Wednesday 18 June 2008

Or maybe not enough

I'm a believer in sticking with your gut. I am the proud owner of a considerable gut so it's especially wise to stick with it I think.

Despite my recent rambling on about keeping my trap shut, it's never really going to happen. I think if I didn't talk or write about all of this I would explode, and that gut of mine would be ground zero.

Thinking about it, the urges to hide away must just come with the territory this far along.
Every month is that little bit harder, and every month you need that little bit of time to hide away, stay in bed, drink yourself into a stupor and recharge ready to get up go again.

What does make me wonder though, is what would happen if we did get lucky?

From what I see and read, there are also relatively few recounts from people who have been here and emerged out the other side. I find it hard to grasp why they would almost pretend it never happened.

They must remember the sadness, they must remember the frustration and they must remember the prayers they offered, or deals they were willing to strike with anyone, just to end their longing.

I won't know (and frankly, may never know) the reasons until I get out the other side myself, but I'm already determined not to let this experience go to waste, regardless if it lasts 1 more month, 12 more months, or...

Maybe people are so relieved that they genuinely forget what they've been through.

Maybe the turning point is so joyous that they deliberately decide never to look back at a horrible time in their lives.

Maybe it's embarrassment, I can certainly understand the feeling of 'why am I making such a big deal of this?', and that's while we are in the throws of infertility, it must be a magnified emotion for those who have overcome it.

Maybe it's just human nature.

It's far too personal a thing for someone else to dictate whether you should share or not, I'm just curious.

Reading people's accounts of their ongoing experiences is great, you feel less alone. Reading people's accounts of past experiences is possibly even better, as you know there are often positive outcomes.
I trawl the internet for these stories and accounts, I gobble them up, hoover up every word, every detail of how situations differ or compare to ours.

It helps.

If you have a story, you can help.

A notable 'born again' infertility story teller is Karen MEG, who is now, years after the fact, writing about their struggles. I really enjoy this.

EDIT: 19-06-2008 20:29 - Veronica at Sleepless Nights has written in response to this, with an interesting view, from the 'other side'. It can be read here.


Ian Newbold said...

I know a couple that had all but given up hope of making a baby. However they continued having unprotected sex and they are currently pregnant and expecting in September. None of the experts can pin-point why they did eventually conceive, or indeed, if they will be able to again.

Speaking to them, they still appear to be quite numb. They'd sort of planned their lives without children and now you can see they are happy for the change, but also completely lost, if you catch my drift.

ladyshanae said...

For me, I wrote about our struggles so much while we were going through them (via livejournal, not blogger) that I feel like I got most of it out. However, that doesn't mean that I don't still feel the pain.

Recently I had someone at my house (I've actually dropped the term friend because she has proven to me that she will never even TRY to understand what others are going through) who was saying the most insensitive things about a friend of mine who is currently struggling with infertility - making assumptions, asking why she and her husband don't 'just adopt' (argh!), etc. I found that I am still extremely sensitive to infertility, even if I'm finally pregnant, and I jumped to my friends defense almost like I would jump to my own.

In short, the emotions are still there for me. I don't know if/when they'll ever go away. But at this point I try and look at the 8+ years of struggle we have had as life lessons and focus on what I have learned versus how utterly horrible it all was.

My hope is that you and ET end this journey through infertility sooner rather than later and can look back and know that you have become closer as a couple and learned more about yourselves through the process. But getting your emotions out during it, I think, is great therapy. And lots less expensive than going to a shrink. :)

Anonymous said...

My friend's battle with infertility almost broke their marriage. Now, after IVF, they have two kids I think they don't want to remember how awful they were to each other before.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading here for a while but never commented.

Hubby and I tried for many, many months to get pregnant and were beginning to think it just wasn't going to happen. I know that monthly cycle of sadness, expectation, dashed hopes ... all of it.

Finally, it happened for us. I suppose it is different for every couple but I don't forget the sadness or that monthly routine. I will continue to think of it as months progress too ... if I even think about complaining, I'll remind myself of those months and the couples I know are still waiting and trying and it will keep me in check.

I will not take a moment for granted.

Keep your, chin up.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i've got nothing. maybe our 'less fortunate, yet somehow managing to breed at one per year' clients have something to offer. it's a pity they can't actually access the internet....

Anonymous said...

also? my friend, who's sister-in-law had been diagnosed 'will never, ever fall pregnant, so don't bother with contraception' is now happily knitting bootees. i guess you just never know.

AnnD said...

I know I've told you this before but I will sister-in-law and brother-in-law tried for a long time (how long, I'm not sure, I've never asked) to have their first baby. It was long enough to have two failed in-vitro's and a miscarriage before their oldest daughter was born in July 2003. Their next one came along with no trouble at all in December 2004. Their next one came along unexpectedly in April 2006 and their last one was born this past Friday (on their wedding anniversary of all days). He too was unexpected. They are the best parents ever...the most patient and devoted I've all that I've met. I often wonder if it was because of their struggles to have their first one.

Anonymous said...

Having been there and then trying to emerge from it, I think it is because you feel like a bit of a fraud once you are finally pregnant.

It sucks bad while you are going through it (and honestly, it still sucks even when you aren't), but it feels a little strange offering TTC or infertility advice while you are pregnant.

I think it is all about the bitterness. Once you are pregnant, you don't want to subject your pregnancy on someone who is having a dark bitter day. You don't want them to feel blind sided by you.

See, I read alot of IF blogs, and before, I probably would have commented. Now I don't, because I always feel like warning them, sure I understand, but don't visit me back, I am pregnant and I don't want this to hurt *you*.

Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Oh and also, I think a part of it for me was thinking 'Did that really happen? Did we really go through all that? Sure, 16 months is a long time to try, but we got there naturally eventually, so was it *real* infertility?'

Russ said...

Well, I don't have a story, but I do have an ear to listen (or eye to read in this case) your story.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I know a couple who tried for ten years - TEN YEARS - before finally adopting a child from China. Two weeks after welcoming the baby in their home she was pregnant.

Life is crazy. I realize it's easy for me to say, but I don't see how any of this could ever be a waste, regardless of the final outcome.

Korie said...

1. My cousin and his wife tried for two years before they started fertility drugs and treatments. They had to try invitro fertilization 2 or 3 times before that even took, but now they have a beautiful daughter who will be a year old in October.
2. My boyfriend's brother-in-law apparently has slow swimmers and I think his sister might have some sort of issue too, but they've conceived twice through invitro. Their first daughter will be 2 in July and their second child is due in August.
3. I worked at a daycare for almost 3 years and during that time I babysat for a family who had adopted a little girl from China. The mother had been pregnant twice, miscarried twice and had decided not to try anymore (either it was too painful or she was simply unable to carry to term). But they are so so very happy with their child and they have helped to save a little girl who would otherwise still be crammed into an overcrowded orphanage.

jnifferjuniper said...

Veronica above makes a good point - having been through and come out the other side ...I feel the same way.
It is soo painful to be in it, you cannot forget..later while your success can give hope to others , it is kind of like you have crossed over to the other 'side' and you don't want to rub it in, if that makes any sense.
I never wrote about our troubles, but I never shied from discussing them. I notice I made many family members and friends uncomfortable with the subject, so I tend to only discuss it if asked now.
I hope you continue to be open about it..I think it really helps!

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

I can't help but talk about infertility amidst my other ramblings and mindless clutter.

Sometimes I could go on but I do feel guilty rambling on how hard it all was /is when I emerged successful with both arms full.

I feel like a fraud because we took the easy route first and adopted ... he turned 15 yrs old today.

We did nothing in the early infertile years... except the legs in the air, huffin and puffin ,piles of cushions , vitamins ... in the middle years we just got on with life with our son...ever hopeful of the adoption myth everyone told us about.

Including my Grandmother - adopted by a family after they couldn't have their own for years ...9 months later out her 'sister' popped (90 + years ago maybe it was easier to relax back them)

For years I drank low caffeine tea LOL if only that was the answer.

Finally ,we were blessed after 12 yrs with natural pregnancy sadly ripped off when she died in utero at 6 months.

So we hopped straight on the IVF train 8-10 months later.

Then the IVF part for me was easy though devastating when it was 2 BFN before we hit the jackpot.

Australia's Medicare rebate keeps costs within most peoples realms and a guarantee of 'unlimited' cycles.

The medications were not that bad. I would feel a worst than fraud by making it sound too easy because for most it isn't.

It is a catch 22 - I want people to see that success is in reach but sure as hell I don't want to build up hopes because 12-14 years was along time to wait. That might depress some people too.

I hope that made sense ... it's midnight here.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

My sister-in-law gave birth this month to her first. She is the youngest of 10 (my wife's big Irish Catholic family) and her boy, Finnegan, is grandchild number 20 for my mother-in-law. They're breeders! Of course, my household represents 25% of that 20.

Anyway, she had the absolute worst time trying to become pregnant eventually seeking help with fertility treatments.

Well, 3 physicians, a ruptured tubal pregnancy (she lost and ovary) and many months of trying and heartache have finally paid off for her. She is on cloud nine.

I can honestly say, she has no regrets about any of the process as her baby is the greatest joy in her life.

OK--I've droned on quite a bit. Sorry. I guess I'm trying to say it is possible and will happen. Keep on!

Putz said...

that post sounded like an invitation to a story, ist of all i am trying to figure out where all the pain of infertility in my life is????maybe it is because i am a man and not as sensitive as i should be or maybe as a rule we would rather listen to you than talk about ourself...i remember feeling that life was unfair, that my life wouldn't be complete because as mormons we are made to feel like scum and like sinners if we don't concieve...all that is still with me...especially after 4 years of the crap, it all got pretty old...see we are not supposed to enter the celestial kingdoms without i thought i was cursed, i didn't want to go to church, or talk to people, and then when it was all better i went on raising kids and forgot how lucky i was, but you kind sir brings up all those old hurts so why do i come to your blog...i don't know...i just don't know..i love you man, maybe like a brother, maybe like a father...and thank goodness i don't relate to et, i think that might kill me off, i remember looking at karma and feeling so sad

Anonymous said...

