Behind Closed Doors – Infertility Sucks

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I decided to write into AOW after a blog catch up and seeing that Aisling had given birth to the very gorgeous/adorable/star-after-she’s-named-after Stella, and found a tear came to my eye.
In truth the tear was because I am a lot proud of Aisling as she finally got what she waited so long for, and partly because the green eyed monster reared its ugly head.
Infertility Sucks!
Me an my husband have been trying properly to have a baby for the last three and half years, really we haven’t been ‘careful’ for probably the last 4 years. Weirdly being infertile (or semi infertile as my doctor called it) never even crossed my mind, even when we first went to find out what was going on. I never thought this was something that we would experience.
We have literally had one of the shittest years ever, in sickness and in health really meant something but we persevere and I have now got to the stage of being poked and prodded that much that I no longer have any dignity left and think I would feel quite comfortable walking through the middle of Leicester with my clothes off, preferably with a feather boa!
The highlight was definitely having my legs akimbo with a ‘dildo’ cam inserted into me and the Dr wishing me happy birthday…not mortifying at all, it was also very interesting to learn that as well as a tilted womb I have three cysts and the oh so romantic kissing ovaries. Happy Birthday to me!
After waiting for 6 weeks, our next appointment is coming up quickly, I’m hoping that I will FINALLY feel like I’m getting somewhere with the baby stuff. I have already been told that its likely to be the IVF route which petrifies me as I had to watch my sister go through it all with no luck. I think watching this has made the whole thing (I’m refusing to use the word ‘journey’ I may barf) harder to accept.
Not having a baby has never been an option for me, I thought that if it didn’t happen naturally then we would adopt, now this feels like a real option I’m not sure if its something I want. I think I would feel as though I have failed. I’m sure this is because I am just coming to terms with the news of being sort of infertile, or at least I hope so, as before the crazy women entered my brain, this option was always something that appealed to both me and my husband, not only would we have what we always wanted, but perhaps we would also be providing a child a happier life.
I feel as though the baby stuff has taken over, something I had hoped would never happen to me. I have gone from quite a social, ambitious, educated women to someone who can barely get through an hour without thinking about baby names and nursery colours, to how much I hate my womb for being so mean to me! Irrational but this thought has crossed my mind more then once!
Deep down I know that I will find the right path and what will happen will happen, and I really don’t have any control over it, until then though I will run around like the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons.
Categories: Behind Closed Doors, Uncategorized
33 interesting thoughts on this

33 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    My heart goes to you. You are not alone…. if it helps. I struggled with feeling isolated and thinking this was only happening to us, believing it was punishment from the universe, blaming my body…
    I have also never envisioned a life without children, and I just kind of assumed it would be easy, after watching it be so amongst my friends, classmates, neighbors, work colleagues. In college, I dreamt of having an accident pregnancy. I kind of secretly wanted it.
    I do not like the term infertility because in my mind it sounds like “sterile” and “barren” and I refuse to identify as such. Semifertile, Subfertile, Fertility struggles are ok.
    We have been dealing with this for 2 years and 2 months ( or so) and so far we have been through 3 failed IUIs and are currently in the middle of our 4th cycle ( I am actually going to be prodded in 2 hours, and hopefully my eggs will be ready for the Hcg stimulation). At the beginning I refused to accept that we would need treatment, I wanted a “natural” pregnancy so much. Now I just feel blessed that there are options to be tried, even if it is a gamble with no guarantees, and without any dignity left (the gynaecologists here do not even provide disposable gowns, so you are there, sitting in the high chair, fully naked from your belly button down). My attitude now is: bring it on. I used to be scared of this. It’s not that bad. Really I thought hormones would make me crazy, but I haven’t felt those effects at all. The constant daydreaming about babies and hoping and wondering if it will happen is what makes me a bit crazy. That and believing anything I read, like that apparently stamppot (the Dutch’s dish of mashed potatoes with vegetables an sausage) can increase fertility. And then proceeding to cook it just to give it a try.
    Hugs to you. I hope your baby will come one way or another, even if we don’t know how our stories will end and how our families will look.
    And I was so so happy for Stella coming to the world, for the joy brought to Aisling’s family.

    • Vivienne
      Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Thinking of you today Amanda xxx

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Good luck today Amanda! x

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Will be sending all good luck your way! Xx

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Good luck! X

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Good luck Amanda xox

      • Amanda M
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        And from me. x

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much everyone. It was hard, in that I started ovulating by myself and now we are going to get the Insemination tomorrow “blindly” (because we don’t know if we will catch the eggs (2) within the 24 hr period in which they live.

