When I was young, I always said one of my worst fears in life was not being able to have a baby. Did I put this out into the universe by expressing that fear? It’s a thought I’ve wrestled with since this journey began. After three rounds of IUI and one round of IVF, I finally got my baby. No amount of “just relaxing” brought him to me, but rather my own strength did.

Trying for a second baby has proven to be just as difficult. I’ve experienced loss, heartbreak, fear – all the feelings that make this so hard to continue to do for another day, even another minute. But once again, it has shown me how strong I am. Instead of those well-intentioned but gut-wrenching “just relax” and “it’ll happen” platitudes, #wecanall change our words of encouragement to “you are so strong, how can I support you?”

I’ve been supported through other’s openness and in turn, I’ve been comfortable being open myself. It’s one way I feel I can educate those who are not part of this community and can highlight how strong this community truly is. I’ve learned that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. While I know deep down I didn’t bring infertility on myself with fears from earlier years, it’s happened. And while it’s the worst thing in my life, in a way I’m grateful for it. I may not have realized how strong I could be without it.

Jessica M., NJ

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