When I read your posts, my heart breaks for you. You do a good job at portraying it...I can almost feel what you are feeling. I do say almost as I , myself, have not been through it. I have however, watched my sister and her husband go through infertility. I've also watched friends go through something similar. Two couples I can think of chose different routes. My sister and her husband chose (as I've mentioned before) they have 2 perfect, healthy, wonderful little boys (again, after only one try, one egg, each time). The other couple chose to forego the treatments and go with adoption...they'll be picking their baby girl up from Vietnam in a week. It's all a personal choice. The point I'm making is that, from what I understand, infertility is SO common and in these two cases (albeit they were 2 very different routes) both couples have babies. I truly believe that this will be the outcome for you guys too. I'm just so sorry that you have to go through all this to get there. I think of you guys often and send as many positive thoughts as I can your way.

Side note: I've mentioned you guys to my sister before and she is always happy to share their experience. Maybe I can get her to type it out and share it with you..we'll see.

Anonymous said...

We tried for 4 years and I was ready to sacrifice goats on Mt. Etna, but I grew so bitter against all gods (even the once-reliable pagan ones) that I finally turned to science. Long story short, found the right people who just took me step by step poking and prodding every nook and cranny until they blasted my fallopian tubes with jets of saline which subsequently worked because then I got prego the old fashioned way (no, not by getting drunk and going home with a barfly! but close :)

I will never forget the pain, the depression and the sense of worthlessness during infertility. Like I was a bad person and this was happening to me because I must have done something to deserve it. The isolation was HORRIBLE. and it wasn't until I got the courage to tell someone IRL that the burden slowly lifted. It was still horrible getting my period every month, but at least I had two good friends who knew and were sending me good karma. It also empowered me to finally get medical help and put away the rosaries and talismen.

other tales from beyond the dark side: My one friend tried for 4 years and her doctor told her to use an ovulation test kit and it worked!

Another friend, 40 years old, infertile for 5? years, failed IVF and then she got preggo on her own.

But while waiting for the Mother Theresa miracle to happen, I vote for dipping your bits in some science!!

Kori said...

Sorry, no story, because I am stewing over the comment made by Tracey. Yep, I am one of those "less fortunate," thank you. I am poor, and I have four kids. but of course, she is so goddamned busy making assumptions about people she clearly thinks beneath her to stop and realize that not everyone who has a lot of kids and are poor are there by choice. You know, I didn't WANT this last baby, I didn't plan on having any more, and I was VIGILANT about using birth control. Yet still, I have a two year old. Yeah, we all have a story-and I am really, really curios about what hers is, because it muct really, really suck if she has such a terrible, hateful attitude. Sorry, Xbox, had to vent. Now, about YOU: if you don't talk about what's going on, you die, metaphorically speaking. And I think you will remember all of this even after you have a full house, because it has shaped you and your personality, it has changed the dynamics between you and ET, and I think you SHOULD honor this experience as something huge and life changing. Just saying. :)

Martin said...

@Single Parent Dad - That's a whole other extreme I think, We are no way near even considering that we wouldn't have kids, so I can only imagine how much effort it takes to allow your self to do that.
Then to have it turned upside down (albeit) happily again.

@Ladyshane - 8 years, sweet adorable. It's good that you 'defend' the stance, it's reassuring.
After that long, no has the right to demand you revisit it unnecessarily.
I think I can understand that, thank you.

@Carolyn - Oh I can believe that. It CAN turn you into a monster, if you let it.

@Anonymous - Lovely comment, especially about not taking it for granted. I think that's how we would be also.
Thanks for popping up and adding your piece.

@Tracey - You sound tired. I don't think I can go along with the idea of scorning those who are lucky enough to have families but are perhaps unlucky in other ways.
You do never ever really know, this much is true.

@AnnD - I've thought about this too, I've no doubt that the 'wait' we've had has had an effect on how we would handle parenthood. Some for better, but maybe some for the worse.

@Veronica - I hadn't thought about the fear of 'rubbing' it in. This is very probably true.
I'm talking more about later along, after children are born, people recounting their infertility experience.
I know I like read and hear these, I'd imagine similar for others.

@Russ - Thank you sir, a gentleman.

@Maggie, Dammit - I hear these stories SO often, remarkable. If only it was guaranteed.
I don't intend to waste all this, one way or another.

@Lilacspecs - How bloody common is all this? this is insane. It really is.

@jnifferjuniper - I can see that point, not wanting to rub it in.
But I think it's important to be willing to share it with those who are ready and willing to listen.

@Baby~amore - You are one of the few I've found that really keeps in touch with the infertility circles, even though you've had success.
All of it made perfect sense, to me at least.
Keep it up.

@Ed - Problems with fertility are compounded when you do come from fertile stock, I can vouch for that!
I can fully believe that she has no regrets, she got what she worked hard for.
Keep on, we certainly will.

@Putz - It's remarkable that you are so willing to discuss this. You are more senior and from a generation that did not discuss such matters, and for doing so you deserve much respect.
The fact you were under extra pressure from your church is something I can't begin to imagine.
I'm genuinely sorry to hear that it's hard for you to read here, that is not the intention, but I hope you continue to do so.
All the best Putz.

@Calli's Mama - Again, how bloody common is this? everyone knows someone, I was quoting 1 in 6 couples, I'm beginning to doubt it's that little.
Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate them an awful lot.
If your sister was willing to write up her experience, I know there would be MANY people willing to listen.

