About

THE SHORT OF IT:

Wife and business supporter to chef/restaurant owner husband, daughter, sister, friend, niece and “crazy aunt” as dubbed by beloved nine year old nephew. Madly in love with the children we can’t have.

Child free not by choice infertility survivor, IVF veteran, body work junkie holding holistic medicine at arm’s length. Openly and actively grieving the loss of our children and proud of it. Histadelic and pyroluric mental illness survivor, proud of that too.

Flutist for 33 years, voracious writer for 2.5. Somewhat irreverent yoga practitioner, foodie, wine and cheese lover, reverer of comedy, especially satire. Gifted at relating to children. Homemaker, fixer upper home owner and renovator, interior design amateur, enthusiastic novice gardener.

Massachusetts native, Rush fan, Red Sox fan, James Bond addict. Quintessential Gen-Xer.

Kind, impatient, quirky, hot and cold, blunt, sarcastic, passionate, sensitive, persistent, flawed. Fair AND unrepentantly snarky. Very sucky speller. Excessive eye roller. Mocker of self and anything else deserving of mocking, “It is what it is” subscriber, questioner of everything.

THE HEARTBREAK OF IT:

No pregnancies whatsoever

Time TTC:  3.8 years

Me: 43 years old, endometriosis stage 3 (not diagnosed until age 40)

Husband: 39 years old, no fertility problems

1/11 – 1/12: IUI’s – 5 failed, all done with injectables

7/12 – Hysteroscopy/Laparoscopy to remove stage 3 endometriosis.  Almost no damage to my ovaries.

1/13 and 3/13 – IVF’s, 2 failed

4/13 – husband and me diagnosed with HLA gene compatibility issues.  The unfortunate combination of both of our HLA allele genes causes my body to not recognize our embryos as genetically different, thus my body cannot create an immune tolerance to them.

6/13 and 9/13 – IVF #s 3 and 4 with neupogen added to protocol to circumvent HLA issues.  Both failed.

1/31/14 – Our last fertility treatment, an FET, failed.

Was treated for highly elevated NK cell activity with an intralipid infusion for all five IVF’s

Money spent to date – $77,000

Total embryos transferred: 24 day twos.  (17 grade a’s)

ASSLOADS of holistic measures that, although somewhat interesting and beneficial to my overall health, were totally pointless in procuring a pregnancy: Acupuncture, maya abdominal fertility massage, reiki, energetic allergy treatments, endless stupid supplements I don’t care to list, correction of a vitamin D deficiency which was actually not stupid, weight gain, alkaline diet (upon which I promptly lost half of the weight I gained), and a nutrient dense “fertility” diet.  During my Ayurvedic consultation (which was before we found out that we couldn’t conceive on our own) the practitioners suggested 21 days of abstinence prior to trying to conceive.  Um……fuck that!!

THE LONG OF IT:

As a student of yoga I’ve been taught that the most powerful and potent thing we’ve got is the present moment.  When you’re dealing with infertility, your life becomes so much about this great thing that might happen in the future.  This great thing that will have to come from more struggle and hard work than the average person has to endure to get a family.  And then it doesn’t, if the infertility goes on long enough.  And this great thing that might happen is supposed to somehow completely negate all of the pain, hard work, and devastating life effects of the present.  I reached a certain point in my infertility where I realized this is an insane way to live, basing my present outlook and mood on a future possibility.  A future possibility that we now know will not happen.  So I applied my yoga training and started to look at, acknowledge, and commit to living in the now of infertility.  It has been surprisingly horribly sucky, but personally I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My writing mainly exists for my own therapy, which has become paramount in importance since the ongoing life crisis of infertility continues to be excessively minimized by society.  In doing so it ends up providing an uncensored view of what my life is like living with infertility.  My writings contain my honest thoughts and feelings as I experienced them in my tough moments.  I make little effort to be nice, balanced, easy, appeasing or appealing.  Infertility is none of these things so why should stories about it be?  I also make little effort to acknowledge the light side of baby making.  First, I have through no fault of my own, not received the privilege of getting to experience any of this.  Second and more importantly, the light, bright, and notably EASY side of baby making is always front and center in our society, media, and world.  It achieves exclusivity, blatantly leaving out the 12% of our child bearing age population who have trouble having children and thus fails to tell the whole story.  My interest is in showing truths that exist when you are living with NOT receiving the best and easiest case scenario, a healthy pregnancy.  Truths that I’m afraid are told too little and silenced all too often.

