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Drawing from others

I like to follow other infertility blogs and read about other people’s experiences. Recently, I came upon a blog that was started by a community group at my church, Bent Tree Bible. This blog is not only an infertility blog, but also covers other topics such as loss, pregnancy, parenting, etc etera. I read every story on this blog, and a particular paragraph really spoke to me. With permission from the author, I wanted to share that paragraph.

“He has taught me that hope is the only thing stronger than fear. I have no idea what our future holds or how the Lord plans for us to grow our family, but I do know that He certainly has a plan, and regardless of how our children come to us, they are already His.”-Anna Grisham from the blog http://www.gloryinhermidst.com

Wow. The first and last sentence. I’ve read this paragraph over and over and it gives me so much peace. Hope is the thing that keeps me going through all these infertility tests and trials. Hope overcomes all my fear of the bad that could happen. Hopefully these words speak to someone else like they did to me.

Did you know: About one-third of infertility is attributed to the female, one-third to the male, and a third is caused by either a combination of problems in both partners or is unexplained. -www.resolve.org 2015

 

Diagnostic Testing

I didn’t just wake up one day and discover that I was infertile. It took lots of time, doctors visits, and diagnostic testing. We tried for over six months on our own to get pregnant without any medical intervention. At around 6 or 7 months, I went for a check up to my OB doctor and told him that we’d been trying. He drew some labs and later diagnosed me with PCOS. He put me on a small dose of Metformin and told me to continue trying for a few months. After that didn’t work, I went back to my OB and he decided to put me on Clomid. Usually MD’s will do that for a few rounds before referring to a specialist or REI doctor. So, we did three rounds (kinda like three months) of Clomid with no success. At that point, I knew it was time for something else.

After doing lots of research (and discovering that my insurance does not cover IVF) I found a REI doctor that I liked and trusted and Evan and I went and had a consult with him. He decided to increase my dosage of Metformin and ordered more labs including genetic testing. We then tried three rounds of Femara (which is a medication very similar to Clomid but tends to have greater success with PCOS patients.) After the three rounds of Femara didn’t work, the next step was intrauterine insemination. I found out that my insurance covers six lifetime IUIs so we decided to try it out. We went through three rounds of IUI without success. By this time, my doctor decided that IVF was the next logical step. While anxious, we were frustrated, tired and agreed that IVF seemed like the next best option.

Before my REI doctor would start the treatments for IVF, he ordered a HSG or hysterosalpingogram. This is pretty standard diagnostic testing that is ordered before beginning such intense treatment. I had heard so many terrifying things about this procedure. I had read blogs that said women thought it was the most painful thing that they had ever gone through. At the advice of the blogs and discussion posts, I decided to take the suggested Ibuprofen before the procedure. I went in to the surgery center at my REI’s office and they had me change into a gown. They took me back to a sterile room, injected dye into my uterus and then were able to take x-rays of my uterus and fallopian tubes. I had so much anxiety about this procedure, but it was such a breeze. It hurt for about three seconds as the dye was being injected. I asked my doctor when the procedure would start and he told me that he had already injected the dye (the painful part.) When the dye was going in, it felt like horrible cramps, but they quickly went away. The whole procedure was over in less than five minutes and I was released immediately to go home. I was embarrassed that I had even been so scared over this minor test. But, not all people are blessed with a REI doctor who is quick and knows exactly what he is doing. Turns out, the test showed that everything was completely normal which didn’t help explain why the Clomid, Femara, and three IUIs had not worked.

