I’m sure you are probably rolling your eyes at another “13 things” post. Not quite sure how the number 13 got to be such a common theme on this blog, but it is apparently here to stay!
It has been a difficult few months for me. Well, let’s be honest… it’s been a difficult year for me! But the past month has been particularly difficult. We had our egg retrieval, which led to severe OHSS, which led our postponing the egg transfer. The retrieval resulted in only four normal embryos when we expected many more. All of that to say that the past few months have tossed us a lot of curve balls.
But they have also taught me a lot… probably more than 13 things, but for the sake of tradition and time, we will stick with only 13 things.
1) Sometimes we just need a good cry. It’s important to give ourselves permission to do this every now and then. Tears are a really wonderful release when there are no words to express how we are feeling.
2) Baby fever is real, and it is really painful. The main symptom is a constant, dull ache.
3) Hearing (or seeing) pregnancy announcements hurts… definitely worsens the symptoms of the afore mentioned baby fever.
4) It is really hard not to be hard on ourselves… not to blame our bodies, and not to feel worthless.
5) I’ve mentioned this before, but infertility can be very isolating. I think this is because we assume others could never understand what we are going through. We feel like we are in this all alone. There have even been times when I have felt isolated from my own husband.
6) It helps to confide in people. We may not want to blab our troubles to the whole world, but it does help to pick a few close friends to share with. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it is ultimately helpful.
7) While it is certainly helpful to talk to you close friends about how we are feeling, and how infertility is impacting (and overtaking!) our lives, we cannot expect them to understand. And we really cannot explain it to them either. I read a quote once that said something like, “From the outside, it is impossible to understand, and from the inside, it is impossible to explain.” That is so true when it comes to infertility and fertility treatments.
8) Infertility seems to be a bit of a taboo topic of conversation. But it shouldn’t be. It is okay to talk about it. Others talk about their struggles. They talk about it when they have had a bad day at work, or when their children have been particularly hard to deal with. If others can discuss their day to day issues, we can share ours too!
9) There are good days and bad days. There are days when we feel full of hope, and days when we feel like we just cannot get out of bed. Both kinds of days are okay. Give thanks for both.
10) It is indeed possible to be happy and sad at the same time. Because even on the good days, we will still feel lonely for our unborn children.
11) Our spirits, our physical strength, and our faith are tested. We will learn that we are weak, and our faith is the only thing that makes us strong.
12) We are willing to do anything. We will try going gluten free or dairy free. We will stop doing certain exercises in favor of others that increase fertility, or supposedly increase chances of success during fertility treatments. We will invest every penny we have, and even pennies we don’t have. We will give our bodies, our schedules, and our money to our doctors in total faith that they know what they are doing. In spite of all the willingness, we are acutely aware that there is only so much we can do. Ultimately, the result is out of our hands.
13) We long for prayer, and for words of affirmation from others… not affirmation that everything is going to be okay, but affirmation that it is okay to feel sad, overwhelmed, and sucked dry. We long for that kind of affirmation every day. Because every day, some small part of us feels sad, overwhelmed, and sucked dry.