Caitlin’s Journey

Caitlin's Journey

Age 32

Navigating infertility treatment and a miscarriage during the pandemic left Caitlin feeling anxious and alone.

NEW CHALLENGES
1. NEW CHALLENGES
Three years ago, Caitlin was recently married and had just moved into a new home with her husband. Her career was going well and his small business was starting to take off, so they decided they were ready to start a family. “We were really excited to become parents, but then I began to worry when we didn’t have any luck after almost a year of trying. That’s when my infertility journey began.”
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HOLDING IT IN
2. HOLDING IT IN
Once she and her husband decided to begin infertility treatment, Caitlin found herself hesitant to share with family and friends about their problems conceiving and all the emotional strain that came with it. “I’d always been an over-achiever able to accomplish any goal I’d set for myself, so this ‘failure’ was hard to swallow. I felt like something was wrong with me as a woman because my body wasn’t able to do this basic and natural function.”
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UPS AND DOWNS
3. UPS AND DOWNS
“I didn’t talk about it because I never wanted to be a ‘downer’. Plus I was struggling with my own feelings of shame and failure, so I just held it in and tried to get through the process.” When she finally did become pregnant a few months later, she was so relieved and excited to share the news with loved ones. “I knew I should probably wait to tell everyone, but we were just so happy. I felt this huge weight off my shoulders.”
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MANAGING LOSS
4. MANAGING LOSS
Sadly, Caitlin experienced a miscarriage near the end of her first trimester. “It was devastating. I’d had some issues with depression and anxiety in the past, but this sent me into a tailspin. I withdrew and didn’t want to talk to anyone. My husband broke the news to our friends and family and was so supportive to me. But after awhile when I didn’t come out of it on my own, he pushed me to get help for my mental health.”
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TRYING AGAIN
5. TRYING AGAIN
In addition to seeing a counselor, Caitlin also joined a support group for other women going through infertility struggles. “It took awhile but eventually I started to feel better and strong enough to try again. But this time I’d approach it differently by being more open and honest about what I was feeling and not bottle everything up.” Then a few weeks after starting the process again early last year, along came a global pandemic to make an already stressful process more challenging.
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LOOKING AHEAD
6. LOOKING AHEAD
This time Caitlin leaned on family and friends while also utilizing connections and resources from her support group. “It still wasn’t easy, and of course the pandemic just made everything so much more difficult. But now I knew what to expect and was better prepared to handle the emotional ups and downs. Everything is so much more manageable when you can talk honestly about how you’re feeling and get support from others going through the same thing.”
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