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The Other Side of Infertility

I’ve been fantasizing about this for a long time—the day I’d get to share this news with you. After nearly two years of trying to conceive our second baby, about a year-and-a-half of fertility treatments and 10 months of chronicling this difficult journey, we’re finally pregnant! I’m just entering my second trimester—excited, nervous, sick, tired as hell, thrilled, a little terrified, but supremely grateful.

There is so much I’ve been wanting to write about; so much we’ve been through over the last few months. I’ll be going into all of it—and much more—over at “Project Pregnancy,” starting on Wednesday. I’ve been looking forward to writing about being pregnant, long before I even was.

But first, I want to thank everyone who’s been following my story at the “Fertility Files” since the beginning of the year—everyone that's lent a kind word or personal story, either through reading, “liking,” commenting, or emailing me directly. I’ve reconnected with old friends from grade school, high school, camp, college...friends of friends, family from all over the world. I’ve gotten such amazing, heartfelt advice—real advice that’s helped me get through this. It’s overwhelming how caring and kind people have been to me, and it’s because of all your support that I had the courage to keep writing about it.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last year then you probably know I went through IVF last September. We tried just about everything to conquer an uncertain diagnosis of “unexplained infertility.” I already have a healthy child that was conceived naturally in 2008, so this has always been a big mystery to us. But as scientific as this process is, I believe now there’s also an art to this science—and being in the right hands has everything to do with your chances of success. So does understanding your diagnosis, the options you have to treat it, and what they mean.

When I started writing this blog I was naively optimistic about my infertility diagnosis—one of the reasons I decided to write about it was because I thought I’d only have to go through it for a short time until we’d get pregnant. I never imagined it would take us this long, and be this hard. I thought I’d have one IVF and—voila—I’d skip right along to the positive pregnancy test. I didn’t anticipate all the twists and turns, like OHSS, how sick I’d get each cycle from all the medications and procedures; how emotionally draining failed embryo transfer after failed embryo transfer would be. 

I also considered the possibility that this process would simply not work for me. I became convinced of it. Until I met Colleen Coughlin, the amazing embryologist who changed everything for me. 

Going through infertility isn’t a walk in the park, but had I not had the opportunity to write about it, I’m not sure I would’ve known as much as I do about it, and made the important decisions that got me here. I’m sincerely grateful I got to share the experience because it opened my eyes to not only the best REs and embryologist in the country, but also women who’ve given me more strength than I realized I had.

When I started writing about this in January, I was already in deep, having started seeking fertility help back in May 2011. I figured I could write about the past, as I was still going through it, and by the time I caught up to the present I’d be pregnant and could share the outcome. When the past caught up to the present, it became very difficult to write about—I didn’t have the perspective yet.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone going through this to talk about it. A lot of women who reached out to me confessed that I was the first person they’d told about their struggles with infertility. It’s such a tough thing to go through—I can only imagine how much harder it is suffering through it alone and in silence. Find someone in your network of friends or family—or ask your OB to help find you a therapist. Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of, and talking about it (or writing about it in my case) can be incredibly therapeutic.

I’m praying for each and every one of you who’ve shared your stories with me—I hope you’ll continue to share them and keep me updated on your progress. I don't know if there's an "other side of infertility"—once you've been through it, do you think it's something you ever really overcome? 

Starting this Wednesday, I’ll be chronicling my second pregnancy three times a week over at Project Pregnancy—and exploring the events that got me here on my road down infertility.

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