Pregnancy and you blog

Infertility: An invitation to share your story

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. January 29, 2013

I know that an entry about infertility in a pregnancy blog seems kind of crazy. Still, I want to acknowledge that not everyone can get pregnant or carry a pregnancy — and women who face infertility can find it difficult to talk about the experience and develop a strong support network.

At first, you probably assume that you're fertile. If you're not interested in pregnancy, you might go to great lengths to prevent it. Then, when the time is right, you stop using birth control — but nothing happens. That's when you start to reconsider your fertility.

When my husband and I got married, it was with the intellectual acceptance that we might not have children. You see, a few years earlier, Richard had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He received chemotherapy and radiation. He was offered sperm banking, but he thought that he was young and didn't need to worry about something like that.

I say that I intellectually accepted the idea of no children because we hadn't even started to talk about babies at the time. When I came home from our honeymoon, though, I was pregnant. My husband walked around like king of the world. We had a beautiful baby girl. When she was 18 months old, I wanted another baby. This time we actively tried for pregnancy — without success. 

I was angry. I was a good mom and a good person. Why couldn't I have another baby?

After some time, I realized that I needed to let it go. I told myself to be grateful for the family we had, and we decided not to pursue infertility testing. I don't know if I would have stuck with that decision for the long haul because eventually I got pregnant again.

Roller coaster that it was, my experience with infertility was barely a taste of what many couples go through every day.

First is the discovery of the infertility. It doesn't matter whether it's the eggs or the sperm. Someone feels that it's their fault. There's guilt and pain. Then the couple begins a journey that's both emotionally and financially painful.

I thought that I experienced terrible baby hunger. I can't imagine the baby starvation experienced by women who have prolonged fertility issues.

If you've faced infertility, please consider sharing your story. I'd love to listen.

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Jan. 29, 2013