Starting Our Family

The reality of infertility, IVF and donor eggs

Can You Handle Infertility???

on March 11, 2014


Last night I had a conference call with a woman suffering from secondary infertility.   She ironically was referred to me by a doula I’m interviewing.  I tried to give her advice based on my own infertility as well as what she can expect based on my knowledge of others’ experiences.  I found myself continually stressing the toll infertility takes on your body, soul and your relationships.  I had pre-warned her that I’m brutally honest and don’t sugar coat anything.  But when I hung up the phone I wondered “was I too honest?”  “did I scare her away from wanting to try?”  Those questions led to this blog topic-  can you handle infertility?

Here are my own Top 5 personal tidbits of advice when it comes to dealing with infertility:

1) Don’t have any expectations- The biggest mistake newbies often make is that “this will work” which is not always true.  In fact majority of infertiles do NOT get pregnant on the 1st try.  Sure there are plenty that do but honestly I have found that to be more of the exception rather than the norm.  The infertility mantra is “be cautiously optimistic”.  If it happens for you right away- great- but if it doesn’t don’t beat yourself up.

2) Expect the unexpected- I know that’s a contradiction to my previous statement but one day you will understand (if you don’t already).  It seems in the zoo of infertility there is constantly a monkey following you around throwing shit at you- get used to it!  If your cycle is going well that’s when a hurricane will happen (yes I survived cycling during Super Storm Sandy).  Or you pick your dream egg donor only to find out she tested positive for a STD (happened to someone I know).  Just be ready and willing to deal with all sorts of flying poop.

3) Know your limits- Everyone “thinks” they know what they are getting themselves into but they really have NO CLUE.  Do your research BEFORE you start any infertility treatments.  Join infertility forums.  If you don’t want to actively participate at least lurk and see what other have gone thru.  Learn about the different drugs you might have to take and what their side effects are.  Get a basic idea of what you really might have to face.  Issues will be easier to deal with if you are somewhat prepared.  If you need to do IVF you will have to take injectables.  If you are afraid of shots and there is no way you can handle getting multiple shots in your belly every day for several weeks than IVF is not going to be an option for you.

4) Talk it out with your partner– Once you’ve completed your research share it with your partner.  Put all the cards on the table and together decide ahead of time what you are willing to do and not do.  Granted you have to take the shots but chances are your partner will be the one giving them to you and having to deal with the side effects (mood swings, etc).  If he/she can’t stick a needle in your belly and you can’t do it yourself than you need to find someone else who will be willing to do.  Keep in mind that the shots have to be taken roughly around the same time every day.  You both need to be on the same page with what you are willing to try and how far/how long you are willing to take the process.  At what point will you call it quits if it doesn’t work?  The end point can be based on a specific result, timeframe, number of procedures or a dollar amount.  It’s best to get it all ironed out ahead of time and agree to it.   I promise you- infertility will without a doubt test the strength of your relationship.  Walk the path united as one.

5) Be 1000% committed– If you can’t go all in then get out and don’t even start the process.  If your feelings about being a mom are wishy-washy then turn around and go no further.  You have to really, really want this in order to survive it or infertility will chew you up and spit you out.  Infertility is not for the faint of heart or the weak.  You need to be strong, determined and committed.  You need to be able to pick yourself up, wipe off the dirt and try again (and in some cases again, and again and again).  You need to be able to navigate your way thru your darkest moments.  You need to have the will power to not only survive infertility but the mindset to want to conquer it.

Infertility sucks- there is no 2 ways about it.  The issue sucks, the process sucks, it all sucks.  Hopefully one day you will be holding your miracle baby and everything you went thru will have been worth it.  But that is the best case scenario and not the result for everyone.  Think long and hard before you start something that will make you feel like you are carrying the weight of the world- can you handle it?



12 responses to “Can You Handle Infertility???

  1. asugirl97 says:

    Thank you for writing this! I hope you don’t mind me sharing this on my blog…everyone approaching infertility, or going through infertility should read this! Thank you.

  2. my1111wish says:

    nope- feel free to share just don’t make yourself the author- that’s a pet peeve of mine lol

  3. […] Can You Handle Infertility???. […]

  4. hopobopo says:

    Wow. We picked our first egg donor and she tested positive for std’s when I found this out I had a complete breakdown.

  5. Jzep says:

    Thank you so much for posting! I am going to steal it as well. I run a support group and that is the best “list” I have seen. Thanks!!!

  6. What an awesome article… It is everything I could/would want to say to someone. I shared this on my fb page.. I hope that’s okay. I think it’s a must read for anyone going thru infertility- or someone who knows a person going through it. Great blog!

  7. damelapin says:

    I really like your image. It does express very well the infertility journey

  8. Love this! So true. Great post!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You haven’t posted in a while. How are you doing? Is pregnancy treating you okay? Hope all is well!

  10. Kass says:

    As above – I’m also visiting – here and the other two blogs – and want to kick your bottom for being so quiet. I hope everything is ok. We’re 5dpt (our first IVF) and counting days down to beta..


  11. Katty says:

    Thank you for this wonderful blog! IVF with donor egg was our last chance to become parents. I underwent this procedure in Ukrainian biotexcom. I became a mother of a beautiful girl two years ago. I had an opportunity to give the clinic a list with features of desirable donor. My daughter looks like me. No one can ever tell she’s from donor. The clinic provided us with all needs. We were met in the airport by taxi driver. Then the taxi carried us across Kiev and to the clinic. We had an English-speaking manager. She translated everything for us and answered our questions. The clinic provided us with comfortable apartment and food supply. We were worring about nothing, but de ivf procedure. There were really long lines. I didn’t expect to see so many people. There were couples from different countries. Some came for de ivf, some for surrogacy. We were standing in lines for a couple of hours. People go there not for nothing. Personally I am very happy with the result)

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