For Mother's Day my husband and daughter treated me to a wonderful dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. My daughter who is six years old still needs to be reminded to use her utensils and not her fingers and to sit properly in her chair from time to time. In other words, she needs to be reminded to use her restaurant manners. So, upon leaving the restaurant after our meal, we couldn't help but beam with pride when a woman at a neighboring table complimented my daughter for her excellent table manners and her behavior in general. Then it happened. Totally out of left field the woman asked if we were my daughter’s parents… [more]
Welcome to the new series of Fertility Blogs! As a Mom and a woman who had some of the most excruciating experiences with my infertility treatments, I can empathize and sympathize with every woman, man and family during these emotional times. A friend once asked me to describe myself, using one word, starting with the letter of the alphabet. This gave me 26 ways to describe myself and I felt compelled to accept the challenge; knowing it would be simple, right? I began to ask other friends, family and colleagues to use a word that best described me in their eyes. Some were hilarious, others poignant, and still some even stung. As a columnist, I began a series on life from A-Z and it… [more]
I belong to a church that has a beautiful focus on families and the sacredness of them. This is a wonderful thing, except when you're infertile and feel like you're going to hell if you don't have a kid by age 25. I don't mean to bash the teachings of my church; I'm just trying to express the hardships that I dealt with being infertile in a congregation of mothers with large families. Our church has a tradition of handing out flowers on Mothers' Day to everyone woman. The first year I just kind of laughed at the idea of getting flowers when I wasn't a mother yet. The second and third years weren't as cute or funny though. When I was… [more]
If you are checking this blog today, then you are probably looking for some emotional support. The message you probably need to hear the most is that you are not alone and that you are going to be okay.
I know how badly you are hurting because I have been there. I tried to focus on the joy on my nephew's faces. I tried to be appreciative of the great presents I received. I tried to enjoy the delicious food and appreciate the family that I had, but there was an empty place at my table. More importantly, there was an empty place in my arms.
There is nothing good about struggling with infertility on Christmas Day. There is also nothing fair about it. It… [more]
Photo Credit: Lynda Bernhardt
I am sending out prayers, positive thoughts, and positive energy to all of my readers who are facing another Christmas with empty arms. I remember the pain all too well. I spent four Christmases choking back the tears.
On the first of these painful Christmases, I had announced a few months prior that we were trying to have a baby. My mother-in-law poured wine for all of us and asked if it was okay for me to have some. It was hard to tell her that I, unfortunately, could imbibe.
On the second of these painful Christmases, I was so angry that the doctor was forcing us to take the month off from fertility treatments and "just try naturally." I was due… [more]
When hub and I were going through fertility treatments, the holidays always seemed to bring with them an added level of stress. We were doing intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), so we (obviously) needed a doctor involved in order to complete the procedure. One year, my ovulation period fell right on top of Christmas, so my doctor told me to take the month off of trying to conceive, but we could still try to become pregnant conventionally. Of course, all I could think was, "Thanks a yahoo." It was not like trying conventionally had accomplished anything in the past 18 months.
The following Christmas, I chose to take the month off over my husband's objections. By this point, we had been trying to conceive for 2-1/2 years… [more]
During the holiday season, it seems safer to crawl under a rock for a month than it does to venture out of your house. You simply cannot get away from the reminder that Christmas is here, and seemingly everyone other than you is celebrating the holidays with a child.
You turn on the radio, and the disc jockey is talking about a "Breakfast with Santa" fundraiser. You see holiday decorations that appeal to children in many yards as you drive out of your subdivision. Forget about going to the mall unless you want your heart to rip apart when you see the long line of children waiting to talk to Santa. As I posted in Fertility Challenges: Holiday Movies, you cannot get away from the… [more]
In my last post, Fertility Challenges: Relatives at Holiday Gatherings, I talked about the struggles involved in getting together with relatives during the holidays while you are going through fertility challenges. In this post, I will focus on the similar struggles involved when attending holiday parties with friends.
As with getting together with relatives who know about your fertility challenges, friends can also cross the line of inquiring about the status of your fertility treatments. While close friends are likely to know the details already, acquaintances might find the topic of fertility procedures fascinating and encourage you to talk about it at the party. Of course, a holiday party is where you hope to forget about your fertility issues for a few hours, not… [more]
If you have informed anyone in your extended family about your fertility issues, then chances are that word has spread throughout your family. This can make holiday gatherings particularly difficult as you face relatives who have questions about your fertility status.
For some reason, many relatives believe it is okay to ask very personal questions because "we are family," so holiday gatherings with relatives often involve inquisitions. Relatives want to know if you are pregnant yet (Don't you think we would have announced the happy news?), how long you have been trying to conceive (Is "forever" a good enough answer?), and what steps you have taken to try to become pregnant (Does Uncle Ralph really need that visual?). Many relatives seem to have no concept… [more]
Shopping during the holidays is tough when you are struggling with your fertility. Stores are filled with all sorts of cute toys and clothing for children. You see children lining up to talk to Santa at most malls while songs like All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth play over the speakers. So much about this time of year centers around children, and this is very hard for people who long for a child of their own.
If you have nieces and nephews, you are thrown right into the midst of the places you want to avoid, such as toy stores. No matter how much you try to focus on the joy of your niece or nephew's face, you cannot help but… [more]