When we speak about infertility, there is a lot of pain and taboos attached. Friends are confused when speaking about it in fear of hurting loved ones who suffer. There are so many assumptions and no concrete safe discussions around this sensitive subject. So, many women are struggling with infertility in silence. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We would like to change that by creating a safe space for a healthy and necessary discussion through shared stories from our community. So, we reached out to MOGA Moms to share their experience with infertility in hopes to heal together. We want to open the doors for honest conversations. You may not find “advice” per se, but you will hear stories from women like you. They may have known someone experiencing infertility or having gone through it themselves. So grab a coffee, open your hearts and let’s listen to one another.
After speaking with dozens of women, we found most had sought out medical advice from their family doctors who referred them to a fertility clinic. Bio-technology is available with many options enabling us to explore treatments that could assist couples trying to conceive. However, these do come with heavy feelings and emotions. Many women had expressed, having faced long wait periods, miscarriages, and unsuccessful treatments for their first trials.
One reader candidly shared, “I suffer from PSOC (polycystic ovary syndrome). It took us 6 years to become pregnant. After many procedures and medications our IVF worked. However, I miscarried. Second time, it didn’t work, and finally the third time we became pregnant with our 18 month old now.”
Support and Challenges with Infertility
For emotional support, some women reached out to close friends and family to share their journeys with. Meanwhile, others chose to remain private and lean on their spouses only. Having community support was important to many women, but they proceeded with caution.
As one woman shared, “I was supported by my mom and a few close friends, but we kept it all pretty hush-hush because we didn’t want people talking about our infertility and wondering what was going on all the time. It was a very sensitive subject and was hard to open up to others about. I wish I had reached out for more support from the community, but I didn’t know where I could get that support from.”
The special challenge of being misunderstood was a shared sentiment among all our readers who answered. In turn, half of our readers felt a need to remain silent on their pains and struggles. Or, considerably limit the people with whom they share their journey.
However, on the bright side, one woman found that speaking more openly about her journey helped people around her open up, too. “Yes. I felt like the black sheep in a group. They were scared to talk to me, ask for updates. I felt closed off because no one I was close with even understood what I was going through and they didn’t know how to treat me. It was the elephant in a small room, it felt like. Near the end, I changed my attitude and became super open about infertility and my struggles, changed my attitude, and I felt like that helped immensely!”
Struggles with Occasions
When we asked our MOGA Moms what some of the struggles had been surrounding infertility, we found several faced similar experiences on special occasions. Especially baby showers.
One women said, “It got to the point where I didn’t even go to my own friend’s baby shower because it was so hard to see their happiness when I wanted that so badly for our family.”
Another woman shared, “I would avoid things like baby showers as it was hard to share the joy.”
Christmas was especially difficult for some, “I cried for hours the night my sis-in-law announced her pregnancy on Christmas Eve (as this was already a challenging holiday).”
Infertility Coping Methods
Having deep struggles and pains surrounding infertility doesn’t mean there isn’t room for healing. Many of our readers found healthy methods to cope with the challenges as well.
One woman stated, “I took advantage of our employee assistance program for counselling.” Speaking to a trained therapist or counsellor can considerably ease stress. You can also gain strategies to manage the surge of emotions many women feel through infertility and trials with fertility treatments.
Other women joined support groups either attending in person or available online on Facebook to share their experiences. One woman shared her insight, “It’s good to have a non-judgmental group to ask questions and share frustrations without judgement.”
Having an open line of communication was also another common thread among our MOGA Moms. One woman listed her coping strategies, “Being honest with my husband about my concerns, talking to my parents, joining a support group, focus on my health, and personal research.”
Alternatively, some women found that turning to self-reflection, meditation, prayer, and reading was really helpful. These internal methods helped them cope with their feelings and challenges with infertility.
Advice on Infertility to Your Younger Self
Lastly, we asked women to share advice they would like to give to their younger selves. Below are their beautiful words and advice from our Moga Moms we can all take to heart:
“Be hopeful, be patient, be present.”
“I would tell myself to be kinder to myself and my husband about things that are beyond our control.”
“Adoption is awesome and many people see it as a “second best” solution to IVF or if other fertility treatments don’t work. We never tried IVF and my advice would be to not wait so long to pursue adoption. So many kids are waiting for great homes and families, and it’s truly a wonderful experience which multiple love amongst more people.”
“Just keep trying, try exercising, and keeping busy.”
“Make an alternate plan. One for your life with children and a much craved for family unit. And, another based on whatever fills you with some hope and joy. From time to time imagine your life down that route. Life is a blessing and living it with gratitude is an amazing gift in itself.”
“Be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
“Take better care of yourself, and be more open minded when it comes to children.”
“This is one of the main reasons I became a positive sex counsellor. To openly talk to those who are having difficulties. It’s one of the worst feelings, that I’ve ever experienced.”
“Never tell a woman, “Things happen for a reason,” when trying to conceive or after a miscarriage. Seek counselling with your spouse if you’re going through this, chances are it’s just as hard on them. Listen to your body!”
“Don’t blame yourself. Talk about it with others, especially your partner. Seek help. Don’t feel like you are any less a women because you can’t conceive. Educate yourself on infertility. Stay positive and have faith that the universe knows best and never disappoints.”