One of the “silver linings” of infertility is that you really learn a lot about yourself. Some of the things are good, and some aren’t so good. Here are a few things infertility taught me about myself in the last two years.
The Ugly: I tend to isolate myself
This is not really a new revelation for me. I’ve been aware of this since college, but it’s definitely intensified during infertility. I don’t want to be around pregnant women, or people with young children. The only exceptions are my best friends, but even that is getting difficult now. It’s much easier to stay at home and talk to other people on Twitter going through infertility.
The Ugly: I eat my feelings
I should really be focusing on eating healthy in order to give my body the best chance for conception. But I think about cookies and potato chips all day long. I want cheese and chocolate and bread. I’m usually good at eating healthy for a day or two, but then I get upset about something infertility-related and I’ll polish off a bag of Ruffles in no time. I’m lucky that I have a high metabolism and don’t really need to worry about weight gain, but I know I’m not nourishing my body with what I eat. I maintained a fairly healthy diet during IVF out of sheer willpower, but in the week after my chemical pregnancy and subsequent period, I ate chips, cheese, and sugar like you wouldn’t believe.
The Good: I am not a mean person.
Some people get mean and rude to other pregnant people and can’t wish them well. I may get sad for me when I find out about other people’s pregnancies, but I haven’t felt the urge to be mean.
The Good: I am stronger than I thought I was.
When I first realized I was going to have trouble conceiving on my own, I was scared of having an IUI. After a few failed IUIs, I was terrified I would need IVF. During IVF, my biggest fear was an unsuccessful cycle. Now that I’ve survived all that, I realize I’m stronger than I knew. Yes, it was hard, but I survived.
The Good: I can live without a lot of things I thought I needed.
Infertility is expensive. Our insurance doesn’t pay for anything infertility-related, so all our expenses have come out-of-pocket. We are so blessed that we’ve been able to afford treatment without going into debt. Our family has helped us, but we’ve also been very intentional about budgeting and spending. I’ve really come to understand the difference between wants and needs. Paying the RE on time is a need. A new pair of shoes and an afternoon at the spa is not.
What has infertility taught you about yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.