Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something



NIAW: Dont Be Sally – A Lesson in Infertility Etiquette

Disclaimer: I have not personally been on the receiving end of all of the comments below. This post is meant to bring awareness, but is also meant to be a tongue-in-cheek post. This is not meant to make anyone feel badly. This is written with the understanding that these comments are intended to be helpful. If I have insulted you, I apologize. However, I am blunt. I will not apologize for that. Here’s the thing: I get that you can’t know our situation unless we tell you. But once you do know, please just try to be sensitive. Just like you wouldn’t want me telling you to just relax when you find out you lost your job or say that “your loved one is in a better place” after suffering a loss.

Every infertile knows a Sally. (name not chosen for any particular reason)

Every infertile has a list of suggestions or comments that make us cringe. I personally rate them at three levels:

1. Eye roll – the mildly annoying but forgivable. These include:

  • “Just relax and it’ll happen” – yeah, tried that
  • “Oh my gosh if I even LOOK at my husband I get pregnant” – great for you
  • “Just get drunk and it’ll happen” *cough* tried that *coughstumble*
  • “Take a vacation and it’ll happen” – first, you have to take a vacation at the right time of the month, and if you happen to be like us and trying to save for an IVF, we can’t afford the vacation. Trust me, we WANT a vacation! (and may be able to get both thanks to IVF Vacations!)

2. Huge sigh – the moderately annoying but forgivable if its understood it came from the right place

  • “Just adopt” – I GET where this one comes from, and unless you’ve had any education on what adoption entails, it seems like a fair suggestion. I’ve considered adoption and in fact would like to adopt in the future. Just not right now. Adoption, however, is extremely costly, time consuming, and overwhelming. You have to go through a home study, a background check, answer questions about your relationship etc.  There are no match guarantees. They can fail just like fertility treatments. On top of that, you really have to be READY in mind, body and soul before taking that step. Just try putting yourself in our shoes – if the children you gave birth to never existed and someone said this to you, would you be ready?
  • “Just do an IVF” – although this is our current plan, sometimes I want to say “Ok great, you willing to give us 15k?”
  • “Take mine for a day – you’ll reconsider” – really? REALLY?
  • “Just be glad you get to sleep in” – I wake up at 6am on weekends anyway. Plus, come on!

3. Death stare  – did you seriously just say that?

  • “Maybe you aren’t meant to be a mother”
  • “Maybe that’s just the way it’s supposed to be” – I’m sorry, who died and made YOU God?

So back to Sally. (conversation is fictional)

You’re at a gathering, glass of wine in hand (thankfully), when Sally,who is more than likely no more than an aquaintence, walks up and starts a conversation. It begins honest enough. She introduces her husband and you introduce yours. You talk about how you met. She shows you pictures of her kids (probably on her Iphone – who has wallet pics anymore?) and then asks the infamous question – “so, do you have any kids?”

I’m an open person, so I typically respond something to the effect of “we’re trying, but haven’t had much luck”.

“Oh my Gosh!” Sally says, “if my husband even LOOKS at me I get pregnant. I mean, I was barely off the pill and BOOM!”

You stare, unsure of how to respond. She continues.

“You know what you should do? Just drink that wine and go get it on! You’ll get pregnant in no time. Just relax!

At this point I usually offer more detail – it’s been several years,we have a condition, etc.

“Oh, well why don’t you just adopt? Or do IVF? Technology is so crazy these days”

Insert short blurb about expense and stress of IVF and adoption here.

Oh, well don’t worry, you’re young, just enjoy being able to sleep in. It will happen when its meant to. In the meantime, you can take my kids for a couple of days – you might change your mind then! Maybe you are meant for something else – maybe this is the way its supposed to be.”

By the end of that conversation Sally has been on the receiving end of 3 eye rolls, 3 huge sighs and 1 death by stare.

Don’t be a Sally.

Death by stare is no fun.

For more information

Be Patient

Currently, my two least favorite words in the English language.


Bryan went back into the endocrinologist today after his most recent donation to science. Before I continue, let me explain that we have been to a fertility doc, and Bryan also has benefits through the VA. Testing done at the VA is free, so that is usually where we go, but have done some testing and consulting through the fertility clinic also. Back in August, the VA agreed to fund HCG shots in attempts to create more sperm. This man at the VA specializes in hormones, not fertility.

We’ve seen slow, but steady progress. This most recent visit resulted in the following words being uttered yet again: be patient. Your hormone levels look good, you are progressing. (whatever that means, we didn’t get a sperm count number)


According to him, the current plan is to continue on the same level of HCG, increase it in 2 months if necessary and in 6 months add FSH if needed. He actually said to Bryan that we could get pregnant where we are. That he wouldn’t recommend an IVF right now because its too early.

What? Our RE told us that at our current count, our only option is IVF (besides a miracle of course, and yes, he told us to be patient too). He doesn’t even recommend IUI until we have 20 mil sperm, and the last number we got was half that. I just feel like I’m getting two separate sets of recommendations. Bryan’s hormone levels are currently within normal levels. Per our RE, adding additional hormone to an already normal hormone level wont likely make that much of a difference. That makes alot of sense to me. VA doc says, lets keep going! Lets add more! You’ll get more sperm! You can have babies now!

What’s the freaking answer? I’m going to the next appointment, because I’m confused.

