black angel moms, Trauma of it all, Trying to figure this all out, TTC (trying to conceive)

On Creating Families

Let’s face it, the road to parenthood isn’t always paved in gold and lined with roses. If you’ve found my blog you’re either a person who has been trying to conceive & lost a baby, has children and lost a child somewhere along the way or are supporting someone in either of the situations mentioned above. Regardless, I believe my target audience is well aware that creating families can be pretty damn hard.  Having said that, there are things I think every person who is ttc or wondering why they haven’t yet, could benefit from reading.  Here’s some quick tips to help on the journey to creating families. It’s a hell of a process and there are many things I wish I knew a while ago, that I now know. Along this journey, there may be lots and lots of disappointments. Some big, some small but they will be present. Just remember to keep lines of communication open with your support system and be kind to yourself.

  1. Educate yourself on the many ways you can go about it
    1. There are a TON of ways to create families. Having said that, every option isn’t available to every person for a variety of reasons so do some research to find out what’s out there so you can be informed when you head to step two.
  2. Talk to your gynecologist and/or a fertility specialist about recommendations specifically for you
    1. As mentioned above, all the options may not be options for you. It’s important to talk with your docs about your plans, and goals as they relate to your physical health. There may be things they suggest you do to better prepare your body or based on your history, they may be able to point you in certain directions pre-testing. Ultimately, testing will need to be done if you’re in need of doc assistance to conceive. Having this very targeted appointment will give you an individualized plan to move forward.
  3. Consider (if accessible to you) freezing your eggs
    1. This has been talked about a little more in recent years but I don’t know how much people really know about it. The basic idea behind this being beneficial is that you will have healthier eggs in storage when you’re ready to implant them. I know people can and do have children well into their 40’s and at the same time, advanced maternal age is still a thing regardless of medical technology. Our bodies haven’t really caught up with current practices of having children later in life. The benefit is that if you decide at 45 to get pregnant and you have 35 year old eggs, your changes of a genetically healthier child are higher. Even if you’re in your late 30’s but froze them in your early 30’s, the odds are just simply better.  Now y’all know, I’m all about giving you some info to follow up with your docs about AND I’m all about keeping it real re: prices. Freezing your eggs is not a cheap thing to do so again, get the information you need from fertility clinics in your area to clarify whether this is an option for you.
  4. Consider that things may not look the way you originally thought they would
    1. Let’s say you go to the doc and they say, “great, your bloodwork looks good, your levels are good, you can get started.” Then you get an HSG which determines that both your fallopian tubes are collapsed or blocked. Then what…? Or, let’s say everything is a ‘go’ on the HSG and your bloodwork is within normal ranges BUT when you start stimulation, you’re not ovulating the way you should or not producing eggs the way they would expect. Then what..? Just keep in mind that the body is a very complex thing and is ever changing. What’s true now or seems to be the planned course of action can change unexpectedly sometimes so be flexible. Easier said than done, I know…
  5. Start saving (if you haven’t already)
    1. Creating a family is WAY more expensive than you may think it is so get your coins together NOW. That is all.
  6. Figure out your threshold for news that you aren’t able to carry or that it might take a while to get there
    1. Unfortunately, there are many, many people who experience miscarriages and failed attempts at conceiving. For some, they are either eventually told they cannot carry for whatever reason, have some damage done during the loss of a child that impairs their ability to reproduce, or they frankly cannot afford the experience procedures needed to keep trying. It’s important to at least hypothetically think about what that might mean for you, what kind of support you are comfortable receiving (therapy, support groups, etc.) and what your plans B & C are.
  7. Learn & practice the best ways (for you) to field conversations with family & friends about your journey.
    1. People often struggle in silence when dealing with the challenges of family creation. There are a lot of emotions involved and unfortunately stupid feelings of embarrassment and shame come into play. I call them stupid because they are. You’re not stupid. The feelings are stupid because they are a result of the judgments of others being placed on or carried out by you. Challenges are SO common and nothing to be ashamed of. So figure out what you want to share and how you want to share it. Be prepared for people to either get way too personal with you OR for people to act like nothing is happening when you need support. Either way, know your audience and have some ready-made responses that feel comfortable to you.

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