Thursday, September 8, 2011

Am I Infertile Enough?

I can't even believe that is a question I need to ask myself.

Am I infertile enough?

When someone is struggling with their diagnosis and needs a shoulder to cry on or a friend to email -
I know I'm infertile enough to be there for her.

I remember that moment. 
I remember the kick in the gut, the questioning of your body, and the guilt...  oh the guilt!

When someone has gone through their first failed cycle and is losing hope -
I know I'm infertile enough to be there for her.

I remember the fear that treatment might not work.
I remember the soul searching and the discussions of how we'd grow our family.

But at some point I have to look at my stats:
4 failed Clomid cycles
2 failed Femara cycles
2 failed IUIs
an HSG, an MRI, trigger shots, the looming thought of months of blood thinners, acupuncture sessions, basal thermometers, countless books on my shelf, browser bookmarks for local adoption agencies....   and Hannah.

Ultimately I have Hannah.
I think it leads people to believe that I'm no longer infertile.
That I've received my miracle and either:
1) I no longer remember or have the right to claim the pain of infertility or
2) that it would be cosmically unfair if I got pregnant for the second time before they conceived their first.

So this makes me questions - Am I infertile enough?

When a woman has gone through years of trying, multiple cycles of IVF and several painful procedures - am I infertile enough to point out when the pain has made her act toxic towards others?  Do I have that right?

When a woman experiences a pregnancy loss, am I infertile enough to be there for her?  To act like I understand?  To really appreciate what she's mourning?

Sometimes I'm not sure.

It shouldn't be a competition.
It shouldn't come down to who has gone through the most cycles, who has spent the most money, who has experienced the most heartache.

There should be a quiet understanding amongst anyone that has known the pain of infertility.
An understanding that the yearning can lead to jealousy,
the uncertainty can lead to hopelessness,
the pain can lead to resentment,
but the ultimate goal - a family - is worth the wait.

We're all in this together.

We're not struggling against each other, we're struggling alongside each other.
This is all the more reason why we need to support each other.

So the next time someone offers you genuine compassion, try not to question it.
You might have gone through more, and they might not understand exactly how you feel, but at its core Pain is Pain.  If someone wants to comfort you, try to be open enough to accept it.

The failure to do so says more about YOU than it does them.

I supposed the question shouldn't be 'Am I Infertile Enough?' but 'Am I Loving Enough?"
Can you recognize their pain and be empathetic to their situation?
Can you appreciate their struggle and the toll it has taken on their heart?
Can you give them the time and love and care that they deserve?

Can you offer hope in a moment of hopelessness?

... I try.


  1. this was wonderful brought a tear to my eye i just got my bfp after a losing a baby and a year and a half of trying im six weeks and scared to lose this one but this is so true i was always jealous. we forget who we are when we let things get to us.. thanks so much for this =]

  2. I couldn't have said it better Carla. Now that I have my son I feel like other infertiles see me as an outcast now and have felt like a total outsider and I hate it because I still remember the pain well and am going through it a second time with more treatment to get to baby #2. I wish we could all just understand eachother and be there for one another instead of going against those that have battled infertility and won.

  3. I love u carla ! Well said. After 10 years if waiting, painful procedures and heartache, my husband and I finally got our miracle. And we are lucky that there is an online community that supports us. I remember back then when we didn't have it. You almost felt alone unless u knew someone who personally was going through the same thing. Thank u always for sharing.

  4. So perfectly put. I had a loss at 16 weeks, and another at 21 weeks. A failed iui and two successful rounds of ivf. I FINALLY have my son 7 years later. I thought the raw paid would disappear once I had him but I'm shocked it hasn't. It no longer sits on the surface being irritated at the sight of a pregnant woman or little baby but it is still within reach. I had noone to share with when experiencing infertility. I am so happy to fiy have my son but I'm still hurting over the losses and pain it took to have him.

  5. Pardon me if I vent for a second. I am guilty of these thoughts. I've gone through 5 years of infertility, many months of chlomid, multiple surgeries, injections with 5 rounds of failed IUI and finally an IVF cycle that resulted in beautiful twins that died at birth. The God honest truth is that after going through so much, one can only get a bitter feeling at everyone else's positive pregnancy test and beautiful babies. After going through so much for so long, it seems others infertility journeys are "easy" in comparison. It's a human reaction. When the bitterness passes, we realize that we've all got the same slap in the face of not being able to get pregnant like "normal" people. We've all gone through the frustration and questioned our bodies. I am guilty of bitterness. But along with my infertility, is a journey of self improvement.

  6. Perfectly stated. I've tried to write a blog about this, but I just can't word it right (it's sitting in my edit folder and probably will be for the rest of time!)--you have. It's hard to know when/if we are being supportive once we've made it to the "other side". Endo, male factor, suspected PCOS, miscarriage, HSG, laparoscopy, over two years trying for EACH child...but I have two beautiful children. Am I seen as supportive or the enemy now? And however I am viewed, I can't blame those who haven't achieved what I have been blessed enough to for feeling hurt and jealous when I show up in threads I probably have no place in anymore. It's just weird to be so entrenched in the IF world and then suddenly not know my place there any longer. But of course I prefer to be sitting where I am now, and I know everyone else would, too. It's a strange position to be in, knowing if we decide to try again it will be another long road that may not have the ending we want, but then also feeling guilty for wondering if I should even consider asking for support when trying for #3 alongside women who haven't gotten #1 yet.

  7. Thank you so much for this.. I have 4 kids, and I have had 4 mc's.. and so many have dismissed my loss because I have kids already... You are a wonderful voice for all who have experienced pain in trying to become parents for the first time and all the times after!

    Joan Curtis

  8. All I can say is WOW!!!

  9. This is so true. Not just for infertility, but for all of life's ups and downs.

    I didn't find you until after Hannah was born, but I went through and watched all of your TTC videos. You put on a brave face even on not so great days. You are an inspiration to all women, and Hannah is a true miracle. One that was well worth the wait.

    I hope all of the women who are struggling right now get their miracles.

  10. Very well put! Thank you for posting this. I worry sometimes that I'm not 'infertile enough' too. I didn't have as many struggles as some people.. my third clomid cycle I got pregnant but I still suffered through infertility. It shouldn't be a 'my journey was worse then yours' type of thing. Next time I am made to feel this way I'm going to link them to this entry

  11. I started watching you videos because one of my best friends was dealing with some pretty major infertility issues in addition to the fact that my husband and I are think about starting a family soon ourselves. After many miscarriages and medications my friend has conserved and is far past her *danger zone* but I grown to love your bubble personality (no pun intended) and you Pacific North West family. Thank you for be honest, open and letting us share in your journey from having major difficulties TTC to you being a parent, mother, and working woman. Hope you have a wonderful day!

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