The Bitterness of Infertility and Why It’s Dangerous

It isn’t a surprise that with infertility comes bitterness. It’s ugly, it’s dark, but it’s totally normal. It’s also super damaging.

It’s so damn hard not to be bitter, and I think that it’s okay to allow yourself to feel those feeling every once in a while. But I will scream this from the rooftops:

 

DON’T LET THE BITTERNESS OVERSHADOW THE JOY THAT IS LIFE!!!!

 

It’s so easy to focus on what’s going wrong in your life and completely miss everything that’s going right.  If you follow me on instagram, you know that I am calling my break from fertility treatments “project self care.” During this time, I have been trying to practice gratitude. Whenever I feel myself getting angry or bitter, I stop and think of 3 positive things that are happening in my life.

It’s normal to feel upset when someone tells you they’re pregnant, it’s normal to feel angry when you see a pregnant teenager in Target, but letting the darkness take over your life is only hurting you.

I’m going to repeat that. IT’S ONLY HURTING YOU.

When you let bitterness consume you, you isolate yourself and you attract negativity.  I put together a quick list of things to do when you start to feel bitter or angry:

  • Let it out.  Feel the emotions, and then move on.
  • Take a shower or a hot bath
  • Go on a walk
  • Drink some wine – a glass, not the bottle ladies
  • Watch a funny movie
  • Write Write Write! This blog has been the best therapy. **ps…thank you to anyone that still reads and enjoys this. You the real MVP.**
  • Make a list of all the things that you enjoy because you don’t have kids. For example, my Friday naps are a must!

 

Remember, you only have one life to live. Don’t let it pass you by.

 

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Feelings

I’ve been pretty silent on my blog and infertility instagram account. Honestly, I haven’t wanted to talk about infertility. As weird as that sounds, because I’m so passionate about it,  I felt like I needed some space to heal.  Completely. Without the noise.

When Josh and I decided to take a break from treatment, I decided I would still blog and post on social media. I didn’t want to stop the momentum. However, I was quickly reminded by the universe that I was taking this break to heal and I needed to do it fully.  I stopped researching, reading, or even looking at infertility accounts. Whenever I would open an article, I felt angry and bitter. This is not what I envisioned my life being. I often get the comment “but you’re so young” like it’s an excuse. Like it should make me feel better. It’s not and it doesn’t.  My body doesn’t work properly. Period. It doesn’t matter how young or old I am. My body doesn’t care that I’m still considered “a baby” or “in my prime”. It still betrayed me. It still failed to carry my pregnancy. And it still fails to do what it’s supposed to everyday leaving me with the aftermath. It sucks. Plain and simple it just sucks.

Yes, I am young. And for that I am grateful that time is on my side. However, it doesn’t change the fact that for a year and a half I felt cheated. I felt like life was purposefully screwing me over.  Sitting in the waiting room before our IUI, I broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore and my emotions overflowed. Josh thought something was wrong with me, the nurses rushed to me and offered water, coffee, tea, whatever they could. I wanted to run out of the clinic and leave the world behind. But I went to the bathroom and pulled myself together. I wiped my tears, took a deep breath, and shoved my feelings and emotions down. And that my friends is the problem.

You see, it’s easy to plaster on a smile and tell yourself it’s going to be okay.  Fake it till you make it right? What’s hard is letting yourself feel the grief. Letting your heart break wide open and feel the pain. It’s ugly and raw and so damn uncomfortable. For the past month, I have reflected a lot on the past year and half. Has it really been that hard? Did we start too soon? What are we doing wrong? Why am I so traumatized? These are the questions that keep me up at night. My heart was already weak, and infertility made it weaker. The dam finally broke after my miscarriage. The pieces of my heart that I had left, were ruined. And this is why I am taking a break.

There are women that go through this for years. I can’t even explain how much I admire those women and how I envy their strength. For me, I felt too traumatized to continue. I knew that I needed to really look deep into my soul and begin to heal. Not just from infertility, but from my past. There is so much damage inside that I feel like my soul is stuck together with tape. I don’t want to give my child, or my husband, a heart that is barely holding it together. My family deserves my whole heart.  They deserve my best self. I’m so grateful for my amazing husband who has been nothing but 100% supportive of my journey to healing. He’s going to be the best dad.

