The Secret Club of Infertility
“a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse”
Infertility; “a heartbreaking journey for 1 in 6 couples”
If you have just entered the world of infertility and fertility treatment, firstly, welcome! And secondly it won’t have taken you long to realise that you have been inducted into a very secret and very secluded society. A society that on first glance keeps to itself, can feel overwhelmingly lonely and depressingly sad. But wait, before you back out thinking you can’t possibly do this, you can! I promise you I have been where you are, I know that feeling of feeling like you have one foot in your old life and one in your new and not sure which foot to move. It gets easier, in some ways it honestly does. Before you convince yourself you can’t do it, remember that this first step is the hardest, it is the step you take into the unknown and into your new life in trying to become a Mama. So take it, quick just do it, and then make a cup of tea, spike it with something stronger and sit back and read. I am going to give you the induction into this new club you’re in, an induction I wish someone gave me.
Good work, that step you just took is the hardest one.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first, my name is Emily and I am infertile. I have Endometriosis and Cystic Ovaries and I have been in this club officially for 8 months.
Right now you will be thinking that no one else is going through what you are, no one understands how you feel, and there is no one to talk to about what you are truly feeling deep down. There is! There are thousands of us my friend, and unlike normal life on the outside we all have a bond that becomes unbreakable from the minute you say ‘you’re infertile too…did we just become BFF’S?”
Regardless of why you have joined the club, whatever the reason is; we like you already. When I entered late last year I knew nothing, and I mean nothing about fertility medications or infertility except a little research thanks to Dr Google. Here is your first lesson, write it down. Don’t google when you are feeling down, nothing good can come of it.
If you want to know something, head over to one of the amazing social media sites that have fantastic groups formed by specialists and other women who are going through the same thing. Chances are if you need to know something, they will know. Don’t get me wrong, no one gives medical advice but what they do give is endless support, love and encouragement and let me tell you there are times when that’s all you need (that’s the second lesson)
You are going to learn a new language. You HAVE to learn the new language. I resisted because I thought it was ridiculous at first, now I am bilingual and my phone autocorrects to the ‘infertility language’ I now speak. For example; “I was 8dpo and in the TWW before I could POAS and use a HPT to see if I had BFP or BFN”. Umm yep, I thought exactly what you are at first, but you will learn it, mainly because this is the only language the girls who are TTC (trying to conceive) use. Ps; I said that I was 8 days post ovulation and in the Two Week Wait before I could Pee On A Stick and use a Home Pregnancy Test to see if I had a Big Fat Positive or a Big Fat Negative.
There are so many types of fertility treatment; ovulation induction, ICSI, IUI, IVF just to name a few – they all have the same basics but have different degrees of invasive procedures along the way. Depending on why you have started down this path, will indicate which treatment your Fertility Specialist will offer you. Which brings me to your next lesson; your Fertility Specialist. Choose someone who you feel instantly at ease with, someone who suits your personality and your partner’s and someone who doesn’t brush your hundreds of questions aside when you go in their like a deer in headlights. This person is about to become just as important in this baby making process and you are. You will be in his office multiple times a week throughout a cycle and he will be seeing you without your pants on just as much so choose someone you are comfortable with. Oh and make sure his ultrasound table is comfy, you’ll spend a fair amount of time on there.
Make a list (once you have finished this). Make a list of every possible question, big or small, clever or silly that you have and make sure you get every single one of them answered. Knowledge is power, and when you have answers you can make an informed decision of how you want to attack this
The sadness that you are feeling is normal. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t desperately want to be a Mum, so when you start to doubt yourself remember why you started. You took the first step, and I promise that was the hardest.
Read more about Emily’s journey on her blog gettingabunintheoven