IVF STINKS, but It’s Not ALL Bad! – By: Rachel

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week 2015, and as I start my fourth IVF cycle of the year (in the past 12 months), I wanted to lay out some of the positives of going through IVF. Since infertility is, most of the time, a really big downer, I think it’s good to sometimes remind ourselves about all the little silver linings.

 

  1. We’ve learned so much more about how reproduction and our bodies work, and now that we know what it takes to make a healthy baby come into the world… let’s just say, it’s kind of miraculous that anyone ever has kids naturally.
  2. For many of my friends, this amazing science has helped them start families. My husband and I haven’t found our success with it yet, but just the fact that this method exists is a huge gift. We’re so grateful that this technology is even available to us in this day and age, and it’s constantly improving.
  3. I’ve overcome so many of my fears and done things I would have never imagined I could do. For example, I am not generally afraid of needles, but I was terrified about having to give myself shots. Now, giving myself as many as 6-7 injections daily is just another part of life. Also, having direct conversations about private things (and using words like vagina) used to totally embarrass me. Seriously, I was totally one of those newlyweds who was horrified about the idea of taking a bedikah cloth to the rov, and now, I don’t even hesitate to call him or the doctor (or really, anyone) and have a conversation that, in polite company, would be pretty awkward.
  4. Although fertility has certainly challenged my marriage, it has definitely brought us so much closer together, overall. In the past year, my husband has absolutely seen me at my most hormonal worst, had to dress me when I timed my valium wrong, supported me when I felt sick, etc. Thank G-d, he didn’t run for the hills! Seriously, though, we’re now in a place where we’re able to focus on our common goal and we’ve become so much more of a team by going through this journey together.
  5. I’ve learned how to empathize with other people’s challenges in life. Not everyone in my life goes through infertility (thank G-d) but seriously, everyone at some point in time has their pekelach (challenges).
  6. The friendships that I’ve developed with those going through similar journeys is also a huge plus. There are so many impressive, strong women who I might not have ever connected with on a deep level right off the bat, but by opening myself up to other members of the Infertility Club, I’ve gotten to meet so many interesting people.
  7. My skin is so much thicker, as I’ve had a ton of practice at keeping my mouth shut when people say the darndest things. (An article on what to say/ not to say will come in the future.) Things that used to bend me out of shape before can now be put into perspective. I know that people mean well, even if their words sting a lot, and I’m less likely to go home in tears than I used to be.
  8. At the same time, I’ve recently noted the liberation of being a little more vocal when someone offends me. This ability to speak up initially came from the hormones (and I still try to keep it classy), but there’s a certain freedom that comes from being a little bit less passive-aggressive.
  9. I appreciate the small things more than I used to: there’s nothing like a beautiful day spent outside or the ability to go to the gym after a stretch of time on bed rest! Similarly, the time I spend doing everyday chores in preparation for a cycle (or post-cycle, when I’m up to it again) is so much more valued. Being able to have the stamina to carry grocery bags up the stairs or cook a fancy dinner never felt so good!
  10. I’ve become much more confident about who I actually am – not what I’ve accomplished or how awesome my resume is, but the raw version of me. When I know my checklist doesn’t measure up to a lot of my peers (and it totally used to) or what others expect my success should look like, I’ve learned to solely measure myself against the more important standard of what Hashem wants me to be doing with my time here. Now that’s success! 😉
2017-03-17T12:41:55-04:00

5 Comments

  1. Praying for miracles April 24, 2015 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Nicely put, Rachel. Thanks for sharing and good luck on this round.

  2. Rachel April 27, 2015 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Thanks so much!!

  3. Thank you! April 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this spin on a very difficult situation, Rachel. I’m glad that this website is here to help reduce the feelings of isolation that can come along with infertility and provide a safe space for sharing.

  4. Dalia Shulman April 30, 2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Wishing you all the best on this coming round! May it be blessed with success!

  5. Rachel April 30, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your support, “Thank you” and Dalia, and amen!

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