Bryan thinks we should let the endocrinologist do this thing. I.e. be patient. He thinks jumping to IVF right now would be a bad decision, but also that if it’s driving me crazy…..then he trailed off and said he didn’t know what to do either. (at least its not just me)

I just don’t know what I want to do. We could go through the next 12+ months of hormone tx and be right where we are a year from now. We could dig up money for an IVF, and it could fail. Or, we could have been able to get pregnant on our own and never know it. And what sucks the most? There is no way to know. There is just no freaking way to know. And I hate that.

I do know this: I’m impatient. I’m 29, so yes, I still have time. I’m tired of watching my friends’ families grow. I’m tired of peeing on sticks. Of planning sex. Of being stressed over it. Of watching Bryan be stressed over it because I’m stressed over it. Of talking about it. Of thinking about it. Of crying about it. Of worrying about the money for it. Right at this moment I’m ready to take the money I have in savings, do some house repairs or take a vacation or something and just say F#$% IT!

I think, at least, it might be time for a break.


IVF = Its Very Frustrating

And not fair.

A rant on what frustrates and saddens me most about infertility and facing the possibility of IVF.

And yes I realize nothing has been decided yet. But I’m hoping maybe I can get this out there, and let it go. I’m doing all I can and its out of my hands anyway (perhaps the most frustrating). Somehow I doubt this is going to be my only “its not fair” type of post, but one can dream 🙂

Missing out on the excitement of “making a baby”. Although nothing sounds more exciting than the prospect of being poked by needles, prodded by doctors and violated by an ultrasound wand that is vaguely totally phallic, I’d definitely pass if given the option. The last thing I dreamed when picturing my future family was feeling like a science experiment. (and one of the many reasons I’ve considered adoption) It already has that kind of quality in my head with charts, pee sticks and thermometers, and people who have been through the rigamorole of infertility treatment already are probably thinking HA! JUST YOU WAIT!

Expense…..and insurance. Very few health insurance policies cover infertility diagnosis, let alone treatment. And the cost of one fresh IVF cycle costs as much as a car (a small one, but still a car). The theory, I’m told is that having children is a choice and not a necessity. Right. Obviously the person who created the policy didn’t struggle or had any family that struggled with infertility. Bastards. I’m sorry, but that’s just bulls*$#. Who are you to decide? Guess what A$$hole, infertility is a MEDICAL PROBLEM for which we need HEALTH INSURANCE. Should we not treat exercise induced asthma because people can choose to exercise? Should we not treat a sports injury because someone chose to participate in the sport? (no, I’m not opinionated on this at all). Seriously. Ridiculous.

Then there’s the funding. I’ve always been responsible with money and I’ve saved, but I’ve saved with the idea of taking a long maternity leave to be with my child, not to cover the cost to even have said child,and potentially be forced to return to work sooner than I wanted to, assuming the treatment even works in the first place (and yes I realize this happens to many women for reasons unrelated to infertility, but this is my rant, so hush) I guess I feel like since I’ve done the responsible thing, I deserve the ending I planned on. Darn it.

Emotional roller coaster. I love roller coasters. But I’m ready to get off this one. Nothing is more confusing than feeling truly ready to face the challenges associated with infertility, only to have a total 180 the next day and have a near emotional breakdown. Some days I can talk about it and be totally fine. Others a total stranger can nonchalantly ask me if I’ve been drinking the baby water too and the result is waterworks. (rather embarrassingly). Some days I can ooh and aah at baby showers and pregnant bellies, others….well, just stay away. No really.

Relationship wrecker. Well, the potential to be.Its difficult to put into words. Nothing ruins the romance more than “hey honey I’m ovulating!”. And its not just that.  Let’s just say that my maternal instinct mixed with my impatience can sometimes cause me to lose perspective. And you know what? Husbands don’t like their wives to be sad. The mood of one spouse can really effect the other and if you’re not aware and keep the lines of communication open, its easy to fall into a funk. I guess I just feel like life has enough stressors, do we really need to add this to the mix?

I can be a bad friend if you’re pregnant or have a baby. I don’t mean to. Sometimes it just hurts too much.But I don’t want to be like that, and it frustrates me.

Relax? Right. One major disadvantage of having the knowledge of your cycle is you can’t unlearn it. So even if I’m “taking an off cycle”, I still know typically when to expect to ovulate and would plan accordingly anyway. There is no more just relax and let it happen (plus if that were the case, it would have happened anyway).

Anxiety anxiety girl? Yeah.  I’m anxious about another period. Than about missing ovulating. Then about whether my temps are high enough. Could I really be exercising too much? Should I drink? Not drink? Am I getting too old? Should we adopt? Crap I ate out and I could have saved that money. Maybe I really shouldn’t train for a marathon. Dang it we didn’t you know what today, we’ve totally missed our chance this month. Seriously I could write a whole post on what goes on in my head alone. (and might really understand my need to run)

Mostly though, what’s worst is the fear. That I won’t be able to have children. It’s silly really, because I’ve always been a determined person, and I’m not against adopting, so I want to be a mom and I’ll figure out a way to do it. Even though all of it still achievable. Even though I have no reason currently to believe it won’t happen. Even with all of my determination and stubbornness I’m jumping way ahead of myself and I’m left with a sense that this could be taken away from me.  Because even taking care of myself and finding the best sperm to fertilize the best egg in the best circumstance could still result in no baby. And I have no control over it.

That’s most frustrating of all.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: