In honor of National Infertility Week, we reached out to clients who have undergone fertility treatments and asked them if they’d like to share a bit about their journey. Cecilia is a recent client who shared her story as well as some tips for coping when undergoing these treatments.
What was your experience with IVF Like?
Without discounting the complexity and how ‘heavy’ fertility treatment can be, we fortunately had a very positive experience. I have known since I was a teen that I would need help conceiving and, after meeting with a couple of doctors and weighing up the various treatment options, decided to try IVF.
The hardest part about IVF for me was overcoming my fear of needles–let alone self-administering them! That was a psychological hurdle, for sure. What most certainly helped me overcome this, though, was reminding myself that each injection was helping me create the most cozy home for our baby vs having something “happen to me;” fun music during injection time helped too!
How do you cope with the emotional ups and downs of fertility treatments?
Surrounding yourself with a good support network (it doesn’t need to be large but I do recommend choosing people who you know will be able to support you in the way that you prefer) and lots of distractions!
What did you tell your family and friends about fertility treatments?
At first I started with “I’m freezing my eggs” since I felt like there was far less stigma around that, particularly in the Bay Area. I later then chose to bare all and become a completely open book as it became apparent to me how alone so many people can feel in their own experience. It broke my heart that the vast majority of people I know who also went through fertility treatment didn’t feel like they could or would tell anyone in their family, or even their closest friends, and it prompted me to reflect on why that was.
Everyone has their own reasons, of course, but ultimately a common theme was that they didn’t want to open themselves up to answering a lot of questions that are not only no one else’s business but also testament to how little discussed this topic is. I felt charged with the responsibility to do my small part in helping remove the stigma, empower those who may feel like somehow infertility is their fault, and encourage open dialogue on something that affects so many of us.
What made you interested in midwifery and out of hospital care?
We were hoping to have as few interventions during the delivery as possible and, upon our doula’s recommendation, looked into San Francisco Birth Center where we knew instantly that this was the right place for us. We were immediately drawn to the warm, welcoming and loving environment and holistic approach to bringing a baby into the world where baby, mother and partner or birth support person, if relevant, are all prioritized. Despite not having anything else to compare it to, we would highly recommend the midwifery model!
How are you and your family doing today?
We are doing so well – we are happy, healthy and still having fun! Tiny humans are truly incredible and we feel privileged to be able to guide them as they navigate life. We feel so grateful to have started parenthood knowing we had the midwives at San Francisco Birth Center to lean on!