Recently, I have been busy with a few things, especially regarding my infertility, and as I approach the near end of this year. I am confronted with the thought, I have been trying to get pregnant for over 3 years now.. 3 years of my life dedicated to getting knocked up, do you know how much sex that is?! Really I am sure that my husband isn't really complaining too much. But, we have hit a lot of bumps in the road, and I just know, that there are things that I wish I had known then, that I know now.. That could have saved me so much hassle.
I had a dear friend of mine, send me a message the other day, asking if I could give her some tips and suggestions as she and her husband start their process. That's when it dawned on me.. Everyone should know. I am pretty sure as your browse the Internet-FYI MOMENT: Most infertile are great at browsing the Internet. Seriously, I have some wicked skills. I know how to type in something just right to get the answer I am looking for. Any way, as I was saying. As you browse the Internet, you are bound to find a ton of suggestions and different ways to improve your journey, but this right here. This is a post with a great list, from different contributing infertiles such as myself.
1. Don't waste your time: True story, time is not always your friend. If you have been trying to conceive for a year or more without a pregnancy. GO GET CHECKED!!! If you are over 35 and have been trying for 6 months, GO GET CHECKED!!! Allowing more time, or thinking that you haven't given it enough time, is a recipe for more heart ache later on.
2. It is okay to grieve. Infertility is a real loss. It's a loss of your dreams, your wants for the future. When you hear those words your worlds come crashing in, and it is okay to scream, punch a pillow, and eat lots of ice cream.
3. Before you start with just any old physician.. Make sure you check their knowledge on infertility, if you have questions they can't answer, leave! I know not everyone is ready to jump into the Reproductive Doctors Office. So look into options. If you are seeking to just run some test, check your levels, or basic ultrasounds. A good OB can do that for you. They can even prescribe clomid- FYI MOMENT: If your Dr is willing to write you a prescription for clomid, but won't do a blood test to check for ovulation later in your cycle. NOT THE DR FOR YOU!!! I promise this will save you lots of time, and money if you can find an OB that is willing to do that. By the time you walk into an Re's office, you will have plenty of records and proof that you were running test, and hopefully have found out your issues, before you shell out the big bucks.
4. Research different ways of checking for ovulation, and for improving your chances of conception. Believe it or not, there are different things you can do. Ovulation Prediction Kits, Cervical Mucus, Temperature.. Timing sex just right, etc. Don't just assume that have sex will get you pregnant-Before you say anything, just having sex CAN get you pregnant, I mean thousands of people do it every year.. But you may need some more help..
5. Know the differences between a regular doctor, your OB, and an RE;Reproductive Endocrinologist. Just because your doctor has a medical degree from fancy college.. does not make him a specialist on infertility.
6. Know what kind of test SHOULD be performed in order to rule certain issues out. You can find info HERE and HERE. Remember knowledge is power, and lets face it. Some of the time, your will have more knowledge about your body, then your doctor.
7. Remember, it's okay to release your inner bitch! Becoming your own advocate will get you so far with infertility. Some doctors want to drag their feet.. Don't let them. Or find a different doctor. I wast 6 months with a doctor only to find out later, biggest waste of time and money!
8. Infertility is hard enough as it is, but if you can't become your own voice, and stand up for your needs. You will not be doing yourself any good. It is okay to be selfish in these time. If you need to skip a baby shower, or skipping out a family dinner cause your cousin is pregnant, again, for the 3rd time. Then do it. Your family, and your friends may not support you, and call you out on it. Who cares. You DESERVE HAPPINESS, and until you can cope with infertility, you are completely allowed to skip certain events.
9. Don't assume everyone will be compassionate about your pain. Some people might say they understand, or they are sorry. People will say THE DUMBEST things to you, assuming it will help. Let it roll off your back. There are support groups throughout the country, and support groups online. There will always be SOMEONE you understands. Don't be afraid to reach out.
10. Infertility takes a toll on everything.. Your marriage, your health, your relationships, your finances, It can at times become a complete obsession. Find different was of rekindling your romance, or different ways to celebrate small triumphs.
11. Having a baby, doesn't fix your sorrows and real pain of infertility. Adopting a baby, or conceiving one doesn't erase the pain you went through to get to that point. Your reality of infertility is just that, REALITY.
12. You can never do enough research. Seriously. Research EVERYTHING!!! The meds, the doctors, everything under the sun!! I have looked up countless things on the Internet attempting to gain some knowledge, and it has really helped. If you can't find it, don't be afraid to call you doctor, or find another infertile, and hit her up!
13. Always remember.. Infertility does not define you as a person. Although it has, and will create a huge impact on your life.. It doesn't mean you are that person. Break free from that mold. Become an advocate for infertility. It is a real disease, thousands and thousands of people are suffering from it. Don't be afraid to stand up and speak out. Someone else could be suffering in silence, and you could be their saving grace.
I wish I could hug you, and tell you that everything is going to be alright. But I can't make that promise. You are the maker of your life, and you can control the path you take. Knowledge is power. Don't lose hope, don't let infertility consume you. You are better than this, and some stupid condition isn't going to rule your life.
I hope this has helped. It was wonderful to be able to get some insight from the other ladies in my life that have, and or are in the same shoes as myself. Be brave in your journey, regardless of where it takes you.