      I had a good cry at the doctors’ office, and a fight with the nurses/receptionists because this all happened pretty much because of negligence (yesterday I *felt* I was about to ovulate, my ovaries felt swollen, not painful, but big. I had just had a higher dose of follitotropin for 2 days in a row for the first time and I always ovulate on the same day of the month, so I expected / knew this would happen.) When we explained all of that to the doctors/nurses and requested an appointment for yesterday, they did not consider necessary that I come and kept my appointment for today. Now we might just be late, (or maybe not because this is just shooting at random). Anyhow. Gonna try to think about something else for the rest of the day.

      Your support means a lot girls. Thank you.

      • Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Oh no, sending hugs. xx

      • Anon
        Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Amanda I had to comment as I feel you need a huge hug! You sound so brave! My thoughts are with you hun. I hope it all works out!!

        Everyone has been so kind and all the comments have made my day!
        Xx

      • Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Sending you so much love today, Amanda. And all the hugs, too.

        K xx

      • Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        <3 Thanks to everyone this means a lot , here we are, hoping for a miracle ! Like Yogi Bhajan said "I don't believe in miracles, I RELY on them".

  2. Posted February 26, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Oh gosh dildo cam is horrid at the best of times but on your BIRTHDAY!? That takes the piss. It reminds me of my first smear test when the nurse kindly greeted me with ‘I haven’t seen you in a while, I treated your mum while she was having you you know’ – ah the joys if growing up in the back end of beyond.
    One thing I think is really cruel is that when you see the gynaecologist you have to sit in the waiting room with all the pregnant women (maybe that’s just my hospital but it seemed so unnecessary to me and I couldn’t get over how awful it would be if I was there for fertility treatment).
    Lots of love to you anon.

  3. Claire
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post, I am sending you so many hugs for what you are going through. It is so hard to talk about all this stuff, it’s like it needs to be kept to ourselves. I’m from the other camp, I don’t believe that we should have to, if it helps to talk about it then we should.

    I am nowhere near where you are in your journey, but it hasn’t happened like I always expected it to or dreamt that it would yet and I have to admit that part of me is scared what the future may bring. I am getting the dildo cam in 10days, oh the joys!

    I wish you all the luck for your fertility journey (yip I hate the word infertile too!!)

  4. Vivienne
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Dildo cam on your birthday? Life does like to get its laughs in the cruelest ways sometimes.

    I hope being able to share has brought you some relief, and that things can move forward successfully

  5. Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I love the frankness of this post, it sums up so much of how I’ve felt over the last few years. Thanks for sharing, anon. I firmly believe that if you can keep a sense of humour and perspective it will serve you really well, whatever the outcome, and you definitely seem to have both.

    I found the experience very isolating and frustrating, but like Amanda I always felt grateful that there were options out there. Weirdly I worked with a number of women undergoing treatment as part of a TV programme when I was in my early 20s, so I was lucky enough to see a number of different outcomes and procedures, and would really urge anybody going through this or at the beginning of the road to educate as much as you can. I knew before I even met my husband that there were likely to be difficulties, so in a way I was lucky as I was prepared and extremely focused – I went to my doctors repeatedly until one GP got sick of me and referred me to a clinic. I think in a way all of this helped me feel more in control of a situation that was, fundamentally, out of my control, and for me that really helped.

    My whole heart goes out to you anon, keep that boat going! You’ve got a good attitude and it will serve you well.

    Px

  6. Posted February 26, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through but I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope sharing here will offer some comfort as I should imagine anyone who has been through any fertility issues would say that becoming consumed by it is completely natural. Friends of mine who are currently going through treatment say its just so hard to think about anything else when something so huge is going on in your life.

    Regarding adoption etc – I think the day when something goes from something you ‘might’ do in future to something you ‘may well have’ to do is always horrible and scary. It’s a big adjustment so give your brain time to deal with it if it becomes a reality. Wishing you lots of luck xxxx

  7. Lee-Anne
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your story, hope it has helped in some way. Hope you get some good news soon xx

  8. PiriyaP
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Wishing you all the very best xx

  9. Anon
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    On the up side how lucky to have this community to share what is the most painfully isolating ‘journey’ (sorry!) Being in a very similar situation I feel as though you were reading my mind throughout your post, I have also forgotten what dignity feels like! We have now given up on iui and tomorrow start the dreaded drugs towards ivf. I am so terrified that waves of fear and nausea interrupt my days, but what makes it worse is that I know nobody who has gone through this to share their tales of woe and to say actually don’t worry egg collection isn’t as bad as you are imagining! So I embrace your wonderfully frank and honest post and hope it has provided some cathartic relief and that women who have had similar experiences will offer you replies of empathy and possibly comfort.

  10. Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    This sounds so very difficult. I really hope it all works out for you but in the meantime, I am thinking of you and sending hugs xx

  11. Posted February 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t experienced problems with fertility (although for all I know I might be infertile), but even so this is really affecting to read, it’s very honest, very true, and you sound very strong.

