Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Have a Problem

Hello, name is Megan and I am infertile. When we first starting seeing an RE almost a year ago,
I did not truly believe that we had a problem. Once they confirmed through various tests that "nothing was wrong", I was even more convinced that we could do this on our own. We just needed a little help from the doctors to make this happen sooner rather than later. I was in complete denial. Now, I have a totally different perspective.

After watching my follicles stop growing last summer on the ultrasound screen during a monitored IUI cycle, things began to shift. After 3 unsuccessful injectable IUI cycles and IVF began to become an option, the truth started to become clearer. We needed help and this was going to be hard. It was a difficult time, and I began to scour the interenet to learn as much as I could about the process. I read blog after blog after blog. As I read them I was encouraged by the success stories and determination of the women still in the battle. It made me feel better to know that there were other people out there admitting their problem and fighting it together.

On Friday, I went for a walk with a very good friend who knows about our fertility issues. Although she has no desire to have a child of her own, she ahs been there to lisetn and support me. After the first IVF ended in a BFN, I felt some distance between us. I knew she felt awkward and did not know what to say. I realized that it was more about her than me and forgave her. Lately, I have made an effort to see her so that she knows I am OK and will be OK. It sucks that I have to make that effort, but that is a whole different post. As we were talking, the conversation turned to my infertility and our plans. She interupted me as we were talking to tell me to stop calling myself infertile that we do not have an official diagnosis (which we do) and I am not infertile. She told me I was not being positive by calling myself infertile. I was kind of taken by suprise. I felt that she was denying of what I am. After months of denying it, I was now admitting it and upset that someone did not see the fight I had before me.

I understand that my friend was trying to be helpful and keep my spirits high. However, to tell me that I am not being positive by admitting my problem felt like it was placing the blame on my attitude instead of our biology. I felt she truly did not understand what I am up against. I have had a good attitude because after each unsuccessful cycle I have picked myself up, brushed myself off and charged ahead into the next cycle. I am in the thick of the fight. I knew I had to explain this too her somehow.

After listening to her for a bit, I told her that just because I am infertile now does not mean I will be forever. However, the facts are the facts. We have been trying for 18 months to have a baby without success. We have sought the help of medical professionals with a good track record for 11 months. Even though my official diagnosis is unexplained, it does not change the fact that I am infertile and I have a long hard fight ahead of me that I have every intention of fighting until the end. I think she was suprised to find me so bothered by her comment. She took it well and told me she would be there to cheer us on. I am not mad at her. I get that she does not get it. However, I am currently in the trenches of this and I am doing everything I can to fight this. I know that this will have the outcome I am hoping for some way, someday, somehow. However, I am past the first step, which admitting I have a problem. Hello, my name is Megan and I am infertile.


  1. Hi Megan, well, I think that recognising the problem (being infertile, even if the cause is not clear) is the first step to tackle it. To your friend, the word may have sound harsh and cruel (like saying "I'm stupid") and she didn't want you to feel that way. Infertility is like anything else to my eyes, like having diabetes, it's not like you go without insulin and eat sweets! I'm sure your chat helped her understand a bit more the IF land. Like you say, this doesn't mean you'll be an infertile forever. Love. Fran

  2. Hi Megan. My name is Priscilla and I'm an infertile.

    I'm sorry that you're feeling frustrated by a friend who' having trouble getting it. It's the worst feeling, isn't it?

    I've found, and I'm sure you have too, that no matter what you tell some people they will always think that once we "stop stressing", that's when we'll conceive....forget the medical evidence to the contrary!! ahh!

    Thank God for this blog community!!!


  3. I'm so sorry that you're unexplained. Sometimes I think that it the hardest kind because you don't know what to fix. But there is still hope and I'm wishing you all the best.


  4. Hi Megan,
    I'm glad that you were able to explain your choice to your friend. Please don't judge her too harshly. People who haven't gone through infertility often have difficulty understanding how hard it is to come to terms with it, so won't see you labeling yourself as infertile as a positive.

    I post a Fertility Support Tip on Twitter nearly every day at I have written #85 in honour of your blog.

    Lisa (yourgreatlife - ICLW #44)

  5. Unfortunately, women who have not faced these struggles just don't seem to understand and they usually end up saying all the wrong things. Hang in there. You WILL get through this. :-)

  6. thanks for visiting my blog! It's nice to meet you! You are right - We are going to be doing FETs around the same time - FX -I see you know Fran and she is also doing a cycle the same time. She says she has great success getting her cycle buddies pregnant. It sounds like our journeys have been about as long as each other's but I am now 42 - hence the donor eggs.
    It's funny - I don't talk to many people in real life in depth about IF but when I do, even the smartest and most well read don't always really get it! Hang in there and don't let it get you down too much!
    You really have travelled a lot - that sounds like so much fun and that you can tell people you relaxed and still didn't get pregnant is kind of ironic but at least you can put that myth to rest!

  7. I too have felt the anger that comes from someone "berating" your diagnosis, by telling you you're not infertile, just to relax. While a twisted way to think of it, I do see our infertility as a badge...that we deserve some respect for going through this's sometimes the only thing we've got...and it sucks when people (unintentionally) try to take that from us.

    Good luck with your journey: May it be short!


  8. Well, she might not understand, but at least she's willing to try and listen... it doesn't make it make any easier to take. But still...

    God luck with everything!!!!


  9. Sometimes people just don't know what to say or how to say it. It creates a lot of hurt. My friend has not taken it to this level, but she has said on several occasions, "oh it'll be fine," as in, the fact that you don't ovulate or menstruate will just resolve itself and stop being a worry wart. It's like, "Ummm, yeah, NO." It sucks. I also hate it when people (my Mom in particular) makes it seem like I'm perpetuating my diagnosis with a "bad attitude." Really? Don't you think if all it took was positive thinking I wouldn't be subjecting myself to all of this #*$^*#??? Ha! ((hugs))

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. GREAT call on asking the doc abt whether I need to chill again with my running if we take it up a notch to injects.

  10. Hi, Thanks for stopping by my blog! I pretty much agree with you- just because you refer to yourself as infertile doesn't mean you are thinking you'll be that way forever- but it is what you are dealing with right NOW. Like, if you got sunburned, you would identify yourself as sunburned but of course you don't think you'll be that way forever.

    I'm looking forward to following your FET- praying your little one will be snuggled in soon!

  11. Your infertility may not be real for your friend yet - she's only been part of your struggle for a short time, and obviously hasn't had to "come to terms" with what it actually means.
    When she denies you the label, it's almost as if she's denying how much you've gone through. She sounds like a good friend though - well-meaning if not too knowledgeable about IF, but hey, who is unless they're going through it themselves?

  12. I dont think I ever admitted that to myself. I even felt guilty at first getting treatment because I really thought that I didnt have a REAL problem. But after seeing the results of my IVF cycle (20 eggs=1 barely viable embryo & 0 to freeze) I was blown away by the realization that yes, I indeed have a problem.
    I have a friend who denied my issues too and when she was pregnant would say things like- "just wait until you're pregnant, you'll see how it feels". She didnt understand that my ability to get pregnant was not a given. It was my dream for a miracle....

  13. Hi, I'm Willow, and I'm an infertile.

    It is hard for people who haven't been through this to ever "get it." I've learned, over the last 3+ years, that some friends, whether fertile or infertile or not thinking about kids yet or not interested in having kids ever, can help me on this journey, and many others, whatever their status, cannot. One of my BFFs is single, worried she'll never get married, and we are able to talk no end about her relationship and my TTC struggle because they are strangely similar journeys (never knowing when it will happen, etc.). My other BFF is married and got pregnant the second she started trying, and she is very sweet but really can't understand what I'm going through, so I talk to her about parenting stuff now that we have adopted a baby, and that's good too. I hope your friend is able to continue to be supportive and also that you find others who can offer their support, too.