Last week I received this video from a reader:

The subject really touched me, because I struggled with infertility for five years before conceiving my son … and a big part of the challenge was the fact that it was a secret. Keiko’s brave video inspired me, and so maybe it’s time to tell my story. You should know, this is a long, long story.

The babycrack (aka irrational, drug-like longing for a baby) began in 2000. My mother was born in 1950, had me in 1975, and some how I’d just always assumed that of course I would have a kid of my own in 2000. It made nice numeric sense in that weird OCD way. When in 2000, I looked around and found myself blissfully happy living in a rad hippie house with a partner I knew I’d be with for the long haul, I shrugged and assumed a happy accident would come along soon.

I’m an accident! My husband was an accident! Virtually all my friends are accidents! Virtually all my friend’s KIDS are accidents. I assumed at some point my husband and I would have our own happy accident and the cycle would continue.

We were still using birth control at that point, but were prone to slip-ups that I assumed would result in our own happy accident eventually. Years passed, but no happy accident. My husband and I got married in 2004, and few months later I had an oddly long cycle. This was weird for me — my cycle is like clockwork, which is part of why Fertility Awareness had worked so well for us. At the 10 days late point, I took a pregnancy test.

It was negative and I got my period a couple days later — but my husband and I realized we were both disappointed. We had lots of conversations and decided we would stop trying not to get pregnant and see what happened. We no longer were going to have an accident. We were going to plan to have a child. Novel! Early 2005 was lots of fun.

But, after several months of not-NOT trying, I started to wonder a little bit. After years of Fertility Awareness, I knew my body really well. It’s not like the whole ovulation thing was a big mystery to me. I shrugged and guessed it was time to start charting a bit more thoughtfully, just to see what I could learn.

This is, of course, about the time when the “you’re married, so it’s time for kids!” questions and statements started. Of course these questions came from friends and family, but the whole internet was clearly over-ready for kids. I mentioned getting dizzy once on my blog, so many people IMMEDIATELY assumed I was pregnant that I ultimately deleted the post. (Never mind that I was 2 days into my period: the internet insisted I was obviously pregnant.) When people would ask me directly, we’d just smile and say we were working on it and ha ha everyone thinks that’s funny coming from the newlyweds.

I started charting my cycle in more detail in mid-2005, and we started Officially Trying. Every month I would make contingency plans — ooh, if I got pregnant this month, then the baby would be born the month before the book was released! Oh, ok if we get pregnant THIS month it’ll be right after the book comes out. Ah: if I get pregnant THIS month I’ll be doing a pregnant book tour.

There were temperatures taken every morning at the exact same time. There were nice charts that looked just the way they should. I was the A+ student in my own science class! There was impeccably timed, incredibly boring procreative intercourse! And every month, there was my period!

Around this point, I mentioned to my OBGYN that we were trying, and she smiled and told me we needed to take a vacation together. Gosh, I WAS working an awful lot, what with the overtime at and writing my book evenings and weekends…

Coming from a midwifery family and having lots of friends who are body workers and healers of various kinds, I started getting a lot of thoughtful advice. I needed to relax. I needed a baby altar. I needed abdominal massage. I needed to stop stressing about it so much. This always happens to Type-As. It would happen when it was meant to happen.

Ok. I stopped making contingency plans and stopped avoiding alcohol two weeks out of the month. I needed to stop obsessing. I just needed to relax! My doctor and my friends and family all agree: If I could just relax things would be fine.

I switched jobs at that point to a boring but less stressful gig that paid better, because I needed to stop stressing and obviously I was going to get pregnant soon and I wanted to save money. All my friends who’d started trying around the same time we had were starting to have their babies. Obviously I’d have one soon too, right? My husband and I put off getting a dog because I’ll be pregnant next month and it’ll be easier to introduce a dog after the baby’s born. We’d wait.

So, now we’re in 2006. I’m charting like crazy, saving up money like crazy, not stressing and going to dance classes and hanging out with friends every Friday. La la la! I’m not obsessing about it! I’m not thinking about it! I’m relaxed!

