Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Fertiles and Infertiles

About two weeks ago I was upset that Emma had got herself pregnant before I did. Now I have just heard that her latest ultrasound indicates that there might be something wrong. My heart breaks for her in this stressful situation, and I feel so ashamed that it took a misfortune such as this to knock some sense into me.

I had been reading a lot of infertility blogs, and it instilled into me a sense of “Me versus Them”. There were Infertiles, battling with conception, and then there were the Fertiles, walking through life as though it was a field of daisies.

My thinking was foolish and narrow minded. I had been discriminating against people based on their reproductive history. I was saying to people “you do not deserve to be happy because you had sex to get pregnant”. What an arbitrary way to distinguish between allies and enemies.

I am so glad that I found this fantastic community of Stirrup Queens. The understanding and support that has been given to me has been astonishing and nourishing. However, I realised that I had been replanting these seeds of compassion in a very small circle.

I see now that my infertility means that I can also empathise more with the exhausted single parent, the teacher diagnosed with diabetes, the anxious teen on their first day of school, the postman about to go into surgery, the dentist who is losing her hair.

We are not a world divided into Fertiles and Infertiles. We are a community of people who strive to cope. No one walks through this life unscathed. I have been so lucky to have wonderful people to listen to my story and offer encouragement. Hopefully one day I can return the favour, and show someone else that they are not alone in their struggle against the odds, whatever it happens to be.

{Day 14 of Stims: Lining 7.07mm. 7 follicles 14-20mm. E2 2395. Trigger 1:15 AM. Retrieval on Friday.}


  1. I know what you're saying about the dangers of dividing the world into fertiles and infertiles. Even my "fertile friend" who I blogged about recently (the one with 3 kids) has experienced 4 miscarriages. So you're right, we all have our burdens to carry (except for the 1% of people that it seems like everything always goes well for. I hate those people.).

    And, WOO-HOO for lining over 7mm!! I knew you would get there. And the best thing is, it will keep thickening even in the next few days!! Good luck with trigger and retrieval! You're going to do great!

  2. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

    I had a similar experience. A very close friend of mine got pregnant on her first try (at that point I'd been trying for 18 months). I was devastated, and I was devastated to be devastated.

    She is a really really close friend. We were born within two months of each other; our parents met in the park when our own mothers were pregnant. We went to the same grade school, played together, visited each other for the brief periods when we lived in different states, etc.

    I wanted to be happy for her. But I was so consumed with myself that I couldn't find the generosity for that. Then, she miscarried two months later and went through her own crap. Finally I felt bad for her, not just bad for myself.

    In my weak moments, I compare our situations, but I realize that that's screwed up. I hope for the best of both of us, of course, but sometimes it's hard to keep that thought in the forefront.

    Best of luck with your IVF cycle. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  3. Very wise words. The more barriers we erect between us, the harder we make life for ourselves.
    Our strength is really in unity and support.

    At the same time that we acknowledge others' suffering, it is okay to acknowledge our own too. On some days, we are made glaringly aware of our infertility and the whole world seems fertile. On other days, we are more aware of our bounty in friends, in opportunity, in safety or in hope. We need that balance.

  4. I forgot to say that I hope everything ends up being okay for Emma. She must be about 20 weeks along right now.

  5. I can really relate to this post. It can be a real struggle to not let yourself be consumed by jealousy every pregnancy announcement. Who am I kidding? Of course we will be! I think it's perfectly normal to be jealous but it's how we approach it afterwards that counts. Whether we can put it aside and be supportive regardless of the fact we are jealous as anything! Or whether we let bitterness eat us up. I had a similar situation in that my friend got pregnant for the second time in the same time frame we had been trying for our first. I was devastated as I felt so left out and so I just stayed away from her for awhile as I couldn't face it. Then her baby died in her womb at 21 weeks and I felt so guilty. Everyone has something they are dealing with. For us it's infertility and for others it will be something else, but we all have something. Thinking of your friend and hoping everything works out ok. Not long to go for you now!! xox

  6. Hey there, just checking in to see what is going on. I think your post is relevant, because we often do "blame" people who get to have sex to become pregnant! It is true that there are multitudes of things much worse than having to go thru fertility treatment. But, my best friend once told me that there will always be someone who suffers longer and harder than you. That does not mean that your pain is not real or should be minimilized. But, one good thing to come from pain is sympathy for others. It is a gift that comes with fertility issues, and I am glad you wrote of it. Hang in there, sister! :)

  7. I know sometimes we need to be reminded of this. It isn't all hearts and roses for everyone. My sister is the walking dead at the moment with a newborn and a crazy 2 year old so I try to help out where I can and in return she provides very strong fertile shoulders for me to cry on. We can't let infertility define us can we (am I eating my own words here???)

    AND excellent news on breaking the 7 barrier and still days to go. I am tipping an 8 for sure :)

  8. I definitely can relate to your post too. One of the worst things about being so jealous of my best friend and her current pregnancy is that I can't enjoy this happy time for her, with her. Ordinarily, I'd be helping her find a crib, stroller, etc but it's just too hard for me. I'm thankful our friendship is strong but there's so question things have changed...