Trying to get pregnant, and it not happening month after month is the most mentally exhausting thing I have ever experienced and I wouldn’t wish this emotional rollercoaster on my worst enemy. Going through infertility as a woman makes you feel like your divine femininity has been stripped away from you, like the one thing women are supposed to be able to do is now something you’re not capable of. You feel like there is nothing you can do.
Struggling with fertility has kept me in a sort of fog, probably best explained as a low-level of depression for months. There is a lot of anxiety that I’ve started noticing more and more when it comes to my fertility and the unknown.
Infertility is really hard on your relationship. You can be highly sensitive and irritable in your two week wait. Sex isn’t fun anymore because there is a lot of pressure when it’s all about timing. We do our best to communicate openly, but sometimes it can be hard to put your feelings into words, even with your partner.
I’m constantly preparing myself for the potential of other people’s pregnancies. Even going to the farmer’s market this summer was hard, seeing so many pregnant bodies or new moms constantly reminding me of not having what I desire.
A pregnancy post, depending on the day I’m having can set my emotions into a downward spiral. Friends, acquaintances, coworkers and even internet friends’ announcements can be difficult to navigate through. Friends’ pregnancies, whether you knew it was coming or not, are the hardest because you truly can’t avoid them. You want to be happy for them but you’re also constantly reminded of your hurt and your grief.
I remember when, earlier this year, one of my friends randomly told me a mutual person we knew was pregnant. I didn’t think much of it until I cried about it later that evening. I haven’t seen or even thought of said person in over 15 years and didn’t think it would affect me the way it did. It happened again when I went to a friend’s sip and see in May and teared up as I held her brand new baby. You don’t feel in control of your emotions and it sucks.
I think I’ve been feeling quite guilty over this in the last few months, so much so that I felt physically ill when I thought about how terrible I’ve felt. Recently, I’ve learned that it’s normal and natural to have negative thoughts when going through fertility struggles and that it’s the pain and grief speaking. Now that I’m more aware of what can have a negative affect on me, I am prepared to be able to decline a baby shower, baby birthday or any other baby related events in order to protect myself from more grief.
For those who haven’t experienced this and maybe can’t relate to these feelings, I will give you an example of something I experienced when I was younger and felt pretty much the same about other people who had what I desired. I had just broken up with my ex fiancé at the too young age of 21, while so many friends were in/getting into relationships. Being infertile and watching other people get pregnancy is like watching your friends find love, get engaged, or get married while you’re impatiently waiting for a proposal, your own relationship is struggling or slowly falling apart. You can be both happy for someone but also hurt and be in pain at your own situation.
Not everything is bad, there have been some helpful things and awesome people that have helped me stay mostly positive during this period of the unknown.
- Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure (A podcast, and also a private Facebook group). I discovered them when looking up podcasts related to infertility. They’re funny, have a really good outlook on their IVF journey, and I love their sense of humour about everything they’re going through. They even created a Facebook group that I’ve joined and it’s been nice and comforting to connect with people from all over the world who can relate.
- Netflix. Sometimes when I’m down, I’ll put on a show that will get me a good cry out of it, like “This is Us”. I always feel better after a good sob session.
- Other people struggling with infertility. You know who you are and I so appreciate you all. I didn’t expect that when I starting sharing about my struggle to get pregnant that I would have people reach out to me the way they have and let me know about their own struggles with fertility. I am rooting for them, and I know they’re rooting for me. Infertility affects a lot more people than we all think we know. These kind people have allowed me to have a safe space to talk about it, or ask any questions.
Well, that was pretty heavy to write but I think it’s time I faced a lot of what’s been getting me down and sharing my story had continued to help me lift a bit of the weight off my shoulders.
If you’ve gone through something similar, how did you cope, did you have any emotional support from others going through the same?