At the advice of my mother and holistic medicine friends, I started doing fertility acupuncture and Maya abdominal massage. I tried focusing more energy (manifest manifest manifest) on getting pregnant. Then less energy (don’t think about it! let it just happen!). I tried hanging out with friend’s babies hoping their baby-ness would rub off on me. None of these things have resulted in me getting pregnant. All through 2006, the weight of the trying and failing got heavier and heavier. After a year of trying to conceive, it’s not so much fun. It’s depressing. It starts to mess with your head.

I started feeling like a core part of my body had become an untrustworthy stranger. A breech of trust with your own body is emotionally brutal. Right around this time, I fainted for the first time in my life for no explicable reason. I’m convinced it was just my body and my brain having a serious argument with shouts of trust and expectation and “how could yous!” and doors slamming.

It didn’t help that I kept my infertility to myself. It wasn’t a secret, I told myself. It was just PRIVATE. But as a married woman of child-bearing age, people wanted to talk to me non-stop about how we were probably having a baby any day, weren’t we? It got the point where hardly a week could go by without someone inadvertently saying something that would cut me to the bone.

All these comments were well-intentioned of course — part of the reason why I kept my pain to myself — but they starting to hurt like hell. Everyone seemed to assume I was always about pregnant, or if I wasn’t, that they knew the secret solution to my getting pregnant.

At the beginning of 2007, depressed as hell, I went back to the doctor and said, “Dude, it’s still not working.” Her “ha ha! you need a vacation!” comment from the year prior became “Oh, huh, you’re right. At 31, this shouldn’t take so long.”

If it was clear to me that holistic methods weren’t working for me, I was equally dubious of western fertility methods. Half the time doctors don’t even know what’s causing the infertility, and I’d glanced at enough infertility blogs to see how bat-shit insane fertility treatments can make some people. It’s a land of crazy abbreviations and people talking about their “embys” and using terms like “baby dancing.” People mortgage their homes trying to pay for just one more cycle, just one more chance. It made me sad and terrified. The worst case scenario was clear: sliding down the path to ever-more invasive, expensive, ineffective Western fertility treatment.

Despite my slippery slope fears that one test would suddenly lead me into a forest of abbreviations and neurotic horrors, we decided to start the process. The doctor ran the easy tests first: my husband was just fine. My blood work and hormone levels were all just fine. Everything seemed to be just fine. Then began the more invasive tests, which ultimately revealed things were NOT just fine.

I’ll spare you the gory details of the test and say that in Spring 2007 I learned that my right fallopian tube was basically broken. Thanks to some scar tissue from my 1986 appendectomy, I had what was known as a hydrosalpinx: a blocked and totally bloated fallopian tube.

There was much gnashing of teeth at this point. Lots of freaking the fuck out. I was officially broken. I was officially dealing with INFERTILITY. I felt like I’d exhausted a lot of the holistic women’s health care options I knew about … the massage, the acupuncture, the herbs, the dietary changes, the prayer and manifesting. These were the tools I’d grown up with and none of them were working. Ultimately, a chunk of my reproductive bits were broken.

This was around the time I burst into tears and told my husband I just needed a small warm therapy dog.

Sassafras worked. Her nickname the first few months was just “Sponge.”

This was also about the time I started outing myself to a larger (although still very very small) circle of friends. When people made joking references to me getting knocked up any day, I gave them a bleak response that actually things weren’t going as planned. Close friends stepped up to offer support, and anyone else got the idea to stop fucking prodding at me about it.

The doctor recommended removing the blocked fallopian tube, since hydrosalpinges are known for dripping nasty goo into the uterus, making it hard for implantation to occur. The theory was take the bad one out so the good one can do its job.

So in August of 2007, I went in for a salpingectomy to have the bad tube removed.

Then it was back to trying naturally. It sort of felt like we’d reset the clock a bit. Hope sprang a-new! There was optimism!

Six months later, the optimism was dried up. Friends who’d started trying to conceive when we first did were now giving birth to their second children. The advice sometimes felt more insistent, although most of that was just my own delicacy. Try this! Try that! Eat less this! Eat more that! Take more time for yourself! You’re thinking about it too much! It seems like no matter what I did, I wasn’t doing something quite right, and this was clearly my fault.

