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Who Do You Tell About Your Fertility Struggles?

a blog by Amy Klein, March 11, 2014

I kept all my fertility struggles a secret for a while. Now in retrospect, I wish I hadn't -- but I had my reasons.

First, because it all started a week after my wedding, when I discovered I was pregnant. I had to find a doctor – and fast! But I didn’t want to tell anyone yet, because it was still early. Where I come from, you don’t tell people until you’re three months in—superstition of casting the evil eye.

So I had to casually ask people for doctor recommendations, pretending I was just looking for a regular ob-gyn as we started on our quest for a baby. Meanwhile I was freaking out – where to begin? The recommendations were overwhelming, and I ended up picking someone just because she was a woman whose office was near my house (the main advice I got from regular, fertile women, was to choose a doctor nearby to cut the amount of time each visit would take.)

Well, by the time I made it to her office, my pregnancy had ended (that morning!). And I didn’t tell anyone about it. Nor did I tell anyone the next time either. My husband had a family party that weekend and we didn’t want to ruin it.

We didn’t tell anyone about doing IUIs either – even though our schedule was kind of beholden to it (I say “kind of” because it was nothing compared to IVF). But we still had to hold open the dates of the procedure, I still had to shlep to the doctor’s office a few times a week, having ditched the woman who was close to my house because of her terrible bedside manner. (see, location isn’t everything).

It was only when we got to IVF, a year after starting down this tricky road, that I even mentioned to people that we were trying. That something was going on.

Now, in retrospect, I was I had starting talking earlier. Not only to my one or two close friends, but to family, to near strangers butting in to my life, asking me, “when I was going to have a baby already?” (Sheesh, did I look that chubby?)

I wish I had shared that I was having trouble, because then I would have found out that so many other people were too. I wish I had because it took so much energy just to lead this double life: my happy, fun Facebook life, and my secret two-week-wait life.

Do you talk about your fertility troubles with other people? Who?

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Comments (1)

I am not sure if I have any right to post this, but here goes. Mine is a different story, I have my two children late, conceived quickly and delivered age 37.5 and 40. But I experienced prenatal depression, profound gender disappointment and postpartum psychosis with both my sons. You go through terrible guilt, but the reasons for my gd are deep rooted. I was told that it would pass but it hasn't, so last June I embarked on PGD with IVF at a clinic in Thailand aged 42, it resulted in 5 eggs, but only one developed and it was another boy with downs. I was devastated. I did my second round in October 2015 and only produce two eggs, these because a grade A and grade B embryo and have both been frozen, but I do not know if they will be ok. I did a third round in Dec 2015 and produced 5 eggs, we also did sperm sorting but not developed into embryos. Got the news recently and just trying to cope. I am going through this alone, my husband wants us to just settle with the two boys, but something within my is forcing me to carry on despite the financial and emotional toll. I trawl through websites trying to read some success stories of women doing IVF in their 40s, I thought because I conceived naturally I would be ok, but it's because my eggs are old. My doctor wants to use the same protocol, the clinic is not caring, it's a business. I want to try mini IVF, I am thinking of artificial insemination, I feel quite desperate at times. It's a lonely journey, in April I will be 43. My mother conceived her last child naturally at the same age this gives me hope. Sometimes I think I should have just tried naturally, but I was so afraid of having a third boy and going through what I went through. It would not be fair to the child. I feel emotionally drained, weak...I did acupuncture, took all the supplements... how long can you keep on trying. I have already paid for the PGD so I feel I need to try to produce another 3 embryos but it seems like a huge mountain to climb. Never knew how hard this journey would be.

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