I don’t think there is anything in this world that can prepare you for infertility. Infertility is the opposite of what our bodies are “supposed to do.” With each and every consent signing, blood draw, or consult our minds are put into a deeper fog. We’re trying our best to figure it all out, to balance it all, to survive, to push forward, all while maintaining a sane mental attitude, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.
I still remember the day I walked into my first fertility doctor’s appointment. It was daunting, scary, and if I am being honest, kind of lonely. While sitting there talking to my doctor, I couldn’t help but think, “This can’t be happening to me. This isn’t normal.” But it was, in fact, happening. I presented my doctor with some scans I had done previously through my OBGYN, and after a few minutes of looking them over, he gave me my possible (not yet confirmed) diagnosis.
My doctor reassured me that, no matter what, he was going to do all that he could to help us. Still, I left the office that day feeling extremely defeated and scared. The drive home is one I don’t think I will ever forget. I was filled with so many emotions. My mind was unable to grasp the fact that I could potentially never have my own biological children. How was I supposed to work through this mentally, let alone physically?
I wasn’t prepared for the news I received at that appointment, and that trend of not feeling prepared has continued throughout our entire journey. I think the reason for that is because, with infertility, things change quickly. By the time we wrap our minds around one thing, we get hit with another. It is mentally draining and downright exhausting.
There have been times after doctor’s appointments where I have come home, crawled in bed, and slept for the rest of the day. Why? Because I was mentally exhausted. Trying to explain what I was feeling to others was pointless. Infertility is something that no one understands if they haven’t been through it, sometimes not even my husband. The only way I could find peace on those days was by sleeping it off and resting in Jesus.
Jesus has been my comforter through my entire fertility journey. There is a constant conversation going on between Him and I. Knowing that he knows my every thought, emotion, and feeling helps me feel a little less alone. To know that He and only Him will be the one to help me through this just made me love Him even more. My gratitude for His love for me can’t be explained or put into words. Knowing that my Lord Jesus Christ is hugging me daily gives me so much comfort and strength.
Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always so easy just to lean on Jesus. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me.
I clearly remember the day I had to do my first round of Cetrotide injections, which are used to prevent ovulation before an egg retrieval during IVF. I had reached a breaking point. For some reason, the injection needle would not attach correctly to the syringe, and when we went to administer it about 50% of it spilled out everywhere! I was in a complete panic. I tried calling my doctor, but it seemed like ages before I got a callback. I did not know what to do! I knew this shot was vital to the entire process.
At that moment, every negative thought entered my mind. I thought I had ruined everything. I crawled straight into bed, turned the lights off, and just sobbed. The only emotion I could feel was sadness. Again, my mind couldn’t process it all. How is it normal to have to stick yourself with needles? How is it normal to know what to do when half of your IVF medication spills everywhere? How are we supposed to know how to fix this? I will have to admit, that night I resorted to shutting down and having a moment, but I realize now that that’s okay. We are all just doing our best.
My uphill mental battle with infertility continues, as we are currently preparing for our Frozen Embryo Transfer. I still can’t help but thinking, “This isn’t the way we were supposed to get pregnant.” As humans, we are designed to get pregnant a certain way. Infertility goes against all of that logic and science.
When you go through IVF or any other fertility treatments, you might be going through the motions physically, but sometimes it can take your mind a minute to catch up. I would like to think that after our transfer the world is going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but the reality is that it’s not. We will still have to face the deaded two-week-wait and our BETA blood test after that.
Infertility has a way of conditioning you for disappointment, to the point where it’s hard to get excited. It’s hard to have hope. Many of us become realistic, pessimistic, and sometimes even negative, in order to protect our hearts from yet another letdown. Will we ever be able to breathe again? Will our minds ever be able to relax? I am still unsure.
I hate that infertility has taken the sunshine out of me. I hate that it has drained our marriage to the bare minimum. Our tanks are empty, and we are just trying to survive, day by day. We are trying to remain hopeful. We are trying to be happy. Will it ever go back to how it was? I am not sure. The one thing that I am sure about is the love of Jesus, and that’s what continues to get me through.
I wish I had the answers for you on how to mentally prepare yourself for infertility, but the truth is I have no answers. We may never fully understand everything that is happening to us and our bodies. There will be days when we just want to crawl in bed and sleep, and that’s okay, too.
Gabriela Romero Cedillo is 26 years old. She has been married to her husband Ornan for nearly 3 years. They were trying to conceive for a little over two years before they were diagnosed with male factor infertility. After their first IVF cycle, they. are now the proud parents of a baby boy! Gabriela and her husband are also heavily involved in their church. She is a part of the praise and worship team there, as well as the teacher of the kids’ choir and kids’ Bible class.