I’m well aware that there are many valid viewpoints on baby making out there other than mine.  What I noticed when I really started dealing with the ramifications of infertility, and started talking about the feelings and challenges that came up, were the responses I would get.  Dismissiveness abounded.  “Don’t say that”, “You shouldn’t feel that way”, “They were only trying to help”, and so forth and so on.  Through subtle yet persistent inference you start to receive the idea that because you aren’t completely happy about the aspects of pain and unfairness that are hitting your life, your emotions and opinions don’t count.  That they are lesser or wrong somehow.  Well quite frankly I beg to differ.  I do not write this blog to say that I’m right.  I do write it to say that the challenges and pain of infertility are just as real and valid as the joys on someone who receives their family easily.  They are equally deserving of their place in life along with the happy part of baby making everyone WANTS to hear.

Although the argument has been made (mostly by people who HAVEN’T experienced it) that infertility is not the worst problem in the world, many people who have lived it would disagree.  I would at the very least say it’s a hell of a lot higher up on the list than society realizes.  It has affected and challenged every aspect of my life in ways I never could have imagined.  This blog is about those daily moments where I struggle with the changes, challenges, tough emotions, awkward social situations and loss infertility inevitably brings.  It’s a very difficult lens to be forced to look through and admittedly not even close to the life I would have chosen for myself had I been given any say.  But it is MY lens.  My view from the infertile world.  Welcome to it.

 

19 thoughts on “About

  1. dear Sarah,
    I have just found your blog via your comment on Pamela’s blog.
    I am also an infertility survivor (10 failed IVFs), aged 41.
    I am looking forward to more reading of your blog. But first… there are beautiful holidays in California waiting for me.
    Wishing you all the best.
    lots of love from sLOVEnia,
    Klara

  2. I just found your blog, and while I cannot even being to imagine what you have been through, I am really excited to start reading and learning from your experiences.

    • Great, welcome! I’ll keep writing about them (my experiences)…….that’s often the only way to make any sense of it all.

  3. I love your honesty and your candor, as a survivor of 3 failed IVFs, 2 abandoned adoption attempts and a divorce, I totally relate to everything you are saying and appreciate your directness. It feels like those of us who are childless by circumstance are expected to deal with the hand we have been dealt. It feels like it’s really hard for people who have not experienced our misfortune to understand the maternal pull which can become an obsession. It’s been 6 years since my last IVF treatment, and while the pain has subsided, there are still triggers. The triggers just don’t happen as often.

    • Thank you!

      I’m so sorry for all of your losses. That is a lot to go through, never mind survive.

      Yes, it seems like people have yet to hone the ability to comprehend that being childless by circumstance is a loss. I don’t expect them to know what I feel like, but that it is a loss needs to become common knowledge. Although I don’t expect someone who hasn’t been through it to understand, I strongly feel it needs to be common sense that losses such as ours fall into what I like to call the “I can’t possibly imagine” category. That category of things in life that are so tough, heartbreaking, profound, out of one’s control, and life altering that if one hasn’t been through it, they can’t possibly imagine.

  4. I just found your blog through a google search and subsequent rabbit hole. Your writing is beautiful and candid, and makes me feel like I’m not alone. Infertility is highly misunderstood, and kind of lumped into one category. Excited to read through your posts and gain a little insight into someone else’s journey.