Early 2008, and I was working part-time at Microsoft. In passing, a coworker mentioned that the company offered infertility benefits. Infertility benefits?! Whaaa? Really? No one offers infertility benefits, and I’d spent a couple years feeling sad for people who mortgaged their homes trying to make babies via invasive western fertility treatments that don’t even work half the time. Remember? “Worst case scenario!”

…But with insurance paying, I wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt of feeling like the selfish yuppie who put tons of money into overpopulating the planet instead of adopting a child in need. (I don’t actually believe that’s true, but it’s the fear that lived in my head.) We could at least try?

And so, mid-2008, we headed to a local fertility clinic.

Our first doctor diagnosed us with “unexplained infertility,” which only confirmed my doubts about Western fertility methods. She suggested doing three rounds of Intra-uterine Insemination to see if that would work, and then going on to IVF — which was pretty much the worst worst case scenario.

And so last year we did three rounds of IUI aka “Medical Turkey Baster.” None of them worked, although one of the fertility drugs I was on was so intense that it gave me acid-like tracers when I woke up in the morning.

At that point, I decided to switch to one of the different doctors at the clinic. My first doc had been abrupt and never especially friendly. I liked this other doc the few times she’d been on-call when I’d had an appointment, and before we marched toward our worst worst case scenario treatment, I wanted to work with a doc I liked a bit better.

Within five minutes of meeting with my husband and I, this second doc said, “Oh, I wouldn’t say you’ve got unexplained infertility — this seems like a pretty clear case of tubal factor.” Her theory was that even though my left tube wasn’t totally broken, it may have been damaged enough by the inflammation of the other one that it could not be functioning very well or much at all.

“It’s no wonder the IUI hasn’t been working,” she said. “I don’t think that left tube is getting any eggs to anywhere. With your young age, this makes IVF a perfect solution. We’ll skip the tubes completely.”

Interesting. We took home a huge packet of information about IVF and figured we’d make an appointment at some point to start the process.

In January 2009, there were layoffs at Microsoft. My first thought was “Oh my god, if I lost my job I’d lose those infertility benefits — we need to use those benefits IMMEDIATELY. If I get laid off before I have the chance to use them, I am going to be so fucking pissed.” (Smart thinking: I was ultimately laid off during the third round of layoffs 10 months later.)

And so, in late January we made the call: we would begin our worst worst case scenario. My insurance would cover exactly ONE try at IVF. We would dive into one of the most invasive, expensive fertility treatments around … the one that led to Octomom. The one that led to many bankrupt infertility bloggers. The one that was pretty much diametrically opposed to everything I’d been raised with.

Remember, I’m the one who was the result of conception so spontaneous and magical and natural that it became my middle name. Conceived in a meadow! My parents couldn’t even get inside a tent it was so natural!

And yet, here I was: staring down the barrel of the quintessentially opposite conception experience. Where my own conception involved alpine lakes and wildflowers and summer breezes on naked hippies, my process of conceiving would involve four shots a day for months, several doctors, a lab full of embryologists, $4000 worth of medication, and lots and lots of needles.

Needless to say, this was not the conception I had envisioned for a child. My mother was a midwife for godsake! Dedicated to natural, non-invasive women’s healthcare! And here’s her broken daughter, pursuing something at the exact other end of the spectrum of medicine.

“It’s pretty much our last option, Mom.” I explained to her over the phone.

“Well, there’s always another option,” she said. “Which is allowing it to either happen or not happen on its own.”

This was when I decided I needed to ask my mother very explicitly for her support. We had a big long talk where I was basically like, “Look, I realize this is not your modality. I realize this is probably not what you would choose if you were me. But I need you fully on-board with me on this process. It’s going to be challenging and emotionally draining, and I really need your support through it.”

As these things often go with my mom, all I had to do was ask. She was there to sit with me and go through the insanely complex calendar of medications. She was there to make me food after the light surgery when they retrieved the eggs. She was fully on-board.

Although when it came to on-board, it was hard to compare to my husband. I made the decision early on in the process that I needed to go with the flow as much as possible. I would not document every day with crazy abbreviations. I would not obsess over my medications. I asked my husband to be in charge of everything involving medicine: procuring, understanding doses, and giving me all those bazillions of shots.

