The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.
You never think it will be you crying on the bathroom floor every month because once again, it wasn’t your turn. Especially when you are young, healthy, and at your supposedly most fertile stage of life.
We had only been trying for 10 months, and it was still early for a couple in their 20s to worry. Never mind that we were already doing everything we could with no breakthrough, or the scary thought that if these are meant to be our prime baby making years, why wasn’t it happening?
So began the long road of appointments, observations, tracking, testing, waiting, ultrasounds, internal checks, poking, prodding, and praying for a miracle. Every month was a new route to go down, all ending the same—clear, perfectly healthy, no reason not to be conceiving. It was good news in a way that there weren’t any severe issues, but it sent our frustration soaring each time when we felt no closer to an explanation, let alone a solution.
I saw specialists, herbalists, acupuncturists, Chinese cupping experts—you name it! Even had my tubes flushed out and X-rayed. I read books and blogs, took vitamins and changed diets, switched jobs, began meditation, took friends’ advice, and had strangers offer more than I wanted. Emotions stretched and bank accounts took a beating as we worked our way through every box on the list of “why can’t we make a baby like normal people?”
Meanwhile, it seemed like everyone around us was
Meanwhile, it seemed like everyone around us was getting pregnant. I was genuinely happy for them all, but it felt so strange to be the ONLY one in this boat. Why was it so difficult and unclear for us? It felt like standing at the school gate as all your friends get picked up and you’re still waiting for a bus that may never come.
I also had to be mindful when others were navigating their trying to conceive (TTC) journey. As misery does love company and as important as venting can be, it is so easy to get swept up in emotions and soon enough bitterness, jealousy, and even resentment. I always tried to remain aware and in control of this. I didn’t allow my mindset to dictate how I would walk the rest of the journey or steal any external joy I was still entitled to. One of my “coping mechanisms” was after every negative test I’d buy something baby related. A toy, burp cloth, etc. Simple and neutral, but special. Because it was my physical reminder that I WOULD one day need these items. One day I WOULD use these things, and it would take me back to this moment of heartache and remind me how hard I fought, and how grateful I was to be there in the end. It was my way of pulling myself out of the headspace that it will never happen to believing wholeheartedly that it would. It helped put a positive spin on a really negative part of the month, too.
But if I can offer any advice to someone on this journey it would be this—feel what you feel, however you need to feel it.
If you want to cry alone or sob in the shower, or
scream alongside your best friend, do it.
If you want to cry alone or sob in the shower, or scream alongside your best friend, do it. If you need to keep it private, journal every moment. If not, you can broadcast it on social media. Because how you feel matters. You may not be able to understand or change your body right now, but you can control your mindset and you absolutely need to. It will make or break you. Don’t ever discount your story because it is chronologically shorter than someone else’s, sounds less traumatic or just seems “not as bad” in general—it is still the hardest thing you have probably worked through and that makes your emotions just as valid. Infertility is not a competition—it sucks for everyone, period. Love someone because you know their pain exists; don’t compare simply because it isn’t identical to yours. This road is long and hard, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. And please never give up. Because the light is so worth the fight.