To many, trying to conceive and getting pregnant is a very fun, and exciting process! I mean, of course it is, you’re working to create your own little family! And while it may take time, being gifted that family makes all the struggles worth it. Some women are lucky and get pregnant on their first try, while it can take others (like myself) years. Yes, years.
Today, I want to bring up a very serious, and difficult topic to talk about amongst a large majority of women: Trying to Conceive (TTC) & Infertility. While it is true that I have a mom blog, and I’m a proud mother of 3 beautiful babies (and maybe more on the way… hint, hint), it wasn’t always that way. I’ve had the topic of infertility on my mind a lot recently due to friends and family around me who are unfortunately going through this same rough patch I, and so many of you probably have as well. I bring this topic up today because I want to share with those who don’t know what it’s like or who have someone close to them going through this, how important it is to encourage them and offer hope whenever possible.
Speechless & In Tears
I speak from experience when I say this can be a very embarrassing, disrespectful, and depressing topic to bring up. When a woman who wants nothing more than to be a mother learns that she is going through an infertility stage, she loses just about everything. She starts to hate herself, feels judged by others, feels left out, and overall feels like the world is crumbling all around her, no matter how much support she has. There was a very powerful, and emotional piece I read about a woman who lost her baby due to infertility. Her post, Born In Heaven on Littlemamaria put to words exact how it feels to go through a miscarriage or an infertility stage. Her writing left me speechless and in tears, and I would highly recommend anyone trying to understand what it truly feels like to go through this to go read her blog.
It Only Took 3Years…
I consider myself lucky especially when I read and hear about other couple’s journeys, my own personal infertility period took only about 3 years. To others, 3 years seems ages, for others it seems like nothing. For me, 3 years of not being able to conceive felt like a lifetime. For some mothers, it can be shorter or even longer, depending on many factors. I went on a rollercoaster ride that was only going down for so long, and I was letting myself become hopeless. I got to the point where I truly never thought that I would be a mother. For more very real and touching reactions to hearing about infertility and how to cope with it, faithfamilyandmiracles has a beautiful blog post on dealing with infertility.
But low and behold, 2 years and 8 months in, I was pregnant with our first child. Because I know so well what it feels like to go through this, I want to talk about how important it is to always stay positive in a dark time such as this. My pregnancy was a true miracle, even the doctors told me that. I was told I would never get pregnant naturally, and that was the biggest punch to the gut I have ever felt. I had lost hope for so long, and I look back now and hate myself for it. No matter how hard it was, I knew I couldn’t rush the process anymore than I was. My husband and I were constantly trying, I was eating healthier, taking supplements, and getting active, because that’s all I could do. What I came to realize in my worst moment of my infertility stage was that I needed to take care of myself first, because where I was then, I was not in the right mind or the right health to be a mother.
It’s also important to explore other ways to help your fertility journey. I explored many ways including reflexology. Although it’s not a definite ‘cure’ for infertility, you should view it as a way to give yourself some love, time to yourself and to help relieve your stress about not being able to conceive. Janet has great resource online for all things reflexology and hypnosis, for infertility and pregnancy, especially her reflexology for infertility blog post. I can’t recommend her enough.
I truly believe this is biggest mistake of a woman going through a period like this: self-love. Self-love isn’t just about loving yourself, it’s also about taking care of yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically. And as hard as it was, I realized I couldn’t let the thought of wanting a baby control my life, because it started to have a very negative effect on my health, my work, my marriage, and I realized I was losing myself. When I was in this stage, believe me, I didn’t love anything about myself, in fact, I hated everything about myself and I simply, wasn’t looking after myself. But I came to realize that all I can do each morning is wake up and try. Just try. Is it in your control? No, it’s not. Are you doing your best, and fighting each day? Yes, you are. Then you really can’t beat yourself up. No matter what you may believe about how people view you, your husband, your family, and your friends will all love you know whether what. A really helpful site for those that felt exactly like I did and need a boost not only in regards to self love, but also for general health and wellness inspiration, I can’t recommend Valerie from FlourishHeights enough. Her site is all about health and wellness, but not only health and wellness in general, but more so for women. She is an advocate of self love stating that self love is important for growth. Which, I believe is the foundation of your trying to conceive journey.
Don’t forget not to feel embarrassed with what you are going through. If it’s hard to open up to people around you (that all seem to be popping out kids easily, I totally get it), reach out and connect with others online that might be going through what you are going through or have gone what you are currently going through. You don’t need to talk to people, just reading about others journeys can make all the difference. I know in myself, this blog in-particular by Becca covers some blog posts about trying to conceive here and hope after miscarriage here, these are two blog posts that are exceptionally powerful and I can’t recommend enough. These are topics that you alone, aren’t the only one going through and reading about others experiences will really help give you the confidence to believe there is a bigger power out there and you will one day, have a baby in your arms. For some, it’s longer than others, but it will happen.
There is a Beginning, Middle & End
I read over and over again, women struggling with infertility online. It’s more of a topic that women discuss and open up about on the internet, rather than you would hear talking openly about with their friends at a coffee shop. Although I have my kids now, I know the struggle is real. I still remember everything I went through like it was yesterday and I don’t think the feelings, emotions, thoughts, doubts and negativity really ever leave you. A letter I would write to any trying mothers is to be patient. Be patient, focus on you, and love yourself. Because if I could go back in time to my infertility stage, I would tell myself just that. Trying to get pregnant isn’t all about the baby, it’s the journey to get there.
Think of it like a novel, there’s a beginning, middle, and end. But without the beginning or the middle, where’s the story? That’s why I say it is so important to take it day by day and just keep living your life. I made the mistake of letting this thought control me, and I missed out on so much around me that I can never get back. I know it’s not easy, trust me, I lived it too, but it can be done, and it’s the only way to go in a time like this.
Now that I’m opening up and sharing my experience on ThinkBaby and will be sharing more infertility journeys going forward, like seededleaven’s blog about her infertility struggles, it reminds me of everything from the beginning again. Be sure to contact us here at ThinkBaby if you wish to share your story with us and inspire and comfort other couples in need.
You can help yourself to do this by taking up activities like yoga, dance, a fitness program, hiking, or a new hobby. Do the things you love, get on your feet, and keep yourself busy. If you do that, going through this stage of your life will go so much quicker and easier than you think, and you will begin to remember what it’s like to love yourself and be yourself. Just remember, don’t lose your hope. If you want your baby, you have to believe you will have it, and not rush the journey to get it. After all, being a mother is all about sacrifices, and sometimes, the biggest sacrifice we have to make is learning how to love ourselves in the process.