Infertility is more common than you may initially think, affecting 1 in 8 couples. Yet, for as prevalent as it is, we can all spread awareness of the medical, emotional, and psychological effects experienced on the path to parenthood. Here are 15 things infertility taught one Texas patient.
- Life isn’t easy. Truthfully, it can be really, really hard sometimes.
- Things don’t always go as planned. In fact, they rarely do. So, if plan A doesn’t succeed, we move on to plan B, or C, or D. Thankfully, there are a lot of letters in the alphabet, so we can just keep changing plans as needed.
- Patience is essential. An often-difficult attribute to have, but a very special one that is needed through ANY struggle we may go through.
- Adversity can bring us closer to those we love. The most important things almost always involve the people around us.
- Every family is different. Your family is perfect. There is no point in judging or making comparisons. Families are forever — focus on YOURS.
- You never know what someone else may be going through. Although somebody may have a smile on their face, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting on the inside. “Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about.”
- Baths have the power to heal almost anything. Seriously, they really do.
- When things don’t go your way, do something fun. You deserve it. So, when a test comes back negative, or another obstacle crosses your path, go get ice cream, go shopping, read a book. Do something you love.
- Never give up on your dreams. There will be times that you’ll want to. There may be times that you do. It’s at these times that you pick yourself up and try again. It’s possible your dreams will change somewhere along the way and that’s okay, too.
- It’s ok to be sad. It’s healthy to have a good cry every now and then. Don’t let anybody tell you not to cry, or not to be sad. Not only is being sad ok, but it’s also completely normal.
- Choose happiness. After crying it out for a bit, pick yourself up and carry on with a smile. Life is better when you’re smiling.
- Be grateful. Trials and hardships will always come our way, but the blessings tend to be proportionate to the obstacles we overcome.
- Set goals. When you work hard to achieve the things you want, they have greater importance in your life.
- “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” Even though it may take time to find your peace.
- Believe it’s possible. Don’t ever give up on yourself. And remember that the best things in life are worth fighting for.
These are the lessons that gave me hope through the highs and lows. Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about.
It was a beautiful morning as I traveled down I-45 to an appointment I had been looking forward to for years. Traffic was crawling along the freeway, but my mind was racing a million miles a minute. I turned the radio off to reflect on the thoughts going through my head:
- Is the timing right?
- Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?
- Is our family complete?
- What if it ends up not working?
- What if we spend all our money, time, and energy, and still don’t get the baby we have dreamt about for so long?
As I pulled into the parking lot, my heart was nearly pounding out of my chest. Suddenly, every emotion from 4 years ago came flooding back and I thought to myself, “Am I ready for this … again?” It was just 4 years ago that I went through some of the most difficult treatments I could ever imagine.
After a battery of tests, procedures, needles, surgeries, and prayers, I was blessed with a healthy baby girl. She’s such a perfect little miracle that we wanted so badly for her to become a big sister and enjoy the blessings that come from having a sibling.
One unfortunate fact about infertility is that it’s something that never goes away.
For those diagnosed with infertility, it is something they will, in many cases, live with for the rest of their lives. Every pregnancy announcement and baby shower, or every time you hear a baby cry or see one smile, will remind them of their struggles.
As I sat alone in my car wondering if I could really go inside the building and do it all over again, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all the things I’ve learned from infertility, that I hope can help you feel recognized and supported, too.
Finding support in the TTC community
It’s powerful to have a community of supporters along your infertility journey. They can offer advice, comfort, and hope. But when you’re struggling to have a baby, hope can seem out of reach. Yet for the moms and dads who turned to Shady Grove Fertility in Houston to build their families, hope came in the form of answers, solutions, and science. Read true stories from SGF patients about their journeys to parenthood.