So I’m not playing around on this one. No cute titles, no witty intro taglines. I just need to vent about this. Because I’m experiencing it and to put it nicely, it sucks. I will start off saying no, please don’t give me your advice because I’m not in a place to receive it, especially if you haven’t been through it, you can’t possibly understand or relate to what I’m going through…don’t try to work your way around this one saying you’ve struggled in another way and can imagine it very closely relates because it doesn’t. Have you ever lost a pregnancy? A child? A life that was supposed to be inside you but it isn’t now? A child who should be here in your arms today but is not because your body did something wrong or something didn’t form correctly? Have you ever had to wake up at the same time every day for over a year so you could take your temperature then log in to a charting software app to track it in hopes of making some sense of your hormone levels? Do you know what FSH, LH, progesterone, estradiol, prolactin, TSH, AMH are and how they function and how they are supposed to work together and at what times of your cycle they should be doing what? Do you know what metformin, clomid, femera, letrazole, maca root, false unicorn, evening primrose oil, vitex/chasteberry, guaifenesin, and the pit of a pineapple have to do with regulating your cycle and fertility and specifically what times you should be taking each one? Do you know the acronyms ttc, bd, dh, cd, O, opk, hpt, 2ww, af, bbt, bfn, bfp, cm, IUI, IVF, ICSI? Do you know what an SIS, HSG, SA, CD21 blood draw, CCCT, CD3 blood draw are and what they mean and when they should be done? Do you know what it’s like to be standing in a room with 12 of your closest friends and be present but feel absolutely alone? Do you know what it’s like to have a 5 year old ask if you have a kid because you’re the only one in the room who doesn’t and when you respond with “no” even he thinks it’s odd. I know all of this is probably relative. I know I’m absolutely and completely blessed beyond measure. I know that my husband is an incredible man who supports me in every way, even when I’m utterly hopeless and ridiculous, he doesn’t care and he loves me anyway. I know that there are people dealing with “real” tragedy, terminal illness, deaths of loved ones, severe financial loss…I know…I get it. From the outside I’ve got quite the pretty picture of a life…except that I still hurt. Except that I still can’t have children the magical way it seems all my friends can. Except that I’m taking medication that makes me crazy, makes me not want any sort of food or sustenance because I’m trying to train it to process foods correctly and I guess it doesn’t really want to cooperate. Except that it’s the way I feel and I cry at night going to sleep because it’s NOT the way I want to feel. And most moments I’m able to really enjoy life despite the situation I’m in but there’s something in my head that’s blocking me from feeling the sheer happiness of it all, even when I really want to. This is what I’ve been struggling with. I want to feel better. I want to really and truly enjoy not having children right now. And in a lot of ways I can absolutely see the benefits because now we can save more, we can still spend somewhat frivolously if we choose, we can enjoy just being “us” which is one of my favorite things about infertility is our “us” time to do whatever whenever…and I know I’m going on and on and you’ve probably stopped reading by now and that’s okay with me because this is for me. I know all of the “right” things to say, and the realities and in 5 minutes I’m sure I’ll be feeling just great again, maybe this is just a side effect of the meds…it’s quite possible. But for now, in this moment, this is me. In this moment where after waking up super early on a weekend when I don’t actually need to be up for a few more hours but had to wake up early to take my temperature because it “should” be a critical day in my cycle sometime soon…which it probably won’t even end up happening…I left my warm bed and my husband because my mind is reeling and I wish it wasn’t. I would love nothing more than to be snuggled up with him right now on a warm Sunday morning…but here I am, typing away because I think maybe if I get it out of my head I can sleep. maybe if I get it out of my head the dreams will stop revolving around pregnancy, friends’ and family’s pregnancies, cycle days, and I can have some peace. Anyway, it’s a kind of therapy that I need at the moment…along with some yoga I think. Thanks for listening…you may not understand and I never mean to offend anyone who might be reading who hasn’t experienced…I do appreciate support and if you’ve read this and want to be supportive, I’ll tell you the best thing you can do is just recognize what I’m going through, DON’T belittle it by saying any of the following things, and just tell me you love me and you’ll be there whenever I need it.

Things NOT to say to someone experiencing infertility and WHY:

-“Oh you’re young, you still have lots of time”…infertility does not discriminate between age, race, socioeconomic status, etc…just because I’m young and have time you think I want to spend all this time until I’m “old” waiting and wondering when it will happen for us, that that’s the way I should live out my “young” years…if I want to have multiple children I’ve got to get started sometime before “old” age sets in.

