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Fertility Heroes: Meet Cathy

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a blog by Ellen Glazer, July 7, 2011

To read more of Ellen Glazer's Conversations with an Infertility Counselor blogs, CLICK HERE.

“I never thought I’d be this person,” Cathy told me. I thought that I might never marry or I would marry and have a bunch of kids. I never thought I’d be struggling with secondary infertility. I never even really knew about secondary infertility."

Cathy is a very talented 37 year old architect. She’s modest and doesn’t like to call attention to herself, but one need only to Google her to see that Cathy has played a major role in designing some outstanding public buildings. Having known countless other talented people going through infertility, I understand how Cathy’s ability to “make things happen,” makes trying to get pregnant all the more frustrating. She can’t make it happen.

Cathy’s first pregnancy came easily. She conceived her son, Noah, when she was 35 and recently married. The pregnancy was uneventful, the delivery was fine and Cathy sailed into motherhood never anticipating that problems lay ahead. That said, she was aware that fertility drops off after 35 and did not delay in trying for another baby. When I first met Cathy, three years and four IVF’s had passed by. She was feeling increasingly discouraged.

“I need to figure out a way to cope with this,” Cathy said. “I don’t want to miss this precious time in Noah’s life because I am trying so hard to make him a big brother. Cathy went on to say that she had thought about leaving her job in order to be able to spend more time with Noah, but that didn’t seem like the solution. “I like my work, and it is one thing I feel good about at a time when I don’t feel so great about some things in my life.”

After a great deal of thought and long conversations with her husband, Cathy decided to end fertility treatment. This did not initially end her longing for another child, but she said it succeeded in taking her from beneath the dark cloud of infertility. She was relieved not to be thinking about getting pregnant all the time, and she felt that she had regained some control over her life. Her time was now her own, she was no longer shuttling back and forth from her blood draws and ultrasounds.

Time passed and I lost contact with Cathy but recently I received an email from her. It read as follows, “I just wanted to say hi and tell you that we are all doing really well. Noah is 7 and in first grade. He is a great little boy and fun company. Jake (her husband) and I are doing well. We seem to have found a nice balance between parenthood and couple’s time, work and family. In short, life is good. I wanted to write and tell you that because I know you saw me when I was so down and out, so focused on what I didn’t have instead of on what I have. I can’t say that I don’t have pangs when I see larger families, but I always make a conscious effort to always bring myself back to the moment--to where I was before I briefly envied someone else. So as I said, life is good.”

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