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All is Quiet…

Not just in my house as my kids sleep. But on the board as well. What could this mean? That the rain has put people in a read-only mood? That no one (gasp) has stories about positive advice/words/actions that helped them through the process? I know we’ve gotten many hits today, but no comments. Therefore, a renewed plea for stories.

All of my best comments come from insiders. My mother went through infertility (11 years to have three children). She was a great resource not only for information but for support as well. I had friends who were going through treatments at the same time. My best friend, who is the godmother of my children, is not infertile, but she was an amazing support (ha! So here is an example of someone outside the experience). Unfortunately, while I can come up with many good stories about how she was supportive during the actual pregnancy, I can’t come up with a specific from the infertility years. Perhaps I’m having a touch of memory suppression…

But my other good story of support comes from someone who has their feet in both worlds–my RE. For all I know, he became an RE because he went through infertility. I don’t really know anything about his personal life except that he has a daughter who went to my high school. But for the sake of this story, we’ll go with the assumption that he never went through IF. But he works in that world so he isn’t completely an outsider. Then again, I know plenty of people who did not have the warm and fuzzy experience we had at our RE’s office. Wish everyone could live in our area.

Anyway, while we had a nurse assigned to our case who delivered test results and answered questions, often he would call us as well to further explain something. There were many days when he told me, “it’s okay to be disappointed. But it’s not okay to be discouraged.” He called us the day before the IUI when we conceived and left us a message saying that he just felt in his bones that it would be our turn this month (he later said that if he truly thought his words had worked some type of magic, he would spend his entire day phoning infertile women).

But our best story about our RE came when I was driving home one day from work. He had called my cell phone and was going over some test results (this was back in the days when we drove and spoke on cell phones at the same time). He told me that everything looked so good that he wanted to do an IUI instead of timed-intercourse. I was so embarrassed, but I had to admit to him that we needed another month to pull the money together since we didn’t think we’d be doing IUI that month. There was a pause and then he told me that the clinic would take on the cost of the IUI because he felt so strongly that we had a good chance to conceive and he didn’t want to let it pass. Which was just about the most thoughtful thing anyone did for us during our treatments. We didn’t conceive that month (and the RE joked that at least it was free), but it gave us the hope to keep trying since we knew someone else out there cared if we got pregnant and had our back. Sort of the same idea as a coach. It’s not that you can’t be a baseball player without one, but they help you to keep focused and give you strength when you begin to doubt yourself. Thank you, Dr. RE.

I still get choked up when I drive by that RE’s building.

Okay, so now that we’ve spilled, it’s your turn. Send in your stories. The kind words that were said to you. The coworker who bought you a latte because she could see that you had been crying after a BFN. The friend who said just the right thing. Or the therapist or RE who proverbally held your hand and gave you the strength you needed to remain focused on the goal.

Come on, I know these stories are out there.


1 Anonymous { 06.27.06 at 7:41 pm }

I’d love to comment further…it’s just with 2 kids under 3 years old it’s hard to find the time! I don’t have the best RE experiences so none to share. It took 4 yrs of ttc hell before DS through open adoption; then, 3 yrs later a DD through IVF. I’m glad to see you’re writing a book to share; no one seemed understand the emotional toll of IF. It eats away at your soul…Even though I have achieved pregnancy and given birth, I still think of myself as ‘infertile’ – the label never truly goes away…

P.S. Love the Pippin reference – we did that musical in high school and I was the “Leading Player”. Yeah, weird, I know…

2 Anonymous { 06.28.06 at 10:29 am }

It’s hard to find examples of helpful comments…. though I guess you could count the email I sent to my RE after failed IVF #2, and he emailed back and said that he had pulled up my numbers (I had a chemical) and saw them going down, and just felt too bad about it to call me himself! (Great, now I’m disappointing my RE?). Course then he went on to say that if I wanted to improve my egg quality, I should look at DE. (I’m only 33!!!). Sigh. Yellowgirl

3 Dream Mommy { 06.28.06 at 11:25 am }

The only helpful comments I got were from someone who went through infertility herself.

She suggested treatments, even got me in to see a good doctor in her city.

Basically she said, “I understand. I know it’s hard, but try to hang in there.”

4 Anonymous { 06.28.06 at 1:09 pm }

Hmm, helpful comments. This was really hard because the negatives so outnumber the positives.

