Friday, April 26, 2013


This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I am submitting this blog post to RESOLVE, a non for profit organization that advocates for infertility, in honor of it.  

Infertility has officially been a part of our lives for nearly three years now...more than half of our married life together.  When we first started to try to get pregnant I never thought I wouldn't be able to have kids..."that'll never be me" I thought.  That only happens to people you read about.  But after many months of trying, nothing happened.  Months before we made our first reproductive endocrinologist appointment I kept thinking "I'll surely get pregnant before I make it there."   Then nothing happened.  When I sat down with my doctor for the first time, he asked if he was the first specialist I've seen?  I thought "of course it is, that'll never be me".  Then nothing happened.  When we tried our first, our second and even third IUI (intrauterine insemination), I thought "I'll never make it to the next one, surely I'll be pregnant before then".  Then nothing happened.  
When I read other people's blogs about failure after failure and heartache after heartache, I felt so sorry for them and I thought "that'll never be me".  Then nothing happened.  Even when we had our IVF consult I kept thinking "we won't make it to that.  Surely I'll be pregnant before then".  Then nothing happened.  I wasn't even thinking about the possibility of having a second or third IVF because I thought "surely, I'll be pregnant before then".  But our miracle never happened.  The room next to ours still sits empty.   It's so incredibly painful and gut wrenching to try month after month and put your blood, sweat and tears into something you long for so badly only to end up empty handed and broken watch everyone else around you living your go through painful and embarrassing feel like a medical stick yourself with needles every be reminded every month that yet again, you lose your hopes of having a spend your entire life savings on treatments that may never bare your heart and soul to feel vulnerable and lose self-worth because you can't do something that seems so.....simple...

Our first failed IVF was this past March.  I fell and I fell hard.  Reality really sunk in that not only do I have infertility, I may never be "cured" of it.  Even with the most advanced treatments and all the money in the world, I still may never get to be called mommy...something most women wait their entire life for.  Something most couples want is a little piece of each other to tuck into bed every night....something to nurture....a legacy.  I may never get to hold my sleeping baby or see my husband in my child's face.   This unwanted guest in our lives has robbed us of many things: Our sense of privacy, our intimacy, our finances, our sense of feeling "normal" and healthy, our identity, and our future dreams.  It has tested our relationships, pushed our patience and shook our faith.  No matter the outcome, infertility will always be a part of who I am, and while sometimes it can control me, it doesn't define me.  My name is Rachel and I like to travel, I love my 2 fur kids, I like to spend time outside, I love to spend time with my friends and family and trying new skydiving.  As hard as it is, I'm trying my best not to let it steal anymore of who I am.  Infertility is a big part of me, but not all of me.  

1 in 8.  1 in 8 couples struggles with infertility. Unfortunately my husband and I fell on the wrong side of this statistic.  While we know we are not alone, it often feels that way.  While infertility is diagnosed as a disease, it is a silent that is often forgotten and that most people are naive to.  Because we seem normal from the outside, I feel we are often forgotten, and often times our feelings are trivialized which makes it harder to "come out" and speak the truth of how we feel and what we are dealing with.  Just because our scars aren't physical doesn't mean we don't have side effects and struggle through our disease.  Often times the emotional scars infertility creates are bigger and more unseen than any physical scar.  Many people are ignorant to what happens in the trenches of this disease, some don't care to know and others know all too well.  My "day time" job is a physical therapist.  Daily I treat people with all sorts of aliments and diseases.  I know first hand how the healthcare system works and how unfair it can be.  I find it unacceptable that while infertility is classified as a disease (and it should be...part of me isn't working....the part that keeps human race going), it is not mandated that it be covered under insurance.  Like most, I work hard for my money, pay my dues and yet end up without the support of my insurance company and law makers.  So many other diseases get so much attention.  Why is infertility different?  I urge everyone to "join the movement" in either big or small ways to try to make a difference.  Maybe if others are educated instead of ignorant, they'll understand the impacts of infertility. Maybe attitudes, stigmas and laws will change.  My way of joining the movement is to blog and share my experiences and feelings, to educate and reach out to others who are either ignorant and want to learn or to reach out to people who have struggles much like my own.  

