7 hard truths they don’t tell you about Infertility and Pregnancy lossJun 28, 2021
My husband and I started trying for a baby on our honeymoon. The first morning I left my contraception in the packet was exhilarating (and a little scary). I had spent my whole life – 33 years of it at the time – trying NOT to fall pregnant. So, that simple act, felt a little reckless. I had also dreamt about what it would be like to be pregnant and feel a baby growing inside me since I was a little girl. I was hopeful and frightened all at once.
To say I was unprepared for infertility, or unexplained infertility, is an understatement. And pregnancy loss? Well, they don’t teach that kind of thing in school (and if they did – I clearly wasn’t paying attention).
There are definitely some hard truths and lessons you learn along this path. I learned the hard way. So, I’d like to share with you a few of the things I wish I had known back then. Perhaps if I had known these things, it wouldn’t have knocked me on my ass. I’m not a big fan of surprises. And infertility definitely took me by surprise.
Here are the things you won’t find in your IVF handbook, or your baby-making manual. The things that no-one talks about. Except for me. Yep, I want to share with you the hard truths I learned.
- You will lose friends.
I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but you will. Some people in your life will be able to comfort you and will be there for you, and others simply will not have the emotional capacity to. Your friend group may split into those who have children, and those who do not. You will probably gravitate to those who do not have children – because it will be less painful. This journey has a way of dividing the path. Just like when you left school and went to university. Some will stick together, and some will not. It’s sad to say goodbye, and some losses will hurt more than others.
HOWEVER, I truly believe that people move in and out of our life for a purpose. With every ending, there will be a new beginning. You will meet new people and connections. The friendships you do have and make will be deeper and more meaningful. You will separate out those who are TRUE friends, from merely acquaintances. And you will gain strength and inspiration from each other.
- You will lose a little piece of your innocence.
I thought that unprotected sex equaled pregnancy. I thought that two lines on a pregnancy test equaled a baby. I thought that everything happened for a reason. Until infertility hit. The fairytale ended. I realized that bad shit happens to good people. And sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason.
Your innocence will be replaced HOWEVER with perspective. It will open your eyes to what really matters in this life. You will have a deeper appreciation for those who also travel down this path, and other paths filled with loss. You will become more compassionate and more sensitive to other’s needs. You will think before you speak, because you know how much it hurts when people get it wrong. You will become a better person.
- You will realize that hard work doesn’t always equal results or get you what you want in life. And that we are not completely in control of our destiny. That you can do ALL the things, tick all the boxes, and still not see two lines on that stick. AND that you can see two lines on that stick and do ALL the things you’re supposed to, and still not get your baby in your arms. As your typical type-A personality, self-confessed control freak, this was the hardest lesson for me.
Because of this HOWEVER, you will learn a very important lesson. You will realize that pushing and pushing and controlling and controlling is f*cking exhausting. And that sometimes the most productive thing you can do is slow down. It taught me patience (well, a little more), to trust myself and my body. To stop running and start listening to that little voice inside me. To focus on the things I CAN control, instead of the things I cannot. And the impact that stress has on our body. This truth taught me the importance of looking after myself.
- It has the ability to ruin your sex life.
It started on our honeymoon. I could feel the pressure, and I’m sure my husband could too. At first it was fun, but eventually it became a chore. Every month we weren’t pregnant, was a source of frustration. I started tracking my cycle with a vengeance and was quite forceful in my approach to sex during ovulation. We started struggling – me demanding sex, and him avoiding it. Fighting over sex. It was heart-breaking and confusing.
HOWEVER, I learned that even though my partner looked like he was doing ok on the surface, in fact he was not. This journey was affecting him too. And while it hurt me knowing that he was being affected by it, it also gave me comfort that I wasn’t in this alone. This journey will test your relationship, but it will also prove that you can get through most things if you communicate.
- There will be times when you don’t know if you can do this anymore. You will lose faith in your body, because every time it doesn’t do something it is “supposed to” it will feel like a betrayal.
HOWEVER, you will find strength you didn’t know you had. You will learn that you can endure more than you ever imagined possible, and still survive. That you can feel hope in the deepest and darkest moments. That feeling the HARD emotions – like shame and jealousy and guilt and anger, does not make you a bad person. That your thoughts are not YOU.
- Some days you will look in the mirror and not recognize yourself – your life will change, your thoughts will not seem like your own, and your emotions will be too large for you to process or comprehend. You will feel completely detached from the woman you once were. This journey changes us from the inside out. We will never be the same again.
BUT that is exactly what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to change. This life is about learning, and growing and evolving. It’s not about staying still or never changing. The reason why most of us feel disconnected, is because we stop listening to ourselves. We ignore that little voice inside us. And stop loving ourselves. Instead of looking at ourselves with compassion and love, it’s with disappointment and criticism. YOU are still amazing, and even more so now.
- You will wonder whether your struggles are a sign that you’re not meant to be a mum. You will wonder WHY ME? a lot! Not knowing WHY is one of the toughest parts of this journey. We are desperate for an answer. Because we think we are being punished because we are not worthy.
You are not being punished. You have done nothing to deserve this. And this is not your fault. Most importantly, this is not because you will be terrible mother. Quite the opposite in fact. You are worthy beyond belief. And I know this from personal experience.
This journey is tough. One of the toughest things I have ever had to walk through.
And while there are a lot of hard truths in there, there are a lot of silver linings too. You may not be able to see them just yet, but one day I hope you do.
If you’d like to know ALL the lessons I learned on my fertility journey, you can read all about them inside my book, The Injustice of Infertility. The REAL story of infertility. The truth. It will show you a different perspective, so you can get to your silver lining.
You can download a free chapter by heading HERE.
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