Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Infertility Etiquette

**FYI: An update on Cycle #3 will be coming in a week or so as well as the next steps**

Phil and I have now OFFICIALLY and actively been trying to conceive for three months (unofficially, aka without meds and without ever ovulating on my own, well ya know, a few years). These past few months we have taken the steps to induce ovulation and hope to get pregnant. So as exciting as this time can potentially be, these past three months have been some of the hardest ever in my life to endure.....emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. I always knew this whole process would be difficult, but there are no words that can even begin to prepare you for what it's really like. Such deep, deep sadness and heartache I didn't realize was possible to feel month after month that it doesn't work. Feelings of being a failure because my body can't do what a woman's body is made to do. Anger that "everyone around me is pregnant".  Frustration with the changes in my body that I deal with everyday I get dressed or catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. Hope and optimism each new month and cycle brings that this could be the one! Reality that this whole trying to conceive process isn't going to be as easy as I'd hoped it would be.

Throughout it all, I am constantly reminded how much love and support we have. I've said it before, but random conversations, emails, comments and texts I get from so many people mean the world to me and truly make such a big difference in this whole process. At the same time, I've also experienced first hand some things that no woman trying to have a baby, whether there be issues or not, would like to hear. This has inspired me to make a little what to do or say/not to do or say to someone struggling to have a baby:

* Provide unbiased support. Sometime I just wanna cry, or vent, or talk about how upset I am. Please just let me have this release and I promise I'll feel better.

* Give genuine hugs. I can feel how much you care.

* Pray.

* Give me space. I'm obviously not shy about sharing our struggles, but there are few times where I'd rather just not talk about it.

* Let me drink a beer. If my doctor says it's ok, then don't judge me.

* Let me cry. Sometimes this is the only thing that makes things better at that very moment. Don't be embarrassed or uncomfortable.

* Randomly email, call, text. I can't begin to explain how important those little gestures mean to me.

* Allow for my emotional and hormonal roller coaster I call my day to day life. I'm sorry in advanced for any meltdowns, outbursts, hot flashes, or whatever else may come without warning.

* Listen.

* Offer unsolicited fertility advice. While I appreciate helpful advice, I also know what's wrong with me. I don't ovulate. Like, at all. So telling me that your second cousins step brothers best friends aunt tried 10 years to have a baby and then tried (insert specific diet, drug, workout, position) and now has 10 beautiful children isn't helpful.

* Start any sentence with "Have you tried. . ." Yes I probably have, and no it hasn't worked.

* Tell me it will happen when I stop trying. Honestly? We did that the last four or so years. No, actually it won't happen when we stop trying, because again, I do not ovulate on my own. That little detail is pretty important in making a baby.

* Tell me not to be so negative when I'm upset that something didn't work (Phil is the worst when it comes to this one, but I love him so much so it's ok). While I know this is well-intended, and for the most part I do try to stay positive, sometimes I just want to be bummed. I didn't get the results I wanted and it hurts and it sucks. Let me feel like this.

* Talk about my weight or body. Or even worse, tell me I look pregnant! For as long as I can remember I've had a special talent of looking about 20 weeks pregnant at any given moment (about 24 weeks after any meal or large drink). I am reminded daily that my clothes are too tight or just don't fit. I don't need an outside reminder of this. It also hurts when it comes in the form of a compliment ("Oh well you look great with a little weight on you, you were way too skinny before"). It's not hard to look at my body as broken or as the enemy in this process, and I don't need to be reminded that my outside reflects this fact.

* Talk about how crazy your kids are and how lucky we are to sleep in. Not cool.

* Tell me to relax or not stress about it. I am managing my stress pretty well if you ask me, and I don't need to be reminded that the unavoidable stress is bad for my situation.

* Judge my choices. You can't say what you would do until you're put in that situation.

* Ask me if I'm pregnant yet. Trust me, you will know when it happens and when I'm ready to share it!

(Am I an ugly crier, you betcha. . .but is this picture proof
that dogs offer the most unconditional and 
unwavering form of love and support, absolutely!)

Again, from day one we've had nothing but love and support. Anytime I've been hurt or frustrated with what people tell me, I know it's not ill-willed or malicious. However, that doesn't escape the fact that it still hurts, sometimes pretty bad. So whether it be someone you know struggling with infertility or any other difficult situation, remember to be considerate, compassionate, and when in doubt, a simple hug and a "I'm here for you" is usually all that's needed.

Ny nephew Samson gives the best hugs and cuddles when I need it most!


  1. You're Do's and Don'ts are so perfect! I couldn't agree with you more.
    Sending HUGS your way.