At one of our last consult visits before beginning IVF, my doctor decided that he wanted to cover all the bases as far as diagnostic tests were concerned. Despite my PCOS, he said at this point my infertility was “unexplained.” I, theoretically, should have had success with the treatments that had been provided. So, he decided to do a hysteroscopy. I thought I had done all the normal diagnostic tests, so I didn’t have time to research this one beforehand. He said he could do it that day in the office so that we could get it over with. I was relieved to not have to come back to the office so I decided to go ahead and do it. Holy cow. A hysteroscopy is a test where they basically put a “telescope” through the vagina AND cervix and into the actual uterus. It’s used to check for polyps, scar tissue, etc. I was not prepared for the amount of pain caused by this test. In theory, it would have been cool to see because there was a screen where I could see the inside of my uterus. My doctor was trying to explain everything and show me, but I was in too much pain to even open my eyes. He was able to quickly look at everything he needed and it was over in a few minutes. Now, I’m not trying to scare anyone who might be going to have a hysteroscopy. Everyone’s pain levels are completely different. But, I do suggest taking some kind of over the counter pain reliever before and after the test. As much as the hysteroscopy hurt, I would do it ten thousand times over if it meant having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

In short, if you are getting either of these diagnostic tests done or know anyone who is having them done, don’t freak out. I am so, so glad that we did them and are able to definitively know that nothing is wrong. As painful as the hysteroscopy was, it was so worth it if it means that I’m that much closer to becoming pregnant. Throughout this entire infertility process, I try to keep the end goal in mind: holding my beautiful child. And if it means that I have to go through all of this in order to be a mom, I’ll do it.

 

—Diagnostic testing may include: ovulation testing, hysterosalpingography, ovarian reserve testing, hormone testing, imaging tests, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, or genetic testing.— (Mayo Clinic, 2017)

 

OHSS

I’ve neglected this page for a while. As I talked about with my last blog post, I wanted to tell y’all a little bit about my experience with OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.) For those that aren’t familiar with the process of IVF, one of the first steps is doing an egg retrieval.  To prepare for this, most women […]

I’ve neglected this page for a while. As I talked about with my last blog post, I wanted to tell y’all a little bit about my experience with OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.)

For those that aren’t familiar with the process of IVF, one of the first steps is doing an egg retrieval.  To prepare for this, most women are given large doses of hormones, both injections and pills, in order to hyperstimulate their ovaries to produce a large number of eggs. These eggs are then retrieved at the perfect time (you’re monitored like crazy through sonograms and blood work at your IVF office) under anesthesia at a surgery center, IVF office, or hospital.

So, the month of October was finally the month that I was able to start the medications in preparation for the egg retrieval. You have to start the medications weeks ahead of time in order to prepare for the retrieval. I was so excited to finally be doing something in the process of our IVF journey. I felt like we would be that much closer to maybe having a baby. I knew that because of my PCOS risk I was at a higher likelihood to develop OHSS after the retrieval, but I didn’t care. I would (and still will)  literally do anything to get pregnant and maintain that pregnancy with the hopes of a beautiful child.

Thursday October 27th, 2016 was the big day! We went in that morning for our egg retrieval. The nurse, who happened to work with me previously, was my pre-op nurse and started my IV. Dr. Barnett, my REI doctor, came in and asked if I had any questions and then my anesthesiologist came in and explained the type of anesthesia he would use. He then gave me some Versed and wheeled me into the OR. That Versed works amazing because I barely remember being wheeled into the OR. The whole egg retrieval process was completely painless. They watched me in the recovery area for a little bit and made sure the anesthesia wore off, gave me some snacks, took out my IV and sent me on my way with post-op instructions. I was told to take it easy and relax that day so I went home and spent the day in bed. They gave my a prescription for Tylenol #3 in case I needed it (and boy I sure did end up needing it.) img_0437

Above is a picture of me right before being wheeled into the OR for my egg retrieval. I was so excited for the next step in our IVF journey!

Friday October 28th, 2016 wasn’t too bad. I was a little sore, but nothing too unmanageable. Again, I was told to take it easy, so I too off work that day as well. I tried to drink plenty of fluids to prevent OHSS. I spent the day watching television and trying to relax. I was thinking that I might have escaped the infamous OHSS.

Saturday October 29th, I felt sore but felt even better than the day before. I decided, very unwisely, that I needed to get some yard work done. I went to Home Depot and bought a ton of pansies. We were going to be hosting Thanksgiving and I really wanted my yard to look nice. I spent half the day doing yard work and cleaning up my flower beds. That was not my best idea.

