Infertility in Laymen's Terms

June 27, 2013

This is me on Lupron:

I would take hot-flashes any day over OHSS and all those other rough things that come with IVF treatment, but them leaving me on Lupron for longer than last time is H-O-T!
I recently had a conversation with my mother-in-law and dad (at separate times) trying to explain infertility. 
In life, most (note: I said most, not all) situations/challenges/issues are consequences of our choices.  I.E you have bad credit card debt?  You most likely made unnecessary purchases.  Overweight?  Wrong food choices.  Bad marriage? Maybe one of you is selfish or mean.  You get fired?  Probably didn't work hard. 
I personally have always loved a good challenge and I'm one of those "over achievers" who "make things happen."  When my husband and I got married 3.5 years ago he had over 100K in student loans and no degree (see example list above of decision:consequence).  HOWEVER, he didn't want to live his life in debt so we PUT IN discipline.  Blood, sweat, tears of forcing ourselves to use 1 of our entire paychecks to go towards the loans every single month.  We wanted new things, we wanted vacations, but we also wanted to have control of our finances: so we SACRIFICED.  But got results we wanted: financial peace.
In college, I graduated in 3 years.  I overloaded credits, I stayed in on the weekends (I know, nerd alert), I studied hard.  I graduated with a 3.9 and started teaching high school when I was 21.  I put in hard work, I reaped a degree and job. 
In my conversation with my dad, we talked about weight loss.  Many Americans are overweight and it's hard to lose.  BUT, anyone would agree that if the person truly committed, took action, dieted, ate right, exercised, etc. they would get the result they wanted.  It would be hard.  It would cost a lot of time, effort, etc.  BUT ultimately the choice/result is in their hands.
Again, massive disclaimer.  I know there are people that have to use credit cards to survive.  I know there are people with medical issues that make weight loss more challenging.  However, my point is, in MOST situations, you work hard-you get the results.  Ball in your court.
So, now.  Infertility.  This is what I said to my dad in regards to me having a struggle with "hope."
Imagine that you need to lose 100 pounds and you commit.  You're in.  You want it bad.  So, you follow the strictest diet perfectly.  You eat lots of fruits and vegies.  No sugar.  You exercise hard several days a week.  You deny yourself candy and treats because you want a healthy body more.  After 1 year of really really working hard you step on the scale.  It hasn't budged.  You still weigh the exact same as you did at the beginning of the year.
You feel mad.  Shocked.  Confused.  You did everything right.  You want to be healthy!  You do it again for year 2 but maybe consult another Dr. or nutritionist.  You go a step further.  You pay a lot of money.  You involve your body in hard physical challenges.  You eat perfectly.  Year 2 comes to an end.  You step on the scale.  You weigh the exact same.  Again.
At this point, it is harder and harder to believe that you will reach a healthy weight.  You are discouraged.  You become a little "harder" a little more cynical.  You look to the future wondering if it will ever work...
"This is how I feel dad"  I say, "This is how infertility has been for us."
We started off so pumped, so excited.  We took the right vitamins.  We don't drink alcohol.  My husband avoids hot-tubs at all costs.  We used OPKs and BBTs.  We did IUIs and monitoring and trigger shots and clomid.  Year 1 passed, no baby.
Year 2 is a little harder but we bring in the "big guns"  IVF.  At this point we are giving it our all.  Blood, sweat, tears, SPERM, eggs.  Injections, retrievals, transfers.  Everything we can possibly do emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually.  Nothing.
I'm not hopeless, dont' get me wrong.  I know there are many instances of "suddenly" in the Bible where out of nowhere ONE thing changes the course.  This even happened with me getting together with my husband.  I was single for so long (and nervous it would never happen) and then BAM out of nowhere God brought him into my life.  I'm not hopeless, just frustrated.  Infertility is not a consequence of me making bad choices, it's just part of living in a fallen world.  And no matter how hard I work towards getting results, I haven't yet.  It's hard sometimes.  I know God is reminding me that I am not in control.  I get that.
After having this conversation with my family, many light bulbs went on.  They could understand why I am "guarded" and not super overly excited for future IVFs.  I'm thankful.  I'm hopeful but I guarded.  I'm praying for a "suddenly" experience where despite the PAST, God does something new in my future. 


  1. Gosh, I know the feeling too. Being an overachiever and having goals and achieving them then this is the one thing that isn't happening. It's frustrating. Hang in there.

    1. Dee, thanks for the encouragment. It helps knowing people "get it." I KNOW you do :)

  2. Great post, Holly. I can totally relate. I have been following your blog for a while now. PRAYING this is your time - I think of you often. We are doing IVF this July as well. May God be pleased to grant us the children we desire!

    1. Hi Lorna! Thanks for the comment and thank you for prayers. It's so hard. We are IVF buddies! Is this your first time? I'll pray for you too :)

    2. Yes, first IVF! It has been so helpful to follow along on your blog..I feel like I am way more prepared than I would've been otherwise :)

  3. One of the first meetins we had with our RE..she told us that infertility is NOT something that you can overcome with hard work...and that fact would make this even more difficult for us.

    I hope the Lupron side effects ease for you!


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