Like many of you reading this, you've probably all had those thoughts above...the "it'll never be me".  But here I am and here we are.  While our stories are different, we are still held together by one common thread.  It's the best messed-up version of a sister or brotherhood you could ever be inducted into.  No one asked to be dealt these cards but let's at least play the best hand we can and do our best to either support one another, educate our friends and family or  help to change laws that impact us.  

For more information on infertility awareness visit:  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I've been thinking about how my life and attitudes towards many things have changed over the past few years.  Struggling with infertility has forever changed me because it's hard....really really hard.  It's been more challenging than all my negative life experiences put together and then some.  But why?  What makes it so hard?  I hope I can give you a glimpse of why this disease has turned my world upside down.  Here's my top 20 reasons why infertility sucks.

1)  Loss of identity:  Most little girls grow up always wanting to someday be a mom.  I'm no different.  While I knew I didn't want kids in my 20's, I knew I wanted them and never doubted my life would be any different.  Each and every time I envisioned my future, it was ALWAYS with children.  I wanted to be known as a mom...maybe a working mom with a career, but still a mom.  I feel like my future identity has been stolen.  My whole life, I've NEVER imagined what I'd do if I didn't (or in our case couldn't) have children.  All I can think of lately is now what am I going to do with my life?  In my head, I didn't make any future plans without having children in mind.  I went to school for a good education, got a decent job, married the guy I wanted children with, bought a house big enough for a family and now I may never be able to have that.  How am I going to make my life fulfilling without kids? I've never thought of that before...until now I've never had to.  

2)  No one understands how I feel: I wanted to share bits and pieces from another blog I recently discovered: 
"Infertility affects 1 in 8 people.  Looking at my facebook friend list, that means that 45 of my nearest and dearest are fighting this fight.

It also means that 321 of my friends have NO idea what it feels like.  

321 of my friends might know someone suffering.  They might be genuine when they say they are sorry I am going through this. 

But those 321 do not wake up every day wishing to just get the chance to be a mom. Those 321 do not feel a little piece of their heart break every time a woman enters a room, pregnant belly protuding.  Those 321 do not have to worry about how they will choose to live a child free life, when that isn't the choice they want to make at all.  Those 321 do not have to try to put on a smiling face day in and day out, just because the world says we should be happy for those that can conceive on their own.  

Those 321 do not have to listen to their husband say how he doesn't even want to think about not ever getting to see his wife carry his child.   To never be able to look into the eyes of something that is a little bit you, a little bit him.  Those 321 friends, many of whom get to tuck their children in at night, have no idea how lonely it is going to sleep in house with an empty spare bedroom. 

321 people get to live blissfully unaware that they just have to have sex with their husband or wife and will surprisingly see two lines pop up on a pregnancy test two weeks later. 

Those 321 people can probably walk through Target on any given Saturday without needing to race through the aisles so the other customers don't see the tears streaming down their face.  They can buy tampons without it meaning that you've failed, yet again. 

Those 321 know how hard it is to be a good parent.  They know of sleep deprivation. They know of survival on the less than minimum hours required to be coherent.  They know about diaper blowouts, vomit and fevers.  They know screaming, inconsolable children.  They know bullies and friendship troubles.   Those 321 know the blessing they get to tuck in every night. They'll get to look into their child's eyes and know that their reproductive systems work right.

They will never know how hard it is NOT to be a parent.  Their dreams will likely come true, even if they aren't to that stage in their life yet. They will never have to stand in this land of "What if I never know the joy?" and they'll never have to have someone tell them to just relax and wait. It will happen when God, the baker and the candlestick maker want it to happen.  

They'll never have to worry about the strength of their marriage.  Whether we can live a life without a child.  Whether we can stand the storm that tears you apart in a way that they'll never know.  Whether one's lifelong dream can suddenly be pacified with a new dream?  A dream that we all know is just a cover for the desire to be a parent?