I know that when I pick up treatments again it won’t be easy. Believe me I know that. But I want to be more prepared. I don’t want the bitterness to consume me. And honestly, I want to be okay if we can’t have our own biological children. I just want to be okay. Thank you to those that have reached out. Your love and support mean the world to me. I am healing. I am learning to love myself again. It’s going to be a wild ride, but I’m looking forward to the future.

 

 

 

You’re Allowed to be Sad

I have found that in the infertility community, people can be NASTY. Not nasty in a gross way, but nasty in a mean and hateful way. There is this unspoken bar that is set that the longer someone else is infertile, the less validated you are in your sadness. I found this out when I joined a PCOS support group. One sweet woman shared that she had been trying for 6 months and recently was diagnosed with PCOS. Obviously she was sad and wanted support to prepare herself for the journey in front of her. Unfortunately, someone took this opportunity to shame her. The woman that was shaming stated that she hadn’t been trying long enough to experience real pain. “I’ve been trying for 3 years. You have no idea how it feels.”

Ok…..

I had a lot of feelings towards this post and eventually just left the group. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time I had seen something like that in an infertility forum/group. I have seen this on facebook pages, instagram pages, blogs, etc. I was so upset that someone took this opportunity to have, what my father would call, a “pissing contest.”At least that’s how it seemed.

Here’s the thing. Infertility SUCKS. It just does. It doesn’t matter how long you have been trying. It doesn’t matter if you just found out 5 minutes ago. When you hear those words, it’s devastating. Something inside you breaks. Something you didn’t know existed shatters. When I was diagnosed, my doctor acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My world seemed to slow.

“It will be difficult for you to get pregnant.” Who wants to hear that at 25?! No one.

I’m going to tell you something that you won’t see on your facebook “support groups.”

You’re allowed to be sad.

You’re allowed to grieve

You’re allowed to be angry

In fact, you should feel these emotions. Really feel them. Let yourself feel so that you can begin the healing process. I’m still feeling these myself, but I’m not sorry about it and you shouldn’t either. It took me awhile to get rid of what I call “infertility guilt.” Infertility is hard. It’s like having another full time job. But you don’t have to cut off your emotions because of it. I highly recommend talking to a therapist when you are diagnosed with any kind of reproductive issue. In the long run, it will improve your mental health and overall mood.  And as always, I’m here if you need a friend. 🙂

xo Kat

 

 

When to Ask For Help

In the beginning, I was positive. Well, for the most part I was positive. Obviously, when I was diagnosed with PCOS I was sad. I cried a lot, but for the most part I felt positive. I started this blog and began talking about it. Talking about it helped. It validated my feelings.

Then a year passed and we still weren’t pregnant.

I felt the depression slowly creeping in. I stopped wanting to hang out with friends. I would come home from work and go straight to bed.  After my miscarriage, it got even worse. I felt numb. I didn’t care about anything. I hardly picked up my phone and never called or texted friends and family back. Thankfully, I started to see a counselor strictly for my infertility. It has changed my life.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women to suffer from depression when going through infertility.  In fact, one study equated the depression to the type of depression one feels when they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. When I read that I was skeptical. However, after reading article after article and blog after blog, it became more believable. It’s a pain and sadness that can’t be described in words. It’s an emptiness that feels like it will never be healed. It’s something I’ve described as feeling on the soul level. It goes past mental and physical pain. It’s a pain you feel in your soul.

Not only does the pain of what is happening make one feel depressed, but the side effects of all the medications can do it. If you think about it, you’re pumping tons of hormones into your body that you don’t naturally have. Of course it will take a toll! I remember the first time I took my fertility medication. I felt so detached from myself. I remember crying to Josh and telling him I didn’t even recognize myself. It scared me and for a while I questioned if this journey was worth it.

Then I found a fertility podcast. It’s called “The Fertility Podcast” by Natalie Silverman. Look it up! Natalie is amazing! She interviews women from all around the world about reproductive health and infertility. She is an IVF mom and I hope and pray I can meet her one day.  She encouraged her listeners to seek a counselor as soon as they are diagnosed with infertility. I took that to heart and sought out a counselor the next day.

I uncovered so much emotional damage that was gripping my infertility with an iron fist. I found my triggers, and I found tools to help ease the mental and physical stress.

For those of you reading this blog, ASK. FOR. HELP. Do not be afraid to see someone. Infertility is sad and depressing. It ruins lives, marriages, and confidence in yourself. When do you ask for help? As soon as you feel the sadness and the heartache. It’s ok to be sad, but it’s also ok to be happy and feel joy. Even when life hands you a crappy hand.

 

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