My Journey to Parenthood and Working with the (In)fertility Community | Valerie Grenier

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

It all began in 2013 when my spouse and I decided to try to conceive. We had been together for about 8 years, we had completed our schooling and started our careers. We were ready for the next step: to get married and have kids. Everyone around us was getting married, getting pregnant, having baby showers and welcoming their babies home–but not us! For 2 years, we went through the disappointments and hopes that come with trying to conceive month after month. We were going in for blood work, testing, semen analysis, ultrasounds, tracking cycles and so much more. Trying to have a baby became a full-time job... and that job became stressful. It started affecting our relationship, my friendships, my mood. It was a time where I was obsessed and consumed with pregnancy. I wasn't feeling like myself anymore. I was in a lot of emotional pain.


After having important conversations around in vitro fertilization (IVF), adoption, or living without children, we decided to follow our doctor's recommendations and proceeded with IVF. The process was quite overwhelming. It was a whole new world that I barely knew anything about. Luckily, our first IVF cycle turned out to be successful, I got pregnant! (With twins!) We lost one of the twins in early pregnancy, which was also an emotional turn of events full of sadness, and grief. But a few months later, I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful little boy.


Coming out of this cycle, we had no embryos to freeze, so I knew that we would most likely have to do this all over again. I had accepted that. However, when I was 4 months postpartum, I became pregnant naturally, against all odds. We were told that the likelihood of ever getting pregnant naturally was small, but there we were: with a 4-month-old baby conceived with IVF, and after trying for years, pregnant again. This was a happy, welcomed, and exciting surprise. We have another boy from that pregnancy.


On my journey, it was difficult to find people like me–people who struggled to conceive. I found it hard to get information and to get support/services focused specifically on the topic of infertility. After I completed my healing work and built my family, I decided to receive focused training on the topic of reproductive health and mind-body approaches for fertility. I wanted to bring that into my work as a psychologist and create a niche where I could specifically help those that are trying to conceive. I realize


that many people don't have the fortunate outcome that I ended up having. The journey of (in)fertility is unique for everybody and may include insemination, miscarriages, egg or sperm donor, surrogacy, multiple rounds of IVF, or having to make a heartbreaking decision of putting an end to treatments/trying to conceive. Regardless of the path that you may be on, know that you are not alone in the struggles of (in)fertility. It is normal to feel


how you are feeling. Infertility is very hard.


I'm sending love and healing vibes your way,

Val



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