They'll never have to think about not getting to see the joy on their parents' faces when they finally deliver the news that they've been promoted to grand. They'll never have to hide from family functions because of the child centered focus of every holiday. 

Those 321 can not begin to imagine how'd they'd react.  They might tell you that they'd be able to be happy for friends and family who get pregnant.  They might tell you that they'd stand strong to their belief and faith in God.  But they don't know how it completely breaks you.

Those 321 do not have to spend thousands of dollars to have a medical procedure that would "fix" their disease. They have not shelled out thousands of dollars on that medical procedure only to be told they fell on the wrong side of the statistics.  They have not wiped out their savings accounts to be able to try just one more time.   They don't know how even saying "just one more time" creates an overwhelming amount of fear and anxiety in knowing the end of a dream is closer than you ever want it to be."

3)  I may need to say goodbye to the biggest dream of my life.  Imagine something or someone you've wanted with every ounce of your would you feel if you couldn't have something you so desperately wished for?  It's definitely NOT a good feeling to have.  How do you say goodbye to your dreams and move on to be happy?  No matter what I'll do with my's always just be second best.  

4)  I may look healthy from the outside but feel awful on the inside.  Infertility is a silent disease. You can't tell who has it.  Some days due to medications or procedures I may have had, I'm physically in pain but can't really show it.  Also, while I may appear to be happy, most likely I'm struggling with alot of emotions on the inside.  While I may blog about it, usually I don't bare my deepest thoughts in general conversation and when I do it's pretty watered down. No one wants to be around a "Debbie Downer" all the time.  

5)  Watching other people take for granted what they have.  This kills me.  Having a family is a precious thing....most do it without much effort.  It's hard to hear people complaining about their kids when it's something I may never know.  People just complain about silly and trivial things when it could be much worse.  People also take it for granted that their reproductive systems work.  99% of people I know got pregnant for free and I have to pay thousands of dollars for a small chance.  It also breaks my heart when I see moms who don't want their kids...the news stories of someone who just throws a baby away when I'd give my left arm for my own.  

6)  Other diseases get more attention.  I'm not trying to create a list of the top 10 horrible diseases to live with.  As a therapist I can appreciate there are alot out there that I'm glad I don't have.  It just seems like infertility is swept under the rug.  Not talked about, NOT recognized and definitely NOT given the same attention.  I said it before and I'll say it again, just because it's not life threatening doesn't mean it's not life changing.  There are plenty of diseases out there that have pretty negative consequences and  aren't life threatening but infertility is barely recognized.  Just because there are no outright physical signs doesn't mean it doesn't have it's horrors.  There's advocacy, education, fundraising, walks, etc for every disease under the sun....expect infertility.  Can you imagine people lining up for an infertility walk?  Most people are naive to what it is and how it affects someone.  

7)  Embarrassment.  Getting pregnant seem so simple.  People do it all the time on accident and I can't get pregnant with 32 months of trying and an entire medical team.  What's wrong with me that I can't?  It's embarrassing that our bodies can't do what they are designed for, yet everyone else's can.  Also, having your most private details of your marriage and body discussed with a group of strangers isn't exactly easy.  Neither is being half naked EVERYTIME you see your doctor (and that's alot).  I've had so many instruments up my body...not exactly easy, it's painful and embarrassing as hell.

8) Pain.  Medical procedures are invasive and painful.  Frequent blood work isn't exactly fun and not much can be said about sticking yourself several times a day with a hormone filled needle.  Dealing with medication side effects such as menopause symptoms aren't on my top 10 either.

9)  Loss of my future. I may never get to know what it's like to be pregnant, to feel what it's like to have life inside of you.  I may never get to take my kid to the park or push a stroller down the street.  I may never have the holidays I hoped for with a big family. I may never get to be a grandparent. I may be all alone when I'm old.  

10) Loss of control:  While I know that many people choose not to have children, I chose to have them.  Only it's not that easy.  I may have no choice but to live child-free.  Infertility not only controls your future but also your every day life.  I'm at the mercy of fitting in doctors appointments around my cycle and their schedule.  It doesn't matter if I have a big event coming up or will be out of town or if I have to work.   I have to schedule my injections around my body, not my work schedule.  I little say in what happens to my body....the medications and the doctors do.  

11)  Loss of lineage. The family tree stops at me.  I may never get to know how something that looks a little like me and a little like Chris looks like.  I may never get to see my husband in my child's face.  

12 ) I've lost who I am.  I'm not the happy go lucky person I used to be.  The stress of everything has a way of taking it's toll.  Due to stress and lack of money, we rarely do the things we love doing.  

13) Watching others have what you can't.  Plain and simple...this is hard.  I'm surrounded by people with families.  It's like putting a starving person in front of food and not letting them eat.  I feel so left out and....empty.  It's hard to watch others have what you so desire.  I get teary when I travel accidentally down the baby isle in the store. I can't attend baby shower because I can't control myself from crying....I get to watch someone else live my dream.  

14) Constant reminders:  EVERYWHERE I go there's babies and families.  Facebook, television, conversations at work....  Comments are innocent but so painful to hear.  

15)  It's expensive: I work hard for my money and I've drained my entire life savings for one chance and ended up with nothing. Do you have any idea how bad that feels? 

16) Strain on relationships.  Chris and I have been tested.  Most people get married with the intent and expectation to have children.  It's strained our marriage but we are surviving.  In some ways it makes us closer.  It also strains relationships with family and friends.  Many can't understand where we're coming from and why it's so hard for us.  Sometimes we choose to isolate ourselves because it's too painful.  Others make that choice for us and distance themselves.   Many don't know how to support us and are afraid to ask.  Some think we are selfish.  If the table were turned, I'm sure they'd understand and things would be different.  I find it hard to imagine that those with children could imagine their life being any other way.  

17) Hearing bad advice.  This is just a given.  From day 1, I've heard it all.  Eat this, eat that, do this during sex, "just relax",  "It'll happen when God's ready", "pray", "I heard about a couple who adopted and then got pregnant"...the list is a mile long.  Plain and simple....these comments hurt.  It's a medical condition and many forget about that.  NO ONE should tell me HOW TO FEEL or give me advice just to say something or to make themselves feel better.  No one talks about the great stories of the couple who did everything and STILL ended up with no baby, yet I hear EVERY story under the sun about those who did.  What if that isn't me? 

18)  Losing time.  I'm getting older each day and my chances are lessening with each passing cycle. My 35th birthday is soon approaching, the age when infertility really drops. I've lost a few years of my life already dealing with this...years I can't take back.  I'm losing out on the fun in life

19) Failure after failure.  Every month, without fail I am reminded that I didn't get pregnant.  As soon as I've gotten over it, I'm reminded again 28 days later.  We put so much effort most months and have nothing in return.  

20)  Personality changes.  While infertility has changed who I am in some good ways, it's also made me more cynical. My patience is often thin and I'm often angry that life isn't fair in a big way.  If I'm not angry then I'm sad about losing out on what I want so bad in life.

In short, my patience is thin, my money is tight, my body has been through hell, my relationships are strained and my hopes and dreams have been broken.  


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our next steps......

A few days after our failed IVF cycle, we made an appointment with Abington Reproductive Medicine for what many in our situation call the "WTF" meeting.  The doctors call it a failed cycle's not something ANY couple wants to go to, especially after you just invested so much time, money and effort.  The meeting gives you and the doctor's a chance to review your cycle and talk about the positive and negative things that happened.  For example, did you respond to the medication as anticipated? or did the eggs fertilize as anticipated?  These things give them a clue as to WHY the cycle failed and what to do to improve the next one. Generally speaking only 30% of IVF cycles result in a live baby.  These odds are still markedly better than perhaps the 1% chance that alot of infertile couples are faced with.  During any given month, a fertile healthy couple only has a 20% chance of conceiving so the odds of IVF are actually a little better than mother nature.  Sadly we fell into the failed cycle category and I can honestly say without a doubt this has been the most devastated I've ever felt.  Words simply can't describe my feelings.

Our original doctor at Abington is no longer doing IVFs anymore and is slowly retiring.  So for our "WTF" meeting, we were assigned a new doctor,  Dr. Somkuti.  This is something that I was not thrilled about. Upon review of our cycle, EVERYTHING went as planned and even better than planned...until the end.  I responded to the medication well, my blood work always came back with great numbers, I had a great number of mature eggs retrieved, and more than the average were fertilized.  But then our embryos just didn't grow.  One of two things happened:  poor lab technique or poor embryo genetics.  Since most labs strive to have optimal conditions, it is likely to be poor embryo genetics in our case.  Only 2 of 7 made it to transfer but they looked great.  While many embryos look great from the outside, they are genetically"wrong" on the inside causing them to arrest or stop growing as it will not sustain a viable pregnancy anyways.  This was our problem...the DNA in either my egg or Chris's sperm, is genetically abnormal.  While the doctor's can't be sure, they are thinking it's the sperm since the majority are abnormal looking from the outside.  While there is something called a DNA fragmentation test for sperm, it is NOT accurate in predicting pregnancy rates.  Men who come back with results of many genetically abnormal sperm still move on to father children and many men with normal results do not.  Sadly a sperm cannot be tested prior to fertilizing the egg because it kills it.  This leaves them no choice but to pick out the best looking sperm based on vision alone under a microscope.  Science has not gotten much further than this.  Again, the bad news is that "you can't judge a book by it's cover", meaning just because it looks good, doesn't mean it's DNA is.  

So how do we fix this?  From what I can understand, we don't and can't.  We can't take different medications, eat better, have genetically normal sperm and egg.  It's just something your stuck with.  There is NO cure.  Our best chance is to try something called PICSI which aides the embryologist in selecting the best sperm.  A PICSI is a procedure with a specialized petri dish with three dots of hyaluronan.  The sperm that bind to this agent are supposedly more mature and have less genetic problems than ones just picked out visually.  As of yet, there is not enough scientific research to prove that this works.  It is worth trying because it MAY help, but cannot harm our chances.  The doctor also suggested something called co-culture which only a few clinics in the country do.  Basically, before my eggs are retrieved, they do a biopsy and take cells from the uterus. They allow these to grow in a petri dish and then place our embryos on top of them.  The advantage is that this can produce a more natural environment for the embryos to grow...however this still may not matter if the embryos are genetically abnormal.  Again, scientifically this has not been proven to help, but it also cannot hurt our chances.  The problem is that these additions to our cycle add more dollars to our bottom line....about and additional $2,000 worth.  

We can also choose to do PGD, or genetic testing on the embryos prior to the transfer.  However this will only give us an answer as it if they are indeed genetically abnormal. It still doesn't point fingers to the egg or the sperm and there is still not cure.  It will only provide us with a piece of mind as to why the cycle failed....for an additional cost of $5,000 on top of the $12,000 to $15,000 the cycle costs.  It's money we don't have so we are choosing not to do this.  

We are at a loss since there's not much that we or the doctor's can do.  I have had a second opinion with RMA of Philadelphia.  They agree that this is our problem but have little solution to "fix" it.  The doctor there did suggest perhaps changing my medication to try to get better quality eggs.  Since both doctor's agree what our problem is but have different opinions how to help us I feel it is necessary to seek a third opinion as a "tie breaker".  Our consult with Dr. Peters at SIRM is May 2nd.  Navigating this path and getting answers is daunting.  Choosing a final clinic we will go through has weighed on our minds heavily.  The wrong decision could mean another failed cycle.  A few statistics and a "gut feeling" are all we have to go by because it seems no matter what we choose, it's all still a gamble.  

This has not been easy and has been a long bumpy road.  Often times it's hard to keep going and even get out of bed in the morning but we have to keep moving towards our goal.  It's been a rough few weeks and now more than ever we see that life just isn't fair.  Why do so many other people have what we want?  Why do so many take it for granted?  We can't afford another IVF cycle as we drained our savings from the first.  Our only option is to ask for help which isn't easy to do.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's been a few weeks since our failed IVF attempt. We put all of our blood, sweat and tears (literally) into it....not to mention ALL of our savings. We stopped doing many of the things we liked to do like vacationing, and even simpler things like buying coffee in the morning, going to dinner with friends or doing projects around our house. Most people our age are using their money for family vacations, retirement, or deciding what kind of kitchen countertop they'd like to have. Not us. We just want a family...something most people completely take for granted. We still don't think it's fair that most people do this for free and that mother nature seems to have shafted us. Getting pregnant and having a baby seems so simple, but not for us. It no longer becomes simple when you've been trying for years and end up with nothing but medical bills and heartbreak. 

 For the past few weeks Chris and I have been racking our brains HOW we'd come with the money (again) for another try of having a family. We are already working full time and I even have an extra job. We watch every penny we spend and it STILL took a year for us to come up with the money for our last IVF cycle. Infertility is classified by the CDC as a disease and a disability, yet the government does not mandate that insurance companies cover treatment. I guess they think it's cheaper to cover psychological counseling instead....because that's where many of us end up due to the stress it causes. After alot of contemplation and discussion with a few close friends and family, we have decided to create a donation fund. Who likes asking for money? We definitely don't. I pride myself in being self-sufficient and have gone out of my way to be responsible, get an education and a decent job. However, time is not on our side and waiting another year to try IVF again would decrease our chances dramatically. For females like myself, in the mid thirties, who already have fertility problems, fertility decreases as we age. Not fair, but true. We know that by opening ourselves up to basically asking for monetary support, we also open ourselves up to judgement. We're ok with that because we know the struggles we've been through. People do fundraisers for other diseases like heart disease, ALS, etc. They didn't choose to have their disease. Neither did we. But they CAN choose to have treatment, just as we are choosing to do. Infertility is our disease whether we like it or not and we are making the choice to do something about it. If you were diagnosed with cancer or a disease like diabetes and chose not to do anything about it, I'm sure your friends would be pounding down your door and ask why you aren't trying??!!!! Why is this any different? Most people will never realize the depth of infertility and may pass judgements, however we can assure you it's no joking matter. It has forever changed our lives in the here and now and will also change our future. We may have no choice whether or not we have a family, but we can at least try. If we are judged for having a fundraiser to help us afford a family, then I think judgement needs to be passed on fundraisers for things like girlscouts, fundraisers for sports teams, schools and playgrounds, and even fundraisers to help a family after a fire.... These are all great causes too so how is ours any different? It's everyone's choice to donate or not and we will not pass judgement however will truly be grateful to anyone who can help.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

We have lived more than half of our married lives living and trying to survive the struggles of infertility.  It's not the fairytale outcome you think you're going to have starting off the first few years of marriage.  We knew that we'd have the typical struggles most couples have like fighting over stupid things like who left the garage door open all night and putting extra money in savings after paying all the bills. Once we decided the time was right to start a family, we knew raising children wouldn't be easy.  We make a decent living but both of us need to work to pay our bills and and maintain our current lifestyle.  We knew paying for daycare and deciding whose turn it is to get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby also wouldn't be easy.  We were realistic that while having children is a blessing, it's not all roses.  But we realized the benefits of having a family FAR outweighed the downfalls.  But never in our wildest dreams did we realize that it would be hard to even get there.  That wasn't even in our radar until we started trying and trying and...trying.  It seemed so unfair that everyone else in our family had NO trouble.  In fact I doubt most pregnancies were even planned.  Then there we were, planning our life away as life was passing us by.  It's not how I envisioned starting off married life, especially since I waited so long to reap the rewards of marriage.  I thought waiting was a good thing, but I guess I was wrong.  It's been a struggle for us and has literally rocked our world.  While we still love each other, this struggle has changed us.  There are only glimpses of the fun loving couple we used to be that loves to do new things and travel.  We have much more on our plates and are much more stressed about things NO couple should have to be.  

