When I opened up a few weeks ago about trying to conceive, I never expected to be flooded with comments and emails from encouraging women who knew exactly what I was going through. Some of your stories made my struggle seem so very trivial. I heard stories from women who had been trying for a year, two years, three years, five years, and even longer to conceive, and each of your stories touched my heart.
That's why when Elena approached me about guest posting on the subject of conceiving and infertility, I jumped at the opportunity. If you haven't been following Elena's journey, you need to hop over to her blog now and start reading along. She is truly the definition of positivity and inspiration.
When it comes to the subject of fertility struggles, I am certainly not the one to be offering up advice. My journey doesn't stretch nearly as far as some of your journeys. That is why Elena is here today to take the reins. When it comes to fertility, or just your health in general, it is so important to be proactive. And if you are struggling, I highly encourage you to read on and reach out to Elena. She is the positive light that we all need in our lives!
So enough of my rambling already. Take it away, Elena!
Hello Believe in the Sparks readers! I need to give a special thank you to Morgan for allowing me this opportunity to take over her blog for the day. I’m sure that you can all agree with me when I say that I am so proud of her for speaking up recently about her journey to parenthood. It is not an easy thing to come to terms with, let alone share with the rest of the world. Girl, you rock!
After reading her post, I headed for the comments to leave my own praise and support, but what I noticed while scrolling through was the amount of women commenting that they had experienced or are experiencing similar issues. I was actually kind of blown away by the number of responses like this, but then I remembered the statistic: 1 in 8. Yes, you read that right, 1 in 8 couples will have trouble conceiving. When you really take a minute to think about that, you see how common it is. What you don’t see enough of are people sharing their stories and opening up about their infertility. Oh mercy me, there’s that word “infertility”, so taboo right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong. It is not taboo, it’s not something to be ashamed of, and it’s not something that we can’t openly talk about.
What I’m here to talk about today is the importance of sharing your story, about coming together as a community of women, (and men too! #TTCBrothers!) and supporting one another. Spreading the knowledge you might have as someone who has been through fertility treatment. Whether you’ve had a couple rounds of Clomid, you’ve done cycles of IVF, or you’ve used a surrogate, egg donor, or even adopted, there are so many of us at different stages of treatment and being able to relate to someone else and have support is so important. I encourage you, better yet, I urge you to share your story, open up and tell someone, blog about it, join our Instagram community, I promise you will feel a heavy weight lifted off of your shoulders as I’m sure Morgan can attest to.
So many people question whether or not they should seek treatment. That is a question that I get asked often, or I see talked about a lot, when do I seek treatment for infertility. The rule of thumb is that if you are young (under 35), and in good health (as far as you know) you should conceive in 4—6 months, but you should try for 1 year before seeking treatment. That’s the plan that I followed, although it took us 2 years of trying naturally before we were referred to a reproductive endocrinologist. If you know that you have PCOS, irregular periods (you don't ovulate), blocked tubes, endometriosis, etc. talk to your OBGYN. They can help you to determine if you need to be referred to a specialist. Does your husband ever question the ability of his swimmers? A semen analysis is a great start and an easy way to rule out if he has any issues or not. Those can be ordered by your regular doctor and the process is easy.
There are many components to infertility, a big one is the emotional toll that it WILL have on you, your relationship with your husband, you friends who get pregnant on their own, your job. It can negatively affect your life in many ways. One of the most important things to remember is to keep a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook. This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest challenges that you will face on your journey, but it is so important. One thing people praise me for often is my positivity. I honestly believe that positive attitudes=positive outcomes and I try to live my journey by that belief. It is not always easy, but it is necessary. It’s an emotional roller coaster like none I’ve ever been on before. The highs are amazing, and the lows are some of the darkest places I’ve seen in my life, but I keep my focus on my success and my future. It’s important to experience the emotions as they come to you, but always pull yourself back up by your bootstraps and get back to that place of positivity.
As you can tell, I could go on about this forever. I am passionate about being an advocate and passionate about my being successful. I could also go into a lengthy explanation of my own TTC timeline, but you can hop over to my blog and click on my TTC Baby Ridley page to see what we’ve done so far. Unfortunately we have not beaten this yet, but we will! I am strongly encouraging you, if you feel you have issues or you know you have issues to please share your story. I am an advocate for infertility awareness and my purpose in life right now is to spread the word, share the information, and be the support for so many other women out there who are struggling. It will be ok, you do have options, and there are so many treatments available whether it be modern medicine or naturopathic, there are ways to get that miracle! I am always available for questions and get them often via email. You can also find me and many others on Instagram, it’s a great place for support and advice. Please reach out if you are in need!