    The one thing I wanted to say is that my Aunt and Uncle went through IVF repeatedly, and it failed. By the time they looked to adopt they were too old to be given a baby or a very young child, and they were devastated again. Finally, just as they were giving up, they got my gorgeous cousins, S and A, at the ages of 6 and 7. It was a huge adjustment for everyone, of course, and it’s been challenging, too. But S and A are such a part of our family now, I was 16 when they came into our lives, but I honestly forget I didn’t know them as babies. Adoption isn’t for everyone, I understand, but I wanted to let you know that even stories where happy endings seem impossible, and giving up is the only option, can bring huge amounts of love and joy in the end. It’s not always in the way you expect, but it’s there.

    K x

    K x

  12. Amanda M
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I do feel for you – and Amanda. I have never wanted children but I do not underestimate how powerful that longing is. My two best friends had problems conceiving and whilst one did eventually get pregnant she would like another but it seems unlikely and the other has a child conceived after a few goes at IVF and I witnessed her elation and despair with real pain on her behalf. Not the same as her or your pain but it’s hard to watch someone you love go through that just the same. I wish you a happy ending – however that may turn out.

  13. anon
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    So many sad stories here, I hope you all manage to find happiness. It is hard for it not to take over your life, when you can’t have the one thing you want, you want it even more!

    I have been trying now for nearly 4 years, straight after I was married. After what felt like endless years of it not working, meeting with doctors, GPs, specialists, having the wonderful ‘Dildo camera’ A Laparoscopy, promises of IVF on the NHS, only for it to then be refused (an age thing) then more meetings with the private clinic I was finally told last June that not even IVF can help me. Basically my ovaries don’t work.

    I have to tell you since last June life has been hell! Knowing that I will never be able to have my own child has been pretty hard to come to terms with……BUT I have come to terms with it.
    We are now looking at Egg Donation and we have an appointment next month to go and get a match.
    Some very kind and generous women out there is going to let me use her eggs to hopefully make my own baby.
    No it won’t have my DNA, no it won’ look like me, BUT it will be my baby…………..if it works!

    I guess the reason I am telling yup all this, is that even if your first option isn’t achievable, there are always other options.
    As you go along the baby road things may not go to plan, but that just means your plans have to change, you have to adapt to the situation you are given and make best with what you have.

    It feels like you are in a big Black hole, but what I have learnt is there a million other women in the same situation. As soon as I started to discuss things and stop hiding the fact it became easier to deal with.

    But yes Infertility does Suck, but don’t let it suck the life out of you.

    Good Luck with your journey.

    x

  14. Keeping anon for now
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I read this post this morning and refused to come back to it until now. I didn’t want to read it again because it’s painful for me. My husband and I are going through the exact same thing, in fact I’ve had the day off today for a hysteroscopy, HSG and mock embryo transfer.

    Yes, fertility difficulties are So hard. I have days, often at the weekend, where I can barely get out of bed from misery. Luckily I can manage myself so these only happen once or twice a month and I often attribute them to my meds. I understand your pain, I am there with you.

    However, we must not forget our own lives are a gift and we MuST nOT waste them in the throes of anger and despair. Things that work for me to create and hold on to emotional balance are:

    Counseling, ask your doctor or gP about what you are eligible for. Can you pay for some yourself?

    Accupuncture, meditation, and apparently yoga can be good too. I downloaded a free app that helps me relax through hypnotherapy, there are loads available.

    One little thing I do is visualize the three routes my life may take,

    1. We eventually have a baby that I give birth to. We are ecstatic, excited, new parents and feel we have had a miracle. It doesn’t mean my life from that point onwards is perfect, or worry free. I will remain as susceptible to bad luck, pain, sadness and tragedy as the next person.

    2. We adopt a baby. I grieve for the pregnancies and births We will never have, I grieve for the loss my adopted baby has also suffered, loss of biological parents but we celebrate the happiness we find and we bring our baby home, ecstatic,new parents and so on (as above).

    There are days when I question whether or not adoption is the calling for me (I totally understand that adoption is NOT a cure all for the infertile and is a very hard option to take-my parents were foster carers and the issues many children up for adoption had were too big for me to want to take on as a parent if I am honest). My BiL and Sil adopted babies from abroad so they got babies from orphanages but have all of the issues that interracial adoptions include to work on . Some days adoption aeems perfect, other days I am terrified of it.

    Then, I always remind myself of the final option which is: My husband and I spend our lives as a married couple without children. When I imagine this third and final route, I see sadness, perhaps periods of prolonged, aching, hollow sadness. But I also see us being happy, in love, seeking adventure, being hands on, loving, super special aunty and uncle, having a great home where we can host huge family Christmasses. We may travel extensively, choose to volunteer, take sabbaticals…..things that perhaps parenthood would make more difficult, nay not impossible though.