I know this is cliche' but this whole ordeal has been a big roller coaster ride...however from my experience it's been mostly a down hill ride.  During treatment cycles you invest SO much time, effort and not to mention money.  Throughout this we invested so much emotionally and's just plain hard to deal with the ups and downs this has thrown at us while everyone else in the world seems to carry on as normal.  Even though thousands of other couples are facing this too, it makes us feel so isolated since the rest of our friends and family never faced the struggles that we have no choice but to face.  It's not easy when you want something so bad that ALL your friends and family seem to have.  I can't tell you have frustrating and horrible it is to sit in on a conversation among my peers about how their kid did this and that while I'm dying inside.  

I think most people have some kind of life plan.  We did too.  When your plan involves something you desire so much, it's difficult to accept and deal with it when it doesn't go your way.  It's a complete loss of control.  At least with other things in life, like a job/career choice, where you live, the relationships you keep, the lifestyle to you live, you have SOME control over it by the choices you make.  Not with infertility.  We didn't choose this way of life and there's very little choices we can make about it.  The choices are to live childless and give up our hopes and dreams of a family or to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for treatment that may not work.  There is no doubt about it that most of you reading this value family and couldn't imagine your life without them....I value it too but I seem to have no choice because I can't even start one.  The more you travel down the path of infertility, the more it steals from you and the more control you lose.  We are at the mercy of tests, treatments and the doctors and little is in our control.  We have to fit our lives around their schedules and the schedule my body decides it wants to have.  When you lose this much control in your life, it's easy to feel that every aspect of your life is spiraling out of control....   when you invest so much time and effort into something you have little time for much else.  Everything seems to feel like it's on hold until this gets straightened out.  I feel that my life is passing in front of me while I just watch it happen. I've already lost nearly three years of my life like this...but when you want something so badly it's hard to give up.

Along with with feeling isolated, we will always have people that just don't "get it" or person that unknowingly ask a painful question without thinking about what they are saying.  I STILL get comments about how God will give us a baby when he's ready, or "it's meant to be", or "be patient and it'll happen" or "relax and stop worrying about it."  While these comments seem harmless they are actually the most painful things you can say to some struggling with infertility.  It's hard to explain unless you've lived through it.  Infertility seems to have a double standard and often goes ignored.  Would you ever say to someone who just lost his legs, "well at least you have your arms." or invite him to watch a marathon (yet I get invited to baby showers)?  Would you tell them to not worry about it and let God take control...probably not.  Infertility is a medical problem and somehow people forget that.  It's completely awful and insensitive when I'm told to "stop worrying about it" when it's our dream, we've given 110% to it for years and have invested so much emotionally and financially.  It seem acceptable ask for money for a wedding or a babyshower, or to fundraise for cancer research, muscular dystrophy, or their kids' soccer team, but is somehow faux pax to ask for money for infertility patients.  My struggles are no less painful and life changing from my perspective.  

There's no switch that we can turn off in our brains to make us not want children.  We can't help it.  I'm reminded of children everyday and every where I go.  I can't get away from it.  I work in a medical office building and on my way to the car saw a very YOUNG couple admiring their ultrasound picture.  The same week a patient of mine asked an innocent question: "do you have children?"  While it seems innocent enough, it was very painful.  Less than a week ago I had just gotten the news of our failed IVF attempt.  Yet she didn't stop there.  She proceeded to ask my age and then said "well you better hurry of before it's too late."  If she only knew..........some people just don't think.  

As far as our relationships with seems up and down.  This is an awkward topic to talk about and not everyone knows how.  Because this has become the center of our universe, there are a few friends that we've lost along the way and some relationships that are suffering because they don't understand. No one can really understand our struggles unless they've lived though this and it gets tiring trying to prove to people that we want this so badly and it's important to us.  Sadly I feel that the further we travel down this path the more this will happen.  This is important to us...the most important thing we could ever want,  but not everyone understands our struggles.  Eventually people are going to get tired of hearing our story and move on to more "fun" couples with similar interests.  On the flip side, there have been some relationships that have improved because of our struggles.  Some people are really surprising us and going above and beyond to support us.  I can't thank these people enough.