Appreciating the Process: Motherhood After Infertility
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If you are currently going through fertility treatments, this may not be the right time for you to read this. This post deals with being grateful for the things you gained from your infertility journey. You may have a hard time right now finding the positives in this process or maybe your experience is very different. That’s ok. If you need support for the emotional rollercoaster of infertility, contact us today to get started. We can help you to feel more like yourself again.
When you were in the thick of infertility treatment, if someone told you that one day you might look back and appreciate the process, what would you think? Most likely, you would think they were crazy. There was nothing enjoyable about the endless poking and prodding, waiting anxiously for a phone call with medication instructions, tentatively making plans because you never knew when you would have to cancel them for monitoring or a procedure, or becoming obsessed with follicle counts and uterine lining measurements. And then of course there are the disappointments that many face - canceled cycles, failed cycles, miscarriages - the list goes on.
But someday, when you are off the infertility rollercoaster, you may look back and think, “I would not change a thing.” Here are some reasons why, from women who have been there.
Your marriage is stronger.
Of course, there were the tough times from all the added stress. And many times where you wished you could be doing something else, talking about something else, and using your vacation days for something else. But once you and your partner go through an infertility journey together, the bond you share grows deeper. You’ll be able to approach life’s other challenges knowing that you can support one another through anything.
You made incredible friends.
Some of these friends may have come from a support group. The way you “got” each other and were able to lean on one another through the ups and downs made the tough days better and forged friendships that have lasted. Other friends who did not have personal experience with infertility may also have proven to be amazing sources of support.
And after your journey ended, you probably had other friends who were experiencing infertility struggles, and you were there for them. Women who have been through fertility treatments often find that they have instant bonds with others who are going (or went) through the same thing.
It shaped you as a mom.
That’s not to say that you don’t have days where you get really frustrated with your kids. Just because you struggled to conceive them doesn’t take away the fact that being a mom can be draining and challenging. But, overall, you may find that you approach parenthood with a little more gratitude and patience than you might have otherwise.
You are more compassionate.
Even if you were empathetic before, your infertility journey certainly made you more so. You may have become more open about your experience as time went on, but there probably were many people with whom you were not as forthcoming. You learned that you never truly know what someone else is going through. Everyone’s got something they are dealing with.
Now when someone at work or in your personal life seems distracted, cancels plan at the last minute, drops the ball on a project, or seems a little short-tempered or grouchy, you are probably more patient and inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. While they might not be running late from morning monitoring or worried about an upcoming transfer, maybe they are experiencing something similarly challenging that you couldn’t possibly understand unless you were in their shoes.
You have the children you were meant to have.
Can you imagine not having your kids? You were meant to be their mom. But had any of the failed transfers worked, or had you gotten pregnant on your own when you first started trying, or not had a loss, you would have another child entirely and maybe never met the children you have today.
Some women become mothers in a way that’s not exactly how you imagined. It may involve a little more science, a lot more waiting, and potentially someone else’s eggs or uterus, but when you meet your baby and get to know your child, it all makes sense.
It’s hard to have this perspective when you’re going through it. You are most definitely not alone if you have been jealous of friends who got pregnant effortlessly. But in hindsight, you may find that you are thankful for your story and appreciate the ways it has shaped you as a person.
Your reasons may be similar or very different from these. Either way, they are your reasons and your story. Embrace it.