@Geeks in Rome - Yikes, I know, I hear you about the willingness to try anything, and the isolation, and the pain.
I don't hold my breath so much for mother Theresa, so I'm ready for science to have a peek.

@Kori - You are right, I think, I'm not going to be able to forget these rolling months of limbo any time soon.
...and breathe....

Zoeyjane said...

i can kind of understand the point you're intimating.
before my daughter was born, the seven miscarriages i'd had (whether they were intended pregnancies, or not) crushed me. it was a constant weight hanging over my head - 'will not even have baby.' then she came around and for some reason, lightbulbs turned on, showing me that i could have a baby. it was assumed that having her had 'reset' the original problem.
now, she's almost two and i've just had my eight miscarriage - the most horrible one to date. and i've got to say: my heart, as soon as the loss started? shut off and just made it a thing happening, instead of a major life-altering moment to mourn.
maybe that's what people who've come out successful are unintentionally doing - remembering that time as a clinical thing, something that doesn't matter and therefore no longer effects them?

Hilary (Maya Papaya) said...

I don't think anyone ever forgets their struggle to conceive. In my case, I find it difficult to revisit my old blog entries because it hurts too much to remember how much pain I was in after our miscarriage. I don't like to remember how D and I came so close to divorce. I don't like to remember how I truly teetered on the brink of sanity and had to shut myself off from the entire world. I guess I don't like to think about it. And weirdly, there is a part of me that is afraid that if I mentally go back there, I am tempting fate to threaten this amazing miracle I am so fortunate to be experiencing now - even nearly 8 months in. Crazy, huh?

I will say this though: My past experiences have painted with an overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for the gift I've been given. I know very well just how incredibly lucky I am. And I never take a second of this for granted. I guess that's how I choose to remember.

This was an excellent topic you brought up. Very interesting to get everyone's perspectives.

Jason Roth said...

My Aunt was told that she'll never be able to conceive for reasons I'm not privy to. But she did end up getting pregnant and having a son, my cousin. He just graduated from college two weeks ago.

Deb said...

I tell the story I told on my blog yesterday to anyone who wants to know how we conceived. (It's shocking how many people ask.) But it is difficult telling that story to someone who has been trying to conceive longer than we did.

Looking back, it wasn't such a long time in comparison to how long some people work at it. Looking back, we didn't have to go to extreme measures, although we were on the verge of some brutal stuff. But when we were in the midst of it, it was -- well, shit, I can't even type this without starting to cry -- it was the most heart-wrenching experience of my life. I was utterly numb at the point where we became pregnant, fearing that at my age, there was something wrong and it simply would not happen for us.

I'll tell it to anyone who wants to hear it. But I hate the feeling that I'm imposing my happy ending on someone who is in the midst of their own "what if".

In fact, if I'm being totally honest with you, you were very much on my mind yesterday when I posted. I know you read my blog, and it was very hard to balance telling that story (a very abbreviated and chipper version of our story, btw) and announcing our newest one, knowing that you are hitting a dark, very emotional point of the process. I know where you are, and my heart bleeds for you when I read your posts.

Fuck, I'm depressing today.

Anonymous said...

Not much to add, other than to reiterate that you're not wasting anything here. I look forward to the day when this blog changes direction . . . until then you two are in my thoughts. However it turns out . . . you'll make it your outcome and embrace it.

Anonymous said...

I think it works much the same way a woman "forgets" how badly childbirth actually hurts. My mother always said they instantly forget. Otherwise, she'd never get pregnant again. (Of course this was back when women actually went through childbirth and felt the pain!)
Seriously, I think we block what's most painful to us, physically or emotionally.
But that's why I think you should continue to write about it. Never let this blog go away! Unless, of course, it goes away in the form of a BOOK.
I still say you'd be the perfect one to write it. You know you aren't the only man in the world going through this and finding absolutely nothing to help him along. You would be perfect to provide future Xboxes with a look into someone else's pre-nappy rash!


Anonymous said...

Knowing that there are people in exactly the situation we are in now is so helpful. Less lonely. Knowing that there are people who have been in it longer than we have been, and are still alive, not having just collapsed from the struggle, is also encouraging. (I mean collapsed internally, but one could, with a crooked grin, consider the hours of toil between the sheets and realize that there are certain sets of muscles that have got to be amazingly toned. If only sex could substitute for a trip to the gym...)

Keep writing. I count the days til we get a "FINALLY!" post from you.

Rikki said...

I have a close friend who struggled with infertility. They ended up doing testing, sperm counts, ultrasounds, etc. and finally IVF. Three years after starting on their journey, they are pregnant.

This is one new reader that will be here until the end. :). Keep on keepin'!

Jen W said...

Not sure if you will find this interesting or not but thought I would share. I ran across this woman's blog because it has the same name as my blog. I've found it interesting as it charts her story from infertility to giving birth and now with a 3-month old.

B said...

I could be wrong, but I would imagine most people after managing to conceive would suddenly become a lot busier!
plus they mightn't want to focus on the trouble they had getting there and just enjoy it.

Joy said...

Thanks for posting on my blog. I came over to return the favor and I was so plesantly surprised to see the man's point of view expressed so eloquently. Not that men aren't good writers, they are, but this subject is not one many men want to comment on, more or less write about. Good for you! I can't wait to read more.

Anonymous said...