Sunday October 30th was the day of my niece’s THIRD birthday party! There was no way I was going to miss that. By this time, I was definitely sore and hurting. I was so bloated that I looked about four months pregnant. I was having to take the Tylenol #3 and it wasn’t controlling my pain as much as I had hoped. But, we went to her party and then to the after-party at my brother and sister-in-law’s house with all the family. Right before dinner, I started to feel really, really bad. The worst I’d felt thus far. I took some more Tylenol #3 and tried to make it through dinner. I had about three bites of food and couldn’t do it anymore. I said our goodbyes quickly and as soon as I made it to the car, I began to vomit. I wasn’t sure if it was from the pain or the food, but it was definitely miserable. I was glad we had left just in time, however.

By the time Monday, Halloween, rolled around, I felt downright awful. I was scheduled to return to work the next day, so I tried my best to stay in bed, do nothing, and drink lots of fluids. This, however, didn’t help. I knew that feeling this way was probably normal, so I didn’t call the doctor or worry too much. I was hoping that the pain and bloatednesss would wear off by the time I had to return to work the next day.

Tuesday November 1st, I somehow managed to get myself out of bed, shower, and go to work. I’m not sure how I even made it through my shower. I was in so much pain. I had gained at least ten pounds by this point. My stomach was so bloated that by this time I definitely looked pregnant. I had absolutely no appetite and definitely no energy. But, I didn’t have much PTO and knew I needed to try and make it through the work day. I was scheduled to work the next three days and I had already been off work for five days by this point. I made it to work and luckily had the best assignment that I could’ve been given. I was set to train a coworker how to be a charge nurse. This allowed me to stay seated and not have to walk as much, which was definitely helpful. I called the doctor to ask and make sure all my symptoms were normal, and they said that they were. But, by the time noon rolled around there was just no way that I could make it the rest of the day. I wasn’t even halfway done with my shift. I left after lunch that day and felt like I would barely make the drive home. I got home and went straight to bed. I ended up starting an IV on myself hoping that it would help with my symptoms (Don’t worry, the IV supplies were not obtained illegally from my job) but it didn’t seem to help at all.

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Above is a picture of the IV that I started on myself. It’s not my best work, but it functioned as needed. Believe it or not, an IV is difficult to do one-handed.

Wednesday, November 2nd was a blur. I called in sick to work that day. By this time, I literally had ZERO PTO so I would be taking sick time without pay. But, I had no choice. I literally couldn’t move from my bed. I slept on and off all day and did not get out of bed except to go to the bathroom and get water. I really thought that I would be better by the next day because that would’ve been a week exactly after my egg retrieval.

img_0469

My sweet Goldendoodle, Max, kept me company while I was stuck in bed.

Again, I was scheduled to work on Thursday, November 3rd, but was unable to go in. By this time, not only was I in a ton of pain, bloated, sore, and had no energy, but it was becoming hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t take a large breath and I had begun coughing. I was afraid that I was getting fluid overloaded and that my body was third spacing my fluid. I called my doctor again with my concerns. (They probably thought I was nuts and so annoying!) But, they went ahead and told me to come in. I saw the doctor, he took one look at my stomach, diagnosed me with OHSS, and sent me to the surgery center to get an IV with fluids and some pain meds. Luckily, my OHSS wasn’t so severe that I needed the fluid to be drained off of my stomach. I was in the surgery center for about two hours and then was released home.

img_0473

Above is not a flattering picture of me, but I look about as bad as how I felt. This was in the surgery center while they were giving me fluids and pain meds.

Friday, November 4th I was finally beginning to feel like myself. At this point, it had been eight days since my egg retrieval. I didn’t feel as tired or bloated and my appetite was beginning to come back. My mom and I went and grabbed a quick lunch and walked around Target for a few minutes. It was the most activity I’d had in over a week, but it felt so good to get out and try to accustom myself to more activity.

The weekend rolled around and I could definitely tell that my bloating was going down and my pain was much more controllable. I had more energy to do things, although a lot less than normal. I was able to enjoy the weekend and returned to work that Monday.

Throughout all of this, my husband was a saint. He would bring me Gatorade and water in bed, make sure I had enough fluids and was eating, and make sure I was getting enough rest. I don’t know how I would’ve made it without him. My mom was also an angel. She brought me lunch one of the days that I was stuck in bed, constantly checked on me, and then took me out to lunch and Target on the day that I was starting to feel better. I’m so so thankful for them.

I returned to work Monday feeling like myself again. I would do the egg retrieval over and over in a heartbeat if that meant having a baby. While the experience of OHSS wasn’t enjoyable, it will hopefully be so worth it if the end result is a pregnancy. Not everyone gets OHSS from their egg retrieval, so if you’re reading this and going to be having a retrieval soon, don’t worry! Many people have their retrieval and are able to return to normal activity a day or two later!

 

OHSS

I’ve neglected this page for a while. As I talked about with my last blog post, I wanted to tell y’all a little bit about my experience with OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.)

For those that aren’t familiar with the process of IVF, one of the first steps is doing an egg retrieval.  To prepare for this, most women are given large doses of hormones, both injections and pills, in order to hyperstimulate their ovaries to produce a large number of eggs. These eggs are then retrieved at the perfect time (you’re monitored like crazy through sonograms and blood work at your IVF office) under anesthesia at a surgery center, IVF office, or hospital.

So, the month of October was finally the month that I was able to start the medications in preparation for the egg retrieval. You have to start the medications weeks ahead of time in order to prepare for the retrieval. I was so excited to finally be doing something in the process of our IVF journey. I felt like we would be that much closer to maybe having a baby. I knew that because of my PCOS risk I was at a higher likelihood to develop OHSS after the retrieval, but I didn’t care. I would (and still will)  literally do anything to get pregnant and maintain that pregnancy with the hopes of a beautiful child.

Thursday October 27th, 2016 was the big day! We went in that morning for our egg retrieval. The nurse, who happened to work with me previously, was my pre-op nurse and started my IV. Dr. Barnett, my REI doctor, came in and asked if I had any questions and then my anesthesiologist came in and explained the type of anesthesia he would use. He then gave me some Versed and wheeled me into the OR. That Versed works amazing because I barely remember being wheeled into the OR. The whole egg retrieval process was completely painless. They watched me in the recovery area for a little bit and made sure the anesthesia wore off, gave me some snacks, took out my IV and sent me on my way with post-op instructions. I was told to take it easy and relax that day so I went home and spent the day in bed. They gave my a prescription for Tylenol #3 in case I needed it (and boy I sure did end up needing it.) img_0437

Above is a picture of me right before being wheeled into the OR for my egg retrieval. I was so excited for the next step in our IVF journey!

Friday October 28th, 2016 wasn’t too bad. I was a little sore, but nothing too unmanageable. Again, I was told to take it easy, so I too off work that day as well. I tried to drink plenty of fluids to prevent OHSS. I spent the day watching television and trying to relax. I was thinking that I might have escaped the infamous OHSS.

Saturday October 29th, I felt sore but felt even better than the day before. I decided, very unwisely, that I needed to get some yard work done. I went to Home Depot and bought a ton of pansies. We were going to be hosting Thanksgiving and I really wanted my yard to look nice. I spent half the day doing yard work and cleaning up my flower beds. That was not my best idea.

Sunday October 30th was the day of my niece’s THIRD birthday party! There was no way I was going to miss that. By this time, I was definitely sore and hurting. I was so bloated that I looked about four months pregnant. I was having to take the Tylenol #3 and it wasn’t controlling my pain as much as I had hoped. But, we went to her party and then to the after-party at my brother and sister-in-law’s house with all the family. Right before dinner, I started to feel really, really bad. The worst I’d felt thus far. I took some more Tylenol #3 and tried to make it through dinner. I had about three bites of food and couldn’t do it anymore. I said our goodbyes quickly and as soon as I made it to the car, I began to vomit. I wasn’t sure if it was from the pain or the food, but it was definitely miserable. I was glad we had left just in time, however.

By the time Monday, Halloween, rolled around, I felt downright awful. I was scheduled to return to work the next day, so I tried my best to stay in bed, do nothing, and drink lots of fluids. This, however, didn’t help. I knew that feeling this way was probably normal, so I didn’t call the doctor or worry too much. I was hoping that the pain and bloatednesss would wear off by the time I had to return to work the next day.

Tuesday November 1st, I somehow managed to get myself out of bed, shower, and go to work. I’m not sure how I even made it through my shower. I was in so much pain. I had gained at least ten pounds by this point. My stomach was so bloated that by this time I definitely looked pregnant. I had absolutely no appetite and definitely no energy. But, I didn’t have much PTO and knew I needed to try and make it through the work day. I was scheduled to work the next three days and I had already been off work for five days by this point. I made it to work and luckily had the best assignment that I could’ve been given. I was set to train a coworker how to be a charge nurse. This allowed me to stay seated and not have to walk as much, which was definitely helpful. I called the doctor to ask and make sure all my symptoms were normal, and they said that they were. But, by the time noon rolled around there was just no way that I could make it the rest of the day. I wasn’t even halfway done with my shift. I left after lunch that day and felt like I would barely make the drive home. I got home and went straight to bed. I ended up starting an IV on myself hoping that it would help with my symptoms (Don’t worry, the IV supplies were not obtained illegally from my job) but it didn’t seem to help at all.

img_0468

Above is a picture of the IV that I started on myself. It’s not my best work, but it functioned as needed. Believe it or not, an IV is difficult to do one-handed.

Wednesday, November 2nd was a blur. I called in sick to work that day. By this time, I literally had ZERO PTO so I would be taking sick time without pay. But, I had no choice. I literally couldn’t move from my bed. I slept on and off all day and did not get out of bed except to go to the bathroom and get water. I really thought that I would be better by the next day because that would’ve been a week exactly after my egg retrieval.

img_0469

My sweet Goldendoodle, Max, kept me company while I was stuck in bed.

Again, I was scheduled to work on Thursday, November 3rd, but was unable to go in. By this time, not only was I in a ton of pain, bloated, sore, and had no energy, but it was becoming hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t take a large breath and I had begun coughing. I was afraid that I was getting fluid overloaded and that my body was third spacing my fluid. I called my doctor again with my concerns. (They probably thought I was nuts and so annoying!) But, they went ahead and told me to come in. I saw the doctor, he took one look at my stomach, diagnosed me with OHSS, and sent me to the surgery center to get an IV with fluids and some pain meds. Luckily, my OHSS wasn’t so severe that I needed the fluid to be drained off of my stomach. I was in the surgery center for about two hours and then was released home.

img_0473

Above is not a flattering picture of me, but I look about as bad as how I felt. This was in the surgery center while they were giving me fluids and pain meds.

Friday, November 4th I was finally beginning to feel like myself. At this point, it had been eight days since my egg retrieval. I didn’t feel as tired or bloated and my appetite was beginning to come back. My mom and I went and grabbed a quick lunch and walked around Target for a few minutes. It was the most activity I’d had in over a week, but it felt so good to get out and try to accustom myself to more activity.

The weekend rolled around and I could definitely tell that my bloating was going down and my pain was much more controllable. I had more energy to do things, although a lot less than normal. I was able to enjoy the weekend and returned to work that Monday.

Throughout all of this, my husband was a saint. He would bring me Gatorade and water in bed, make sure I had enough fluids and was eating, and make sure I was getting enough rest. I don’t know how I would’ve made it without him. My mom was also an angel. She brought me lunch one of the days that I was stuck in bed, constantly checked on me, and then took me out to lunch and Target on the day that I was starting to feel better. I’m so so thankful for them.

I returned to work Monday feeling like myself again. I would do the egg retrieval over and over in a heartbeat if that meant having a baby. While the experience of OHSS wasn’t enjoyable, it will hopefully be so worth it if the end result is a pregnancy. Not everyone gets OHSS from their egg retrieval, so if you’re reading this and going to be having a retrieval soon, don’t worry! Many people have their retrieval and are able to return to normal activity a day or two later!

 

What I Do

For those that don’t know, I am a labor and delivery nurse. I graduated with my nursing degree in December of 2011, passed my NCLEX in January of 2012, and have been working in labor and delivery as a registered nurse since January of 2012. Before nursing school, I always thought that I would want to specialize in pediatrics or women’s care. After going through clinicals, I fell in love with L&D after being able to witness a caesarean section and vaginal birth. I’ll never forget leaving clinicals that day knowing that I knew exactly what area I wanted to specialize in. Senior year of nursing school I applied to countless jobs, but knew that my heart was in L&D. By the glory of God, I landed my dream job at the biggest county hospital in Dallas in labor and delivery. I’ve been here ever since.

I often get asked how I am able to work in labor and delivery while going through infertility. I honestly never know how to answer that question. I don’t know how to answer that question because I don’t know how I do it. I just do. Infertility is hard, but when you add to the mix working in a field where you see happy moms and beautiful babies (mostly) on a daily basis, it makes the unique pain of infertility even more real and raw. In addition, I work at a county hospital that serves the indigent population. Sadly, I also see cases where moms are not so excited to be having a baby, and those instances are even harder to see while suffering infertility. I’ve been working in labor and delivery for five years, and the first three of those years I was not trying to have a baby. My job is a little different and a little harder these past two years because of my pain of infertility. I’ve thought many times about quitting, about going to a different area of nursing, about quitting nursing altogether, but something keeps me here. When I truly consider what else I would do (besides be a stay at home mom), I can’t really think of anywhere else I’d rather be. My job is hard. Every. Single. Day. It is a reminder, every single day, of the baby that I don’t have, but long to hold. There are many days where I’m so burnt out or emotionally exhausted that I feel like I can’t go back to work. But, I always do, and at the end of the day, I am proud to be a labor and delivery nurse. It’s not easy and it’s not always a happy situation, but I like to be there for these women during the single most important time of their life. By the grace of God, he gives me the ability to still be able to work in this field while going through infertility. Just when I think the pain is too much to bear, I wake up for another day of work. And pray, constantly, that I will one day get to experience the birth of my own child and be on the other side of the coin.

 

 

—->In my next blog post, I’ll tell you a little about my experience with Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.

***Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is an excessive response to injectable gonadotropins which are used to make eggs grow. Injectable gonadotropins are often used during in-vitro fertilization. There are mild, moderate and severe cases of OHSS.

Follow-Up

On my last post, I mentioned things that have been said to me during my infertility journey that were hurtful and deconstructive. I promised to follow that post up with an excerpt of things that ARE helpful to those struggling to conceive. Not surprisingly, this post will be a lot shorter because there aren’t that many things to say that really take away the unique pain of infertility.

Below are a few things that are supportive and encouraging to those struggling to conceive.

  1. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. (It’s simple and can really mean a lot to those struggling.)
  2. I’m praying for you. (This is my favorite response. I’m religious and appreciate all the prayers that I can get. Of course, for one that is not religious, this comment might not be appreciated.)
  3. How can I help? (Chances are, you probably can’t. But, they’ll appreciate the sentiment.)
  4. Do you want to talk about it? (This lets them know you care and are open to discussion and to be there for them.)
  5. Ask questions. (Oftentimes I feel encouraged to know that others want to know about my journey or about infertility. But, if someone doesn’t seem receptive to your questions, then take it as a hint. Everyone’s comfort levels with the topic are different.)
  6. Words of affirmation are always nice. Something such as, “You’re so strong.” or “You deserve a family.”
  7. Finally, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything. (Just like your momma taught ya.)

