Courtesy Of Jill Di Donato

10 Ways Fertility Treatments Prepare You For Motherhood

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When I made the decision to become a single mom by choice, I had no idea that all the probing and waiting and more probing and tests weren't just time consuming, but actually ways fertility treatments prepare you for motherhood. Of course there are still times when I feel like throwing in the towel, giving up and escaping to a desert island with my crushes James Franco and Alexander Skarsgård, but I'm guessing that's something every mom fantasize about, too. Right?

While I've yet to join the motherhood club, the numerous trips to my fertility specialist, not to mention the lab, the donor bank, acupuncturist, and OB-GYN — all while juggling two jobs and a social life — are giving me a sense of what it's going to like when I'm inevitably tested by a little one, all while trying to live my normal life.

Because here's the thing, I know that once I see those two pink lines, my life is going to change forever. I also know that, even in the midst and aftermath of all that change, I'm still going to be me. I mean, I've been myself for thirty-something years, so I don't really expect to morph into an entirely different being. Sure, things are going to be different, there's no question, but I have to say; this journey of trying to grow another human inside my body has already changed me, and you know what? This journey of trying to conceive (TTC), is preparing me for motherhood in the following ways:

Ad failed to load

You Learn It's OK To Be Average

GIPHY

When I got the results of my fertility test, I was told that I was average for a woman my age. Immediately, I burst into tears. Average has such a negative connotation, especially to a perfectionist like me. However, after consulting some sage friends, I put being "average" into perspective. As a mom, I don't want to teach my child to be a perfectionist — living your life like that creates too much pressure.

As noted in The Huffington Post, as a mom, OK is good enough. In fact, being who you are, rather than some fictitious representation of the "perfect mom," is probably going to keep you grounded and allow you to be who you truly are. Who can ask for anything more?

You Learn A New Meaning Of Patience

GIPHY

Sing it, Axl. Being patient is one of the most difficult virtues to master, especially in a culture where people expect instant gratification all the time. Plus, I hear that kids require patience (understatement) because they aren't as emotionally evolved as their parents. I've learned to view patience as power, a practice noted by Psychology Today as a way to ward off frustration, keep your sense of humor, and live in the moment.

You Learn That Things Don't Always Happen According To Plan

GIPHY

I certainly don't want to be one of those moms who has every single solitary activity scheduled, down to the minute and with no room for deviation. Because, well, sometimes you have unexpected adventures when you toss your planner, and unexpected adventures are just the best. As an article in the New York Times noted, sometimes things don't happen for a reason. Sometimes things just happen. Isn't that thought insanely freeing?

Ad failed to load

You Learn That You Got This Sobriety Thing

GIPHY

I'm a lady who likes her cocktails. What can I say? But, as my two-day hangovers have taught me, I just can't party like I used to. Fertility treatments have also taught me I don't need booze to have a good time. For those nine months, when I'm growing a baby (and longer if I breastfeed), I'm going to be going without vino or any other libation, because I want a healthy baby and fetal alcohol syndrome is serious business. But you know what? I've got this sober thing.

You Learn To Listen To Your Intuition

GIPHY

I'd be lying if I said I had the support of everyone in my inner circle about becoming a single mom by choice. Good thing it's my uterus, my choice. And my gut is telling me this is what I want.

You Learn To Filter Advice

GIPHY

Piggybacking on number five, fertility treatments have taught me to filter advice (especially unsolicited advice) from nosy individuals. I've learned to politely dismiss advice I don't want to hear with a curt thank you and a swift exit.

Ad failed to load

You Learn How To Navigate Mom-Shaming

GIPHY

When another mom asked me if I was getting "artificial insemination," I knew by her use of the outdated and slightly offensive term that she and I weren't on the same page. While it's not my job to teach other moms that families come in all different shapes and sizes, it's useful to have a couple of answers at-the-ready once my child arrives, to ward off mom-shaming and to protect my little one.

You Learn To Get Comfortable With Weird Bodily Functions

GIPHY

I have two words for you: vaginal catheter. Sound fun? Not so much. You'll be leaking some kind of goo (lube mixed with your own juices) for a couple hours after it's inserted and removed. You know what else? Sometimes you queef during vaginal probes. I've learned to get over the embarrassment (I mean, I'm writing about it, so clearly I'm comfortable with my body) because childbirth (from what I've heard) is no picnic. Do I care that complete strangers have seen the inside of my uterus? If the sight of my insides will bring me closer to having my baby, not one bit.

You Learn To Focus On The Big Picture

GIPHY

With every blood test and every disappointment, you can feel like a little bit of your soul is being chipped away. However, as any great mom will tell you, if you focus on the minutia, you'll forget to see the big picture. As noted by The Huffington Post, stress-free parenting means you don't sweat the small stuff. To keep my sanity during fertility treatments, keeping my eye on the prize is essential.

Ad failed to load

You Learn That Your Heart Beats Outside Your Chest

GIPHY

How can you love someone so incredibly and fully, even though you haven't brought them into existence? I can't explain it, but anyone undergoing assisted reproduction knows exactly what I mean. That feeling, that all-consuming, remarkable feeling, makes the rest completely worth it.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack