Confessions about infertility

It’s been a rough couple of months. Well actually, it’s been a rough (almost) 2 years. I (Kelly) have been on a constant emotional roller coaster at work ever since I moved into a new position. I’ve been jerked, pulled, and loopy-looped in so many directions that when I finally thought I reached the calm in the storm, I found myself officially burned out and disenchanted with what I do. This was supposed to be role that set me up — set me up for the solid career path, ongoing success, and, most importantly, the work-life balance I needed as a mom.

Well, it’s been over a year and a half, and I’m still not a mom. For those of you out there experiencing the same constant ups and downs that come with trying to conceive, and eventually an infertility diagnosis, I know you join with me in my conclusion: infertility’s a bitch.

With every Facebook update or Instagram picture of someone’s sonogram, growing belly, or precious newborn, a bit of myself falls even further into despair. But Billy and I are not giving up—acknowledging that many others have suffered longer than we have, and maintaining our faith that this miracle will eventually happen—but it doesn’t change the whirlwind we experience with every passing, failed month. Not only do I find myself losing confidence, but each negative test leaves me with less hope.

We started fertility treatments last January (2015), just after we’d both turned 28. The fact that we’re not even 30 yet makes this even harder since every fertility specialist I see says some version of, “Don’t worry, you’re still young!” Like anyone else who’s heard that, I hate that we have to go through with this. And, after nearly a year of tests and procedures, unfortunately for us, we still have no answers and no more direction than we did 8 months ago. But I’m just not emotionally ready to think about other ways to have a family.

The worst part about not having answers from a doctor is having to invent conclusions about what’s wrong by yourself. Billy thinks my years of living in a misophonia survival-mode have just made me too stressed. Maybe he’s right. We spend days and night searching the internet for diet tricks, fertile health tips, and wondering if we’re even doing this thing people were created to do correctly.

Every day we’re not pregnant is another day that someone I know could be (or is). One of the reasons we left the city was to get away from the constant parading of newborns around our block. It’s unfair, to anyone who is pregnant, for me to feel this way, but for as happy as they feel, I guarantee I feel 10 times more distressed. And this makes talking to friends and family about our infertility even harder. Why should I be the one to bring everyone down especially if someone is basking in the joy of being pregnant or being a parent for the first time?

One of Billy’s work friends went through the same thing a decade ago, and he says the hardest part for him was losing tons of close friends because it became too hard to be around them and their new families. I’ve never been good a keeping relationships, but it’s circumstances like misophonia and infertility that can make me wonder if I was ever meant to have them in the first place. Of course, it’s always a risk to let someone in, but in the end we all need support from others to get through our daily lives.

Infertility is a bitch. It’s unfair and completely uncaring. For those of you who have been through infertility, Billy and I would love your advice on how to cope and even come out stronger on the other end, because right now, it feels quite hopeless.

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6 thoughts on “Confessions about infertility

  1. Kelly,
    I’m blowing up your blog early this morning…but gahhh, I wish I could transport myself to you, or transport you to Dallas and we could sit and have coffee, hell, a beer…
    While Ryan & I didn’t struggle with the same type of infertility, we had a miscarriage two months into marriage (I know I at least told Billy before your wedding, so maybe you already know this). Anyways, I’d really love to chat. Get My email from Billy.
    Love,
    Christi

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  2. Hey! I know Billy from back in our church youth group days. We are walking thru the same season in our life. We had 3 miscarriages in 8 months and are now experiencing infertility. I just had a second surgery to remove my right tube and it looks like we are staring IVF in the face. This road is not easy, there are lots of tears, and we are also going thru losing friends. But I am going to stand with you and believe and trust God for our future children. You are not alone, and this journey makes people feel so isolated and if you guys ever need anything, I am a text away!! Seriously! Day or night! 214-679-0800
    ❤️ Nicole

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  3. Hi Kelly,

    I apologize for my long post, but I completely understand where you’re coming from. I am 31, I have misophonia, and I’ve been struggling with infertility for over 3 years now. I’ve had two IUI’s and two attempts at IVF, with no success. Not even a 3-day embryo to transplant, much less extras to freeze. Like you, my doctors all said we shouldn’t worry since we were so young. After one intensely painful egg retrieval procedure, one of them literally said, “You’re only 30?! Oh, we’ll get you pregnant in no time!” Thanks a lot, doc.

    Like you, I have wondered if my miso has contributed to higher stress levels and a tougher time conceiving. But I also recently found out I have endometriosis, PCOS, and a “mass” the size of a small apple growing next to my right ovary. When I said to my husband that we got “a bread roll in my abdomen” instead of “a bun in my oven,” we both started laugh-crying. (Thankfully I’m going in for a laparoscopy next week, which should clear up a lot of my problems. Fingers crossed.)

    To me, the most important thing is to take as much pressure off yourself as possible. Communicate with Billy frequently; pour your hearts out, commiserate together, and try to take turns building each other back up. Some days are just hard, and that’s ok. Give yourself permission to cry, rant, glare furiously, break things, whatever you (both) need to do sometimes. Then help each other hold on to a little bit of hope. Not so much hope that you go buy a pregnancy test on day 27 of every cycle, and use it first thing on day 28… but enough that you never truly believe that things will be bleak forever. You just never, never know what will happen in your life.

    You can also turn off Facebook for a week (or a month) so you don’t have a daily dose of resentment toward loved ones and strangers for their effortless baby-making success. If one more person tells you, “it will happen as soon as you stop worrying about it,” go ahead and punch them in the throat (literally or figuratively, your choice). And if you wear a floppy hat and don’t look at waist-height when walking, you’d be surprised how many pregnant bellies you can avoid seeing.

    If you can find a way to keep your sense of humor, do everything you can to encourage it. (For example, my husband and I have nicknamed our bread roll “Phil,” and it always makes me chuckle a little.) Also try to get one or two close friends to understand the best way to support you – not by trying to “fix” anything, just by listening and empathizing. Sometimes you just need someone to say, “oh wow, that sucks! I’m really sorry you’re going through that!” People can be very supportive once they realize that you don’t need anything more than that from them.

    Finally, tell yourself over and over again that this is NOT YOUR FAULT. Even though it’s so tempting to troll every website looking for the most promising supplements (such as Myo-Inositol powder), fertility fruits (like goji berries, pineapple cores), positions (who’s tried shoulders on the floor, hips and legs leaning against the wall, for 15 minutes?), early signs of pregnancy (white cm after ovulation, cold/flu like symptoms, mild fever, breast pain), holistic treatments (I even tried weekly acupuncture)……. in the end you will make yourself crazy. The truth is that it’s very hard to know what’s causing the problems. If you can find a way to let yourself off the hook, avoid hating your “treasonous” and “malfunctioning” body, and do some good things for yourself (focus on your career, fitness, or personal goals other than motherhood), you might feel a little more sane down the line. This is hard to do, but it helps redirect some of the pain of infertility.

    I hope you know that you’re doing your best, and you’re not alone. Oh and if all else fails, try looking up “Infertility Explained By 33 Impossibly Adorable Cats” – it’s something!

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    1. Hi Shannon,

      Wow, thank you for your support and insights! I’m so sorry you have to go through this as well. I feel like I’m at a point where I’ve learned to at least manage my misophonia, and so now this whole infertility situation has kind of taken over my focus. You’re right, Facebook and Instagram haven’t been my friends these past few years, and we’ve tried interjecting some humor in our situation – when our doctor told us about our 1% possibility at conceiving, our first thoughts were of Jim Carey (“So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance…”). I’m at least glad you’ve gotten some answers, I hope they are able to find a solution now for you.

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