Since joining the online IF community, there is something that’s really been up my shorts lately.

I should preface this by saying that none of my bloggy buds have made me feel this way. You all are great and I love reading all of your blogs (and I promise to leave comments-they are the hug of the internet world).

But I was browsing through some of the online pregnancy and trying to conceive message boards and I saw several postings in several different places where women who have been dealing with infertility for several years were ranting and raving about women who have only been dealing with it for a year or less.

Don’t get me wrong-I haven’t hit the year mark yet, so I’m a little biased. But the fact of the matter is-I am infertile. It doesn’t mean I can’t have children-but it does mean that my life is a constant barrage of worry and fear and unpleasant symptoms and doctors appointments to try and do what so many can do all on their own. And I am certain that the longer you have to deal with it, the worse it is. I am certain of that-and I would never downgrade what anyone who has been dealing with this for a long time is going through.

But at the same time, I don’t want anyone to downgrade what I’m going through either. It is painful for me every month I either don’t ovulate or ovulate on Clomid (only once y’all) and don’t get pregnant. It is painful for me every time I have to go to the OBGYN and see all of the pregnant women who get to worry about picking a pediatrician and morning sickness. It is painful for me to log onto facebook and see all the fertiles out there getting pregnant every five minutes.

It is painful, y’all. And the fact that it’s only been painful for about 11 months doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve to feel the pain that I do. I actually saw a women say that women who have been trying for a year should “shut their mouths and stop their bitching until they’ve been trying for three, and then maybe I’ll feel a little sad for them”. REALLY? Are we really to the point of competing about who is in the most pain and who has suffered longer?

Not to get all high school musical on you-but I really do feel like we’re all in this together. And as I said, no one in my bloggy world has made me feel this way, but it has definitely made me want to stay away from message boards for fear of being “unwelcome” as a new infertile.

If I’ve offended anyone, I’m sorry. I genuinely hope that I won’t have to feel this pain for three years, and I would think that anyone who HAS had to deal with it for that long could look back and think about how it felt in that first year. It’s very raw and intensely personal. Some days I feel like one big open wound walking around in a world of perfect people. That’s why I have you my bloggy friends! To remind me that we’re all a bunch of open wounds trying to find ways to heal the best we can! So I guess my point is, let’s all support each other and hope for world peace and stuff. In closing:




  1. I’m with you! I tried message boards for a couple of months as a lurker before starting my blog and I found the same thing – the message boards just seemed… less supportive somehow. It’s not a competition to see who is the “most infertile”. I’m sure it’s just a few peeps who are bringing that to the boards, but it’s enough. It changes the conversation. I agree with you, though, I have not experienced one ounce of less than total support in the blog world!

    • Yeah, I see a lot of good things on the message boards too. I’ve posted some and gotten mostly supportive comments, but I think I’ll stick to the blogging from now on. I don’t want to ever be attacked for being a newbie in the infertile world, because that plus the clomid will probably have me curled up in a ball in the corner rocking back and forth to the music from Requiem for a Dream.

  2. I got off the message boards too. Mostly because I am dealing with this by staying positive, using humor. I find that others get themselves so depressed and when I read their stuff it only makes me feel worse. Then there are the ones like you are talking about who think their situation is worse than others. And to me that is B.S. Did they not have to get through one year of infertility to get to year three and year four? Did they forget that year one was pretty freaking painful as well? We already have to compete against the fertiles, do we really need to compete against each other? Online, what is best for me is picking and choosing bloggers to follow that I can relate to. I get to learn more of their personalities and find that I identify so much more with them.

    • auntmimi you are the awesome. I try really hard to stay positive, but sometimes it’s such an emotional rollercoaster (and real life rollercoasters make me cry and scream, so you know). This week has been better since getting news from my doc to not give up yet, but my ovaries still hurt and I’m now pulling negative ovulation tests….so I feel like it’s not going to happen. Now I’m just hoping for a quick period to start over again. Positive Positive Positive.

      • I tell ya what has been helping me. There is a book called Conquering Infertility. It’s a guide to getting through all those shitty feelings. Reframing our negative thoughts like, “I’ll never have a baby” to something more logical like, “I have an appointment, the doctor believes this will work, many people who go through treatment get pregnant, etc” If it helps at all, I’m not sure I have ever ovulated! Now that is some defiant ovaries!

        Chin up!

      • That does sound like a helpful book. Being a book person, maybe I’ll order it 🙂 Not the sort of thing I want to check out at work. People are nosy enough as it is!

        I’m pretty certain that I’ve never ovulated except on my one successful clomid cycle and my doctor said that was a good possibility, because I have never had any ovulation pain and on clomid I had a ton. It’s sort of depressing to think about, so sometimes I try to tell myself that I probably just don’t remember having O pain when I was a teenager and then I was on BC for 6 years.

    • Yes! Husband and I could never afford to do IVF, so if it ever gets to that point we’re pretty much out of the parenting running, so when the doc says things like “you’re not completely infertile until IVF is no longer an option or doesn’t work” it makes me want to say “well my husband and I can’t afford IVF, so why don’t you tell me when I AM completely infertile now”. I know he was trying to help by saying “hey, you’re not out of this!” but he didn’t.

      And forgive me for being selfish-but I don’t want to have to put in the time. I want to be one of the infertiles who clomid works for on the 3rd or 4th shot (especially since 1st and 2nd seem to be a bust). Maybe that’s selfish of me, but I genuinely wish it was that way for all of us. I want a miracle drug damnit!

  3. Totally agree! Sometimes it is hard not to see the (to quote Stupid Stork) degrees but whatever the issue we are all in this together and we have to champion each other, as no bugger else will!

    • Oh definitely. There are women out there who have been through way more than me-I’ll never dispute that. Sometimes I wish we could all take each other to the doctors office-because with hundreds of IF voices wanting the same thing MAYBE the doctors would take us a little more seriously!

  4. Message boards and forums can be really rough and harsh places. I remember vividly that first year when I knew something was wrong and the pain of not having anything work. You should not be made to feel that your situation is less significant because you haven’t been trying a year yet or you haven’t tried XYZ procedure. Everyone’s journey/situation is different and personal to them. It doesn’t do any good to compare circumstances because they are always apples and oranges. Having said that, there is a different mentality that comes when you’ve been trying for over a year. Instead of thinking success is possible, you think success is impossible. Innocence is long gone and it’s can be a very dark place. Again, that’s no reason for long-timers to discount your situation, but I’m trying to explain what might be going on with them.

  5. I understand. And maybe I’m an advanced learner, because I have a lot of dark and hopeless time on my hands these days-especially this cycle. Maybe it’s the clomid, or maybe its because I’m two years from the one year mark and I’m dreading it.

  6. This is such a fantastic response. I remember going to my first doctor’s appointment to explore if anything was wrong about 6 months after starting TTC and saying “well, I feel kind of stupid being here, we’ve only been trying for 6 months, and I’m trying not to just be impatient…”. But something was wrong. I knew it, and not just in a ‘gut feeling’ kind of way. I had all kinds of strange symptoms (bleeding for – literally – a month, then no bleeding, periods coming and going at completely random times, an OPK that turned up positive with my period starting only 4 days later). I could prove something wasn’t right, but I still felt like I should have waited a full year to check it out.

    My doctors have reassured me repeatedly that I did the right thing in advocating for myself so soon. They’ve pointed out that I definitely don’t ovulate, that my ovaries are decidedly polycystic (no fewer than 3 physicians have seen my ovaries on ultrasound and all have commented – gently and professionally, but commented nonetheless – on how classically polycystic they are) and that while there’s a slim possibility at some point my body would have popped out an egg on its own, it could be months or even years before that happened, if at all. They’ve told me that waiting until I had been trying a year to come in would very likely just have meant waiting another six months and having the same diagnosis and treatments in the end – with the addition of six more months of frustration and worry.

    At the same time, there’s still some trepidation in allowing myself to participate in the infertile community, because despite my very definite diagnosis and the fact that I’ve now failed out on two different drugs (no ovulation on either and a thinned uterine lining on one), it hasn’t been quite a year yet and some part of me feels like a fraud.

    So thanks for writing this. It resonates powerfully.

    • I’m really glad it spoke to you. You shouldn’t feel weird about being in this community. In the IF blog world I was whole heartedly accepted even though it had been less than a year of me trying. It’s not like you’re cycling regularly and have been trying for three months-you KNOW something isnt right. It’s been confirmed to you by doctors. You belong here just as much as anyone else. Thanks for reading. I hope we can help each other. I have found so much support here, and I hope you find the same.

  7. You. I like you. I know this is an older post, but I just had to comment. This is exactly where I am right now. I’m new to the blogging world (and I actually -just- got smacked with the “I” word two days ago) and one of those evil little voices in the back of my mind started gnawing at my brain: “Do I have the right to complain about how “hard” it’s been so far? Here I am, surrounded by women who have been trying for far longer, have spent more money, have worse odds against them, and have been to the Doc so many times they can probably say the word ‘speculum’ without so much as a wince, and I think I could possibly have anything worth complaining about?” LUCKILY, I haven’t encountered that attitude from anyone else, it’s just my own lack of confidence, I suppose. I would probably unplug my computer and cry in a corner for a few days if anyone said anything that harsh to me… Anyway, thank you for writing this. It was what I needed to read. I am right there with you… we are all in this together, and the way I see it, we ALL had a Day 1 at some point, so we all know how much it hurts…whether it was 10 or 5 or 2 years (or 2 days) ago.

  8. Pingback: Surviving the Holidays | The Barren Librarian

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