No two ways about it, infertility sucks. Each of us who have walked this road has our own hard-earned truths that we have learned.
What makes infertility ever so slightly more bearable is that you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
- 12.1% of women aged 15-44 are infertile
- 7.3 million women aged 15-44 have used infertility services.
Knowing you are not alone is more than just misery loves company. We also can tap the wisdom of those who have struggled ahead of us.
One of the things I love the most about the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group is the sharing from those who have been on this path before us. I was blown away by the advice of one of our members, Jennifer Hartmeyer Campbell. With her permission, I am sharing it with you.
(By the way, this support group is a closed Facebook group so that only those in the group can see the posts.)
7 Things You Must Know When You Find Out You’re Infertile
1) Don’t let shame/fear/embarrassment prevent you from asking for medical help conceiving.
2) Realize, consciously, that you are gambling your heart, not just your money, your time, and your body. For each try, you’ll win big or face another painful loss on top of all the other many losses you’ve endured. It helps to realize this at the beginning.
3) Get a good therapist to help cope with the losses.
4) Keep busy and find/have other purposes in your life (ex: friends, work, hobbies, extended family, etc.).
5) If you are doing IUI or IVF, consider asking for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so you know you can miss work without worrying about being fired.
6) Remember that money is a tool for you to earn/spend/borrow as you decide based on your means, priorities, and personal values. Growing up, money problems always loomed large on my horizon, and as an adult financial security is really important. I am really frugal and careful about our finances. In order to decide to do IVF, I had to shift my perception of money–it’s a tool to be used.
7) So many things about infertility are colossally unfair — try not to dwell on it, it’s a waste of energy.
Other Creating a Family Resources You Will Enjoy
- Is Infertility and Miscarriage Grief Worse Than Other Types of Grief
- Coping with Infertility: Letting Go of Your Ideal Life Timeline
- Infertility, Adoption, and Green-Eyed Monster Named Envy
What “truths of infertility” would you share with someone just starting out?