Each couple's journey through infertility is unique and incomparable. Inevitably, infertility can feel lonely. Since it's such a personal topic, most people don't share the details with people who aren't close family or friends. In a way, that makes it easier - you don't have to rehash every update over and over again. On the other hand, going through a hidden trauma is isolating. When your mood is down, or your body hurts, or you just got another negative pregnancy test - the people around you don't know and can't help you or support you.
There's no right or wrong way to process all of the emotional turmoil on a journey to conceive. Highs, lows, and everything in between. Each person might need a different type of support, so I'm not making a recommendation on what someone "should" do. Whether or not a person decides to keep their journey private, they can seek out resources to offer support along the way. While old-school books on the topic have been around for ages, newer media like podcasts offer a fresh perspective. None of these resources are one-size-fits-all, so shop around!
Taking Charge Of Your Fertility is a fantastic resource for anyone with a functioning reproductive system. Yes, I mean anyone! Male, female, whatever. Understanding how the female reproductive system works is invaluable! Grab the newest version you can find - each edition has updated information. My copy actually has an entire chapter specifically on PCOS, which is the leading cause of infertility in women. Definitely recommend this book!
The Impatient Woman's Guide To Getting Pregnant is an excellent book with an entirely different tone! TCOYF is very science-centric with some snippets of personal narrative. The Impatient Woman's Guide feels a bit more like a good friend telling you the "real stuff" about what this TTC journey is all about. It tackles emotional and psychological issues a bit more heavily than physical ones. Both books together make a nice pairing to cover all your cases.
The Fertility Podcast exists because Natalie, the host, went through her own TTC journey. She found it isolating and credits her best friend for being the reason she made it through such a lonely time. So, Natalie created the podcast in 2014 - that means there's nearly four full years of information and interviews and support to dig into! It's published every Monday - and refreshing to hear both men and women speak to the realities of this struggle.
Matt and Doree's Eggcellent Adventure: An IVF Journey is beyond helpful! Not only do Matt and Doree both have fantastic senses of humor (I mean, he's a comedian and she's an author), they have FULL transparency with their listeners. I actually started listening to them because, if you remember, I love someone who struggles with infertility. And hearing them talk about what was helpful, what was hurtful, and what worked for them. It's not all pretty - they really are inviting you into their pain and their joy. They've almost hit 100 episodes now, and it's been an amazing ride!
RESOLVE is a mega-forum that can connect couples with loads of resources and over 900 volunteers! Their mission statement:
All people challenged in their family building journey should reach their resolution by being empowered by knowledge, supported by community, united by advocacy, and inspired to act.
I can't help but fall in love with that passion! They host informal in-person support groups in smaller local areas to introduce you to others that can be there for you - and vice versa. They also lobby for legislative issues concerning fertility, and find ways to make fertility treatments more affordable. Doing good work out there, RESOLVE!
Have you ever struggled to conceive? Did you find resources that helped you? Share them with me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3!