You are tired, simply tired. You are tired of the doctor appointments. You are tired of the blood draws. You are tired of the tiredness. You are tired of the emptiness. You are tired of the question: when are you going to have a baby? You are tired of the failed attempts at becoming a parent. And most of all you are probably tired of the title you have somehow earned and never once tried for: infertile. But what do you do about it?
I am not a licensed life coach, doctor, psychologist, or anything even close to it, but I survived infertility; it didn’t kill me. It may have killed the hopes and dreams I had about the way I had wanted to become a mom, but it didn’t kill me. It didn’t kill me, but it did help shape me into the mom I am today. And here is how I managed to come out a little stronger in the end.
First and foremost, find a support network. Whether it be one person or several people, you need someone who will listen to you, most of the time just to vent, but at least someone who is willing to listen to you time and time again. You can have the strongest of marriages, but when you are faced with infertility, it will stretch your limits, test your patience, and outright make your marriage harder than it was meant to be. Therefore, making it difficult to talk to your spouse exclusively. But at the same time, don’t forget your spouse is going through the same thing you are and will also need a person. Find your person, both of you. Don’t ever face it alone.
And if I may be so bold to say, try to find someone who has dealt with infertility. There is something to be said about telling someone your struggles and they can say, “I get it” and actually mean it. Nonetheless, find someone to talk to. And if you ultimately end up talking to a licensed doctor, don’t be ashamed in that. There is enough people-shaming to go around in this world, we don’t need the negative stigma about seeing a therapist to weigh on our hearts too. You will be thankful that you did.
Secondly, find something to do you are passionate about. A new hobby. A new adventure. For me it was running. It was the only thing I felt I had control over. It was therapeutic. It was my escape. It also helped me lose 25 pounds! I also dabbled in crafting here and there, which also was therapeutic and kept my mind busy. Your mind will race to question your value in life, have something there to keep your mind off of those questions. Find the time to be with your spouse. While I know the longing of wanting a child bad enough to taste it, I also know the longing of wanting to have an uninterrupted conversation with my spouse, post child. Enjoy the special time you have with your spouse, until it is your time to become a parent.
In the same way, don’t stop living your life. Don’t let having the “infertility” title define who you are. Don’t let it consume you. I know these words are easier to read than they are to put into play, but know this is an up and down process. You will have good days, and you will have hard days. Rely on your support network on the hard days and enjoy every minute of the good days. And don’t forget you are still someone’s spouse and they still need you, childless or not.