This powerful blog captures the rollercoaster of fertility treatment beautifully and in an oh-so-raw, real way. Photographer Amanda Naor chronicles her journey through infertility to parenthood in this series of posts capturing the full range of emotions through her vulnerable photos and words. As you read you will feel as if you are by her side, as she experiences the all-encompassing highs and lows of an IVF cycle
“the infertility journey is such an incredible emotional rollercoaster. it feels isolating. it feels unfair. it feels like mother nature and your body are betraying you. it is expensive. it is painful. it is full of fear but it is so, SO common and no one talks about it. “- Amanda Naor
“achievement unlocked: giiiiiaaaant needle into butt. internet achievement unlocked: post photo of your hiney for all the world to see.” -Amanda Naor
Have you found yourself one of the 1 in 6 Canadian couples or women who struggle to conceive? If so, this blog will resonate with you if you have already been on this journey, and will inform and educate you if you have yet to start treatment, or if you know someone who is. Infertility is that unseen affliction which many suffer in silence from.
Even if this is not your personal experience, many of us will unwittingly have family, friends, colleagues or neighbours who are going through what Amanda depicts with such candour here. Amanda`s story shines a light on what making a baby is like for the 1 in 6, in a raw, unflinching way.
“I’m not sure there is anything more beautiful and more bittersweet than being in the infertility community. I have never felt so instantaneously connected to strangers. I have never felt so supported, encouraged, and uplifted by women” – Amanda Naor
Amanda explores not only the fragility and triggers of not being able to conceive but also the guilt and depression that can arise after successful IVF. Having made close connections within the infertility community on forums and websites, Amanda describes how she felt as if she was betraying her new found friends when she finally did conceive, and the accompanying feelings of isolation that this brought.
Amanda also bravely speaks about something rarely discussed or even acknowledged by those who experience successful fertility treatments – post conception depression. After struggling to conceive for so long, once you do, its all a bed of roses once it does happen, right? Not always.
Acknowledging the potential for not-so-positive feelings after conception has a huge impact on how those who go through treatment successfully continue within their pregnancies and parenting journeys. Many who fall pregnant after experiencing fertility issues may feel that they cant acknowledge a difficult pregnancy or postpartum depression, as this may feel especially taboo. In this way, Amanda tackles and addresses this difficult topic, bringing it to the surface and in doing so, seeking to normalize these complex emotions.
“A few days after my husband and I heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, I found myself googling “depression after successful IVF”. I never would have imagined this would be how I was feeling. but here I was….so unbelievably grateful, but yet so very sad and numb.” – Amanda Naor
At MotherWit Doula Care in Montreal we host a free monthly fertility peer to peer support group every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7-9pm. The group seeks to provide a safe space for anyone struggling with fertility issues to come, share their stories, and find community. Whatever stage of this path you are on, we welcome you. Come and join us.