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Spirits Up as the Ball Drops on 2018

New Year’s Eve isn’t exactly a celebration for many of those suffering from infertility. The end of the year brings the burden of reflection if the current year did not bring the realization of baby hopes and dreams. In addition, if devastating losses were suffered or unexpected roadblocks to parenthood were encountered, it’s that much harder to move forward.

But we have to move forward.

Sometimes all we can take with us from a difficult year is the silver lining it might’ve contained—even if it’s minimal when compared to the suffering it came from. In the absence of any recognizable silver lining, there will at least be something learned or some growth from the pain-- even if we don’t see it yet. Unfortunately, sometimes the greatest gift comes only after loss. But it does often come.

With an infertility journey, it’s natural to focus on the goal of a healthy baby and to consider anything short of that as a failure. But that’s not true. Any steps taken toward that goal this year-- no matter how small or how difficult—have generally brought some answers to our particular puzzles or shown us a way to tweak the next step on the journey. So we need to see that what we’ve learned from our individual experiences this year does in fact move us forward on our path to parenthood.

Another thing we often lose sight of while trying to conceive is that our infertility journeys will have an end-- even though it feels never-ending while living it. All infertility journeys, however they are ultimately resolved, come to an end. Fortunately, with the continued advances in assisted reproductive technology, many couples who are able to physically, financially, and emotionally avail themselves of treatment, will eventually become parents. The difficulties of the journey will end one way or another. Believe it or not, there is a life waiting after the infertility months or years end. And for many, that could start in 2019.

So, as we turn the page on another New Year’s Eve, let’s resolve to move forward with a positive-- or at least a hopeful—attitude. Grieve what you must from 2018 and allow positivity in as a new and happier year awaits us.