Let’s talk about the silence and uncertainty of possible infertility

Guest post by Kae Pat
Infertility Card by Etsy seller Foxery

I’ve been on the edge of my seat for months now thinking that any day now, I’m just nine months away from having a child. In fact, at one point I was pretty darn sure I’d be giving birth just seven months later.

Then I learned about this thing called a missed miscarriage. I lamented this pregnancy loss and with it lost my my sense of control of the future. The concept of “birth control” started to take on new meaning to me. I wanted some of that — some control over when I’d have a birth — and I wanted it ASAP.

The more time passed and I still wasn’t pregnant, the more I started to wonder if something was wrong with me. Despite a few complications, my doctor assured me that sometimes it takes time for a woman’s cycle to regulate after a miscarriage. That most miscarriages are simply bad luck. And that ovarian cysts (even ones with hair and teeth — image search dermoid cyst if you want to be grossed out) don’t interfere with fertility. I was fine, I just needed some patience and luck. (My reaction to hearing medical professionals wish me “good luck” with the seemingly straightforward biological process of reproduction is a story for another time).

I’d started off so optimistic… I was healthy and young, of course I’d get pregnant today or sometime soon. The longer it took, the less I believed that or my doctors reassurance. My mind became wrapped in a negativity I’d never known before.

I started to read blogs about infertility, pregnancy loss — all the fun topics. I dove in deep, and felt relieved to not be the only one whose mind was clouded with baby-craving grief. And yet, there was a disconnect because so many of these woman were years or multiple losses into their devastating situation.

If I were to get pregnant tomorrow, no one would bat an eye. I wouldn’t be clinically anything besides gravida. I would just have been unlucky the previous months — infertility isn’t officially diagnosed until 12 unsuccessful cycles of trying to conceive.

It is absolutely, positively, fantastic that there is a growing movement of woman making it more socially acceptable to talk about infertility. What we’re not talking about is what comes before that. The months of uncertainty, of wondering if you’re infertile.

Let’s talk about what it’s like to show up at a yoga for fertility class thinking it will be stress relieving and then have a surge of anxiety as women describe the YEARS they’ve been trying to conceive. Your current pain seems trivial compared to theirs and yet what you feel is so real, so raw. You can’t bear the thought of this continuing for years.

Let’s talk about what that first appointment with a fertility specialist is like, before you’ve started any three letter acronyms (IUI, IVF) with a glimmer of hope they might work.

Let’s talk about struggling with why you feel so upset when you haven’t even been trying THAT long. Feeling like you shouldn’t feel this way.

Let’s talk about feeling like you can’t relate to the infertile who are doing IVF nor can your relate to those who’ve never had trouble conceiving. Let’s talk about these isolating months before diagnosis.

Let’s continue to speak out about the struggles of infertility, but let’s not ignore those of us who are waiting to see if we’ll be drafted to that team that no one wants to play for.

Comments on Let’s talk about the silence and uncertainty of possible infertility

  1. This!! My husband and I have been trying to consieve since January, so only 7 months. Every month that drop of blood in my underwear indicating that we’re not expecting crushes me. I have had multiple anxiety attacks over it, my libido has completely dropped off and my marriage is even suffering to an extent. Every day I can’t stop thinking about everything written in this article. It’s delibitating. But I feel as though I’ve no right to feel like this because we haven’t been trying for that long and, let’s face it, some months we didn’t try all that hard. Every time someone tells me “be patient/it will happen soon/ be patient/stop trying and it will happen guardnteed” I want to scream or slap them or run away. Recently I’ve been talking to my husband and my close cousin of mine about this more, and I’ve found I’ve been feeling better. My libido has even increased (yay!!). I still feel very anxious though.

    • I remember early on the number of people who told us to just go on vacation because they knew someone who got pregnant after the BS “just relaxing” thing. Ugh.

