The infertility road can be a very scary and very lonely place. I can still remember the first time I realized that this was the path I was about to take. We had just suffered our 2nd miscarriage and my OB/GYN suggested that we consult with a fertility specialist sooner rather than later. At this point I still didn’t think that the infertility label was for me, I still just thought we had a run of bad luck but if seeing a specialist would help us end this bad luck streak than I was in. Even after we met with Dr. F and began all of the invasive testing I still just thought it would happen and Dr. F was just there to help nudge things along.
It wasn’t until one of my tests came back very low and I was diagnosed with Poor Ovarian Reserve that it began to hit me that this could be a really serious problem. I kept thinking that I got pregnant on my own so the hard part was not an issue. It was wasn’t until the doctor started to explain that even though I did still have some eggs left and was still able to get pregnant, the ones that were left had a higher chance of being poor quality eggs and more likely to result in more losses. Suddenly I began to feel very alone and very scared. I began to realize that the dream of becoming a mom might not come true. Now I was traveling the infertility road. This road included more invasive and unpleasant testing, failed cycles with and without hormones and unfortunately some cycles that resulted in more pregnancy losses.
When I look back on that moment I think that one of the big reasons I felt so alone was because it seemed that everyone else just got married and had kids with no problems or at least if they did no one really talked about it. And then there were the people of “accidentally” got pregnant without even trying. I knew of a couple people who were struggling but they were pretty scarce. I began to feel like I was the odd woman out and felt like I was different and not in the unique special kind of way but the “there is something wrong with you” way.
I remember reaching out to a family friend at a birthday party that I knew had been struggling. It felt so good to talk to someone who “got it” and understood everything I was feeling. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone or so crazy for feeling the way I did. I started to open up more about our situation which wasn’t really by choice necessarily but more out of the curiousity of other people as to if/when we might have children. I am not one to cover up things and just began to answer questions honestly when asked. As I began to open up more, that is when I discovered that there were a whole lot more people on the same road as me or who were former travelers. Even my husband began to open up to others and found some others too. I also found an amazing support group that really helped me in some of my darkest days.
My road led me to some unexpected places and contemplating treatments that I never thought I would be open to trying. I started doing acupuncture and not sure if that was what finally helped us but in August we found out we were pregnant and this time we stayed pregnant. I am currently 37+ weeks and counting. When I started this journey I didn’t know where it would take me but I know I couldn’t have done it alone and without the support of so many others.
Every so often I find someone else who is just starting the infertility journey and the first thing I tell them is that they are not alone. There are so many people who are struggling and reaching out to others has been such a lifesaver. Just talking to others and hearing their stories makes the journey a little less lonely and scary. So if you are someone who has just found themselves taking a detour on the baby making journey into Infertilityville, know that you are not alone and you will meet others who will help you along the way. You will find others who will give you strength and hope when you have none left. And never feel ashamed. You did nothing wrong and didn’t ask to travel this road. Know that you will be stronger for it and you will find a final destination that might look a little different than where you thought you would end up but it will be your destination and you will not be alone.