50 Shades of Infertility


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Sorry Ladies! There is no Christian Grey in this one. Rather this is about the emotional gamete you run when struggling with infertility.  Actually, I’m pretty sure these are things we feel when battling anything really. Like all grief, there are stages in which one feeling is more prominent than another and then there are those times when you have a myriad of emotions all in one instance. Regardless, it’s important to recognize these emotions and to learn how to cope with them.

I’m new to this whole blogging thing and social media genre, but I’d highly recommend following @missconceptioncoach on Instagram. This is not a plug by any means and I have no affiliation.  I really don’t know much about her, other than what I’ve read on her IG.  She seems to offer some great strategies for enduring infertility and I would’ve loved to have had this resource when I was in the midst of our journey.  You can also probably make some great connections among her following.

With that said, it’s also nice to just read that another person has been where you’ve been in some fashion.  There’s a relief in knowing that you’re not the only one who feels that way.  This is your validation that it’s okay to feel any and all of these feelings.

  1. D E N I A L                                                                                                                       It’s a pretty standard first step in any grieving process.  Denial is a real thing; you just don’t want to believe that it’s real.  You’re in denial that this is happening.  Maybe you should get a second opinion.  You’re in denial that it could be true.  For me, the denial was so real in the beginning that, even knowing there was absolutely no sperm, I still symptom spotted.  I still thought maybe by some divine intervention I could still possibly get pregnant naturally.   Confession: From time to time, even now, I still think this.
  2. A C C E P T A N C E                                                                                           There comes a point that you then accept the circumstances.  The sooner you get to that point, the closer you are to your final destination.  Duly noted: easier said than done.
  3. S A D N E S S
  4. A N G S T
  5. S H O C K
  6. S H A M E                                                                                                                   Even though 1 in every 8 couples is infertile, there is still a stigma. Hence the shame.  You’re ashamed that you’re the 1 in 8.  You’re ashamed that your body is failing you.  You’re ashamed that you’re not “female or male enough” to reproduce naturally.  Once you rid yourself of that shame, there’s a whole new world awaiting you.
  7. H O P E L E S S N E S S
  8. P R E S S U R E
  9. M O U R N I N G                                                                                                 You’re mourning a loss.  Many infertile couples endure literal loss, which is a pain I cannot even imagine.  Yet without miscarriage, there is mourning of a different type.  You’re mourning the loss of conceiving the way you’re “supposed to”.   You’re mourning the loss of something you’ve never even had.  You’re mourning the loss of your plans and dreams of how starting a family would be. You’re mourning a childless life.
  10. D O U B T
  11. H O P E
  12. J E A L O U S Y                                                                                                             You’re jealous that your friend is pregnant and you’re not.  You’re jealous that so-and-so just posted on FB that she’s expecting again and you’ve never even seen a positive pregnancy test yet. In fact, you’re even jealous of strangers.  You’re jealous of the lady in front of you at Starbucks rubbing her cute baby bump. You’re jealous of the girl registering at Babies ‘R Us.                                                                                                                                                                                         This was a hard one for me.  I’m not a naturally jealous person.  To be blatantly honest, there is not much for me to be jealous of because I have such a wonderful life.  I have an amazing husband. At the time, I worked in a rewarding field.  I’m blessed with the best family and friends around.  But there were many times that jealousy got the best of me.  I’d say, “I’m not jealous of her.  I just wish it was me.”  Whatever way you twist it, that’s jealousy.
  13. B I T T E R N E SS
  14. G U I L T [because of 12 & 13]                                                                      Then you have this constant feeling of guilt when you feel jealous and bitter.  You feel guilty because you love your best friend and you want to be happy for her.  You feel guilt for being a bad person and for being so selfish.  You feel guilty that your “expecting and mom friends” go radio silent about baby/kid stuff when you walk in the room.
  15. G U I L T  because of your G U I L T                                                             Then you feel guilty for feeling guilty.  It’s not that you’re not happy for them.  You’re just sad for yourself.  Anyone is your position would feel this way, right? After all, we are only human.
  16. S E L F -P I T Y
  17. D E S P A I R
  18. C A U T I O U S  O P T I M I S M
  19. H O R M O N A L and not just when it’s 💉 time.
  20. S T R E S S                                                                                                               You’re stressed if you’re making the right decision.  You’re stressed if you can manage the injections, doctors appointments, failed attempts.  You’re stressed if you can afford it.  You’re stressed at home.  You’re stressed at work.  You’re stressed all. the. time.
  21. H E A R T B R O K E N
  22. G R A T I T U D E                                                                                                           It could always be worse and I had so much to be grateful for. Even though it felt as though my world was shattering sometimes, I just had to look around me to be reminded of all that I am blessed with: my husband, family, friends, health, happiness. The list goes on, but it’s important to step back sometimes to not dwell on the one thing you don’t have, so you can better appreciate all the good you do have at that moment.
  23. A N X I O U S N E S S
  24. C H R O N I C  W A I T I N G                                                                         You’re in a constant state of waiting. Waiting for your next doctor’s appointment.  Waiting to get your blood work results back.  Waiting for insurance to process your paperwork.  Waiting for your next menstrual cycle.  Waiting to start the meds.   Waiting to trigger.  Waiting for bad news.  Waiting for good news. Just waiting.  And it’d all be fine if you knew for sure that after all the waiting, you’d finally get your sweet baby.
  25. P O S I T I V I T Y
  26. E X H A U S T I O N                                                                                                   All that waiting is exhausting.  You’re not just physically exhausted.  You’re mentally, emotionally, financially exhausted.
  27. L O N E L I N E S S                                                                                                 Even someone, like me, who has the biggest support system known to man can feel lonely.  It’s not that you don’t feel the love and comfort.  You do and for that you are beyond appreciative, but let’s face it-nobody knows exactly what you’re going through~not even your spouse 100%.  And that can be a lonely place.
  28. F R U S T U R A T I O N
  29. E A G E R N E S S
  30. I M P A T I E N C E
