Infertility and IVF can be all-consuming. It often takes over one’s life and it ends up feeling like a part time job. It’s exhausting.
I remember my own journey very well. With all that my husband and I went through and the doctors we saw, I sometimes think that I could have. become a fertility doctor. After our second failed in uterine insemination, I had a booklet of articles and questions for our reproductive endocrinologist. I was very deeply involved in our quest to conceive. I had a unrelenting desire to fix the problem. Except, what was the problem?
The problem it termed out was a diagnosis with secondary infertility, that is the inability to conceive after successfully giving birth to a first child. It was perplexing, but not so uncommon.
The diagnosis was difficult to hear, but hearing the cause arising from our fertility tests was way worse. We were dealing with both female and male fertility factors. My husband was referred to a urologist and I was scheduled for laparoscopic surgery. My problem was threefold. Endometriosis, a heart shaped uterus and Hashimoto. Oy vey.
In hindsight, I realize that I made my fertility journey far worse than it needed to be. My constant negative thoughts always had me going to the worst possible scenario. Most of the time, I would contemplate catastrophes. Years later, I realized that it was a just a defence mechanism. Let me pretend the worst situation already happened just in case it does so I can be prepared.
I wish I could take back some of that precious time I wasted, especially the endless hours I spent on Dr. Google. I wasn’t the fertility doctor, I was the patient. I needed to trust and let go.
A journey through infertility is a microcosm for life. It’s filled with uncertainty, fear and constant angst about the future. The “not knowing part” arouses our sympathetic nervous system which makes the infertility experience even worse. Once we start fertility medication, we get lost in the eye of the storm and lose direction of our sail.
It is at this point that we must release control and ask for help. There is nothing wrong with asking for support through the rough waves. Infertility and life can coexist. In fact, finding a balance point between the two helps so that the ship won’t go under. I know from first hand experience and now hearing the stories of thousands of women who have consulted me about their respective issues.
There is hope. ❤️
Amira is a Social Worker in Toronto, Ontario.
She works in private practice with individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility.
She is also a mother of three miracles.