Bubbles and Bumps Blogger Simone interviewed ‘IVF Warriors’ to get their perspective on what they’d do differently.
Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos. Silicon Valley, Blogger and Author of ‘Silent Sorority‘ & ‘Finally Heard’. Once TTC for a decade (clomid; multiple IUIs, 2 ICSI IVF, 1 FET …mid-way to 3rd ICSI IVF before ending medical intervention.
Current: Living a full, happy life as a family of two.
1) Quotes or words you have found inspirational on this journey (yours or others?)
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
2) One piece of advice would you give someone going through infertility?
I have more than one piece of advice …but I’ll try to be concise. First, be gentle with yourself and be extra patient with those who don’t understand the complexities that infertility introduces into your world. This particular life experience goes beyond well beyond personal challenges to social ones. It’s one thing to work through the physical, emotional and financial tolls and heal in isolation, it is another to be among those who lack context at each successive stage of the infertility journey and, later on, the successive stages of life. That’s where resilience and adaptability become your allies. Second, do not view ending treatment and intervention as ‘giving up.’ Instead, see the decision to move in a new direction as an affirmative one. You are courageously creating a new life for yourself and those who love you. In finding strength through grieving and healing, you are investing in your well-being and embracing a different sort of life than the one you once envisioned. The reinvention will bring its own joyful surprises.
3) If you could start all over again – what’s the one thing you would have done differently?
Given the dearth of accessible health information and fellow warrior infertility community when I was in my TTC days, I was limited in what I could learn about the diagnosis, treatment and emotional/social impacts. Knowing what I know now…
I would have asked more questions early and not been seduced by the media headlines trumpeting IVF success. I would have truly pressed the doctors on what they knew about the procedure failure rates and — most importantly — the emotional attachment I would develop with the embryos we created. I would have tried to find a counselor well versed in ‘disenfranchised grief’ so that I might have started the grieving process sooner. In doing so later in my life it took longer to acknowledge and make peace with the losses we experienced in our alpha pregnancies. Finally I would been more vocal about the suffering and pain caused by infertility and failed treatments. I would not have labored under the stigma that accompanies childlessness in our ‘baby-bump’ obsessed culture. Nor would I let the judgment or opinions of others warp or marginalize my sense of value.
4) Anything you would do more OR less of?
I would have stepped away from the fertility treatment roller coaster much sooner. I would also have given myself permission to move on and embrace the life I have versus chasing a dream.
5) Any natural treatments e.g. diet/ meditation/ yoga etc. you found helped?
Yoga has helped me to work through and release the emotional anguish that I buried long ago.