I was cleaning out a closet today (have to do something to occupy my time during the 2ww) and came across some old books. One book in particular got me thinking. Mr. Folgh.am may have learned a lot in kindergarten but I learned a lot more from being infertile.
Everything I ever needed to know I learned from being infertile.
Share everything. It doesn’t matter how modest you are when you begin the infertility journey, I promise you by the end you will not be. You will have shared everything about yourself; with your spouse, possibly family and friends, your RE, and also most likely the entire staff of your RE’s office. People will know how long your cycles are, whether they are regular or not, your ovulation days, what color underwear you usually wear, how you choose to groom your area, and how a tiny pill called Clomid can make you morph into a different person.
Play Fair. Yeah right, all may be fair in love and war, but NOT in infertility. Sometimes it will seem like everyone you know in the world who tries to get pregnant does so on their first attempt. That is not fair.
Don’t hit people. As tempting as it may be to slug the person who tells you to relax and it’ll happen, or who says that they get pregnant just looking at their husband, it really would be better if you can practice some self-control. Otherwise you may end up arrested for assault.
Put things back where you found them. You can return used sharps containers to your RE’s office. Try to remember to do that at follow-up appointments. Otherwise you will end up like me, with mounds of soda bottles filled with used needles in the back of my closet. People would think I had a terrible drug habit if someone ever found them. I can never remember to bring them with me to return them.
Clean up your own mess. Invest in panty liners if your RE tells you that you will be using progesterone suppositories. Messy can not begin to describe them. Wish someone had told me that the first time I used them.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours. This includes magazines and pens from your RE’s waiting room and the condoms your RE uses over the dildo-cam. Doesn’t matter how many of your friends who are not ttc may need those condoms, they will just have to go to the local drugstore for their supply.
Say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. This one is for the people giving you those IM injections. If you happen to hit the nerve it will cause unimaginable pain. Be careful. Oh, and jab quickly, don’t put the needle in slowly. Those bruises will eventually go away too.
Be aware of wonder. I find it pretty amazing how the human race continues to go on - knowing how hard it is to actually get pregnant. All of the complex steps that have to occur. Fascinating.
Take a nap every day. You will need to with all of the early monitoring appointments you’ll have.
Live a balanced life. You can try this if you are in the beginning of your journey but it gets more difficult the longer you have been ttc. Infertility does not really allow for a balanced life - it has a way of taking over your life.
Wash you hands before you eat. I think this one is more intended for your RE and the clinic staff.
Flush. What you do with your money when cycle after cycle after cycle (after cycle) doesn’t work.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. So are martini’s and red wine when you get a BFN.
When you go out into the world, hold hands and stick together. It helps to know that you are not alone. There are a lot of couples facing infertility. Share your struggle with others if you can, even if it’s only with your lineal friends. If you are one of the people who has reached the other side, and achieved bringing home a baby, try to remember what it was like when you were going through your own struggle. Try to be a friend to those who are still struggling. If you are still struggling, know that you are normal if you feel some resentment and jealousy toward people who are pregnant or who have children, even if they themselves have struggled with infertility in the past.
Goldfish and hamsters and mice and the seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we. Hmmm…I wish I had remembered this one more. Miscarriage rates are staggering (in my opinion) yet no one talks about them. My advice: be informed about them, do what you can to prevent them, but also know that most times you can’t prevent them. If you are faced with one, I am sorry. Try to find support somewhere, you don’t have to go through that alone.
Learn, think, draw, paint, sing, dance, play, and work a little every day. Try not to let infertility take over your life. Not good advice from someone who has let it take over. But don’t become like me. I am not good at this but I do know that someday the infertility journey will be over, whether that be by bringing home a baby, adopting, or eventually getting to the point of living childfree. Try to keep other things in your life that are important so that you don’t get to the future and realize a good portion of your life was spent focused on infertility and nothing else.