Shots in the belly. Shots in the ass. Shots from little needles. Shots from huge needles. Shots from medical “pens.” My husband gave me shots morning and night. He patted my head when the hormonal psychosis got to me. He rubbed my butt after giving me the intramuscular shots from the really huge needles. He went to every appointment and made every phone call. He drove me to and from the nearly-daily blood draws and ultrasounds. He made his humiliating “deposits” (yes, that’s what they call it) at the fertility clinic. All I had to do was be a patient patient and pin cushion. My husband did all the thinking and doing. For someone like me who spends so much of my time up in my brain, it was amazing to just step back and not think at all.

After two months of pin cushioning and crazy science/magic involving photos of embryos and decisions about whether to risk having twins … we found out it had worked. After almost five years of infertility, I was finally pregnant. The worst worst case scenario had worked. My pregnancy was relatively unremarkable, and my son was born the day before Thanksgiving 2009.

IVF was this terrible awful procedure that I’d invested a lot of fear in. It just didn’t fit with my identity — who’s heard of offbeat infertility? Offbeat IVF? Pshaw. It was the expensive invasive terror that desperate people indulged themselves in. It was like gambling: this thing that you keep tossing money at hoping that this time you’ll win but ultimately the house always wins and you always lose. Of course you lose. It makes you crazy, and worst part? It doesn’t even work most of the time.

Caveat: I recognize that we were beyond lucky to have insurance that covered the treatment. I have profound respect for people who fund fertility treatments out of pocket, but I’m not sure we could have done it. I also want to recognize that Assisted Reproductive Technology isn’t a good solution for everyone, and isn’t an option physically or financially for many of us who struggling with infertility. So, the moral of my story here is definitely not YAY IVF!

What I want to say is this: I was wrong. I invested years of my life living in fear, seeing something (in this case Western fertility treatments and especially IVF) as the awful boogey man in my hippie closet, the terrible admission of defeat that would forever turn me into a person I hated myself for being. Ultimately, I was wrong.

This makes me wonder … what other massive fears of mine are completely unfounded? What other things that I see as the worst WORST case scenario could actually lead me to a place of profound happiness? What other paralyzing grief and fear could I release?

To those of you who are wrestling with the grief of infertility, mourning the loss of a child who may never be: so much of my love to you. I know how hard it is, and you are not nearly as alone as you feel.

Comments on Coming out of the infertility closet

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve spent an agonising two years going through all these moments that you and Keiko have shared with us. My husband and I have unexplained infertility and when things finally worked (after much acupuncture and a hysterosalpingogram) we lost a baby conceived naturally just a few months ago.
    I’ve started up a blog about infertility for Welsh speakers as I feel we’re missing a platform to discuss these things in our language, but in the meantime, places like Offbeat Mama are a great help. This is such a private thing, as you say, but then again, I’m struggling with it having to be “secret” as well.
    I’m sending lots of strength to everyone who identifies with what’s being discussed here.
    Helen x

  2. I first commented on this post in May, now after a series of tests we’ve just discovered that my husbands sperm count is too low to conceive naturally and the urologist and even my fertility naturopath (who’s book contains lots of success stories about increasing sperm count through diet, herbs and vitamin supplements) have recommended IVF.

    So I’ve returned to your blog post and now facing this big, scary, medical procedure your post has brought me comfort once again. Thankyou! Would love to read more IVF entries by normal offbeat people and not by people who can’t speak without crazy abbreviations!

    • I too have just returned to read this, as i find myself still waiting, and waiting and waiting on NHS (UK) fertility treatment. I have been diagnosed with PCOS, and blocked tubes, and i’m overweight so must loose some before i’ll be entitled to treatment. no pressure……. Struggling to stay positive at the moment, and everyone seems to know better than me about what i need to do….

      This article and the comments provide support and positivity. Thank you.

      Any guides to conception support groups who aren’t insane, would be most welcomed!

    • Jen, while we’re doing IVF too, I’d love to hear more about increasing sperm count… currently my husband is on Clomid, but anything would help. Can you point me toward your naturopath’s book?

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I know this must have been tough for you. I am getting married in a few short weeks and we plan on officially “trying” in March. I have been freaking out about infertility for some time now. I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis when I was 22 and have had 5 surgeries already. I turned 30 this year and the thought of infertility has me crying everyday. So again thank you for sharing. I feel like I know you already through all the posts from offbeat bride and knowing someone else out there has gone through it all and came out with a beautiful child makes me feel better.

