The last 24 years have been a journey. Infertility changed me in ways I never imagined. I look at myself and the world through a different lens now.

In my early 20’s, I was embarking on my career path and looking for my purpose in life. I never expected to be diagnosed with endometriosis. After having my first laparoscopy and hearing a doctor say I should consider a hysterectomy, my world was turned upside down. In my mind, my plans were set. I was going to get married and have kids. I was disappointed but determined to get another opinion.

After two more laparoscopies with another doctor, my endometriosis had gone from mild to moderate. It was now spreading to other areas. These appointments landed me with a fertility specialist. After several failed IUI’s and an unsuccessful round of IVF, I was back to square one. This meant another laparoscopy and more trial medications. At that moment, I felt rejected. I felt that my body was rejecting me. I was told I had unexplained infertility, and I had researched everything you can imagine. I spent hours looking for answers, and it was mentally and physically exhausting. I even got a third opinion and attempted more IUI procedures.

My husband and I decided to take a break. We hadn’t given ourselves time to even enjoy our first year of marriage. It was filled with fertility treatments and constant disappointment. I shifted my attention and focused on my marriage and my well-being. Instead of being hyper-focused on tracking my cycles, consulting with doctors, looking for new medications to try, or exploring new diets that might help, I let go.

Letting go is easier said than done, but I found self-care approaches that worked for me. I learned about spiritual healing, and I made myself a priority. I became more empathetic with myself and to those around me. I realized that everyone has a story they carry with them. Infertility opened my eyes to many challenges, but on the other side I found inner strength and acceptance. I’m different today because of it.

We still hung on to hope that we might get pregnant on our own, but it took a back seat. Once we made the decision to let things be, we were able to enjoy life more. My husband and I had countless conversations, and we even met with two adoption agencies. But in the end, we made the decision to enjoy the life we were building together.

The term unexplained infertility never gave me closure, but knowing that I persevered throughout the journey and found a different version of myself along the way – that was my peace and closure. When you accept what is, the internal battle slowly begins to fade and you start enjoying your life in the moment. The battle scars will remain, but your outlook starts to change when you can look at yourself in the mirror and see a stronger, more empathetic version of yourself staring back.

Candice P., NY

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