How Infertility Amplifies My Insomnia

You know when someone tells you not to think about something, and then obviously, it’s absolutely the only thing you can think about?

Well, that for me is infertility.

And it has been for a long time. To make a very long story short, I’ve been in the midst of fertility treatments for several years now. I had many failed treatments before I conceived my daughter via IVF, and since shortly after her birth, I’ve been trying to give her a sibling.

Born to be a mother

I’m one of those people who was born to be a mother. Everything I’ve ever done has been with becoming a mother in mind. So, when I struggled to get pregnant and then endured multiple losses, it got harder and harder to not be all-consumed by this journey.

And now, for the last 11 months, I’ve been on high doses of hormones. I’ve gone through 3 IVF embryo transfers, a mock transfer, 7 uterine biopsies, 2 surgery procedures under sedation, nearly 200 injections, and more than 1000 pills JUST to try to get pregnant again.

It is almost impossible to think about anything else

I work full time, I live with 2 autoimmune disorders, I have a 2-year-old daughter, and I struggle with insomnia. All of those things have been impacted by infertility.

Infertility is a medical condition. But it’s also a life condition. A condition that fiercely impacts the family I desperately want to continue building. So, all I think about is how I can better care for my body so that it will do the thing I’m begging it to do. I take the medications I’m prescribed, so my body will learn better how to do what it’s supposed to be able to do naturally.

I am never truly rested

Not getting good rest impacts everything, too. When my insomnia symptoms flare up significantly, my ability to handle life, emotions, and decisions decreases. Struggling to fall asleep or waking up several times during the night means that I’m never getting a full night of sleep.

My body is never truly rested, healed, or recovered from the previous day (or week, or month, or year).

Living with insomnia can be completely devastating

So, when I combine the way insomnia affects me with the way infertility affects me, it turns out they play off of each other.

Infertility means hormone medications and steroids, along with so many mental and emotional choices and ramifications from each decision along the way. These things keep me up at night and resonate within my deepest thoughts even when I’m asleep.

Infertility finds ways to keep me awake, and insomnia finds ways to keep me vulnerable. Together, they are partners in crime in a battle I never signed up for. And yet, I have no choice but to continue figuring out how to function each day.

Giving myself grace

The only advice I've been able to give myself is to have grace. One day, this vicious cycle will come to an end, and although I'll likely still struggle with insomnia, I will find relief in the eventual new normal.

For now, all I can do is reduce the pressure I put on myself to function as if I wasn't dealing with both of these things, and to ask for help when I need it instead of way after the fact.

Have you dealt with any physical, mental, or emotional health challenges that have negatively impacted your insomnia? I'd love to hear about them below. You're not alone!

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