X Box, you seem to be feeling more down than your usual 'down'. I'm not being flippant here but I've been reading a while now and you seem to have lost your 'comedy' a little.

It's all got a bit serious on here. I hope you are ok.

Any chance of more rubbing uglies and Spencer-isms?

Momo Fali said...

I can not imagine how many stories are out there...and I'm sure there are so, so many people who appreciate you sharing your journey.

Anonymous said...

We were fortunate to come out the other side of infertility and certainly never forget the sadness, because through that sadness came the joy: being blessed with our eventual precious children, whom we never take for granted for second.

Like one of your earlier commenters, I still feel sensitive about fertility issues. That's why your story and the journey you and your wife are currently on touches my heart so very deeply.

We have never met, yet I wish there was something I could do to make it happen for you guys in an instant. :)

Jill said...

I don't think you ever forget the long path it took to get where you wanted to go.

You just appreciate it even more!

Keep moving forward - and keep "venting".. I'll be listening and awaiting the good news!

Anonymous said...

well I know I posted this earlier, but I'll post it again ( and they tried for about 5 years before anything happened. They have an amazing story, now being parents of adorable triplets.

But remember, YOU are the inspirational story for someone else. You are for me, someone who is just beginning to try, and realizing that it might be hard, but to keep my spirits up and my humor in check. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The weird thing for me is that fertility treatment is so invasive, so immodest. That's why I think folks don't talk about it. I think, too, that once you come out, either by getting pregnant, adopting, or deciding to not have children, peace comes. It does. And it would just be cruel or too intense to maintain full hold on the tribulations that went into fertility treatment. So it isn't that we forget. It changes you. It is painful but makes you stronger. It made my marriage stronger, whatever the outcome would have been.

One day, you will read this blog of yours and think, Wow, that pain. So raw and real. Thank God I am past it all now! (no matter what the outcome!)

Melissa said...

Well, we had our problems, too. It took almost three years before I finally took a pregnancy to term, and then got pregnant with the second after just discussing it (well, more than that obviously) with hubby.

And it is weird talking about it now with others who have the same problem, because I feel like I might be giving the same advice or recommending the same book, or whatever for the millionth time to someone.

Although there was this one book (which I followed to the letter) and I got pregnant in one cycle. And everyone I recommend it to got pregnant within three. I only handle the book with tongs at this point. :)

James (SeattleDad) said...

X, I think you have most likely picked up most of our story by now. Those were some very trying times for Mrs. LIAYF and I, and being not too far removed from them, they are still rather vivid for us. Our emotions roller coastered quite a bit over those 4 years with some pretty low times.

Things got better for us when we decided to focus on what we could do, not what we could not. We decided what was most important was that we would be parents, not how that would happen. We just had to come to the realization of when that time would come for us. And after it did, perhaps by chance, it all happened for us. Hopefully that time will come much sooner for you.

James (SeattleDad) said...

(from Mrs. LIAYF)

I can still remember the anguish of TTC for four years. The monthly let-down, the depression, the fertility and IVF drugs.

I can honestly say, however, that the journey was worth it. Not just because it brought us Lukas (after IVF failed we were finally told we couldn't get pregnant and decided to move to adoption before we found out two months later we were pregnant), but also because of how much closer it brought Jim and I together.

I know that sounds odd, but those four years made us a team much more than anything else in our life to that point. We started saying "You and me against the world!" and we meant it. It was Jim and I against all the s***heads giving us useless advice like "just relax," or saying hurtful things like "maybe you're not meant to have children."

It was Jim and I against a society that makes assumptions about men and women who have a hard time conceiving and treat it like some dirty little rotten secret. It was Jim and I against the doctors who gave us little information and played on our emotions.

We buffered each other against the stories of parents who beat, abandoned, or starved kids they had no difficulty in creating. We supported each other with dark-humor jokes about fertility drugs and night sweats. When we finally were told we couldn't get pregnant, it was Jim and I who went to the oceanside and threw rocks in the water yelling obscenities.

I remember one moment in our IVF injection class. All the husbands were learning how to give their wives the HCG injection that would trigger ovulation at just the right time. The husbands got to practice on these pink, pert tiny fake bums. They were told to plunge the needle in smoothly and firmly, to break the skin, but not create a bruise. Jim was so nervous, he slammed the needle in so hard he bent it.

And, at that moment I realized he felt as lost as I did. He was my husband, we were in this together, and I decided I would trust him to put a needle in my bum and do it right. A few minutes later I bared said bum, and Jim did the needle plunge perfectly - no pain, no bruise, no bent needle. In part because I trusted him enough to relax - a relaxed bum, apparently, is the trick to no bruising.

To this day I can truly say my husband has walked through fire with me - and I wouldn't choose anyone else in the universe to be my partner in life. And, I can't imagine a more patient, kind father to our son.

Hopefully, in a few years, you will look back on this and see it as a time you were the Two Musketeers - you and ET against the world!

Malky B. said...

I'm glad your listening to our podcast. If you want to hear more about our journey listen to us on twin peas podcast:

I think you'll enjoy it.

Malky B. said...

Episode #9 at

I couldn't get the whole link in but you'll find it there.

Captain Steve said...

