Infertility is like auditioning for a scene in a movie with a blank script. You know the plot is to have a baby, but you have no idea how, when, or if it is going to happen. And along the way, there will be comments, and unfair advantages others will have that will make it sometimes seem near impossible to hold your own baby someday.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the moment you want a baby, it seems like baby showers start popping up left and right. Instagram and Facebook are full of newborn photos. Even the little “baby on board” car sticker can trigger uninvited emotions.
Because it’s not coming from you…yet.
So, support is necessary. Surrounding yourself with the right people who can contribute recommendations that work be it coaching, nutritionists, spiritual guidance, even books can all be beneficial when navigating the unknown of artificial reproductive technology.
Because if you have never been through it, you will never fully understand the raw, emotional pain it is when your body is not doing something that you have been taught it is supposed to do your entire life.
That’s why I became a certified fertility coach and an in vitro fertilization children’s book author. Because I understand firsthand how important educated and unconditional support is, especially during the month of June being National Infertility Awareness Month.
Personally, I have never seen nor experienced an at-home positive pregnancy test. Through my own walk of miscarriage resulting from an IVF transfer, I never even thought about the number of children I would have until my husband and I started talking about family planning together. And once I realized I could not conceive “naturally,” aka via sex, I felt that how many children, if any, I was going to have was out of my initial control. When we were referred to a fertility clinic, and in vitro fertilization was our only chance for me to experience pregnancy, I really lost control of things, as anyone who goes through IVF understands that to even try and carry a baby, you relinquish all thoughts of how conception was going to go and allow almost anything to happen to conceive.
Which for me, also include genetic testing.
Having the last embryo turn to one full-term pregnancy, resulting in one baby suddenly became all that mattered to me. Not the number of children, nor the gender of the baby, but the fact that I was going to have a child to call my own, was enough to make me happy. When the cards were dealt for me with fertility, and I was face-to-face with the understanding that I was not in control of the number of babies I was able to have, I was okay with that. The most helpful in coping with this has been my home. My husband is my best friend. My cats and dog are my fur babies. And the way that my son looks at me and hugs me and talks to me, putting 100% of myself back into his happiness and fulfilling life is what fuels me to be the best I can be, real and true and living in the moment.
I bring this up because I feel there can be just as much pressure to having “children” as there is to have a child. For those with infertility, the odds are sometimes not in our favor, and therefore, it is no longer a factor on our path to parenthood.
My advice for others in this similar situation is to remember that Mother Nature is the most powerful force around us. When I miscarried my first embryo transfer, I was often reminded that I had one embryo left and one is all it takes to have a baby. And that was the case for me.
It is also so important, to do something not affiliated with fertility, whether that’s yoga, journaling, exercise, going to the movies, volunteering, whatever makes you happy and takes your mind off having a baby, every day, while trying to conceive. Having infertility cannot take over your life and your worthiness. Because with or without a baby, you are enough, and you are not alone.
When my rainbow baby was two years old, I survived sudden cardiac arrest out of nowhere and was diagnosed with heart disease. It was a defining moment in my life where I truly started to understand what my calling is and what I want to do with the rest of my life. A mother, first and foremost, a coach and an author, to start sharing my story on social media has felt invigorating and empowering because I meet so many other women who share in the same thoughts and feelings about life and motherhood and life’s unexplainable moments, as I do. Support means so much when going through postpartum and motherhood. And since I am an open book about my health, I realize that I am often going to receive unsolicited advice from people who think I am to blame for things, even though no one is to blame. Having social media be there to send messages of understanding and care and concern for saying, “I have infertility and heart disease, and I am now at peace with my situation” has given me strength and courage when I didn’t always believe I had it. And it’s what I now preach and teach in my coaching sessions. It’s why I bring the topic of IVF into homes through the I’m Very Ferris children’s picture book series.
Because unlike social media, life is not an Instagram filter. And the more I can share my knowledge and understanding in these 1 in 4, 1 in 8, and 1 in 10 statistics, the more I can help people realize they can live their best life, even when the original plans change.
It’s why I wrote this blog article to reach you today. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is infertility. The worst club with the best members.