    • Hi Elizabeth, welcome aboard. Making people feel less alone is one of the few things in which I find comfort so far as my husband and I continue to grieve and mourn the loss of our children. Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

  5. Hello ~ I’m so sorry for what you are going through but am so glad to find your blog. Connecting with people sharing similar struggles is really helping me through grief. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences! It’s hard to find the words, so I’ll just say thank you. Wishing you well!

    • Hi there – It is so surprisingly hard to find words, isn’t it?? So many don’t realize what a key component connecting with those who “understand” or partially “understand” is to the grieving and healing process – I’m glad you do! Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. Just found your blog while doing a search. TTC for the last 4 years and recently finding out I have endo and had a fallopian tube removed as well as cysts and all. With too much student loan debt, fertility treatments and adoption are too costly for my husband and I to consider those options. Hoping that maybe we can get pregnant naturally, we’re heading down the childless not by choice path. Thank you for sharing your struggles. I hope I find comfort in your words.

    • Hi Tessa –

      I’m sorry for all that you’ve been through. The bulk of our TTC journey was four years, so I know what a marathon that is emotionally. My best thoughts are to honor yourself, your feelings, your instincts, your spirit on this path that is all to often unacknowledged and misunderstood by others.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your blog has really helped me when I needed it the most.

  8. I found your blog last month, when I needed it most… I am now working through the amazing and fun times of accepting the fate of being child free, not by choice, after years of infertility treatments and 5 miscarriages. Your posts resonates with my feelings and thoughts and makes me feel not so alone in this journey. I want to thank you for your courage to be open and honest about your struggles to be child free in a world that is SO family focused. Your words give me strength to be open and honest with those around me to help educate people that infertility is a reality that does not always have a happy ending and that things don’t happen for a reason. (He thing I HATE hearing the most!) I look forward to reading more from you!

    • Hi Jodi –

      Glad my blog resonates with you. I’m sorry for all of your losses. Speaking is so hard, I know, and we don’t always have the energy especially in the first few years coming out of treatments and/or trying to adapt to this new life we didn’t ask for. But if we don’t speak, things won’t change. So I wish you good luck in all of your “honesty adventures”.

      Hearing that things happen for a reason is still a most scathing experience for me, it makes every inch of my being cringe. It is so NOT a soothing concept. It is officially my least favorite thing to hear too, and goodness knows we have a lot to chose from!

  9. Hi,

    I’ve been following your blog for a little bit…your candid writings hit home for me in different ways. I struggled for 2 years…and while I appreciate that 2 years is very short in comparison to some of the incredibly strong women who read this and yourself…I cannot forget the pain. I was blessed with my son this February and again this is not meant to hurt or open wounds or perhaps be taken as a bragging moment??? But even after him I still have the sting …jealousy and almost animosity towards those people who don’t struggle.
    My son was ivf. I did months of cycle monitoring as I couldn’t believe there was something wrong with me. 3 failed iui’s and then to ivf. Throughout that there were degrading examinations every other day, a few awkward and painful procedures and a biopsy…which yielded a “we don’t know exactly why” …I concluded that there are just many things wrong that act out at once. There were weeks and weeks of needles and medications…all which let me feel a little less normal each day. Its taken a toll on my mental health, and at the time my marriage.

    • Hi Kathy –

      Thanks for letting me know, “candid” is such a kind description (given my sometimes biting sarcasm).

      For me, your comment speaks to the life altering nature of infertility and going through treatments, and more so to the fact there is no acknowledgement, societal or medical, of the toll it takes on so many aspects of our lives and selves. I appreciate you graciously acknowledging the difference in our situations, however, there is inadequate support available for all of us – those who opt out of treatments, those who go through them and get the desired result, and especially those of us who come out of treatments without a child. We are seen as complicit in the loss of our children, and as having chosen the loss of parenthood and grandparenthood when alternative paths to parenthood are not feasible.

      We all need to keep honoring our feelings and raising our voices, not always easy to do amid the trauma and unnecessary but normal shame that creeps in with this, but so so important.

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