  4. I cried for almost an hour after watching that video. I’ve been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years now and starting to lose hope.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story! I too struggled with some fertility issues. I was fortunate to not have to go so far as IVF, but the time trying to conceive was a difficult and lonely time. You described this so perfectly and at times felt like I was reading my own words.

  6. I’m crying hysterically siting in my living room with my best friend at quarter to midnight on a Sunday night. My brand new husband is upstairs about to go to bed and I’m a wreck down here reading your story and ultimately terrified for my next doctor’s visit.
    I have had cervical cancer and am severely compromised as far as my paper this cervix goes. I have endometriosis and just got finished terrifying myself with all of those horror stories from other sites. I haven’t gone in for the laproscopy yet, that’s what the next appointment is for.
    I have always dreamed of having lots of babies, and in ALL family lines, I’m in genealogical order to have TRIPLETS! Nothing could make me happier or more upset.
    Endometriosis can cause infertility, or at the least problems, and obviously so can cervical cancer.
    I want babies so badly and I want to have them naturally. I strongly believe in having a natural childbirth with no pain medicine. I want to do it REAL in my opinion. But reading all this is really reminding me that it probably won’t happen at all, let alone real.
    Ariel, thank you so much for our story. I just want to know how in the world you mentally got from one place to another to allow you to say “okay” to IVF. I’m not to that point yet, but Lord help me if I ever have to face that. As much of a wreck as I am now, I can only imagine what I’d be then.

  7. Since it looks like people are still reading this post, I’ve got some resources that I hope will be helpful. It took a while to gather then, so I’m happy to save others the trouble 🙂 I don’t feel comfortable posting our entire story here, but from the types of books I’m going to suggest, I’m sure you can figure it out. If you want someone to talk to, Ariel knows how to find me. I am happy to talk to anyone. I know how hard it can be to deal with this stuff in private or try to find someone in your same situation to talk through next steps. This is really tough stuff. I too have been a pin cushion and we are making some difficult decisions, but so far, coming out just fine. The best thing we can do for ourselves, when we’re ready, is be open and talk about it — it’s the only way to normalize the situation and bring our confidence back up. Here are some resources that I hope will help:

    This Kiwi man, Ken Daniels, is the leading researcher on donor insemination families in the world. His book is fabulous: “Building a Family With Donor Insemination”

    Donor Conception Network:

    Also, on the Donor Conception Network, there are resources for talking to children that you can download for free. They are called “Telling and Talking”

    Another Book “Helping The Stork”: is a great organization and you can probably find a local support group for free, though lots of times they are very female infertility focused b/c women seem to talk about it more. This link is to their resources on talking to friends and family:–friends/

  8. Such a great website, sharing of life experiences and most of all the video that resonates so much with me.

    There are days when it can feel like you are the only one in the world who is affected by this – women are just not honest enough in talking openly about this subject, it’s almost as if we feel we have failed ourselves, when it’s not the case at all.

    Very inpiring and comforting at the same time

  9. You did good, Ariel; you really did. You kept going, and you guys kept your relationship strong.

    It’ll be five years in February since our daughter was born. She was conceived through IUI with donor sperm–both my husband and I were labeled “sub-fertile,” and the emotional pain of that was intense. I know exactly what you mean when you say you felt betrayed by your body. It hurts like crazy to feel like you simply can’t do the one thing you should be so good at. Things like news stories about abused children tear you apart, friends inadvertently cut you deeply, and every day something happens to make you feel a little bit less human.

    It’s a terrible struggle, and the best thing any of us can do to keep it from hurting someone else is to bring our stories out into the open. If we socially normalize the infertility struggle, we’ll help others understand it and accept their own problems.

  10. My fiance and I have basically resigned ourselves to IVF- multiple cancer treatments seem to have left him infertile, but fortunately he was able to bank samples before his treatments began. My deepest fear is that something will be wrong with me too, and we’ll have another strike against us.

    Thank you for sharing Ariel, that was very powerful.

