Recently I posted a submission written by my husband. In it, he talks about how infertility affected him, me and us. When I read it, I laughed, I cried, and…felt some shame. Not from anything he had written, but for the fact that I had always assumed he was fine throughout the process. Or even more honestly, I am not sure I even considered how he felt. I was so mired in my own self-pity that I couldn’t look beyond myself and notice that he was suffering too.
Before I start to sound like a self-centered, narcissistic bitch, I should explain a bit about our relationship. We have been together for a long time. We met in college, and (minus a break-up my junior year that lasted about six months) have been together for 17 years, married 14. Throughout this time, I have been the emotional one, he the stoic. Our differing personalities have served us very well, and particularly well during the years of infertility. I knew I could lean on him, no questions asked, no judgments made. When he told me about a year into treatments, “You should talk to someone, you’re not handling this as well as you think,” I took that as an act of love and concern, not a criticism. I cried, he comforted. I broke down, he held me up.
There of course are cracks in this stalwart exterior, such as a particular Johnny Cash song that makes him tear up, and romantic gestures connected to days I wasn’t even aware of (like the 10th anniversary of the day we met). But, in everyday life, he is a rock. My rock.
And so, I write to make sure that, if you have a rock too, please don’t forget to check in with him or her now and again. If you are the more emotive one, go ahead and emote right along but at least offer a chance to cry, vent, or just let go. Knowing my husband, I am 99.9% sure he would not take me up on that offer, but I also know that it would mean something to him that I offered it at all.
FertiCalm: Calm. Content. And in Control: An App Designed for Women Experiencing Infertility
Several weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Alice Domar. As I mentioned in that post, she is a pioneer in women's health. She is at the top of the field and if you have ever dealt with infertility or other reproductive issues, you should familiarize yourself with her and her work. She has introduced countless research findings to the field and we truly would not have come as far as we have in all things related to fertility without her knowledge, guidance and expertise. And we now have even more to be grateful for. When Dr. Domar first told me about the new App she and Dr. Elizabeth Grill developed, I said it was a game-changer and I truly believe that. If you are currently struggling with infertility, go immediately to your Apple or Android device and download the FertiCalm App. For no cost, (the app is free!), you will find over 50 specific situations that we've all experienced at one time or another while trying to conceive. And this app offers over 500 ways in which to handle these situations.
From the Ferticalm website:
FertiCalm addresses 50 common and distressing situations which individuals struggling to conceive encounter, and a variety of custom made solutions for each one. For each situation you might face (such as getting your period at work for example), you can click on six different ways to help you feel better. In the moment. As in, right then when you are experiencing the distress.
I know this sounds like a paid advertisement, but I assure you it is not. It is just a product that I believe in and wish existed years ago when I was at the height of my infertility issues. It would have been so helpful in navigating so many painful situations.
Head here to download on your Apple device.
Or here for your Android device.
PROSECCO & PALMTREES is a blog written by Kristy Jassak, a mom in Winter Garden, Florida. On February 5, 2017, she published a post about her infertility journey that hit home for me, as I think it likely will for many others out there reading. Head to her blog to read the touching account below and many other beautifully honest posts.
I couldn’t bear to part just yet with my littlest man for a whole week, so we took him along with my parents, on a ski trip to Colorado this week. The full significance of taking Max to Colorado didn’t become fully apparent to me until the plane started its descent and. I saw the jagged mountains to my left and the peaked white roof of this all too familiar airport once again.
The first time I visited Colorado I fell in love with its mountains, pine trees, rugged rock formations, amazing food and low humidity (good hair days of course!). I knew immediately I wanted to come back again and again, but had no idea until what circumstances I’d return.
Dr. Christopher Sipe is a Reproductive Endocrinologist practicing at Fertility Centers of Illinois. He has been praised by his patients for his empathy and warmth, evident in his desire to help clarify the many questions people have while struggling with infertility. Read on to learn the answers to the these questions.
During National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23 through April 29, Fertility Centers of Illinois are joining millions of women and men struggling to build a family in an effort to promote greater awareness about infertility. According to the CDC, one in eight couples in the U.S. experience infertility and it has been reported that infertility affects 45 million couples worldwide.
After trying unsuccessfully to conceive on their own, patients walk through our doors with a lot of questions. In an effort to help others and shed light on infertility, I am sharing the 10 most common questions we hear:
“Why can’t pregnancy happen ‘naturally’?”
This can happen due to one issue or several. For example, factors including medical diagnoses, lifestyle habits, cancer treatment, prescription medication and excess body weight can make conception a challenge. In other cases, the cause of infertility is unexplained. For women, common infertility issues can include ovulatory disorders, poor ovarian reserve, PCOS, endometriosis, or fibroids. For men, hormonal imbalances and semen issues are common infertility diagnoses.
I was recently talking with a friend who had just had her transfer and was waiting on the results. There was so much I wanted to say to her-I wanted to be encouraging and supportive, but also was careful not to get her hopes up too high for fear of the fall if it didn’t work out.
The two week wait. A term that I was blissfully unaware of before I knew anything about ovulation, injections, dye tests, HCG shots, etc. It is an excruciating time and it goes by so slowly, standing still, almost. It is marked by: doing everything in your power to not take a pregnancy test; endless praying; googling “early pregnancy symptoms”; and trying to immerse yourself in minute-by-minute distractions. And yet all you can think about is the two week wait. How many days left? What will the outcome be? Will you be crying happy or sad tears? And how can everyone else in the world just walk around and go about the business of daily life? Even my husband was able to go to work and live like a normal person while we waited. How was this possible?
Why do people think it's ok to tell someone struggling to get pregnant that they "just need to relax and it will happen." I heard that, or some variation of it, at least 1,000 times. It's infuriating and invalidating. There is seemingly no relaxing when it comes to trying to have a child and being unable to do so. Not to mention that I know PLENTY of rigid and anxious people who have gotten pregnant on their first try. I get that people are trying to be helpful, but being told to relax just makes me more irritated and stressed out. I think the best that you can do is just try to reduce your stress and hope to offer some ways to do so.