There are many things I wish I knew before starting fertility treatment. I went into the process completely oblivious of what to expect. At the time there weren’t many women of color sharing their IVF experiences. So, I just wasn’t aware of all the possible outcomes. When I embarked on this #crazyfaith journey I accepted whatever would come. I also said that I would share my experience along the way. So, here are some things I wished I knew earlier on…
Success is not guaranteed on the first round. You may have to do multiple cycles of fertility treatment
Prior to starting fertility treatment I knew women who had gone through several rounds of IVF before having success. However, I went into my treatment overly confident that I would only need one round. I didn’t even entertain the thought or possibility of having to do more than one cycle. I believe it is great to have a positive mindset. But I also believe it’s important to have an open mind to the possibility for other outcomes. There are so many factors that contribute to success of IVF and everything has to work together at the right time. This, however, does not always happen the first or second time around.
It’s okay to seek a second and third opinion for fertility treatment
When seeking out a reproductive endocrinologist it’s perfectly fine and even encouraged to talk to more than one doctor. I think we fear seeking out another opinion because we feel like we have to be loyal to our doctor. There may also be fear of having to repeat our story/medical history, “ruffling feathers” or even fear of wasting time. I think I experienced all of those fears, but I later learned it never hurts to get a second or third opinion. It’s better to have more than one perspective to compare to what you already know about your body. It just gives you much more to work with in assessing the best route of treatment for you and your partner.
Advocate for yourself until you feel seen and heard
This piggybacks off the previous point, but it’s so important to ask questions and get the information and answers you desire until you feel comfortable and confident. You should ask about the various testing available and ask for testing results to be explained in a way you can understand. If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention. Don’t ignore those gut feelings. If your doctor does not seem to be confident in the course of treatment or you still feel confused, please pay attention and act on those feelings – speak up. Also, don’t stay with a doctor just because you’ve been with them for a while, they are nice or or their staff is wonderful. At the end of the day, the goal is pregnancy and a live birth and if you do not feel confident in the doctor you are with, then it’s time to find another doctor.
Do not compare your fertility journey to anyone else’s
It can be hard to not compare when you see others who may have started treatment after you have success while you are still waiting. You can fall into this comparison trap which can weigh heavy on your mental and emotional health. It can have you feeling like you are undeserving, like you are behind, like you have done something wrong and the list goes on. I’m here to tell you all those thoughts are from the enemy and he wants nothing more than to steal your hope and your faith on this journey.
To avoid that comparison trap, I remind myself that my journey is MINE. There are no two journeys that are the same even if the diagnoses are the same. God has a specific purpose for me and my journey and I refuse to fall into the trap of comparison. Practice that, sis. It’s not easy, but I promise it will help.
Guard your heart on what you consume on your fertility journey
It may be time to log off social media if you find yourself constantly comparing your journey to others or getting triggered by pregnancy related posts. There have been times when I had to take a break because I was constantly getting triggered. Don’t feel bad for unfollowing or muting accounts that may be triggering to you. It’s important to protect your peace on this journey. Only you know what that looks like, so guard your heart accordingly.
What’s something you wish you knew before starting fertility treatment? Let me know in the comments.
Thank you for being here,