Since opening up about our journey through infertility, so far. I’ve had so many sweet texts and messages from women experiencing the same thing. Some of you are at the beginning of your journey and a few of you even shared that you’ve made it out to the other side and are pregnant! These stories are so incredibly encouraging to me. It shows me I am not alone, WE are not alone.
I’ve gotten a few questions from you as well so I thought I would share some of my tidbits of wisdom I’ve gained so far. I’m in no way an expert, but these are some things that have helped me along the way. It’s time to pass it along my lessons on infertility. I’d love to hear any lessons you’ve learned along the way as well.
7 Lessons on Infertility
Get to know you and your partner’s insurance benefits, well
Before I took the step to walk through the doors of our fertility clinic, I had a critical conversation with a friend at work. She gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received so far. MAX OUT YOUR FSA! Everyone’s insurance situation is different, so get to know yours. Our insurance is great, but unfortunately not in the fertility area. Thankfully this conversation happened during open enrollment which gave me the chance to max out my FSA. It has been so helpful. I’m able to pay for anything fertility related without having to worry about draining my bank account. Yes, it comes out of my paycheck each month, but at least I don’t even see it.
Stock up on supplies
After 1000 trips to the drug store every month for multiple months, I got a little bit smarter. Why was I buying one pregnancy test at a time? And one box of ovulation strips at a time? (Ok, I know why. Every month I hoped it would be the last month I needed to buy it. But after a while that gets expensive and frustrating.) Eventually I realized you can buy super cheap tests on Amazon saving a lot of time and money. Having tons of pregnancy tests on hand was especially helpful the first couple of IUIs because I wanted to track my trigger injection to see when it was out of my system. This allows you to then KNOW that if you get a positive after that, it should be a real positive. This takes a lot of tests though. Stock up so you aren’t running to the store every two weeks.
Haha take that as you please! But really, you are going to need some distraction in your life. Maybe you already have an extremely busy schedule, if so then great! But since I’m a nurse, I tend to have long stretches of time off. While that is so nice, it can lead to a lot of time to sit around and worry. Now is a great time to pick up a new hobby, plan a weekend getaway, or maybe start writing! The months where I have kept myself busy have been so much easier to handle. So start planning some fun things to look forward to!
Talk to one or two trusted people in your life
I know it seems right now I’m super open and throwing all this out there for everyone to read, but that is NOT how it was at first. At the beginning I had a hard time even telling my closest friends we were trying. I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t want to admit it might not be working. Slowly though, I started to open up about it and it was such a needed encouragement. You do not need to start writing for the world to read, (unless you want to, then please let me know so I can share with you!) but talk to someone you trust. I promise it’s worth it and a small weight will start to be lifted off of your chest.
Do not let ANYONE else’s words hurt you
Ok, I know I just said “Open up! It’ll be great!”, but of course with that there is a small downside. You probably already know that people (namely women) can have such good intentions, but their words can pierce your soul. I KNOW I’ve said the wrong words or maybe the right words at the wrong time to someone too. It’s not meant to hurt. Please brush it off the best you can and keep pressing on. I’ve had a few instances where I know someone has meant SO well, but it has brought me to tears. You have to take a big step away from your emotions and know that they are coming from a place of love. And if they aren’t, then it’s probably time to distance yourself a little bit.
Surround yourself with uplifting people
Piggybacking off of the last point, make sure you are investing your time in those people in your life who encourage you. You already know this journey is a roller coaster. Both the good and the bad can be a little bit better when you surround yourself with friends and family who lift you up. I’ve been so grateful for the people in my life who have helped me carry my hear along the way. If you pray, find some friends who can join you in prayer and speak truth into your life.
Always always remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE
This may be the most important lesson I’ve learned to this day. That’s why I’m saying it again, you are not alone. I know there are days where that feeling of isolation is all consuming, but you are not isolated. Someone else is going through exactly what you are going through and feeling the same things you are feeling. If nothing else, I am ALWAYS willing to listen, talk, pray, or cry right along with you.
I hope some of these lessons on infertility can help someone out there. Just know that you’ve got this! You are strong whether you feel it all the time or not. We are all rooting for you!