When we were in the throes of going through all our infertility mess, I mostly kept it to ourselves. I mean, I had some friends that I would talk to about it, and definitely my mom. But, I didn't talk about it on social media or anything. Once we got pregnant, I became more vocal about it. Infertility is something that no one talks about and it's very very isolating. Once I felt ok talking about it, I want to help anyone and everyone who is going through it so that they don't feel the confusion, frustration, and isolation that we did. If I can even help one person going through it, then it was worth it. (well, that and my precious boy. He made it worth it too!) Since coming out with it, I've had several people reach out and ask questions about what we went through. I'm so glad they feel like they can and I hope I've helped them. So, here are some nuggets of advice I'd give anyone going through the infertility struggle. It helped me and will hopefully help them.
1. Be your own advocate. I can not stress this enough. I have seen and heard that RE's go to treatment is IVF. It has the highest success rate and costs much more. Why wouldn't they want that? However, for some people (us included), it's more of a last ditch effort. I wanted to exhaust any and all options before trying IVF. Both my RE and another doctor in the practice told me I'd be very successful due to my egg hoarding tendencies. But, for me, I wasn't ready to make that leap just yet. And, thankfully I didn't need to. I also advocated for myself to go on a higher dose of meds my last round, and that also paid off. You know your own body better than anyone else and you know what's best for you.
2. Trust that it will happen. I know the most annoying piece of advice to infertiles is "relax it'll happen". But, for me, when I finally accepted that I WOULD get my baby -even if it's not when or how or why I wanted - I would get him. That gave me the peace that I needed to move through the process.
3. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. So often we feel the need to be strong and to put on a brave face all the time. But, going through infertilty is hands down the hardest thing I've ever been through. And, sometimes it was impossible to put on a brave face. So, I allowed myself a day to be totally mad or sad or discouraged or whatever. Allowing myself that one day to feel what I needed to feel really helped. After that day was over, I was able to pull myself out of whatever funk I was in and get going again.
4. Have a good support system. This doesn't have to even be people you know in real life. I had an amazing group of women online that I confided in. We were all going through it together, which helped more than I can say. There's something about having a sounding board of people who know exactly what you're going through. My IRL friends were great too. They were supportive and kind. And, of course my mom. She helped more than she could ever know. But having those people to listen, or to let you cry or bitch, and to just give you a big hug, makes it bearable.
5. Trust and like your doctor and the whole office staff. Those people will be more intimate with you than your husband at time. You darn well better like them and feel comfortable with them!
So, here are some things that helped me. I hope it will help someone else out there! And, if you ever need someone to be in your support system, I'm here.