It took my husband and I 5.5 years to become parents. Those were some of the most difficult years of my life. Years filled with pain, grief, bitterness and depression. I needed support. I needed someone who could hold my hand as I cried, someone who wasn't also emotionally invested in this grief and coping with it in their own way like my husband was, someone who could have helped me explore my options.
I needed a doula.
My doula would have been there for me to call her when I needed someone to talk to. She would have allowed me to cry and not judged me for being bitter over pregnancy announcements even when I knew my feelings weren't rational. She may have even referred me to a counselor if she felt I needed additional support.
She would have helped me choose a fertility clinic that was best for me and my family by providing factual, unbiased information.
She would have supported me through the fear of injecting myself in the stomach for the first time with hormones. She would have gone with me when I had to go for embryo transfers by myself because my husband couldn't be there and we weren't ready to share with our family that we were trying again. She would have been the one to follow up and ask me about my emotional state after all three times that I had to get that dreaded call that told me that once again, we were not pregnant, while our embryos dwindled away, two by two.
She would have provided nonjudgmental support when I said "I'm done...for now" even though we had three embryos left. She would have understood that I wasn't ready to close the door on having a biological child, but I couldn't take one more loss.
She would have adapted when we moved onto adoption. Again she would have helped me sift through the mountain of information about domestic, international and foster care adoption to help us choose the path that was right for our family. She would have kept me grounded in the waiting when I felt like we would never become parents.
She would have been there to support me when I was processing if we would say yes to an adoption situation that I would have never thought our family would consider. She wouldn't have warned me about the risks or pushed educational resources at me if I wasn't ready or interested, but if I asked, she would have supplied them.
She would have been by my side through every minute from beginning to end. Every tear, every joy and she would have celebrated with us and congratulated us when we were asked to be our twins' mom and dad.