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Resolve to Know More About The War of Infertility: Surviving and Thriving

By Tracey Minella

April 25th, 2014 at 12:08 pm


credit: Ambro/

Okay. I lied. It’s just about surviving. The thriving only comes when the baby arrives. If the baby arrives.

And the reality of that “if” makes infertility a war. It’s what throws us into survival mode. We battle infertility. We suffer infertility. And every month when we lose another battle, we bleed. Literally and emotionally and financially. We question if we can recover from yet another blow. And like a wounded soldier trembling alone in a trench at night, we look up at the stars and make our secret bargains with the universe. And we worry if we’ll ever win this war and go back to a normal life. To the life others continue living during our physical or emotional absence. To the life we left on hold.

There are no rainbows and unicorns in infertility. No time for fun or relaxation during a war. For parties or thrills or belly laughter. For “thriving”. Sure, you can sometimes kick back momentarily, but your mind rarely disengages from the war at hand. And there is nothing wrong with that, so don’t feel guilty when you don’t want to participate in something others think is fun. When in doubt, sit it out. Like “friendly-fire”, well-meaning allies can unintentionally cause you great pain. Baby shower invites are grenades thrown by friends.

Let’s first acknowledge that the only people qualified to give advice to infertile people are other infertile people. Not your mom or your best friend. Not even your doctor, beyond the medical part. And certainly not your hairdresser’s second cousin’s babysitter. No one else knows what you’re going through…no matter how much they love you.

credit: Resolve

Even those who suffered their own fertility challenges and emerged triumphant can’t fully understand the pain felt by those still waiting for their day. Yes, they walked a mile…maybe ten… in your stirrups. But the filling of previously empty arms changes you. Becoming a parent changes you, even if you still want more children. Your advice may not be as welcome as before.

So here is my not-as-welcome-as before advice: I can tell you to treat yourself well, not because you will enjoy it so much as because it’s one of the few things about infertility that is in your control. Eat well, sleep enough, and exercise because doing so can improve your chances of conceiving. Occasionally, do your favorite pampering-type things if you have the time and money to help with stress relief and feelings of deprivation. If you’re not feeling the romantic walk on the beach thing, do it anyway. Or do something that feels right to reconnect with your partner if the battle is taking its toll on you as a couple. He or she is the only person who is worth that herculean effort.

Control what you can. Ask for help if you need it. Believe it will happen.

Because winning this war isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

For more information about how you can resolve to learn more about infertility, please go to:  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.) (About NIAW)

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Does infertility sometimes feel like your own private war? Do you have any tips to share that have helped you?


Photo credit: Ambro






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