HomeWords of AdviceSterility + Infertility Advice For Parents

Sterility + Infertility Advice For Parents

“Breathe, go outside, remember that you’re here on the earth and don’t get lost.”

“I couldn’t control anything. And that is a different kind of frustrating. I try to be patient, I didn’t always succeed. [I also tried to] acknowledge the frustrations and the anger sometimes, you know? And let it go.”

“[My advice for couples would be] communication and patience. That’s what it comes down to, you know? And dancing. And cooking. [My partner] loves her food! Cooking and baking. But be patient for sure because [loss] teaches you patience even if you never had any. Because you do so much waiting…. a lot of just hoping and waiting…. So you need to communicate and be open with each other. I’d like to say be open with your family but [for us] they could only take it up to a certain point. And then after a certain point it becomes too raw for them and they start switching off. But if the two of you can be open with each other and honest and patient with each other…. and try to enjoy the little things. You have to have something other than that or else you might as well not get out of bed, you know? You have to have some other little joys in your life. As hard as it was we found joy. And that helped immensely.”

“Let yourself feel the magnitude because it’s just as big as it feels like it is. Like don’t downplay it. Because I think everybody wants to in some way. I think the ability to give yourself full permission to experience the loss in any way, shape, or form, whenever it comes, however it comes, if you can. And to let yourself not have to forget.”

“((somewhat tongue-in-cheek)) Drugs, take drugs [for the physical pain during miscarriage]! Why did I think I should tough it out through that? [I had] great physical pain …. It fucking hurt, and it was awful, and I already felt really awful. So why not medicate for that?”

“In terms of emotional support, [I’d recommend] therapy. That’s been helpful. I think people should talk to a therapist after a loss. I had another loss, my cousin died, she was staying with me and she passed away suddenly, and so that sort of grieving was very similar to the grieving I experienced after this miscarriage, but I wouldn’t have necessarily known that if I hadn’t been in therapy."

“As well as therapy [take care of yourself physically]. Massage was …. really helpful. It put me in a state where I’m not thinking about anything, I’m just relaxing, and being calm, and breathing. It was …. rejuvenating, and really helped me cope.”

“It’s not your fault…. You didn’t do anything wrong and nothing that you could have done could’ve prevented it…. You are a parent. Going through this loss is a part of your journey as a parent…. This baby that was lost is your baby and your child and you get to love that baby and love that child fully and completely.”

“Get therapy and find peer support. It’s important to [learn how to] be forgiving to yourself and how your loss experience could impact you for your future pregnancies.”

“Just keep going. Also, you will feel better at some point, even if it takes a long time. And yes, this time is truly awful and you should cry and lie on the floor and eat a lot of your favorite food. I kept wanting something like the It Gets Better Project (for gay teenagers, etc.) for people trying to have a baby, because it was so hard to believe it was going to get better.”

“This kind of grief is extremely complicated, and it’s a process like everything else. It’s not linear, and you’re gonna have a bagillion feelings at once. Every time you think that maybe you’re starting to feel better, you’re gonna have a backslide, and like the next day [you may not] want to get out of bed. It’s normal, and just be patient with the process, and take really good care of yourself. This too shall pass …. there will be a new normal. And that will be okay too. Like, you’ll be happy again [and] in the context of having had this loss, you’ll be in some ways better equipped for whatever comes next.”

“I did a good amount of acupuncture around trying to get and stay pregnant and I was given a lot of advice about, like, you know, don’t eat sugar and eat seaweed and eat this and do that. It was a little bit crazy town for me. And then if I didn’t do something, I kept feeling like, ‘oh there’s something that I can do that’s gonna make [me get pregnant or] not miscarry. I wish that I had thought that less. Because I don’t really think that anything I did made my pregnancies fail. [There’s usually] really nothing you can do about [it]. And to sit around and feel like there’s something I could do makes me feel like there’s something I did wrong when it doesn’t go well. And I don’t, for me, that wasn’t healthy.”

“As you’re preparing to get pregnant, I think it’s important to know about miscarriage and …. and not be blind to the possibilities of, like, you know, not all pregnancies continue as planned. It would have been really helpful for me to know the frequency (approximately 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage). [If I had known more, I also] would have stayed at home [rather than go to the hospital because I was scared. I wish that I could have] let it be and not medicalized a non-medical event. [In the hospital, I felt] controlled by an institution and at the whim of their approval or disapproval. [I wish I could have] called a doula friend or somebody to come and guide us through it.”

“Have people on board with [you] before [you] even start trying. [Not everyone] can, but I think that’s an important thing. It’s kind of weird because getting pregnant can be such a private thing, but then when you need help with a miscarriage, how nice is it to be able to call somebody who knew you were trying? [So,] if at all possible, talk to people and let them know. Have your closest support [ready to help you if you need it].”

“One piece of advice that I would give right from the beginning, whether it’s in a miscarriage context or within a trying to get pregnant context, is to make sure that the health care providers you’re working with are genuinely supportive and non-homophobic in a really heartfelt, real way. [You need] someone in the group of people who are helping you to try to conceive or who are helping you through a pregnancy …. who are just genuinely a hundred percent supportive of you on your journey, wherever it goes to.”

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