Infertility is unfortunately the reality of 1 in 8 couples. It's hard, lonely and painful. After being on our road to our baby for two years, I've learned a few things. Honestly, I'm still a rookie in the infertility department, but after learning these things, I've found so much more peace and happiness in our journey than before I started applying these things to my daily life.
Number One: Accept it. It can be so hard to accept that infertility is your reality and that growing your family will take longer, be more expensive and will require more help than you had originally planned. However, once you accept it, you'll be able to move forward and push past the difficult feelings that come each month.
Number Two: Feel the FeelingsEven if you have to leave the family party and sit in the bathroom for a few minutes— feel the feelings. Sweeping them under the rug will only bring a full-on explosion later on. Trust me, you don't want this. So when the feelings come, whatever they may be, feel them and then pick yourself back up and keep on keepin' on.
Number Three: Learn to Happy for OthersContrary to what your brain may tell you— other couples getting pregnant does NOT lower your chances of getting pregnant. Be happy for them so if/when you get pregnant, everyone will be happy for you.
Number Four: Stop Doing Things That Hurt YouFor me, I had to stop buying & taking pregnancy tests. Those things crushed me for DAYS. So I stopped buying them and then when my period came, I just say, "Welp, that sucks," and then I can move on quickly and jump back into my regular monthly routine.I also had to stop walking by the baby section of Target. I'd always leave with something "for one day soon" and then when the tests were negative, seeing those outfits would ruin me.
Number Five: Nurture and Care for Those Around You.Your babies are not the only people or beings you can nurture. We got a puppy, not to take the place of our babies, but to give us something to take care of and love AND ALSO to love us back while we wait. I've also tried to show my husband more love each day.
Number Six: Learn New Hobbies or Enjoy Old OnesSince the beginning of our infertility journey I've read more, learned to crochet, learned TONS more about photography and editing, binge watched quite a few shows on Netflix, downsized our all of our belongings, etc. Learn to do things that make you happy but also keep you busy.
Number Seven: Do Daily Gratitude PracticesIf you have never heard of Alison from The Alison Show, allow me to introduce you to her. She has one of the best podcasts out there and she shared her gratitude practices on there once. I loved it so much & often think about it. I highly recommend doing gratitude practices. They'll help you remember what you do have. There is so much to be grateful for and it is so important to recognize the blessings we have in our lives.
Number Eight: Do Things That Make You Excited and Plan for the FutureI was once told that we should never wait for a baby to do things. Go on the trip, go back to school, buy a house, quit your job. Whatever it is you're waiting for, just do it. Find joy and do things that make you excited for life. Life is not meant to be wasted away waiting for the next big life event to happen, so get out there and enjoy the life you have now.
Number Nine: Surprise Your Spouse/Partner with Something They LoveThis struggle is not yours alone. Often times, my husband is the strong one. He lets me cry. He gives me shots when treatments call for them. He comes to every doctor appointment. All without any complaint, but here's the kicker: he wants a baby too. He wants to be a dad and this struggle makes him sad too. So every once in a while, I try to do something that I know will make him happy. It doesn't have to be big, most of the time it's just buying his favorite snack or drink at the grocery store. Or picking up his favorite burgers on my way home from work. Just let him know that you love him and appreciate him.
Number Ten: Find a Support Group or Someone to Talk ToInfertility can be so lonely, but finding someone who understands who is willing to talk to you can be so helpful. They know it is hard, but they also know that it gets better. It'll always be hard, but it gets better. Having someone to talk to who can help lovingly remind you of that fact is so important. Having someone that will cry with you is so helpful. My friend always tells me that it's okay to hurt and that she's praying for us. Those two things are so important to me. Having a support system is so helpful during these hard times. It'll get better friend.
Infertility is no cake walk. You're going to endure long nights and hard days, but if I know anything, I know that "weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning." The morning always comes. Hold on. And don't give up.
If you want to keep up with our infertility journey, come visit my blog at www.sadie-banks.com or follow me on Instagram: @sadie__banks (two underscores!). I hope the best for you and your family!
Photos by Alice Jane Photography