  11. Thank you Ariel for posting this. I often feel I have to out myself. I”m choosy due to the comments all here have mentioned.
    But ladies let me give you a little hope. I’m 45. Got married in an off beat wedding in Aug. And I”m now 5.4 weeks pregnant for the 3rd time. No official births yet. I do call my miscarriages births as to me they are my children. Penelope and Cassidy. My girls. And this is hard as I don’t get “Happy Mothers day!” My hubby and I celebrate each other on those days.
    I’ve done the IUI about a year ago with no go. We got pg the 2nd time just after the honeymoon. Ok maybe the relaxing can help. But no go. And now I wait to see if this one will take.
    Finally found a dr who said “well at least you can get pregnant!” instead of being brushed aside because of my age. He really helped by saying that.
    So I’ve done ALOT of research (loved the video!), had some outside tests done and I”m borderline for all sorts of things. Not enough to do much about. 🙁 But the doc I liked is sending me to a reproductive endocrinologist who is giving me the things he can to help.
    I want to let folks know that don’t have any physical things to deal with, to check for immunological issues. I recommend this book:
    It really gave me hope. We can not afford IVF or adoption. So ah-natural is all we can hope for.
    I feel like I’m rambling, my story is full, but I want to offer hope for those it might help and I want to reach out to my “sisters” dealing with this .
    I agree with Keiko, how do we not sole define ourselves by this. It is part of our histories that need to be held, respected and integrated.
    Much love to you all and thank you for writing and filming your stories! Andrea (pregnant and hopeful at 45!)

  12. Thank you for this…my struggle didn’t end as happily (I got the link thru OBB) but its nice to know that many people go through it and survive….with or without children.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just found out yesterday that after having surgery similar to yours (there is a mass growing on my right fallopian tube, and they may need to remove the tube–possibly on both sides), there is a good chance that I will not be able to have children. Not for sure, but still…I’m only 23 years old, and I’m getting married in August. It’s a tough thing to hear so long before I intend to have kids. And I also really do not believe in having IVF, but if it’s the only option besides adopting…and it’s what my fiance wants…anyway, I’m not really there yet, but it’s nice to hear from someone else with similar beliefs in a similar situation, so thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Thank you for sharing. Keiko’s movie got me a bit misty-eyed.
    We’ve never tried to have kids, so IDK our status [here via OBB], but definitely have friends who have faced this struggle.
    One couple did IVF and have a lovely child. One lady I shared this link with, had this struggle 25-30 years ago, and got her one miracle child after letting go of destructive tendencies, and accepting that they may not have kids. [But of course that’s tough to hear if you’ve tried all that!]
    She also mentioned how there were no support groups back then. Thank goodness for the interwebs, eh? ;p

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have received similar shocking news about my physiology that have shaken me. I was diagnosed with a unicornuate uterus about a month ago. I have just one fallopian tube and only 1/2 of a uterus. We tried our first IUI last week…so I am just beginning.

    I have heard about the Microsoft infertility benefit. I wish more employers would consider adding this to their coverage. I don’t have infertility benefits, but I thankfully have a good job so I can pay for the stuff I have done so far. As far as paying for IVF, I have no idea how we would pay for that if that is where we need to go.

    Thanks for sharing the video.

  16. So I’m not trying to get pregnant, but I know a friend of mine who is. She has been trying for years, but she simply doesn’t ovulate. They had her on those crazy fertility meds, but they made her -insane-. She would have fantasies about kidnapping other peoples children in the grocery store, and even blacked out once and tried to push her husband down the stairs. When she went off of them, they just tried to relax and go with the flow like you did, and it finally worked a few months ago. But. She miscarried the baby. Reading your article and talking to her, I feel so much for anyone who has had trouble with infertility. Best of luck to everyone. My aunt and uncle also had issue with infertility, but once they took my sister and I in, she became pregnant less than two months later. Maybe for some people kids are infectious.

  17. Gah! Man did I need this read. Someone recommended your write up and it is one of the best of it’s kind I have read to date! I am 2 years into the infertility process and feeling like crap warmed over. I am also in desperate need of a therapy dog, but we resist the urge because we are not home often enough. Ugh.
    Saving up money for the dreaded IVF, dealing with a nosey and critical MIL, dealing with an indifferent mother who thinks I shouldn’t have a baby cause she doesn’t like kids, dealing with a husband who is anti-adoption, and my own body who just won’t cooperate.

    Thanks for this share. Really, I needed this.

  18. Ariel

    It took me a while to read this post, but finally devoted the time to do so as my husband and I now know that IVF is the only option if we want to get pregnant. We are dealing with unexplained male infertility factor and were blessed with a progressive doctor who suggested we run all the tests after only 6 months of trying. We’re now on month 10, after 2 cycles of IUI and I have my first appointment at the IVF clinic next Monday. I never expected the heartbreak I’ve endured during this process and try so hard not to feel envy when I see pregnant women, newborns and toddlers. But I’m also reminding myself that I don’t know their story. I hope that this post encourages others to talk about their journey, and that people start wising up about asking married couples “no kids yet?”and that infertility isn’t such a hush hush subject in the years to come.

    Can I ask how/what you decided about the dual embryo thing?

  19. Beautifully written!!! I am 31 and newly pregnant (10 wks) with my first baby through my first round of IVF, after dealing with infertility for 3 yrs. We couldn’t be happier, never imagined it could happen, and it did!! Nobody can imagine what a struggle infertility is, until you are smack dab in the middle of it! Thank you 🙂

  20. Watching this video, it resonates with me, and many of the questions asked are ones which I have asked myself previously. Even though we are only six months into our conceiving journey, I am starting to feel increasingly unsure whether we will ever be able to have children. This video has helped me write on my blog and share it with some of my friends to let them know what I’m going through.

  21. My husband and I have been trying for about 18 months now and we still have no baby. I don’t want to do IVF or anything like that. I’d like to stay natural if I can.

    Does anyone one know how you can increase your fertility or chances of conceiving?

    • Fertility is a complex beast, and the internet is NOT your friend when it comes to getting reliable advice about it — you’ll find a lot of misinformation. I’d suggest you talk with a naturopath.

  22. It’s funny, back when I first read this in 2010 I still had hope and we (my husband and I) were only a few months into trying to conceive. Now…. in 2012…. it seems more likely that… we may not be able to as we seem to not be able to conceive “naturally” or “accidentally” some friends and family.
    But I don’t think that I can go through IVF…. I don’t have that sort of strength. Even if I desperately wanted to.

    I still hope in the back of my mind but I think everyone knows by now that it’s a slim chance. My mom stops getting excited when I call and has stopped asking about grandchildren.

    We are slowly delving into other methods, speaking in hushed tones to our doctors, and deeply deeply wishing that it was easier- it’s a hard road to be walking. Sadly it’s also one that feels like it offers so little in the way of support. It’s difficult to realize and reaching out to let people know you hurt is nearly impossible with something that feels so private.

    I come back to this post every now and then to read it and the other stories here. It sort of re-sparks some of that hope- and I wanted to say thank you for having ever posted it. It seems silly but it’s actually one of the things that has kept me hoping this long.

    Fingers Crossed.

  23. Thank you for posting this. I come from a family of women who have a history of trouble conceiving, and I’m terrified I will face the same trouble. I’ve watched friends go through infertility and it’s heartbreaking. I’m getting married in just over a month and I’ve been wanting to try for the past couple of months but my partner wants to wait until we’re insured again in case it happens. I’ve read this post twice, and both times it’s made me weep. Thank you for sharing so we can see we’re not alone in this. xo

  24. Wow, thank you so much for posting this. I struggled with infertility for 5 years and you just reiterated exactly the way I felt. It killed me every time I heard about someone else getting pregnant. I’m convinced I was clinicly depressed. My life revolved around trying to have a baby. I couldn’t even handle going to church one Mothers day b/c of all the new moms cooing over their new babies and people asking me when was it going to be my turn. I would always be vague when I was asked and say we weren’t ready. Inside I wanted to punch them in the face for being so insensitive! I like your comment though and wish I just came out and said it’s just not going as planned. At least it would have shut them up. Like it’s been years, do you think if I could, I would have by now??

    I finally got to the point where I was ready for IVF. I’m happy to say it worked (I was completely shocked!) and I have a beautiful boy who is now 19 months.

    There are lots of people out there going through this and its so good to see the honesty here in your post about how people really feel when they are in the middle of it. I wish I found this a few years ago. Thanks again.

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