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It's Not About the Baby

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by Kristen Magnacca

After my husband Mark and I received our diagnosis of infertility and our life (as we knew it) changed, I read Lance Armstrong’s book “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life.”

I felt as though stumbling upon the book at the time was no accident. It seemed to help me work through the “Why us?” questioning.

In no way am I comparing the diagnosis of cancer to the diagnosis of infertility, but reading Mr. Armstrong’s book helped to remind me that we all have our own unique life journeys, ones that do hold some commonality.

These few lines struck from the book struck me:

    “The truth is that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t know why I got the illness, but it did wonders for me, and I wouldn’t want to walk away from it. Why would I want to change, ever for a day, the most important and shaping event in my life?”

It did wonders for me??????

When I read that line I wasn’t ready to say that my infertility did wonders for me but the more I thought about it, I could begin to see where Mr. Armstrong was coming from.

For me, the shift that happened through our journey was to change my perspective from that of being victimized by my life’s “situation” to asking myself better questions such as:

    How is this experience shaping me? What am I learning about myself?

Perhaps you could ask yourself similar questions each time you are confronted with a decision- making inflexion point, disappointment or a sense of confusion.

See what answer you receive.

A shift from the outcome to what you’re learning about the situation can be so insightful and freeing.

Our fertility journey was the most profound, life-changing experience for both Mark and me.

And in the end, it wasn’t about our baby.

Kristen has been featured on the Today Show and in publications including Woman’s World, the Boston Globe,,, and Kristen and her husband Mark live on Cape Cod with their children, Grace and Cole. Kristen invites readers to contact her through her website at

What are you learning about yourself as you struggle to have "Junior?"

Comments (1)

It's hard when you're in the thick of things to take a step back and evaluate the situation - but I agree with you, it's an important part of the infertility journey. Particularly when you're at a decision-making crossroad.

And while you can't put infertility and cancer in the same bucket, studies have shown that those with infertility have the same rate of depression as those with cancer and HIV. An important point to consider if you or a loved one are going through infertility.

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