WhatIWantYouToKnow your infertility story is not my infertility story. No two infertility experiences are the same. Your story deserves to be heard and your pain within your struggle deserves to be validated. You should never compare your journey to someone else’s, just as you should never compare your pain going through this as worse or less than someone else’s pain.

Infertility is infertility.

Pain is pain.

Heartache is heartache.

However, I do believe that our hearts share the same type of ache. You may feel alone often, but there are so many of us out there feeling much of the same way you are. Please know that you are never truly alone and there is community out there. The heart wants what the heart wants, and it is a hard thing to just forget about when getting pregnant or staying pregnant isn’t happening easily.

I struggle with secondary infertility. Although it chose me, and I did not choose it, I am learning to be thankful for my struggle because without it, I would never have known my strength. I now know that strength doesn’t mean being silent or pretending like you are okay when you really aren’t. Strength is declining a baby shower invite from a friend or family member. Strength is crying, curling up on the couch and being sad because the desires of your heart are not happening for you easily. Strength is admitting that you can’t hold it together any longer. It’s okay to not be okay all the time.

Being able to conceive my first daughter naturally, I never thought secondary infertility would happen to me. Trying for our second was an unimaginable rollercoaster ride. After trying on our own for some time, then experiencing four failed IUI’s and finally having a successful round of IVF with ICSI, our second beautiful baby girl was born. Fast forward, our attempt at a third IVF cycle did not go as planned. My body did not respond well to the medication, and I got the phone call that my cycle was canceled. My heart still drops as I write that last sentence. The overwhelming feelings I experienced in a single moment in time are re-lived with so much devastation repeatedly.

That canceled cycle is where our journey ended trying to expand our family. It is the strangest feeling being so incredibly grateful for the two beautiful blessings that call me mama and bring me so much joy in my life, yet also having my heart still feel such a deep void for the one who never will call me mama.

It’s a loss that cuts me deep and has forever impacted me. This is something that I am reminded of daily and will never forget. We may not choose this illness, but we can choose to share our story, be one voice and hopefully by doing so it will help someone else to feel less alone along the way. Just maybe we can start changing the conversation and see a future full of positive changes being made regarding those struggling with the unimaginable disease of infertility.

Hopeful is a much better place to be.

Nichole W.