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  • Katie O'Connor

    Women struggling with infertility: You will get through this

    A pep talk for women going through infertility treatments, from a mom who's been there.


    If I could write a letter to a woman going through infertility, I would tell her all the things I learned along the way on my journey, all my best advice, and it would go something like this.

    Dear [Desperately Wanting To Be A] Mom Struggling With Infertility,

    As you read this you are probably in a deep dark place, wondering “why me?”. I am here to tell you: The sun will shine again. Your morning routine won’t always include a trip to the infertility clinic to get your blood drawn and ultrasound for monitoring. Your stomach bloat will deflate. Your butt won’t be bruised and lumpy forever from the shots. You will have your life back.

    And it will all be worth it.

    I want to tell you it sucks—it’s OK to have a personal pity party (but keep it short), then stand up, brush yourself off and keep going. You will become a pro at getting your blood drawn. The shots aren’t ideal, but the build-up in your head is way worse; just hold your breath and go! Living through infertility treatments is like riding a roller coaster—constant ups and downs of emotions—you are hopeful, yet also bracing for heartache. It’s OK to be selfish, it keeps you sane. It’s OK to skip a baby shower if the thought of going makes you think you will lose it.

    You will not care who has seen your private parts. Maybe pre-infertility, you only had women OBGYNs; post-infertility, you might have a male doctor get you pregnant and a male doctor deliver your baby in a room full of medical students, and you will survive both. I want you to know that you will overcome this and be stronger for going through it, personally and in your relationship.

    But make sure you communicate your feelings with your partner; you both are struggling, and you need to be open and honest about your needs, your wants and your limits. Remember, you may have a plan, a vision of how your path to motherhood may look, and remember that plan, vision, path, may change over time, and that’s OK! It will make you appreciate being pregnant or being a mom even more, but don’t put too much pressure on the experience or yourself to be “perfect.”

    Katie O'Connor

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