I know this list is short and that my list of things to not say to someone struggling with infertility was a lot longer (see previous blog post), but infertility is a touchy subject. Thank you for being receptive to suggestions on how to help your friends and family that are struggling with infertility. Your support and encouragement is likely what is helping them nagivate this tough time.

 

Fact:

30% of couples are diagnosed with unexplained infertility.

Infertility Etiquette 101

I understand that not a lot of people understand exactly what infertility is or know someone personally who is experiencing infertility. I certainly didn’t understand the prevalence of infertility until I was experiencing it first-hand. The media doesn’t touch on the topic nearly as much as they should. Because of the lack of awareness and education, I have received many, many comments about my experience with infertility. Some have been helpful. But, most have been shocking.

These are actual things that I have heard from people. Most think that they are offering support or advice, but as someone who is going through this pain-staking, depressing disease, these comments are not helpful.

  1. I know you’re going to get pregnant. (Really, like how do you know?)
  2. Maybe you need to try harder.
  3. Maybe you’re not doing it correctly. (Think I know how to do it. Thanks.)
  4. You just need to relax a little.
  5. Maybe you need to stand on your head. (Yes, that seriously happened. What do you even say to that?)
  6. You can have my kids. (No, thanks. I don’t want your rugrats. I want my own.)
  7. I got pregnant without even trying. (Thanks, that’s so not helpful or encouraging.)
  8. Spend a day with my kids and you won’t want kids anymore. (Nope, pretty sure that’s not true.)
  9. Why don’t you just adopt? (That’s not a decision to take lightly.)
  10. Maybe you’re just not meant to have kids.
  11. Maybe you’re not meant to be parents.
  12. Oh, you’re only 27? You’re so young. You have plenty of time! (This one hurts. It minimizes my sadness and struggles.)
  13. Maybe you need to pray more. (My relationship with the Lord and my infertility are none of anyone’s business. Nor do I think that the Lord gave me this trial as a punishment.)
  14. I got pregnant on a drunken night. Maybe you just need to get drunk.
  15. You’re trying too hard. You’ll get pregnant as soon as you stop trying.
  16. I had a friend’s second cousin’s nieces aunt get pregnant after she adopted. (Wow, thanks. That really, really solves my issues.)
  17. I know exactly how you feel. It took me two months to get pregnant. (No, you actually don’t know.)
  18. Well, no wonder you get to travel so much. You don’t have expensive kids. (No, no I don’t. But, I sure wish I traveled less and had those expensive kids.)
  19. You’re not trying hard enough. It’ll happen. (Uhm. A) Pretty sure we’ve been trying for two years. B) Don’t minimize the fact that I have a DISEASE that will not just go away.)
  20. Are you pregnant yet?
  21. What happened to your face? Where did all that acne come from? (Thank you, PCOS.)

These are just a handful of things that I have heard in the past two years while trying to conceive. I am not writing this as a bitter, angry post. I am writing this post to hopefully educate others as to how painful these remarks can be to someone who is going through infertility. It is impossible to know exactly what to say or when to say it when you have someone you know who is going through infertility. But, please, read these above comments and recognize the fact that they could be painful. Please, if you take anything away from this post at all, please recognize that infertility is a disease and will not just go away on its own. It is not about how well you’re having sex or how much you want a baby. It is a medical diagnosis that has no cure, only treatments. (Praise the Lord for those scientific advances!)

In my next blog post, I’ll try to point out things that are helpful to say to someone struggling with infertility. More than anything, thanks for listening to your friend or loved one when they talk about their infertility. Thank you for trying to support them. Thank you for educating yourself about the disease. And know that if you’ve ever made a comment like the ones above, it probably isn’t the first time they’ve heard that comment and they do forgive you.

Fact:

Research has shown that women with infertility have the same levels of anxiety and depression as do women with cancer, heart disease, and HIV.