      We didn’t find infertility support groups to be as helpful because we were early on at that time, but there are SO many blogs by women at all stages, from before they considered seeking fertility help to the longtime IVFers, and these saved me more than anyone in the real world, by far.

  2. I can somewhat relate to this. Though we aren’t full-on trying to conceive yet due to trying to save money and fixing up our house, I’ve been hoping for a “happy accident” for almost three years now. It’s been really baffling for me to try to understand why are there all of these people who have managed to get pregnant while on the pill, and then there’s me and my husband who have been using condoms and a diaphragm along with fertility awareness (which are supposed to be not as effective as hormonal methods) without ever having even one happy accident. Even when we have unprotected sex, I still wind up getting periods. It almost makes me wonder if using birth control on occasion has been nothing but a waste of money for us. A small comfort to me is that I’ve had doctors reassure me that they think my chances of conceiving seem pretty good, so maybe there’s hope for us after all. We shall see though . . .

    • I’ve always told women that if I could go back in time when I was hoping for a ‘happy accident’, I’d have asked my ob/gyn to do the two simple, insurance-covered blood tests for AMH & FSH to test the quality/quantity of my eggs, just so I knew. But sadly most docs don’t ever recommend this until you come to them, ugh.

      • Another part of my issue is that my regular gyno doc (who’s actually a PA) has switched to another clinic where there is no OB on site, and I didn’t like the other gyno doc who was at the old clinic because of her crappy bedside manner so needless to say I’m never going to go back there. I have since followed my regular doc to her current clinic. Unfortunately, she doesn’t deliver babies (that I know of) so I will have to go elsewhere for that when the time comes. Until then, I can use this time to think about where I can get my future prenatal care.

  3. Been there. Big time.
    It takes a certain strength to be able to share our stories, and I found it really comforting to know that even my friends had faced challenges in getting pregnant. They never had the courage to share their stories publicly, but I really appreciated the fact that they shared them with me privately.

    It’s ok to set boundaries and limits, to tell close friends who are having conception “successes” that you need a little distance. They will understand more than you think. And it’s important to be gentle with yourself. (I struggled with that, but there’s a benefit to it) Let yourself feel all the big feels that comes with this journey — the hope (especially the hope!), the anxiety, the anticipation, the possibility, the sadness and disappointment and anger. My biggest lesson in the whole IVF journey was that it’s ok to hope, even if it doesn’t work out. (And even with two failed IVFs, we ended up getting pregnant and have a 4 year old daughter keeping us busy)

    I wish you all the luck possible!

  4. I am a long way in to being infertile, and I have a few thoughts. First, your feelings are completely valid–it doesn’t matter if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a few months or a few decades, it hurts and your pain isn’t any less than the pain of others. It’s new and it’s raw and so it’s not something you’re used to. Let yourself feel, make sure your partner is allowed those same feelings, and turn toward each other instead of away. I hope with all my heart that you guys conceive in the next five months. However, if you don’t and you’re going to go the fertility doctor route, I have a few suggestions that helped with our sanity (we stopped trying to prevent pregnancy 6 years ago and I’ve not gotten pregnant once). If you can muster it, start having the conversations now about how you each feel about the possibility of fertility treatments. Do it on a day when you’re both feeling OK about the situation and when you feel like you can handle a logical conversation without breaking into tears. Start talking about how much you think you can afford (assuming your insurance doesn’t pay for it), whether you’ll be comfortable going into debt to pay for IVF, and what you each feel comfortable participating in (if your partner is not OK giving you shots with fertility drugs, for example). Have these conversations now before you even talk to a fertility doctor, because some of those doctors have no bedside manner. I had one tell me (without an exam, mind you), “it’s OK, you’re infertile, but I’ll send you home with a prescription and it’ll solve the problem.” He was the first person to tell me I was infertile and I left his office bawling so hard I could barely drive myself home (ugly, uncontrollable sobs). It’s only because my husband and I had made decisions about what we were willing to do that I was able to leave without the prescription. Throughout the process, we reexamined the decisions we’d made and I thought about whether it felt right for us to do something different than we’d decided on, but having decisions made allowed me to handle the situation better. My feelings were always so high in the moment that I could barely think straight. If we hadn’t made those decisions ahead of time, I would have made a decision based on emotions rather than what was feasible for us. Also, give yourselves an out date–a date when you’ll stop exploring fertility treatments and move to the idea of adoption and a date when you’ll give up all together. You may get pregnant making these conversations may be unnecessary, but no one laments conversations they had as much as conversations they didn’t have. I know this went in a different direction than you were thinking, but I feel like these things are so important. Trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, being parents, being infertile–all these things are incredibly f*&king difficult. What’s most important is to make sure you and your partner depend on each other. If your partner isn’t expressing their feelings because yours are more apparent, then when you’re feeling OK, make sure you check in him/her. For a long time, my husband was constantly supporting and comforting me–every time someone announced a pregnancy, it set off an emotional breakdown that he had to be strong enough for both of us. I made a point to make sure that when I was OK, I asked him about how he was feeling and let him have his breakdown. In the end, whether you get pregnant or whether you don’t, your partner is the one you chose to do this with–make sure you guys do this whole thing together.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. We’re 10 months in, but because of really short cycles (23 days at one point) I’ve already had the fun of receiving my infertility diagnosis. This advice is just what I needed to read right now. Husband and I have had conversations *about* conversations, haha. Basically, we’ve agreed we need to talk about what we’re willing to do, how much to spend, when to look toward adoption, etc, but we haven’t actually had those conversations yet. This is a good kick in the butt to take care of that. =)

      I had never found this website prior to this article, but a friend linked me over here. And I am so glad she did. Thank you all.

      • I’m glad it was helpful. I hope you and your husband are able to have productive conversations that help the both of you while you’re dealing.

    • Well put, and if I might add, be prepared for your plans to change. I never thought I’d be open to IVF, much less a donor egg IVF. I never thought I’d want to do more than 2 rounds. I never thought I could live through a miscarriage and try again. We ended up doing 6 rounds of DEIVF before stopping (and saw our international adoption fail this spring, when Ethiopia suspended all adoptions, just before DEIVF #6 failed). It’s mind numbing and wallet-emptying. I keep thinking about the $60K+ we wasted and how it could have nearly paid off our mortgage, yet here we are going towards domestic adoption now. Who knew.

      • I agree with the changing plans part! Because of some of my issues that I mentioned in this piece, I ended up seeing a specialist sooner then 12 months in. Thankfully, she had incredible bedside manner and was very supportive of letting us choose if and when we wanted intervention (I suppose this may have been different depending on my diagnosis, but I also think she was being patient-centric instead of profit-centric which I’m sure some doctors would’ve been pushing intervention harder.)

        I’m going to share with you another essay I wrote that reflects some of how my thoughts changed over time. Before you read it please note: it was written with hyperbole; when I speak about the woman who gets pregnant easily that IS me before I miscarried; I choose make myself vulnerable by not only sharing my jouney but also being honest about some of the judgement I’ve passed on others. It’s not something I’m proud of but sometimes our minds do think thoughts we aren’t proud of. The entire piece revolves around how I wouldn’t pass the same judgement now. I only feel I need to give this disclaimer because of some comments I got from readers who didn’t understand this and judged me for being judgemental.

        Anyways, here it is: https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_58d3dc7de4b062043ad4b077/amp

  5. It took us 15 cycles to get pregnant, and those last 5 cycles were the hardest months of my entire life.

    Everyone else in my family are the get pregnant first cycle of trying all the way up to age 40 kind of people, yet here I was at 26 not getting pregnant.

    I joined the infertility community on reddit around a year trying, and when I expressed guilt about not trying for as long as they have, one of them said “this isn’t the pain Olympics”. That was great to hear, and that is a fantastic community.

    Trying and failing to get pregnant month after month after month really starts breaking down self-esteem. I felt like such a failure, especially since I was surrounded by women who were getting pregnant SO EASILY, or even worse to an infertile, by accident.

    Then, when you tried to talk to most people about your infertility struggles, instead of getting support (which is really what you want and need while going through that), you were told to try some strange cure, or that it’s ALL STRESS. Not the fact that I had surgery to remove endometriosis when I was 19, which probably meant that it had either grown back enough to cause problems, or at least one of my Fallopian tubes was blocked from it (as was the RE’s suspicion).

    So yes, let’s keep talking about it, de-bunking stupid assumptions, and normalize what 1 in 8 go through!

  6. Ugggghhhhh I am sooo uncertain about my fertility. I know no one can know 100% for sure, but I really wish I had some idea.
    When left to their own devices, my periods are far apart (like 50-70 day cycles) and incredibly heavy and full of clots. I was vaguely half-diagnosed with PCOS by my doctor a few years ago (he just told me ‘you probably have whats called PCOS’ and said there were drugs to help me get pregnant if necessary. That was it. No other explanation, or tests to find out if anything needed to be treated in me). I have NO IDEA how/if this will affect trying to get pregnant. Even if nothing else is wrong, the long cycles sure won’t make it easy.
    I’ve been on the pill continuously since high school, so I have no crazy symptoms now. I have light, predictable periods, with very little pain, and no other detectable reproductive-related problems. But I know the second I stop taking the pill, that will all change. The problem is I don’t know exactly HOW it will change. I’m so scared that I’ve had hidden problems all this time, but I won’t know until I’m trying to get pregnant. I really dread going off the pill…because then I have to confront all of the mysterious issues. I really dread going off the pill, even though I really do want to start trying for a baby very soon.

    • “I’m so scared that I’ve had hidden problems all this time, but I won’t know until I’m trying to get pregnant.”

      I should have written this in my original post above. I am definitely with you on that fear of the unknown when it comes to future family planning adventures. Even though I’ve had some pretty good indications that I’ve been ovulating (egg white mucus, dull one-sided twinges around my reproductive area, spontaneous bursts of horniness), there’s still that underlying fear that it may never happen to me, to which my husband will argue, “Yes it will! You just got to have faith, babe.” But then there are times when I think “Well what if it does and I’m just not there yet?” Even my mom has told me recently, “You’re getting closer.” It’s a neverending rollercoaster that I really hope of get off of one of these days.

      Much love and many air hugs coming your way.

  7. Thank you so much for writing this, it hits home so much. I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks five months ago and we’ve been trying (and failing) since. The not knowing how this will end is so difficult to deal with- will I get pregnant again? Will we have a baby at the end of it? Is something wrong? Is this going to be a long, sad and difficult road or not? I definitely feel guilty too as it’s not been that long yet, it just feels like it. Thanks again for sharing and addressing the isolation that the silence around fertility struggles brings. I really hope everything works out for you.

    • We had a miscarriage at 9 weeks on our 4th round of donor egg IVF, and are coming up on our 1 year anniversary, and two more rounds of IVF after that yielded nothing. I learned a few months after our loss about the Jizo ceremony which is done in Japan but in few other places as a way of recognizing loss of a child, including unborn babies due to miscarriage and stillbirth. Everyone ignored us when it happened (well except for the idiots who told us it was a “good thing because at least we can get pregnant”…ugh) but I found some women on the WordPress blogs who had been through it and it saved my life. We have a little Jizo statue out in our garden to mark the loss of our baby, and it doesn’t cure anything but it’s a peaceful place for us to go. Hugs to you – this stuff is the hardest thing ever.

  8. Today I go to my first fertility appointment. I am worried that they will tell us we can’t have kids, but I am terrified they will say nothing is wrong. So many tests and everything is fine, except I can’t get pregnant. Each month is such a struggle to get through, and now I think it is going to be worse.

  9. We’re 3 years in, which feels like both a lifetime and nothing compared to other people’s journeys. It was so hard almost a year into trying to make that fertility clinic appointment, but I went in thinking that we would get a clear answer: either we could have children or we couldn’t. “Unexplained Infertility” was not the diagnosis I was prepared for, and I feel cheated of my ability to move on with my life and grieve because of that lingering hope (which everyone so-fucking-helpfully reminds me of) that nothing’s apparently wrong and it could happen “anytime.” Limbo sucks.

    What I hate most is that the whole ordeal has made me the worst possible version of myself. I opt out of parties because I can’t handle being around other people’s children. I find myself being so deeply and unforgivably judgemental about parents of small children, especially if their child was an accident. This isn’t me, and this isn’t fair.

    Does anyone have experience with infertility counseling? I’m asking for a referral at our next appointment but I really don’t know what to expect from it…

    • We got a great referral to a counselor here in Portland from the moderator at a RESOLVE support group meeting and it was the best thing ever. We just couldn’t relate to anyone in the support group (we were donor egg IVF, 6 rounds failed including miscarriage at 9 weeks in round 4) and knew we needed a counselor. She – along with some amazing bloggers out in WordPress land – has totally helped us stay afloat.

    • I’ve been going to a plain old, regular mental health counselor, not specifically an infertility counselor, partly because when I started going I was hoping to never need help with infertility! I’m guessing someone who specializes in infertility would just have more background on what the treatment options entail, etc. Despite not being a specialist in that area, it’s been very helpful for me to process the grief and anxiety that go along with it. I imagine that part would be universal for counseling. She was also very encouraging when I was initially seeking out answers, assuring me I wasn’t a hypochondriac and that my concerns were real. We’ve discussed my fears, etc before and after appointments, thought I’ve had to explain to her what some of my options entail, whereas a specialist in infertility would have that knowledge, but that hasn’t bothered me. I’ve gotten excersizes for reducing anxiety (breathing, meditation, etc) out of it as well.

  10. Oh man, thank you for saying something. Ive been concerned about being infertile since both of my sisters had incredibly difficult pregnancies and one has had 2 miscarriages and had to be on bed rest for the entire pregnancy with my nephew. Then, me and my exhusband tried to conceive for a year and a half before giving up. We got divorced not long after for other reasons so i was glad it never worked. Now i have an amazing boyfriend who is plan to spend my life with. We’re not exactly trying to have a baby but we are doing nothing at all to prevent it since i got my iud removed a year ago. No missed periods. No late periods. Nothing. With my ex it was easy enough to convince myself it was him. But now? How can i not think there’s a problem with me? And like i said we’re not actively trying to conceive so i would kinda feel ridiculous going to a fertility doctor about it but at the same time anxiety is a very real thing. I just think i would feel better knowing now for when we do start actually trying. Or maybe i should just leave it alone? I have no idea. The baby fever is real. Ive cried so many times when ive gotten my period because of what it meant. I just cant decide what to do.

    • As an “infertility elder” what I tell women at the beginning (or pre-beginning, like you are) to simply have their ob/gyn do the basic blood tests like FSH and AMH to check out how your eggs are doing (quantity/quality). Sadly, most never even bring this stuff up to women in their annual exams (kind of like sex ed, infertility is never addressed) and it wasn’t until, ironically, my former naturopath brought it up, that I even knew of these two standard initial tests. I wish I’d have done them 10 years earlier so at least I’d know when I was ready to start trying what I was up against (or not up against).

    • I’ve gone to both a natrupath and acupuncturist who, because of the nature of their speciality take a very proactive approach to fertility. If your cycles aren’t what they would consider picture perfect- ex spotting before it starts, cramping, cycles that aren’t 28 days and bleeding that isn’t 4-5 days they can try to get them there before you TTC. A lot of their treatments take longer to take effect than conventional treatments so it can’t hurt to go sooner if you’re interested. I was surprised to hear how narrow their definition of a “normal” period is compared to conventional medicine, but basically it means a lot of us have room for improvement. And if it makes things less painful at that time of the month, too, that’s a bonus!

