It’s a common misconception that infertility is only a problem for those who wait too long to try to conceive. Today, we’re sharing portions of just a few of the many stories we’ve collected from those diagnosed with the disease in their 20s. This post does contain an image of babies/parenting.
Natalie and Stephan
What are some of the best ways people supported you during your journey? One of the most memorable ways people helped support us was fundraising for IVF. We set up one of those health donation websites and had a garage sale. Family members and friends had bake sales, everyone donated items for the garage sale, and even coworkers from family members helped out. It was really really humbling and brought us to tears once to see all the support we were getting.
What is the biggest lesson you learned throughout the journey?
Natalie: “The big ticket question. I think this is what I struggle most with. Figuring out why this is happening, or what I can learn from all of this. Patience definitely, though, I can’t say that is currently my strong suit these days. Over all, I think trying to ‘live in the moment,’ is a big take away. It’s so easy to get swept into ‘what’s next?’ or ‘what should I have done?’ that I lose the now. I also think I’m gaining perseverance.
Stephan: “I think learning to be more pragmatic is the biggest takeaway from this journey. I was so expectant with the initial IVF cycle because so much time and money was invested in it that I think we were both extremely disappointed when it wasn’t successful. Learning to live within the facts and to not speculate has helped save me the disappointment.”
“I felt alone and ashamed to have to go through this at what was then 24.”
Audrey and Chas
Audrey: “One of our biggest challenges was Chas’s anger for not being able to expand our family naturally. During an argument he told me that the reason he was really upset was because we have 2 empty rooms upstairs (we bought a 4 bedroom house in the hopes that they would be filled shortly after we purchased.) I felt alone and ashamed to have to go through this at what was then 24.”
Chas: “This infertility journey is mostly my fault. Not exactly my fault but I’m the one with something wrong. It’s kind of been hard to take. I’ve had my good moments and my bad moments. I’ve had moments where I’ve just blown up and said I can’t do this anymore. Big, huge blow outs. It’s hard when you feel like it’s your fault. I dealt with it on individual terms instead of more of a team effort. When I finally embraced that team effort, everything got a lot better. Although, I still have my days. You just have to go in as a team.”
“The advice I would give to someone who has just been diagnosed with infertility would be, realize it isn’t anyone’s fault. Also, don’t hold it in. Talk to your true friends and let them know that this isn’t something that can just be ‘relaxed’ away, or something you can ‘try harder’ at, this is a real medical problem.”
Megan and Jeremy
Megan: “Through my testing, we found I had a heart shaped uterus, hypothyroidism, PCOS tendencies(but no official change in the labs to get the official PCOS diagnosis), MTHFR, elevated NK cells and cytokines, and blood clotting tendencies/antiphospholipid antibody syndrome that impaired bloodflow to my ovaries and uterus.”
“My RE told me that if my labwork didn’t improve in my next cycle (my FSH just came back extremely elevated while we were planning our 3rd IVF cycle for 2 months later), he wouldn’t let me use my own eggs anymore. At 28 years old, I took that news really hard.”
“Prior to the IF process, I was completely phobic of needles and there was no way I’d give myself shots. With the exception of the PIO shots, I gave myself my shots and had IV infusions every 2-4 weeks to prevent my immune system from attacking the babies. I’d sometimes have to be stuck up to 6 times a day depending on lab work and how easily they’d get the IV. My desire to have a baby far surpassed my fears. What other choice did I have? It all seemed small in comparison to not having children.”