You will be forced to make difficult decisions along that way that will test you in new ways. Your infertility journey may cause you to question your own instinct and your judgment. It will force you and your partner to look deeply inside yourselves to understand and define your values, religious beliefs, and life choices. By definition, the need to undergo infertility treatment creates a life crisis.
My hope for you is that you also recognize that you do not need to be a passive passenger on this difficult infertility journey. After reading this book, I hope you can and will be able to assume an active role. If you have a doctor that does not seem to be meeting your needs, you can find another one.
You can hire an attorney to offer you information and provide you with the legal protection you need as you negotiate surrogate, adoption, or donor arrangements. Remember, you do not need to go through infertility treatment alone. If you are having difficulty coping with the challenges that arise, you can seek counseling on an individual or support group level.
There are lots of places to go to get the specific information that you need to make informed decisions along the way. Friends and family can be educated by you and your partner, and if you enable them, they can help you meet your needs as you proceed through your infertility journey.
The surprising part about the challenges of infertility is that facing them can become an empowering experience for you. You will need to arm yourself with the proper tools, knowledge, and support systems. Don't be afraid to rely on existing support systems or, if necessary, you can help build new support systems to aid you and others to get to where you are going.
Allow yourself the flexibility you need to alter your course along the way, as your circumstances change. Your infertility journey may help you achieve a new and greater level of intimacy with your partner, your family, and certain friends. Your ability to overcome the crisis that may occur can strengthen you. You may make new and lifelong friends along the way. You can actively determine if and when your journey comes to an end.
Give yourself permission to look at and consider all of the options that are available to you. Take comfort in knowing that the number of treatment options available to you is growing. The technology, science, and research are ongoing, and ever changing. As doctors gain a greater understanding of the realm of infertility, the success rates for infertility treatment are improving. There is no reason to think that this trend won't continue.
There is no doubt that, wherever and whenever you emerge from your infertility journey, you will be forever changed. There is no way to know the outcome or what it will make of you. You will certainly be changed in ways that you had not considered when you began. The person you become as a result of this experience will be better equipped to deal with other life challenges that will undoubtedly arise in the future. The resiliency of the human spirit, and the potential capacity that we all have to cope with uncertainty and crisis, is something that has never ceased to amaze me in my many years of work as a social worker.
My hope and wish for you is that, wherever your own personal infertility journey ultimately takes you, it is a place you can accept and look forward from. Whatever our outcomes, we all need to find a future direction where we want and choose to go. My wish is that, wherever this leads for you, it ultimately offers you some sense of peace, belonging and fulfillment.