My ob/gyn told me that some how, some way that I would get pregnant. I just sat and cried as he said that, not truly believing those words. But, I do cling to them from time to time, hoping that he’s right. Kristy

5 Anonymous { 06.28.06 at 1:57 pm }

My RE told my husband and I on our first visit…
“Don’t worry, you are young” to which I replied…”well, to be real honest with you, I am tired of hearing that”…

Then he went on to tell me, “I know, I just mean you are young and we have time to try lots of stuff, and that he was sure that he could get us pregnant, but it was just a matter of how many babies I would get pregnant with!

6 Anonymous { 06.29.06 at 10:27 am }

The same day a good friend announced her pregnancy, I had to call my doctor to schedule an infertility consult. I was a wreck, and even had to run out of a meeting because I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I e-mailed a friend–we weren’t very close, but she knew about our TTC struggles and she’d offered to be a shoulder to cry on if I needed it. I confessed my reaction to our mutual friend’s news. Told her that I’d been crying. She told me to grab my purse and meet her for coffee in 10 minutes.

We talked, she made me laugh about something stupid a coworker did, and it was exactly what I needed. She didn’t try to “understand” or to tell me that everything would be all right. She listened and did her best to help me feel like I wasn’t alone. She’s not infertile or even TTC, but she’s become my number one go-to friend when I’m low and need support.

7 serenity { 06.30.06 at 11:30 am }

The weekend I was miscarrying (or just got AF – I still can’t tell you if losing a ‘bio-chemical’ pregnancy is a miscarriage or not) after our first IVF cycle, I told my mother in law about our struggles and my m/c.

Mind you, this was after I got all sorts of crappy assvice from well meaning people: “well, you’re bleeding, so you have to move on” and “you’re still young” and “well now you can relax and try naturally,” so I was worried about her response.

But you know what she did? She cried. Then hugged me tightly, and said that we were such wonderful people, that it was just unfair.

She empathized with and grieved FOR us – and it was a balm to my soul.

And I realized – I needed someone to acknowledge just how much IF sucks and how it was ok for me to grieve.

Since then she has been an endless source of comfort and support.

8 Tina { 07.04.06 at 1:29 pm }

We had been trying for over a year and a half, and I was spiraling into depression when tragedy struck (an incident unrelated to the infertility) and we started counseling. With our approval, our counselor called our RE and told him what we were going through. Our RE called me back almost immediately, and spent at least a half hour giving me a pep talk about my chances — that, in his professional view, the odds were very much in my favor, and that he thought we’d be pregnant soon. I was so touched that he took time out of his very busy day to talk to me and provide encouraging words. Wouldn’t you know it — we got pregnant the very next cycle.

My husband was also a fabulous source of support — he was the buffer between me and friends who didn’t get what we were going through. He clued them in on my moods and helped them understand what not to say to me.

My other greatest source of support was a group of women I met online. We swapped stories and advice about ART, gave each other virtual hugs and support during the “two week waits” and cheered each other on through our eventual pregnancies (we are all moms now). Five years later, we are still supporting each other, now as moms…I don’t know if I could have gotten here without them!

9 Anonymous { 07.08.06 at 7:56 pm }

After 7 failed IUI’s, I sat in my RE’s office hysterical. How could this be happening over and over again? I was responding so well to the drugs, the timing was right and DH had excellent sperm.

My RE looked at me and said “It just isn’t your time right now. One day it will be, but when we don’t know. Sometimes there is no medical answer, there is just a higher being, but I promise you will get pregnant!”

It made me feel so good to know that he to had faith in a higher being. And sure enough I got pregnant two months later!

10 Josefina { 09.20.06 at 4:34 pm }

I think the person who have encouraged me more has been my own husband. Even though he gets dissapointed, he has always given me that calm that really makes me want to keep trying. He always says to me “we WILL have kids, one way or the other” (meaning that if we can’t conceive them, we’ve agreed on adopting), and really, that perspective eases a LOT of the anxiety I feel.
Great blog by the way!!!
PS: I’m from CHILE so you’re blog is pretty widespread!!!

11 Pretty Kitty { 05.08.07 at 1:16 am }

I am moving to where you live!! I want him for my RE. What a terrific story. Thank you for sharing.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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