This is a letter I wish I could have written and sent to many of my former patients at the fertility clinic where my fertility career began. Those who needed extra support and couldn’t bear to ask for it, or accept it when help was offered.
"Don’t be ashamed. Don’t hide. You are not alone in this. You are already so strong.
These words are something I would like for you to repeat every morning when you wake up, and every night before you close your eyes preparing for dreamland. You are not the only one in this fight. I am here for you, I will fight with you and I will fight for you when you’re too tired to fight. I’ll be your cheerleader when you need it and your drill sergeant when a different tactic is needed, just remember - You. Are. Not. Alone.
Even though there are other women around you smiling, some of them too, could be broken inside and feeling guilt or sadness for their fertility struggles. It’s important to remember that the smiling mom with the beautiful, rounded belly at the food store may have fought just as hard to get where she is now. What’s important is that she’s smiling again. Don’t stay silent, ask for help, ask for a friend or simply ask for a shopping buddy.
The point is, don’t sit alone and get stuck in your pain. Use it to push you forward because you’re already so strong. You’re strong for picking up the phone to make an appointment. You’re strong for setting one foot after another into the fertility clinic when you were equally terrified and excited. You’re strong for resolving to follow the clinic’s instructions and for knowing that you can get through this. The outcome may be great or it may be sad, but you will get through that too - look how much you’ve already persevered through to get to this point.
Don’t forget how far you’ve come, no matter how long this journey is. You are already a success for not giving up and I’ll be here to support you when you need it most with a shoulder to cry on or a word of encouragement to keep you moving forward."
No matter how much I was there for my patients - even when I woke up in the middle of the night at 2 AM - I know there were some who pretended to be okay when they really needed a little more support.
That’s why I’m here now, so I can provide support to more women and men. Those who are feeling alone, scared or uncertain and need clarity, guidance, and support from someone they can trust. Having an ally (or two) on this journey, much like Dorothy had in The Wizard of Oz, makes all the difference. Click here to learn more about Embrace Fertility's Treatment Partner Program.