While I was going through my infertility journey, it seemed like every other week I saw someone announcing a pregnancy or having a baby.

There I was, watching all these happy stories unfold and wondering when I was going to get my happy ending. I suffered in silence for most of 2013 and 2014. I felt ashamed and alone. Suffering in silence was my choice – and it was a poor choice. I learned one of the most important parts of your infertility journey is talking about your struggles in the hopes of learning something new, educating those who haven’t experienced infertility, or better yet, helping someone going through his or her own infertility journey.

While everyone I knew was having babies so easily, I was at our fertility doctor’s office wondering, “why me?” There were a lot of tears, questions about my health, my husband’s health, testing, and prayers – hoping the plan our doctor drew up for us was going to work.

Our doctor suspected endometriosis, but before surgery, we went through a few cycles. After three failed attempts, our doctor suggested surgery.

The surgery was successful, and endometriosis was found and excised. Finally, I felt like something was going my way. After surgery, we tried to conceive naturally with no luck. We went back to our doctor and decided to try the same cycles as before.

Cycle 1 … failed. This was probably the absolute lowest point of all of this. The very few that I had opened up to didn’t understand my pain and I didn’t feel supported. Looking back, some of that was my fault because I had not been completely open, but let’s be honest – 10 years ago, not many women talked about their infertility struggles or opened up about pregnancy loss. It felt like there was almost a stigma attached to infertility and pregnancy loss, and I was contributing to that by not being open.

Cycle 2 … blood work confirmed I was pregnant. It was my first positive test in two and a half years. Nine months later, our baby girl arrived that we had waited so long for.

Fast forward about two and a half years later, and we were ready for baby #2. We did some tests again, spoke to our doctor, and decided to try the same cycles again.

Cycle 1 … resulted in a chemical pregnancy. I opened up to everyone about this now knowing how important it was to talk about what we were going through. Once I was fully transparent, the support came pouring in.

Cycle 2 … success! Nine months later, our baby boy arrived. Our family was complete.

My hope is that those in the thick of their infertility journey have the courage to be more vocal. It not only helps you, it also helps your support system better understand how they can be there for you. Let’s continue to erase the stigma by sharing our journeys in an effort to educate those around us and support those who are struggling.

Caroline R., FL

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