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The One Thing You Need to Know Before Starting Any IVF

Photograph by Twenty20

Don’t worry, I won’t tell you yet again to relax. If you’re trying to get pregnant—emphasis on the “trying” part—you’ll know that it’s anything but relaxing. If you’ve passed that initial honeymoon phase of smiling after sex because you’re sure this is the time you’ll remember because it’s when you’re firstborn was conceived… and it’s not, nope, not again, then you know quite how harrowing natural conception can be.

You change your diet, cut down on sugar and artificial sweeteners, try to lose those extra ten pounds, cut out alcohol and have your husband stop smoking weed, as it really makes his swimmers slow, and still: Nada.

RELATED: How to Maintain Your Relationship While Trying to Conceive

And then when after a year of trying the good old fashioned way—or six months if you’re over 35—you have to go to the doctor for a workup, that’s even less fun. They might send you for hysterosalpingogram (an x-ray procedure to see if your tubes are open and if your uterus is normal) or a a laparoscopy (to check for endometriosis), and even send you to a fertility clinic.

Ugh, a fertility clinic. Who ever thought you’d have to start fertility treatment for something that’s supposed to be so easy? You're frightened of the the needles, the cost, the hormones—but then are relieved when they tell you you only have to do an IUI. But when that fails to work after three tries, you have to actually join “the IVF club.” It’s a club no one wants to join—no one wants to escalate to the next level.

No one ever told me this and I wish they had. I wish they had sat me down and said this...

So maybe you’re like me and you go looking for a natural IVF clinic, one that uses less medication, or you’re like a friend of mine who searched out healers like acupuncturists and nutritionists to avoid messing with your body. (I did all of that too.) And you might spend months or years pursuing promising treatments—and still, nothing.

So having been through it all, here’s the most important thing you need to know if you’re trying to have a baby, whether you’re still trying naturally or have moved on to assisted reproductive therapy. No one ever told me this and I wish they had. I wish they had sat me down and said this:

The most important thing when trying to have a baby is actually having the baby.

I know, Captain Obvious.

But listen, we get so caught up in the how—we want to do it naturally, with no drugs, with no intervention, with no needles, no hormones, no test tubes—which is understandable, because we should take care of our health and our bodies. I’m not even advocating for immediate treatment or hailing Western medicine.

RELATED: Should You Seek Counseling for Infertility?

But we should also not waste too much time, not waste our precious emotional resources and sacrifice our relationships all for the how. The how we make the baby.

I just want to remind you that no matter what stage you are at, that you keep your eye on the prize: a healthy happy baby. I'm now on the other side of all of it, and I can attest: It’s truly amazing!

But I wish I had gotten here sooner.

I wish I had skipped so many of the steps and not been so focused for three years on how I was going to get pregnant and speeded up when I was going to be a mom.

And I hope you can too.

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