Infertility: Your Journey is Valid

Infertility is a journey that just a few years ago not many people talked about. Thankfully, that seems to be changing, and I know from my personal experience – talking about it matters.

Talking about it makes others feel less alone. But what I’ve also noticed is – it can cause some unnecessary judgment. I saw it posted in a mom’s Facebook group to a woman who had been trying for years to have a second child, “Well at least you have one, I have a friend who would be happy with one child but she isn’t getting pregnant.” Those kinds of comments are not helpful or okay, regardless of the situation.

And yet, when I got pregnant with my twins after one miscarriage and four rounds of IUI {Intrauterine Insemination}, I felt like my infertility journey paled in comparison to others. I thought about the people who had multiple miscarriages, who had to do IVF {in vitro fertilization}, or who didn’t get the happy ending I did – and I worried people would make comments to that effect because I had seen it happen.

But, in the end – I shared my journey anyway – because it was my story. And it was hard and lonely. And it was valid. And in the end, it did what I wanted it to…it gave people hope.

The infertility journey typically starts the same – either with Primary or Secondary infertility.

Primary infertility – actively trying to become pregnant and not being successful after 1 year.

Secondary infertility – unable to get pregnant after having one or more successful pregnancies.

But that’s where the similarities end – from there it can be extremely complex. And while pregnancy can be more challenging for older individuals {my twin pregnancy was considered “geriatric” because I was over 35 – don’t get me started on that} it can impact all ages.  

The infertility journey could be:

  • Caused by a medical condition or have no known cause
  • At least one year of waiting – but sometimes much longer
  • Pregnancy loss or stillbirth
  • An oral medication like Clomid or Femara
  • A procedure like IUI or IVF
  • Due to a problem with the women’s eggs or the man’s sperm
  • {Insert your personal experience here}

The point is – it varies. And it shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s experience. And we certainly shouldn’t make anyone feel like they should be happy about their situation because “it could be worse.”

Infertility – no matter what it entails – is heartbreaking. It’s lonely, it’s loss, it’s grief. It’s a journey very specific and personal to the person going through it.

I also think it’s also a good reminder that “you never know what someone is going through.” I was in the bathroom at work after I found out I would miscarry and had someone say to me {about a pregnant co-worker in the bathroom} “Wow, I’m so glad that’s not me and I’m done with that phase of my life – aren’t you Jodie?” I just smiled and said something about really enjoying being pregnant.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. Not about a young couple who just got married; not about people with five kids, one kid, or zero kids. The person with one or two kids might want more and be struggling to conceive. That person with zero kids might have experienced a miscarriage or be struggling with infertility. You never know and frankly, it’s none of your business.

To all the mamas out there who are still waiting, who are surrounded by so much grief it’s hard to see the possibilities on the other side, I see you. I know your pain. I know the journey is lonely, but you are not alone.  

Read my infertility story here, and by clicking here.

 

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Hi, I’m Jodie! I live in Williamston with my husband Chris and three girls: Francesca, and twins, Amelia and Annabelle. Since graduating from Central Michigan University (Fire Up, Chips!), I have worked full-time in the world of corporate communications, for 15 years. I also serve on the Galactosemia Foundation board, where I advocate for my two daughters living with the rare metabolic disease. I love Jesus, but I cuss a little and I drink coffee until wine is acceptable. When I can find a minute, I blog about my crazy, blessed life – often the hard stuff, but always with humor (and often a little sarcasm) at JustJoders.blogspot.com. I can’t wait to start sharing my life and learnings with the Mid-Michigan Moms community!

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