I have both and aunt and a cousin that went through infertility treatments and have kids. My cousin did it twice. They decided to skip the natural part because she had some uterine scarring that would have made it damn near impossible. 3 physically healthy, horribly spoiled baby boys.

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

When and if you 'climb Everest' - Do you do 50 Interviews to tell the world or do you sit back and think goo gaa gaa! It's all ahead of us mate! ....someday!

Martin said...

@Zoeyjane - After a story like your I can fully understand someone not wanting to revisit that time.
That's quite remarkable.

@Hilary - Very interesting.You know I've been following your story since the bad old days, and for me, the entire story from start to now is worth remembering.
I guess I would need to be in your shoes(or your husband's at least) to fully understand why you don't want to look back.

@iVegasFamily - Also a different time them, 20 years back. Good for her.

@Deb - Not depressing at all, and you've no need to be.
One thing about this infertility lark, there is ALWAYS someone worse off than you, someone who's been trying longer, or been through worse times, that always brings me back down to earth.

@Tysdaddy - As always, a gentelman, sir. No matter what you say, it always sounds reassuring!

@Angel - Well you can't stop me writing about it that's for sure. I think this medum is as focussed as I could get mind.
Thanks for the encouragement though, you can't beat a good ego stroking at this hour of the morning.

@Marie - Less lonely is exactly right. When I see people talking about 4 years or longer I almost faint, 15 cycles seems like a lifetime as it is, but 48? 60?
I hope you don't have to count for too long.

@Rikki - Interestingly, I think 2-3 years is average for the struggle, generally.
Thanks for being interested and reading. Honestly.

@Jen W - I'm always interested! I'll be marking that and having a look this weekend.
Thanks for the tip.

@B - You may have just stated the very obvious that I overlooked. Kids take up people's time!

@Deborah - I've actually forgotton how I found your blog now, (maybe womb4improvement), but it was a nice find.
Hope you find something here that you like.

@Tismee2 - I don't know what to say, really, what you see is what you get. This is how things are.
This isn't scripted, if it was I'd have murdered the fucker scriptwriter by now.
I'm not here to entertain, but if you hang around, it's a big weekend for Spencer, he may need a talking to.
We are ok, thanks

@Momo Fali - The numbers are scary, really. Obviously the numbers here are distorted due to the topic but I'm beginning to think the 1 in 6 figure is an underestimation.

@Irish Diaspora - Very kind, thank you. Another good example of a success story.

@Jill - I think forgetting it is impossible, but like all bad things you may want to lock it away and not revisit it.
I'll keep going, don't you worry! thanks.

@Kittyconcerto - I'm glad I inspire you to accept that failure and misery may be ahead of you! ;0)
Thanks for the link, I'll be checking it out (again?)

@Nola - Indeed, never forgetting, but changing.
Nicely put.

@Melissa - Er, dear... care to mention what that book is? ;0)

Congratulations on the sucesses.

@James Austin - Indeed, it's hard to turn your mind away from what you don't have, and all the unfairness of it all, and focus on the things you can do. I try to stick with that where I can. Not always easy.

@Mrs LIAYF - I feel like I should write hundreds of word in response to that, but it would spoil it.
Hearing the story from both partners is special, you told it gracefully, purposefully, and honestly.
As far as a synopsis of such a struggle goes, that is as good an account as I could imagine.
Thank you so much for taking the time, for writing that (I don't know if you did it specificially for this or not), and congratulations on getting what you deserve from it all.
I hope we can be as good a team as you've been.
Thanks so much.

@Malky B - I'll have more time at the weekend(ET face turns thunderous at that statement), and I intend to catch up with the podcasts I've not listened to then.

@Captain Steve - Success! Thats what you want to hear. Very hard not to spoil them after that.

@Quickroute - Someday indeed, I'm condfident of that. I hope you stick your Argentinian interview on youtube or something so we can all see... ;0)

@ALL - The responses here are pretty remarkable, the number and the effort you've put into telling your (and other's) stories. I think this is as good as any blogroll out there.
Thanks for the input, and keep it coming, it's greatly appreciated.

Jenn said...

My ex-husband and I tried for 3 years to conceive. We did everything that we were told to do. Sperm counts, surgeries, meds to clear any and all infections no matter how small or overlooked (a drug, it turns out I was allergic to). We went to countless doctors and were finally told ... forget it, adopt or try IVF. We opted to try IVF. Followed all the rules, waited for our phone call to go, all the "good" stuff. Well, my cycle was just not starting so that we could make that first phone call. I had a regular check up coming up with my Ob/Gyn and told him what was going on ... we thought everything was due to all the stress. It turns out that I was pregnant ... what a total shock! Even the doc was stunned because it just wasn't supposed to happen. I then went on to have a totally rotten pregnancy that included extreme morning sickness (that lasted all day, bleeding and lots of bedrest, and finding out week before due date that he was a footling breach. That sent me strait to the hospital for a c-section ... after the journey, my doctor wasn't taking any chances that this would not result in a live birth. My son is now (almost) 15 years old.

My second and third pregnancies were very easy to conceive. My second son before my oldest was a year and my daughter within 6 months of (not really) trying. My other son is 12 and my daughter is 10.

Six years ago, I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks followed by a tubal pregnancy. I decided then that enough was enough.

It is definitely a hard road to be on but there are definitely happy endings out there.

