Thursday, February 16, 2012

"How I Thrive with Infertility" - Guest Post

 First of all, I just have to say that I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and love that has been shown by all those who have commented, or sent personal messages via email/facebook.  I have rekindled old friendships, made many new ones, and felt so supported by each of you.  It seems everyone has been affected by infertility either personally, or through a loved one.  I receive reminders everyday of why I'm doing this.  I sincerely hope my friend Kristin doesn't mind me posting this link, but I read this post today and thought, "WOW!  This is why I'm trying to raise awareness about infertility.  Some people are just falling on their faces with ignorance!!"  Anyway, I just wanted to sincerely thank each and every one of you.

I was thought I would call this series of posts, "How I Cope with Infertility," but it just didn't feel right.  We aren't striving to just "COPE" with infertility, we want to THRIVE!  There IS life outside of raising children, and we are going to live it to it's fullest until we are blessed with that opportunity.

This guest post is from a close friend of mine.  She is truly incredible and is one of my closest friends.  She was one of the first people I told about our infertility.  She had no idea at that point in time that she would, herself, face this trial.  Yet, she was so compassionate, loving, and understanding.

"I think to prevent bitterness from swelling over me, it really helps to hold other babies whenever I get the chance. Even a few moments to nurture a little one and ease the ache in my arms helps tremendously. I have been volunteering at a crisis nursery where I feel I need to hold those infants just as much as they need to be held by me. :-) Volunteer to babysit and enjoy the charms of children even if you cannot have your own.

Pray to not resent those around you who have never struggled with infertility. Everyone has their own trials, seen or unseen. We are not here to turn bitter or lose ourselves. We are here to love, to serve, to care, and to grow.

It is crucial to have a support group. Husbands are wonderful, but other women who struggle with infertility will be able to empathize and understand on a different level. Just knowing I am not facing this challenge alone brings me so much comfort.

Let your bishop know. I recently told my bishop last Sunday that we have been trying for over a year, and it felt so good to tell a leader in the ward who cared. He has stewardship over you and can help. Now that I have told my bishop, he is seeking out other women in our ward and stake who may deal with infertility so that I can have that support at church.

Read "Taking Charge of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. This book introduces the Fertility Awareness Method and provides exceptional insights to help women understand and monitor their bodies. She also provides information on technology and operations available to aid in pregnancy. Since studying this text book, I have been taking my temperature daily so that I know where I am at in my cycle. It lessens the hurt to know when my temperature drops so that I do not have false expectations that I could be pregnant. I feel more aware of my cycles than ever before, and it is extremely helpful to take my charts to our fertility doctor.

Understand that infertility is an emotional roller coaster. Let yourself cry when you need to, and allow this ride to bring you closer to your husband.

Find other ways to grow, to learn, to improve. Set goals or develop new skills, there is no need for you to remain stagnant.

Finally, the ultimate answer is always perspective. My patriarchal blessing says that my posterity will be numerous and that I will be an effective mother. Whether that means this life or the next, I look forward to the day that I can bear and nurture my own children. Keep the faith and feel the love of your Heavenly Father. If you are going through this, there is a reason for it. Speak with Him about it daily and pray to accept His will for you. You can be His instrument on earth if you do your part. And remember, every day you ache for your own children to come will only be compensated in the joy you will feel some day as a mother. I have faith that I will be a better mother because I am dealing with infertility."


Marie said...

I love this! Tell your friend thank you for being willing to share!

Katie said...

That story was awesome! Some people... Also I love the advice. I want to go hold premie babies now.

Rach said...

I think what you said is great to focus on Steph, Thriving rather than coping. That attitude could change everything about dealing with infertility. You're so stinkin smart. Love from your fellow Dittos. :-)

Bryan and Sarah said...

These posts are great! I love that you want to thrive, not cope. I also enjoyed Kristin's post. Children are not the reason for everything we do. I also like what your friend said in her guest post, "Everyone has their own trials, seen or unseen. We are not here to turn bitter or lose ourselves. We are here to love, to serve, to care, and to grow." I think it's important to be aware and try, when we make comments, to be thoughtful of others. You and Matt are awesome. Thank you for your good example.