How do you keep going when it seems like the downpour will NEVER let up?
I am one in eight. What is that statistic? One in every eight couples are classified as having unexplained infertility.
Infertile… Woah, such a scary word, am I right? Well, it was for me when I was described as having unexplained infertility five years ago at the age of 30.
It was terrifying, traumatic, and I was in complete denial. I said to my doctor, “But wait, my mom had four children and my sister got pregnant within five days of getting off of birth control AND has two healthy children. I am not infertile, you must have made a mistake!” I immediately went into the five stages of grief.
The 5 Stages of Grief are not linear and include the following:
- Denial and Isolation
Oh, sister, I went through every stage multiple times: after each of my four miscarriages and each of the 12 failed cycles of IUI (intrauterine insemination) and IVF (in vitro fertilization).
Grief, it is oh so sneaky. It shows up in the most inconvenient moments of our lives. Like in the middle of a dog commercial (huge dog lover over here), a friend’s baby shower, when you see a grandparent hold their grandchild to pick out a birthday card for a loved one in the card aisle, or when you walk past a park where a father is pushing his child on the swing.
There is never a moment in my life that I am not reminded of what I so desire and deserve. Some days I feel that my body has failed me.
I am a woman whose body was made for creating babies and yet it seems like my body has forgotten how to do the ONE thing that she should know how to do so naturally.
Is this a cruel joke?
If you or anyone you love has ever gone through IUI or IVF, then you might have heard of the hundreds of injections they undergo and the numerous ultrasounds and blood work they have to do each cycle. If not, then let me let you in on a secret that SO many people do not share as openly as I do.
You are a guinea pig being injected with medications and hormones in order to produce your miracle baby.
What many do not tell you, is that you cannot exercise, travel at certain times or to certain areas, or drink alcohol during your treatments. You do not have control over your body AT ALL. It’s incredibly draining on your mind, body, soul, and your marriage. So, what can you do during this incredibly difficult yet beautiful journey?
Go back to the basics. What do I mean by that? I have been on this fertility journey for six long years and it is very difficult to remember what my life was like prior to trying to conceive. What were my favorite hobbies, likes, dislikes, or guilty pleasures?
Who am I outside of my infertility?
So, I made a list that included:
- hosting hygge DIY parties
- game nights
- making smoothies
- taking creative classes like soy candle making or mosaics
- going to the movies
- date night with my hubby
- coffee dates with myself
- life coaching my clients
- taking long walks with my dog
Why do I sign up for those classes or make plans in the difficult moments of life?
Because they make me SO freaking HAPPY. They remind me that I am alive and I have a strong community behind me, even when the downpour feels like it will not let up.
Maybe you are in a season of your life where it is just so damn hard to see the sunshine. Whether you are a new mom, taking care of a sick parent, in the midst of a new career, draining job, raising children and taking care of the household, trying to get out of debt, dealing with an illness, or just trying to figure out your purpose in life, know that we are ALL cheering you on at The Sister Project.
Remember the sun WILL shine again tomorrow.
Although I haven’t been able to control what is happening with my body, I do choose to fill my life with the people and things that light my soul on fire. I challenge you to write a list of all the things and people that bring you joy and then RUN and go check those items off your beautiful list.
Trust me, your body, mind, and soul will thank you.
Kasia is on a mission to empower, support, and inspire women at every stage of their fertility journey. She brings inspiration through hope, humor, and empathy. When she’s not advocating for Endometriosis or speaking up about Infertility, then you can find her exploring the beautiful streets of the South Loop in Chicago.