  31. A N G E R                                                                                                               You’re angry.  Not always, but sometimes.  You’re angry with yourself.  Angry at your spouse.  Angry at your doctors.  Angry at God.  Angry at the insurance company.  Angry at the complete stranger next to you complaining about being up all night with her teething infant.
  32. P A I N                                                                                                                         Both literally and figuratively.
  33. E X C I T E M E N T                                                                                             You’re excited for the next step.  You’re excited to start a new protocol.  You’re excited to meet a new doctor.  You’re excited that they retrieved some quality eggs.
  34. D I S A P P O I N T M E N T                                                                           You’re disappointed that the results weren’t different and the new medication didn’t work.  You’re disappointed that only half of the eggs were quality enough to fertilize.  You’re disappointed that it’s a day 3 transfer, not day 5 like you thought.  You’re disappointed that it didn’t work this time, but…
  35. H O P E F U L                                                                                                             that you’ll be a mom someday.
  36. D E T E R M I N A T I O N
  37. C O N S U M E D                                                                                                         All day & everyday by #ttc #ivf #baby #babynursery #babynames #pregnancy #fertility #maternitydresses #babyshowerthemes #whythef*#%amidoingthistomyself
  38. O V E R W H E L M E D
  39. D I S G U S T                                                                                                                      I vividly remember being completely and utterly disgusted when a colleague decided to announce to an entire group before a meeting how disappointed and upset she was that she was having a boy instead of a girl.  It literally made me sick to my stomach.
  40. T O L E R A N C E                                                                                                     But I had to remind myself that not everyone sees through my perspective, nor do I see through theirs.  Had pregnancy come easy for me, maybe I would’ve had the same feeling.  Probably not-but we must be tolerant of one another for nobody knows until they’re in your shoes.
  41. S T R E N G T H                                                                                                       They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  This has made you a stronger person.  Not only do you need to be strong to physically endure this, but you must also have mental strength. You probably don’t even recognize the strength in yourself, but you see it in your significant other and in your relationship.  Your bond is stronger than ever because together you’re unstoppable.
  42. C O M P A S S I O N                                                                                   Everyone has a story.  There are so many couples who have fought a harder and longer fight than we did.  You may not always be able to empathize but you can sympathize.  Through your own struggle, you’ve learned that everyone has a battle they’re fighting (divorce, addiction, Cancer). You’re compassionate enough to realize that today just might be one of their bad days.
  43. P E R S E V E R A N C E
  44. D E P R E S S I O N                                                                                         Looking back I’d have to say that there was an exact time I could pinpoint when I probably could’ve been considered depressed.  It was September.  It had been almost a year since our diagnosis and months of medicine for my husband with no change.  I was up to my knees in insurance appeals and starting another school year. My biggest fear was going back to work and seeing how many coworkers had gotten pregnant over the summer.  I was at my breaking point and I couldn’t control the tears.                                                                                                                                                                              Luckily, my best friend was attuned to me.  I never had to say anything at all.  She just knew.  She knew I needed extra phone calls and extra check-ins.  She knew I needed something outside of infertility to focus on, so we planned a vacay.  It helped get me out of my funk…a little.  Thank you & love you 😘!
  45. S T U C K.                                                                                                                       Up until that point infertility had me pretty stuck.  I didn’t want to book a flight for my friend’s bachelorette because I was going to be pregnant.  I couldn’t plan a weekend getaway because I didn’t know when my next doctor’s appointment would be.  I didn’t know what size bridesmaid dress to order in case I was expecting. I was living life in the what-ifs and it had me stuck for a long time. Funny part is that by the time I said screw it and just booked that vacation I ended up being eight weeks pregnant on the trip and sick as a dog!
  46. I N S A N I T Y
  47. S L E E P L E S S N E S S                                                                                   You’re tossing and turning back and forth unable to fall asleep because of  numbers 2, 8, 10, 16, 24, 33, 41 -hell all of them.  And you’re crying because you don’t know how much longer you can handle this and keep it together.
  48. I N S T A B I L I T Y                                                                                                   You know-the kind when you’re at a wedding on the dance floor belting out “I wish that I had Jessie’s girl” and someone leans in and says “Are you guys trying?” And you lose your sh*t, running to the ladies room while uncontrollably crying?  It’s those kind of high highs and low lows that this roller coaster that is infertility can ensue.
  49. F A K E N E S S                                                                                                                  I don’t mean this in a bad way, but like any difficult situation you have to fake it ’til you make it.  I can’t tell you since launching this how many people have said to me “I had no idea” or “I knew you had trouble, but I didn’t know it was that bad.”  It’s not that I was being secretive, but I didn’t want to be that dark cloud or elephant in the room during happy times.  It wasn’t easy to always put on a smile.  In fact, that was probably one of the hardest parts of it all, but  then I remembered #22.
  50. P R I D E                                                                                                                         You might not be there yet, but you should feel a huge sense of pride.  You should be proud of yourself and your SO.  You should be proud of how you’re juggling all of this and how you’re handling everything thrown at you.  You should feel proud because not everyone can do what you’re doing.  One day, somehow and someway, a little someone is going to be very proud to call you their mommy.

P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts & any other shades I should add to the list!  Just comment below!

3 thoughts on “50 Shades of Infertility”

  1. You were & obviously still are such a strong person! I’m amazed by your selflessness! So glad you guys got your happy ending! Xo

  2. This is everything that I have felt for so long. I must have been meant to stumble upon your page today… certainly much needed. Thank you for sharing your story!

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