6 Ways Infertility Sucks That Nobody Ever Warned Me About
Infertility sucks for many reasons. It's expensive (and treatments are not regularly covered by insurance), and it can destroy your relationships and dreams of conceiving a baby naturally. If you're lucky enough to find a way to afford it (or if you've hit the medical insurance jackpot and your treatments are covered), it's still exhausting. As a woman, it wreaks havoc on your body and your mental health.
Despite the fact that infertility is very common, it's not something that seems to garner the same attention that other medical diagnoses do. And in the seven years I've been a member of this club, there's still such an unnecessary stigma surrounding those who really want to talk about it or enact any real change.
From the start, I knew it was going to be a long, hard road. What I didn't know was how much infertility would still suck even after I had beaten it. Keep reading to find out what I wish I had been prepared for.
You Can't Surprise Your Partner
Every day of your IVF cycle is monitored and planned, including the pregnancy test after your embryo transfer. It may not seem like much to some, but knowing that you'll never even have the option of surprising your partner with a positive pregnancy test can leave you feeling robbed of one of life's simple joys.
You're Faced With Impossible Decisions
If you're one of the really lucky ones, meaning you have completed your family and have healthy embryos to spare, you're then faced with a seemingly impossible choice as to what you're going to do with those remaining embryos. You can donate them to science or another couple or discard them. Those options all seem reasonable until your children are born, and you can put a face to those tiny snowflakes. Of course, you can keep them frozen indefinitely, but that option comes with a hefty price tag.
Trying Again Can Actually Make You Feel Awful
Walking into your doctor's office with your first child in tow (because you had no choice but to bring them along) can make you feel pretty terrible. You may feel incredibly guilty because your last cycle was clearly a success, but you know that not all of the women sitting there may be so lucky. Or you can feel the resentment radiating from those women who watch you try your hardest to keep your toddler quiet while holding back tears and wondering if they'll ever have a child to wrangle.
You'll Feel Like a Number
Of the four Reproductive Endocrinology groups I've been to, only one didn't feel like a factory operation.
You May Become a Hypochondriac
When you're desperate to start a family, the fine print on the information pamphlets accompanying some of your medications warning that you may be at a higher risk for certain types of cancers won't faze you. But when you're done with your treatments and you think about how you've taken that cocktail of medications almost half a dozen times, every strange ache, pain, or cramp could leave you wondering if it's something more sinister.
Ugly Feelings Will Resurface Every Now and Again
If your treatments were successful, you'll feel like you're on top of the world each and every time you look at your child(ren). But every once in a while, someone else's surprise pregnancy announcement or the lingering aftermath of the financial hit you had to take may dredge up those ugly feelings that come along with knowing just how unfair an infertility diagnosis is.