkward while talking to babies. I also totally think that my dogs made me more maternal! Is that silly to say? Don’t judge!
05 - I’m pretty strong
I learned that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. It’s funny beacuse Kerry has told me on numerous occasions that I’m strong. He thinks that I am this tough warrior woman who can handle anything because in the past he’s seen me handle many things from childhood trauma, anxiety, family issues, and losing friends. When we first started trying to conceive, I thought that it would be easy. I thought that you have unprotected sex once and BAM you are pregnant but obviously it doesn’t happen like that. Struggling to conceive has made me stronger than ever because for almost two years, I’ve had this vision for my life and it’s happening at a slower pace than I ever expected. I think that because life hasn’t worked out the way I planned has made me better. It’s made me tougher, stronger, more patient (if you can believe it). I’m stronger because of infertility.
Can you relate to these lessons? What are some things that you learned about yourself during your battle with infertility? The interesting thing is that we aren’t even done with our journey yet so I’m sure we will learn even more in the time we have left.
I challenge you to take a piece of a paper and a pen and try to come up with at least five things that you have learned about yourself from infertility! Make them positive things that you can give kudos to yourself for.