annoying things about infertility

I spent way too much time in this waiting room, staring at this door.

My experience isn’t universal, but.

Friends and family expecting and/or already with kids: I promise you that I don’t hate you for anything at any point past or present, I’m just (usually) angry only at myself.

On baby pics: Some days they’re okay and some days they’re not. Some people’s babies are easier to look at than others, especially if it’s easier to distance myself from seeing the baby as “something I could have had if I wasn’t so fucked up”. My reaction has nothing to do with your cute kid. Again, I’m just angry at myself.

On my mental health because of all this anger: It would have gone down the shitter if I didn’t have a supportive partner and a set of friends that were there to cheer and support every step of the way. I got a lot of answers that I thought I’d never get answers for and had written off as “just some quirky bullshit wrong with my body”…that I am thankful for, but the path was brutal. Support of some kind is pretty much required.

Various fertility voodoo suggestions that were not received very well so just don’t ever repeat this, IMO:

  • Staying in bed after sex with your legs up in the air for 10 minutes: That’s not how sperm works. Stop suggesting it.
  • Anything about getting laid: You only get to talk to me about this if you know that I almost saw a therapist for the fact that we had a doctor-prescribed schedule for sex and it was not enjoyable in the slightest.
  • Cutesy names for sex: No. It’s sex. It’s not “baby dancing”.
  • Preseed: Don’t waste money, just use canola oil. Everyone on Clomid, I understand your pain.
  • Vitamins and supplements: Only my infertility specialist gets to tell me what to take, okay?
  • Diets: No.
  • Giving it time: Shit’s already hard enough without time pressure added to it, come on. I also already wasted a year thinking “give it time” was all I needed to do. A year. Not convenient in the slightest.

Various suggestions on dealing with PCOS + infertility that I also don’t recommend ever passing on to someone else:

  • Weight loss: Did you know that there are women with PCOS that are at or lower than their ideal body weight? Did you know that overweight women with PCOS can try to lose weight but experience greater than usual difficulty in doing so? Did you know that weight loss isn’t the only big deal about PCOS? Shut up and leave it alone.
  • Anything from people without firsthand PCOS experience: Please cough up your board certification in the subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Oh wait…

If you are also struggling with infertility, hang in there. I had a very easy case, all things considered, with only four successfully-ovulated cycles (of six) on only Clomid or Femara to get to where I am and with only previously-undiagnosed-borderline-PCOS to deal with. But I know the struggle, especially all the practice self-injecting and planning and budgeting for potentially more invasive procedures. I am sending you lots of love and I am around if you need support.

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