As many of you know, it took Jordan and I nearly three years to get pregnant with Phoenix. Eventually — after tests upon tests — we discovered I wasn’t ovulating. Or at least I wasn’t ovulating regularly enough to get pregnant on my own.
It’s been awhile since I last wrote about infertility. Recently, I have received a lot of questions on how to manage the emotional ups and downs of infertility. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I want to share two things that, if I had understood, would have helped me.
You are not as alone as you think you are.
When Jordan and I first started trying to get pregnant, I expected it to take 3-6 months. My periods weren’t exact each month, so I assumed catching my ovulation window would be tricky. Once the first year came and went, I felt so alone. I knew women who had miscarried, but I didn’t know (or so I thought) anyone who wasn’t getting pregnant at all.
I was very wrong. One in eight couples experience infertility (1/3 from women, 1/3 from men, and 1/3 because of both). Most couples won’t talk about it publicly. Even more couples might not realize they struggle with infertility because they were able to get pregnant easily with their first, but not for a subsequent pregnancy.
People came out of the woodwork when I first shared our story publicly. You know more people struggling with infertility then you think. This information won’t cause you to get pregnant sooner but, at least for me, finally realizing I wasn’t alone allowed me to have more grace for my body.
You will be sad and hormonal and angry and confused. You just can’t be sad, hormonal, angry, and confused everyday for years. Take appropriate time to fully mourn (for me this was around my period) and than move on. Enjoy your marriage and your friends. Travel, sleep-in, read lots of books, indulge in weeknight happy hours. Allow joy to enter your life.
I don’t want to sound harsh, but if you don’t choose to enjoy life, infertility will eat away at you. If you let it, infertility might even destroy the things you cherish most.
If you struggle with infertility and are keeping it a secret, I urge you to find a confidant. Whether it’s someone within the infertility world or not, having people in your corner is important to your sanity. If you aren’t comfortable sharing with someone in your circle, there are plenty of online resources. Caroline has a wonderful supportive Facebook group. Also, you are more than welcome to reach out to me.
Whether you get pregnant this month or next year (or never) I pray you find comfort in knowing you aren’t alone.