-“Just relax and it’ll happen” – DO NOT tell me to relax. First of all, I DO enjoy my life with my husband. And it isn’t always on the forefront of my mind…so I wouldn’t even say I’m wound up about it or stressed to the max about this issue…but beyond that, there is something MEDICALLY wrong here with one or both of us. Would you EVER tell someone diagnosed with cancer or a bronchial infection or whatever to “just relax and their cancer will go away or their infection would clear up”? NO!! And if you would you’re just plain strange. The fact is, infertility IS a DISEASE.just because it affects people differently and people don’t NEED children to function in life is irrelevant. The stress and gravity of an infertility diagnosis actually ranks right up there with cancer diagnoses and the likes due to it’s devastating nature of the unknown and the treatment stresses. Again, not wanting to be pitied here but it’s not something I can’t just “relax” away. I have a legitimate medical problem.

-“It’s just not God’s time right now” – So if you’re reading this then you know me and you know I am a strong believer in my faith. And I absolutely and completely trust my Lord and Savior with my life and this disease…but I DO NOT need to be told that He has a better plan for us, that maybe we aren’t meant to be parents, or any variation on that. I know what my relationship is with God and the last time I checked I don’t think He’s in the business of consulting with others on what is best for me and my husband…He has us on this journey for a reason, absolutely…and I know when you say these things you’re only trying to help, but just don’t go there please. Not unless you want to have a sincere conversation with me because otherwise you’re just diminishing what I’m going through and telling me I’m super selfish and disobedient for letting this affect me.

-“You can always adopt”, or “why don’t you adopt?” – You know what? You’re absolutely right…I could adopt. I know this. And it has been something my husband and I have discussed and considered. We would love to adopt someday, however right now that isn’t what we are dealing with. Adoption comes with a lot of other strings and it isn’t as easy as “just adopting”…and it is something that should be handled with careful consideration and planning, and not used as a strategy to take our minds off of what we are going through right now, it should not be used as a distraction. A source of hope for the future, absolutely…and it is…but why don’t you adopt? Right now, we are trying to figure out and appropriately deal with the medical issue at hand, and yes, we want our own biological children and even if we are able to achieve this, we will still probably consider adoption later in our journey, but adoption does not make the infertility go away. Infertility is more than just the desire to have children.

-“Oh my friend, so and so, did ______ and they got pregnant…or any variation of other people’s experiences…” – that’s wonderful for your friend and all, but I’m not them and I guarantee you if I did the exact same thing as your friend to the T it probably wouldn’t work and then you’d just be left scratching your head. I’m happy for your friends and family you may know who went through this and succeeded in whatever way they desired to, but this is my infertility journey and it is likely going to look a lot different from anyone else’s story you’ve heard or been witness to.

– “Make sure you raise your hips, stand on your head, do it this time or position, etc…” – OH! You’re supposed to have sex to make a baby? We didn’t know that was what we were doing wrong this whole time. (I hope you can tell that was dripping with sarcasm) We know what to do, just don’t go there…and you’d be surprised at the people who will and who have… just don’t.

-“Just do IVF or an IUI, I’ve heard you can get pregnant right away from those” – Really? You have? Do you know what either an IUI or IVF or ICSI cycle entails? Do you know how much they COST PER CYCLE? Did you dream of conceiving in a doctor’s office via a needle after having meds pumped into you on certain cycle days to boost your chances of creating really great follicles to get really great eggs? Oh, you didn’t? So what makes you think it’s “so easy” and we should “just” do that? We are aware of our options and will consider them at the appropriate time. While I may be making these treatments out to be sterile and cold…and they are…they are absolutely wonderful methods of modern science and probably getting better every day, and I know a few people who have gone this route and had great success…but please if you’ve never been through this, don’t suggest this because it just isn’t at all an ideal situation to have to face and will take lots of prayer and peace to move forward with one of these and it will be a LOT for my body to take.

So again, this has all just been on my mind. I don’t feel that I’m being selfish or rude with this post…it’s how I feel. It’s what I’m dealing with and it just is what it is. I’m the one having to have these conversations with my husband about treatment options, how my meds are making me feel on a moment’s notice, and honestly it’s the innocence of conception and pregnancy that is gone that I have to grieve now. The things Doug and I discuss I find myself shaking my head about…things that I laugh at because it seems so unreal…and we are making it through this journey one day, one moment at a time. You know I know how blessed I am and how much I believe in Romans 8:28 and that this is just a chapter in our lives and it will all work out one way or another. But right now, today, in this moment, please don’t diminish what my husband and I are facing. We’re dealing with a lot medically and grieving a lot of little losses in our lives because of this…and we do have hope, and dreams, and some excitement for what the future holds for us…but understand that there is a lot we are going through in a time of our lives where everyone else around us is pregnant, we’re the only married couple left in our expanded circle of friends who does not have children yet or who is pregnant, and while we rejoice in the Lord for our friends (and I’m not just saying that, we really do!), we struggle with what we are dealing with but we know that God is strengthening our marriage, our future parenting, and us each individually through this process. Thank you for supporting us and giving us the due time and emotional allowance we need to experience this for what it is and by not diminishing our feelings.