  11. I found the hardest part of trying was the idea (in my head) that the odds of getting pregnant were the same each time, that it wasn’t something that I could build on or improve with each attempt. So, every time I got my period I felt like it was back to the drawing board and all previous attempts and efforts were wasted. In this way, I couldn’t stop the negative feeling that if it didn’t happen on month 1 or 4 or 7, then why should I believe that it ever would? If we were doing everything that we were supposed to (and I truly believed that we were) then the only reason it wouldn’t work is if one or both of us had fertility issues (this is what I thought). I am someone who plans a lot and likes control and compartmentalisation and found it hard to accept that this was something I couldn’t control. I did get pregnant – and even then it took a long time to believe that I was actually pregnant and I spent the first trimester worrying about miscarriage – and I felt stupid for worrying so much. But your article has reminded me how isolated I felt during that time because I didn’t feel like I could say anything about my worries and concerns. I love this website for so often bringing attention to the elephant in the room.

  12. This could not have come at a better time, I’m a little more than year into this whole process, it took 3-4 months before my doctor referred me to a specialist, and due to various factors I’m only now making my second real attempt at science-instigated pregnancy. Every time I bring it up even casually among my friends the fear in their eyes (most of them haven’t started trying for kids yet) just makes me feel so isolated. I don’t feel like I can talk about it at work and it just feels weirdly personal. I went back to my highschool ADD roots and got a weekly written planner and a day-of-the-week pill organizer. I have a whole totebag of shit dedicated to this, it’s like my ongoing side-project: Get Pregnant Maybe?
    I’m normally an optimistic person but this has really taken the wind out of my sails, there’s just SO MANY ways it can go wrong. I do have a diagnosis (PCOS), and they say all the drugs are working, so fingers crossed. I just was mentally prepared for being pregnant and having a small kid to be difficult, I never expected TRYING to have a kid to be so stressful.
    Thinking good thoughts at all you other ladies out there fighting the good fight <3

    • Agree, infertility is the most isolating experience. We have lost most of our friends and even some family members who either refuse to engage, make light of it, or simply ghost us like we’re contagious. I am so grateful for the many wonderful bloggers on WordPress who have saved my life in so many ways.

  13. I’m one of those “years of trying” folks and actually found it very easy to locate blogs by women (and a few men) on WordPress who were early on into trying to conceive. What I’ve found harder to locate are many blogs from those who have ended infertility treatments after multiple unsuccessful rounds, as very few want to talk about the fact that, no matter what numbers clinics tout, 75% of IVF treatments *fail* and it is not a “cure” for infertility. So when someone like my husband and I stop after 6 rounds of donor egg IVF (something I’ve found ZERO examples of because it’s “supposed” to have an 80% success rates because of the donor eggs), miscarriage, and an international adoption program that was suspended by the country, our hearts ache too much to follow the blogs of those still going through treatment, and seek to find people who, like us, have stopped all treatments because of what it’s done to our bodies, hearts, minds, and wallets. I’ve thus far found a total of 3 blogs. Hmph.

    While it can be depressing as a newbie to be surrounded by women who’ve been in the game longer, I sure as hell wish I’d have blogged sooner, because I learned WAY more about diagnosis and treatment options through my fellow bloggers than I ever did from my clinic (most clinics have a “our way or the highway” approach so bloggers sharing protocols can be incredibly helpful), not to mention ways of coping from people who have been there.

    • Good to know, maybe I’ve just been looking for blogs in the wrong places! I think I’ve read some posts about the decision to end fertility treatments on either the Still Standing or Still Mother’s blogs.

  14. I didn’t get onto the trying to conceive merry-go-round with tons of optimism. I just always thought the problem would be me. I was prepared for that.