    My reasons for this visualization are twofold. First I realize that whatever happens life goes on and we will still have each other. Secondly, in each of these potential futures, I can imagine us being happy in any of them.

    Finally, really do think about getting some counseling. The biggest tragedy of all, in my mind, would be losing your love for each other in your fertility battle. My hubby held my hand all the way thru the investigations today, I’ve found HSGs to be rather painful so left him with fingernail marks lasting eight hours!! But oh my, he is my rock and my partner in this crazy old life. I am thankful for him EVERY. SINgle. dAY!

    Finally apologies for typos, on the old iPhone.

    Best wishes to all you ladies on the fertility treatments xxxx

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes, knowing that we will be happy no matter what and focusing on the little joyful things of everyday life are what get me through the hardest, awful moments. I wish you all the best, I really do.

  15. Anon
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    All I can say is a huge thank you to you all and the AOW ladies to allow me a platform to talk about this, all of your comments have made me feel so much braver and stronger to make decisions for the future!

    Just to let you know, since I wrote this I have now had our appointment and have been told its important for us to begin IVF as soon as possible, apparently my overies are older then my age…not easy to hear! So from April we beging the next step to potentially have a baby, I am trying not to get my hopes up but I am positive and hopeful for the future!

    Thank you so much, especially to those ladies who shared their own stories, it helps to know that what I’m feeling isn’t totally crazy!

    Xxx

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your story. I will be thinking of you and I hope IVF will be the way. I gt an IUI today (4th one) and we pretty much keep the miracle, but I am not going to lose hope, it is pretty much all we have.
      Of course you are not crazy and you are also not alone. I will have you and everyone else on my heart and prayers, and send each one of you love (it sounds all hippy dippy, but I do think we are energy, so it has to work). And miracles do happen everyday.

  16. AJS
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hi ladies, I too have been through 18 months of investigations (read prodding and poking) to finally be told that IVF is our only option so we have our first consultation at Hammersmith Hospital tomorrow and we’ll hopefully be starting treatment some time soon thereafter.

    It seems there are many of us AOW readers going through a similar journey this year, maybe we could start a seperate support forum where we can all talk about this s**t and offer each other much needed support? Just a thought….

    Also, I don’t know if you remember the Behind Closed Doors post about one readers’ IVF journey last year – it was written from a very practical ‘this is what actually happens’ perspective rather than an emotional one – and at the end she was in the two week wait (I hate those three words with a passion!) Does anyone know whether her IVF cycle was successful? I found her post very insightful and have often found myself re-reading it as I know now that’s the path I’ll be going down and every time I re-read it I wonder how she is.

    xx

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I will be thinking of you today. I really hope IVF will work for you and I wish you all the love and joy and hope and a healthy happy pregnancy.
      I wrote a post like that on IUI on my blog (it’s called “for what it’s worth”), but so far have no experience on IVF , though I do , too, wonder about that reader and I remember having found comfort in that post.
      We just learnt we might have to try IVF and I am kind of hopeful because the odds are higher.
      I will have you in my thoughts and wish you all the best. If you ever need to talk / vent / rant you can email me (poppiesandicecream@gmail.com)

  17. Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Wow. This really hit home for me. “I feel as if this baby stuff has taken over…” Oh yup. Been there, done that. Here’s praying very hard that you get what you’re wishing for. I am in your corner, hon.

    • Anon
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for your comment! If you don’t mind me asking did it end happily?

      I promise to come back and let you guys know how it goes, good or bad!

      xxx

  18. Anon for now
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    This post really struck a chord with me. It’s hard sometimes when you’re in the throes of this struggle to remember that there are lots of other couples going through the exact same thing!

    We were told late last year that IVF was our only chance of getting pregnant so we’ve just had the HSG and mock transfer and are due to start the cycle in about 2 weeks. It is so much harder and tougher than I ever realised and like others, rarely does an hour go by where I don’t think about it all and whether it will work or not. It is a strange predicament to so desperately want something and have no control over whether it will actually happen.

    However, I think it is so important to try and carry on with life as normal, at least as much as you can. My husband has been absolutely fantastic throughout this process, yes, we’ve had a really shitty few months and we’ve had quite a few very stressful, heated discussions but as Anon has mentioned above, it is so important that amidst the struggle and chaos, we don’t lose out on fun, love and enjoyment of life, sometimes easier said than done.

    I just wanted to say I know exactly what you are going through and I wish you, and everyone else here all the luck in the world! Aisling’s post and other friends I know who have had success are definitely reasons to keep going when things get tough!
    x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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