My husband and I had a lot of dreams in place from the beginning, and we were not shy about discussing them. My husband wanted two boys, and I wanted a girl. We wanted two, maybe three kids. Then infertility hit, and we continue to wonder if we will ever have a child?

When we first started IVF, I chose to limit the amount of people who knew we were struggling with infertility. Prior to our first cycle of stimulation shots, I only told only a handful of friends and family members. By no means was I ashamed of doing IVF, I just didn’t want to have to explain a failed cycle and didn’t want people to get their hopes up. With hope, you run the risk of heartbreak, and honestly, sometimes you don’t want to talk about infertility and IVF; it can be exhausting. It occupies your mind 24/7, even when you don’t want it to. Thoughts, decisions, shots, classes, appointments, tests, procedures…it’s A LOT to manage. By not telling everyone, we could have conversations about anything besides IVF and be able to forget about our infertility struggles for five minutes.

But as time goes on, I am opening up about infertility and IVF. By opening up, I am realizing how shared experiences are so incredibly powerful. I can share my experience while educating others who are not directly affected about how it really feels to go through this.

When you are trying to get pregnant, you hear dozens of stories. There are stories about your friends who “accidentally” got pregnant, there are stories about couples who got pregnant after just a few months of trying, and stories about couples who struggled a bit, but got pregnant before starting any fertility treatments. People love to share stories about fertility when it is easy. The truth is that there are lots of couples out there who do not find it easy. Together, we can change the conversation and share our stories.

#WhatIWantYouToKnow about infertility is, from the outside we look fine, but not a day goes by where we don’t think about infertility. Our emotions come in waves; some days we smile and mean it. Other days, we smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight an emotional battle nobody knows about. It is the hardest thing we’ve ever faced, but we keep fighting.

Despite heartbreak, we refuse to give up hope, for hope allows dreams to come true.

Chandra G.