    I had the “well that certainly sounds like endometriosis” conversation with my doctor years before I went off of hormonal birth control. I had suspicions for years, which were basically dismissed by doctors since I didn’t emphasize how much the pain was getting to be a problem. I wasn’t expecting easy.

    Maybe five months into trying (charts, ovulation predictor sticks to pee on, making certain to catch the fertile window), my husband finally went to the doctor for what he thought would be a thyroid problem. A year and a few doctors later, it turns out he has major hormone issues and so there’s question as to whether we’d even be able to get any useable genetics from him.

    But no answer to how much of this is mutual. Years later, we’re getting closer to the point of diminishing returns. Can’t afford to get a lot of tests done on me (not that there are many options that don’t include surgery). Is it worth going through the process? How much time/emotional energy/money do we spend on this?

    I don’t have any answers for myself, just vacillation. I have two friends who recently had babies thanks to various versions of IVF and I can’t help but wish.
    Every time I find the balance to be ok with the uncertainty about whether we’ll try, whether we’ll accept, yes baby, no baby… it gets knocked over. One of those babies was born yesterday, and their story could be mine. I can’t help but mourn that possibility, no matter how happy I am for them.

  15. Dear Kae Pat,
    I just wanted to tell you that I had a Dermoid cyst, a big one, as big as a large grapefruit, on my left ovary.
    I was diagnosed during my first ultrasound when I was pregnant with my first child, and it was removed when I was four months pregnant.
    Not ideal, but just to let you know that it is indeed possible to get pregnant with a dermoid cyst. And I had another child afterwards, though I also had two biochemical pregnancies for no apparent reason. These things happen.
    Much love to you!

  16. Even though I’m currently about 7 and a half months pregnant right now, I still relate to this article and totally remember how it felt to be in “fertility limbo”. We waited longer than we wanted to even start trying because of finances, and when we finally started trying it took 10 months of nothing before I had my first chemical pregnancy (miscarriage before a heartbeat). We took a month off and tried again only to have a second miscarriage. I was exhausted, depressed, scared, and frustrated, but only my close friends and family knew. It became harder and harder to be happy for people having “happy accidents” or their 3rd child (complete with jokes about how they were so fertile all their husbands had to do was look at them). I couldn’t relate to the years of trying and treatments described on fertility blogs, but I couldn’t relate to those around me anymore. It felt isolating. Even though now I’m so happy to be pregnant, I will forever remember how that felt and it will change the way I discuss certain topics with people. I know now how much innocent words can hurt, and how much an understanding friend can help.

  17. My husband and I just got married three months ago and plan to start trying around our one year anniversary. We’ll be 34 (me) and 36(him) then. I’ve been afraid of infertility my whole life because my parents tried for over a decade to have me, and then I was a happy accident and am an only child. No testing done back then. Starting to try at the one year mark works best for us because it’s the earliest we’d be comfortable with such a giant change IF it happened right away. But now my anxiety is getting the best of me and I worry that we should try sooner. Or try to convince a doctor to do some testing early. I really wish they could test you up front before you try so if you will need intervention, you can go straight for that instead of trying naturally for months or years on end as you get older.

  18. I went looking for exactly this post. My husband I are in our fifth cycle of trying, we had to take a few additional cycles to clear some medications from my system so it feels like cycle 8.

    My two sister’s and I were all happy accidents, all 5 of my nieces and nephews were happy accidents. Yet here I am with month of charts and ovulation test strips and month after month nothing.

    I feel like if we were going to get pregnant naturally then we’d already be pregnant, and now it’s just wasting cycles until we qualify to see the specialist. Which is really frustrating because without my medications I’m in constant low levels of pain and feeling exhausted unless I take a 2 hour nap after work, due to how bad my sleep quality is.

    I also have 5 friends who are pregnant and I know 3 of them are happy accidents. I genuinely want to be happy for them, but it’s a challenge.

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