Karen said...

Close friends of mine had tried for five years before the decided to adopt a baby from China. Two weeks after they received the baby's picture along with the approval, she found out she was pregnant. The girls are only six months apart in age and are best friends.

Regarding sharing your stories, you fortitude is more of an inspiration than you know, and not just to people having trouble conceiving.

Keep on...

Anonymous said...

Faint, yes, indeed. The possibility of 4 years is enough to make one faint. I look at you two and nearly faint at 15 cycles. I'm not sure I'd make it to 60 without some sort of implosion.

I am learning (or trying to learn), though, that gratitude breeds patience, not vice versa. I have 2 stepkids (read: my husband is not the problem here) that I can be grateful for (when I don't want to wring their little necks, haha), and when they're not around, extra time with my husband, which is also a plus. I can't wait for some point or event in the future to be grateful - otherwise I'll waste what I have.

There are days that gets me through. There are also days that only a big glass of wine and a seriously-this-had-better-be-a-damn-good-book will do.

*sprinkling baby dust on us all*

PS. Does the idea of just giving up and adopting scare the beans out of you? If so, me too.

Putz said...

where does an irishman go on vacation???answer...a diffrent bar

Jenni said...

I'm not sure why folks don't talk about the difficulty or saddness of TTC once they are successful, but I do know pregnancy and parenthood are all consuming, so maybe that's why?

For the record, I always feel wretched guilt at our ease with conception. WE have so many friends and family members that struggled and continue to struggle with infertility, and here we are - my husband brushes against me in a hallway and I'm knocked up. It makes me feel almost embarassed to share our news w/folks who are TTC and not as fortunate as we are.

Rygantron said...

I have been witness to a married-couple's struggle with conception, a struggle that continues even now, FOUR YEARS after the fact...

The worst is the blame game, and while these two have it OUT at times, they've just about allowed their failure to conceive ruin their lives. Friends of theirs, flush with a 7-month-old baby, are reluctant to leave the above-mentioned wife alone with their baby for too long, and they're only half/not-really-joking.

Even if desperation IS a factor, you can't let it get to you...really easy to say from over here, though, isn't it?

Martin said...

@Jenn - Bloody hell, that's another real hard road you've been on.
Must have been hard to say enough was enough? Even having had success?
Thanks for giving your story.

@Karen - I really think I'm gonna get me a Chinese adoption application form, everyone who fills one out gets knocked up!
I think this story is a lot of things, but an inspiration I doubt is one of them, but thank you for the very generous words.
Ego stroking is always appreciated!

@Marie - If you are trying to learn then at least you are aware, you know?
Then eventually you'll find some peace.

Hopefully you'll add to your clan soon, the way you want.

Adoption, to be honest we haven't even really discussed since starting TTC.
I know right now, I would not be able to give the idea of adoption my all, which it would deserve.
There's a long road to go before giving up.

Gee thanks, baby dust in my keyboard...

@Putz - Don't make come over there and slap you old timer...

@Jenni - I think you answered your own question actually.
You have been lucky enough to conceive easily, and therefore haven't had any of the side effects of TTC.
Long may that last for you.

@Ryan Lawson - A year ago I was thinking about these mad baby snatching people and wondering how could anyone end up that far 'gone'.
12 months later, the looney line is a lot closer, and I can see how desperation can grasp someone.
I don't think we are likely to go raiding any maternity wards any time soon, but I can understand it a lot better than a year back.

Anonymous said...

I do very sincerely hope that it will happen for you soon Xbox. One reoccurring theme I have noticed, both here and in general, is that when a couple stop trying (NOT the same as giving up)and just relax and genuinely start to enjoy other activities, they lose that 'opgejaagd' (hunted) feeling -and before they know it - bingo!
In any case, 'ik wens jullie heel veel geluk'! Good luck.

Stacy said...

I know that feeling. For 6 years we tried and tried and by some fluke I was finally able to get pregnant. I remember uncontrollably crying every single month when it didn't happen.

Karen MEG said...

Hey Xbox my friend, thanks for the shout out... you know, you are the inspiration for me to get more "real" on my blog about this whole thing. It's quite amazing, people are really interested; I was wondering whether once I took my blog in that direction, whether people would look away. But I don't think they have. Interesting that some commenters who got pregnant so easily felt guilty for it ... and that is so NOT why I am writing about it. They are blessed, really. But people continue to comment, and they are reading.

For me, you're right; things do become rather euphoric after you have the baby; in my case babies. I can write about it now, more than 10 years after our journey started for the boy; and then going through it even further for my daughter who is now 3.5. I am amazed at how vivid my memories are; how much detail I can still recount. It won't ever go away. But it gets easier to revisit it as a "memory" that's for sure, once you have such a wonderful outcome.
And as I said once I started my story, if it helps even one person, and I hope it is, then it is totally worth it.

I am really quite a private person by nature. But I've never avoided talking about our struggles; and when I volunteer the information, it's always greeted with a "wow, that's amazing, you must have wanted your kids so very much". And that's precisely the response that I want to hear.

And yes, we've got friends with a similar adoption story - tried for 3 years, spend another 3 finally getting their adopted daughter from China ... and then having their own baby naturally 10 months later. Miracles.

Karen MEG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarĂ­a said...

