Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Reasons I'm Grateful for Infertility

I know what you're thinking. "Why would you be grateful for infertility?!" Don't get me wrong, infertility sucks. I've been dealing with it for almost 3 years now. But with time comes wisdom, and there are a few things (I could only think of 5!) that I can honestly say I'm grateful for in terms of my struggle with infertility. Not all women struggling with this may feel gratitude for these things, and that's okay! If anger is the only emotion you feel, that's okay. But I hope that I can provide a unique perspective with my short list of things to be grateful for during this difficult time.

1. I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about my body
I learned more about my body in the first year or 2 of trying to conceive than I ever did as a student in sex ed. There are just certain things nobody likes to talk about! Such as, cervical mucus! I never realized what that junk was! Or what was considered normal, or even fertile cervical mucus. Now I'm jealous of my younger self and the plentiful CM I used to have!

I've also learned to understand my body in ways I never did before. Through bbt charting and using OPK's I've learned to pinpoint ovulation and come to understand the slight ache or cramp I feel when the egg is released. Prior to infertility, I would have thought it was gas! But now that I've come to know the signs that are unique to my body, I have a much better idea of what those slight feelings or changes in my body represent.

2. The bond between my husband and I has grown stronger
This may not be true for every couple, but infertility has definitely brought me closer together with Daniel. I think a large part of that is we each have something "wrong" with us. So there is no blame. We support one another and understand that it's nobodies fault. And don't get me wrong, blame is never okay when it comes to infertility. But I understand that in some situations that might be a difficult emotion to avoid.

I've also realized just how badly Daniel wants to be a father. He's done multiple blood tests, semen analyses, has taken a multitude of vitamins and supplements, and even had surgery to improve our chances of conceiving. Every now and then I hear about a husband that refuses to get tested, probably out of fear that any negative result would diminish his manhood or something. So I'm very grateful that Daniel has never let that get in the way of our diagnosis or treatment.

3. I've realized just how lucky pregnant women truly are
Had I gotten pregnant within 3 months of trying, I'm sure I would have a VERY different perspective on pregnancy. I believe that this struggle changes us, in some good ways and bad. But fundamentally it changes the way we view pregnancy. Almost every woman dealing with infertility will get frustrated when she hears a pregnant woman complain about her pregnancy, or when she says something like "I wish the baby would come early so I can get this over with". I know women who have lost pregnancies in the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Do you think those women would complain about swollen ankles or back aches if they someday make it to full term and deliver a healthy baby?

When I get pregnant, I'm sure I will find things to complain about. But more than anything, I will be GRATEFUL for the morning sickness. I will be grateful for the aches and pains. For the weight gain and stretch marks. Because all of that means that this struggle will soon come to an end, and that my dream of having a baby is finally coming true.

Infertility definitely puts things in perspective, and I'm sure this is the universal truth: any infertile woman would sacrifice just about anything to achieve pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby full-term.

4. I've met some incredible women dealing with infertility
In February of 2012 I came across a website called Babycenter.com and there I found a community of women at every stage of fertility, infertility, pregnancy, and beyond. I found a group for those dealing with infertility and that was the biggest turning point in this journey for me. I learned SO MUCH from these women! More than I've learned from any doctors. These women not only have researched and lived through it, they give support that only a fellow infertile woman can provide. And it's truly priceless.

5. I've become an advocate for my own health
I've learned that not all doctors know what they're talking about. An OB/GYN is the expert on pregnancy, but are they experts on infertility? In most cases, absolutely not! Things that they would say are "normal" can actually be signs that there is a bigger issue that could potentially prevent a pregnancy.

In my 3 years of TTC, I have seen 1 OB/GYN, 2 fertility specialists, and 1 gynecological surgeon. Through my research and advice from fellow infertiles, I have learned to be my own advocate and not to take everything a doctor says as the truth or as the only way things can be addressed. And this is something that can be transferred to all other areas of my life! Being your own advocate is the BEST way to solve any health issues, especially if you are seeing a doctor that thinks it's "normal" or recommends a treatment plan that you're not comfortable with. Educating yourself is the best solution, and getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion should not be the exception to the rule.

So there you have it! My short list of things to be grateful for when struggling with infertility. Sometimes it's important to see the silver lining, even when you're in the middle of a downpour.


  1. I love this post and how you have a positive outlook on something that can be so discouraging. It's a blessing to have a partner that endures infertility with you and serves as support and encouragement...and You do have a wonderful husband! If you don't mind, I may share some reasons on my blog that I'm grateful for infertility as well. This post inspired me to do so:)


    1. I'm so glad you liked this post! Honestly I was a little nervous when I first posted it, I guess I was afraid that it might be offensive to some people. But I think it's important to maintain as much optimism as you can and try to look at the bright side of every challenge in life. And I wouldn't mind at all if you borrow this topic for your blog! I would be flattered :)