Your future may not be that of a fairy tale princess, but your power is that of a superhero.
Dear Younger Me,
Up until a year ago, you have spent your whole young adult life trying so hard NOT to get pregnant, falsely sold the promise that getting “knocked up” was just one broken condom or missed pill away.
This is the modern fairy tale of motherhood.
Becoming a mother is easy, it’s natural, and it’s magical. And that romantic magic all starts simply by looking deep into your partner’s eyes while engaging in an act of pure love.
But after months and months of trying to make magic, all that ever grew was disappointment, and now, leaving your local fertility clinic, you know why.
I’m sorry the only narrative anyone ever shared with you left out the heartbreaking statistics and stories. And now you’re forced to continue that tradition, hiding your sadness, burying your shame — because you’ve been taught that it’s taboo for good girls to share.
But through the silence and the sadness, here’s what I can promise you. You will not give up.
You will take needles every day. Get up at 5 a.m. to be poked and prodded daily. Gain and lose weight every week. And look for blood every time you pee.
And you’ll do it largely on your own. Sure, you might have your partner or a close friend you can vent to, but no one can truly walk with you through this pain.
You might fall out of touch with friends who post their happy bump pictures every week. You might fight with your partner who will try to “fix” a problem they cannot fix. You might avoid seeing your family out of fear they’ll jokingly ask why they’re not grandparents yet.
This process will be all you, and yet you will start to feel truly out of touch with who you are and the body you’re in.
You’ll ask yourself every day why it cannot do the one thing it’s naturally built to do. What did you do wrong? You tried to eat well, exercise when you could, and never smoked or did drugs. You even cut out caffeine and your weekend glass of wine.
I want you to know that you did nothing to cause this, and that infertility does not discriminate.
Infertility doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, if you do yoga or party all night, if you take a handful of supplements or have never even heard of a prenatal multivitamin. You were chosen for this path because you’re a warrior, and it was clear that you could weather the storm ahead.
It might not seem like it now, but I promise you that you will. Through the insomnia, the monthly disappointment, the bruises, the hormones, the marital arguments, and the financial strain, you will emerge a stronger, more resilient woman, partner, sister, friend, and mom.
You’ll develop coping strategies that you know you can call on during any adversity in your life — and trust me, parenthood will throw you tons of that.
You’ll grow a sense of hope that’s so bright that you can use it to build friends and family up who don’t have the strength and resilience you have. You will be the superhero that only Hollywood has ever seen.
You will build a beautiful family, whatever that may look like, filled with an overwhelming amount of love, pride, and care. And you’ll do it because you were truly ready for this step. Not many parents can say that.
So infertility may be the terrifying storm shaking your little world right now, but know that the rainbow that follows will look all the more bright.
Future Me xoxo
Abbey Sharp is a registered dietitian, TV and radio personality, food blogger, and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. She is the author of the Mindful Glow Cookbook, a non-diet cookbook designed to help inspire women to rekindle their relationship with food. She recently launched a parenting Facebook group called the Millennial Mom’s Guide to Mindful Meal Planning.