I've never gone through this, so I have no story, but I am glad that you are sharing yours. If gives me insight into something I never knew before.

Alyssa said...

I have been linked to your blog through AnnD's.

My husband and I went through 9 months of trying and infertility. We, indeed, did succeed and are now the parents of both a 2 1/2 year old as well as a 1 year old.

You don't forget what you went through.....the sadness, the questions, the waiting, the starting over with cycle after cycle. However, now seeing my children's faces just makes it that much more meaningful everyday.

I am so moved by your blog and your decision to share your feelings and thoughts with others. My husband and I struggled through test and procedure after test and procedure in isolation for about the first seven months. We didn't tell anyone. Looking back, I think that was our biggest mistake. The love and support we received from family and friends once we clued them in was amazing.

Best of luck and I can't wait to hear about your success story.


Anonymous said...

I never forget the pain, the fear and uncertainty, and when I visit here, I remember it all as though it is happening. I am very open IRL about our journey as I am very thankful to have the widdle poppets that I have. I had the luxury of not having to wait for years and the hope of fertility drugs working the first time which was encouraging for us, so I do sometimes feel as though my fertility issues aren't as serious as others.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, an interesting question.
With multiple facets. Will think about it and get back to you.

Martin said...

@Geri Atric - I imagine those stories are on a par with the chinese adoption ones as far as a tencnique goes, the truth is, they are exceptions to the rule.
Leuk om wat nederlands te horen, maar ik heb net nog een ruzie gehad met nederlandse 'customer service' en dus ik ben dood ziek van!


@Snowmanpoop - 6 years, ouch, that's a long long time.

@Karen MEG - Inspiration for getting 'real' eh? You didn't read where I spoke to ET's eggs did you ;0)
I've no doubt your accounts of events will have already helped people.
I've spent plenty of time nodding my own head at your story as is myself.

It's also good that you are getting a generally good reaction to it.

Thank you.

@ImmoralMatriarch - It's good to see that it's not a closed group. NOt an US v THEM situation.
It will be more and more common, and it's nice to people being interested, you never know when you will be called upon to be the shoulder to cry on.

@Alyssa - thanks for adding your story, it's always reassuring to hear success stories.
Thank you very much. (I'll check out your blog over the weekend)

@Widdle Shamrock - It's all serious, but I know what you mean by not feeling it's as 'serious' as others.

@Tiff - I await with baited breath, m'dear...

Unknown said...

You will most definitely forget when Huck, Doll and Jennifer arrive.

James (SeattleDad) said...

(from Mrs. LIAYF)

Xbox - I wrote that just for you and your sweetie.

Zephyr said...

The opening story: Some things you never forget

I haven't blogged most of the story. But about a year after the due date of the one we lost, the next one was conceived. And two more, each two years apart. When it rained, it poured.

I could tell more of the story but it's now 16-20 years old, because Blondie is 16 now. I never knew if people would want to read my stories or not.

Martin said...

@Huckdoll - easy does it there...

@James Austin - Thank you both. Very much.

@Lara - Thanks for sharing that, it is a hard piece to read.

If anything, I think people would be very interested in your stores from that 'long' ago, especially in an area that changes so quickly in a short space of time.

Thank you.

Unknown said...

I don't understandwhy you would want people to relive the pain, agony and frustration they felt during periods of infertility. Because dredging up all those memories isn't pleasant. They ARE there. Where they belong. Buried under the more pleasant memories that have come since. Buried where yours will be when you finally get through all of this.

Martin said...

@Lceel - People's choice to share is their's alone.

I was interested in the reasons.

I'm all too fully aware of the pain, agony, and frustration experienced, but honestly, if we do come out the other side, I'll be happy to recount it, should it help someone else who feels they are alone with their struggle.

Child Life said...

XBox -

I wandered over here from Tiff's and I had to comment... Not everyone forgets. I NEVER will the ache of that most dreadful time in my entire life is what drives me to be grateful for my two children every second of their day.

I know what it feels like to not want to wake up. I know what it feels like to survive multiple miscarriages -- to fear hope because of the pain that follows. I know what it feels like to be so empty and desperate that you just pray to be allowed to lie down and die. And I know more pain than even this. And I'll never, ever forget it, or pretend that it didn't happen, because if I did, I would lose something of the sense of preciousness, the priceless nature of life, of being a parent.

The heartache I knew then, I carry with me still and it makes today's joys so very sweet -- some of them bitter-sweet, but so very, very precious.

What you feel now is valid and real, and you have my most heartfelt prayers that you will not have to endure it long but that the time that you do will help prepare you to be the extraordinary parent that you already seem well on your way to becoming.

If my family's story can help or encourage you in any way at all, don't hesitate to email -- I will answer anything I can.

Martin said...

@Child Life - Sorry I'm late coming back on this.

Your story is quite harsh, and hard to comprehend, you've done marvelously to be still around to tell the tale.

Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated.

(your profile is private so I can't get a mail to you or find any contact details)

Anonymous said...

We are currently laughing that my cousin has a buy one get one free deal with the Almighty.
She had her first baby through IVF in JAnuary, and to her amazement is due her second, conceived naturally, in December.
So for her kids are like busses, she waited 7 years for the first one and now will have Irish twins come December.