I shared this blog with a friend. She responded that it is sure full of hurt. Yep, guilty on that one.

I am having to very consciously censor myself in a lot of these posts. While it’s therapeutic to throw everything out on the table, I have to remember my true intentions: Dear Fertile People, things an infertile girl wants you to know.

It’s not: Dear Fertile People, you do everything wrong and I hate you.
Dear Fertile People, WTF is wrong with you?
Dear Fertile People, I’m a jealous, negative bitch.

It’s things that I want you to know.

I can’t promise that I will always have the level of tact that I should, or that I won’t come across as excessively angry.
Unfortunately, I am excessively angry and raw.

Don’t Say This

Dear Fertile People,

This happens to me yearly. It is the epitome of don’t say this.

You should volunteer to work over the Christmas holiday because you don’t have kids.
Those of us with kids would like to spend the holidays with them.

This makes my blood boil. Then I cry because it is everything that people don’t understand about being infertile condensed into two sentences.

Let’s ignore the fact that my leave is decided by seniority. Let’s ignore the fact that we almost never have to use the seniority rule because enough people don’t want it off.

The fact we shouldn’t ignore is that I have a family too. My husband and I have created our own version of a family and it is very important to me. While the fertile people are at home celebrating the season with their children, we are hunkering down in one of the most painful times of the year. Everything is merry and bright. For you. Not for us. For us the season brings sadness from lost dreams. From traditions that we always wanted to share with more than just the two of us.

You should volunteer to work over the Christmas holiday because you don’t have kids.
Those of us with kids would like to spend the holidays with them.

In response, I just quietly asked if my six dead babies count. This is a conversation stopper that makes people very uncomfortable and I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

So don’t say this. Instead, you could just ask are you guys going away over the holidays or staying in town? Regardless, I hope you have a restful holiday.

Childfree vs Childless

They are not the same. Childless people often get lumped into the childfree group and we really don’t belong there.

Childfree is a movement. It is choosing to not have kids for social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. I can get behind some of it. If you don’t want children, don’t have children. Kudos to you for recognizing that you are better off childfree. The same goes for people who know that they would struggle financially or are too career oriented. All good reasons to be childfree. I can’t get behind the whole thought that reproducing oneself is the ultimate form of narcissism but whatev, the less unwanted children born the better.

Childlessness is not a movement. Childlessness is involuntary. It is thrust upon you and you will spend the rest of your life picking up the pieces. Life purposes and dreams are stripped away and you are left with grief and sorrow. Marriages often don’t survive. Infertility steals from all areas of your life until one day you’re 34 and you don’t recognize the life you are living.

Voluntarily childfree is not the same as involuntarily childless.

Don’t Say This

Dear Fertile People,

You are not a doctor. Please don’t play one.

There isn’t much worse than a person pretending that they know what they are talking about when they clearly don’t.

Why don’t you just do IVF?

Don’t say this. It’s ignorant. IVF is not the be all and end all of fertility treatments. IVF doesn’t work in cases of unexplained infertility or in people that just don’t ovulate, even with meds. It’s also dangerous for someone like me who has polycystic ovaries. Even massive amounts of hormone injections do not get my stubborn ovaries to produce any follicles. We run the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) if we just keep dosing up and up. OHSS can be fatal.

Multiples are a very real concern with IVF.

IVF is expensive. The meds alone can be over $5000 per cycle. There’s no way that you can do an IVF cycle for under $10,000.

IVF is rife with difficult decisions. How many follicles are too many? Not enough, should we cancel the cycle? How many embryos should we transfer? What are our beliefs on selective reduction should we conceive high order multiples? What do we do with the left over frozen embryos? Do we store them indefinitely ($$)? Or donate them? Or destroy them?

So yeah, it’s not “just doing IVF. Don’t say that. Instead you could say, I’m sure that these treatment decisions are really hard to make. I’m here if you need to talk. Can I bring you a pie? Or some brownies?

The Club

Congratulations, you have functioning ovaries! Have a super special parking spot.

I will be in the back of the lot, not part of the club.

Don’t Say This: an on-going series

Dear Fertile People,

I’m sure you mean well.
I’m sure you have no idea how much pain and anger a few little words can cause. They sting though. A lot.

You just need to relax.
My nephew has a friend whose sister in-law decided to stop trying and she got pregnant right away.
You should take a vacation. I bet you’ll come back pregnant!

Please don’t say this.
A relaxing vacation will not unblock tubes, normalize hormone levels or magically evaporate the cysts covering my ovaries. My infertility is not a result of stress, I promise you. It is a result of a clusterfuck of medical conditions that actually exist.

So please, don’t say this. Instead, you could just say, I’m sorry this is so hard. That’s it.

(Photographic evidence that stress is not the cause of my infertility. Those glaring cysts are).


Dear Fertile People,
Being infertile in a fertile world hurts. A lot.
I get that most people don’t (and can’t) understand this pain.
I am going to attempt to explain it.