When engulfed in the world of infertility, it can be difficult to find things to be grateful for. It's much easier to find things to be royally pissed off about. Why won't my body do what it's supposed to? Why won't his body do what it's supposed to? Why once we get everything to meet and join and divide won't it take? Why do I have to have an experience where I could feasibly get pregnant without my husband in the same state, much less in the same room? Why do I get to have ultrasound after ultrasound of my follicles but never an ultrasound of a tiny growing being? Why do I have PCOS, which in addition to making it difficult to get pregnant also makes it difficult to stay pregnant? I could keep going here, but I won't.
In the interest of positive thinking, I would like to instead dedicate some time to things I am very grateful for. I don't necessarily think that positive thinking can get you pregnant faster (which would imply the inverse, that thinking less positively can keep you from getting pregnant--I have a lot of things keeping me from getting pregnant but I refuse to believe that my thought process or worries are one of them!). But I do value positive thinking as a way to rise above everything I'm going through, to anchor myself in in hope instead of despair, and to acknowledge that while there are a lot of very unfair things to my situation, I am also very lucky.
I am grateful that:
- I live in a time where access to fertility treatments are fairly accessible and eventually getting pregnant with the help of reproductive technology is a reasonable possibility for me. (Even when it feels like it's never going to happen, I can reasonably hope that it will.)
- I have a wonderful, supportive, loving husband who is going through all of this with me and instead of stressing our new marriage, this process is bringing us closer together.
- My husband truly believes and shares often that while our dream is to have children, if that doesn't happen in any way due to whatever factors, we will still have a very fulfilling life together full of love (and probably some really good wine).
- I have amazing friends who support me in a variety of ways--from phone calls to visits to cards in the mail and unexpected surprises to bring me good luck.
- My family is very supportive and not obtrusive--they let me share what I need to and don't push for more information. I was particularly grateful for my family when I had to share the news of my failed cycle--they handled it beautifully when it was disappointing news for them, too.
- I have an amazing support network of other women who are going through this process through Strong Fertility's support group and CNY's fertility yoga and support group.
- My fertility clinic offers free 1:1 counseling that can be very helpful when things get stressful or hard to handle. And it's free. Did I mention it's free?
- We have the financial resources to pay for treatment (to a point) -- our decision to keep trying to have a baby isn't dependent on the cost of the treatment.
- We are both employed in this tricky economy with very good jobs. One less stress to add to the mix.
- While we have both male and female factor infertility standing in our way, we have diagnoses that make us good candidates for IVF. Our doctors are confident that it will work eventually. It could be much harder for us than it is.
That is an awful lot to be grateful for!