Apparently I’m Not Infertile!?

Like so many of my Infertile and KuKd sisters, I’m often surprised and hurt by the thoughtless and stupid comments and suggestions that are made by well meaning individuals, but what is even more surprising is when these hurtful comments and statements come from a fellow infertile. Yesterday I received a comment on my blog that really hurt my feelings and got me thinking. A well meaning fellow infertile messaged me to tell me I should not call myself infertile because I have been pregnant a number of times, although some of them landed up being miscarraiges and that while I was TTC naturally, she was having to endure rounds of IUI. I can’t tell you how that message felt like a slap in the face, it felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach and even though said individual may read my blog and come across this posting, I really need to get this off my chest in order to let go of the anger I felt over those statements.

For starters, to say some of my pregnancies ended in miscarriage would mean that said individual must think I have a child. Which I don’t. Not some of my pregnancies ended in miscarriage, all of my pregnancies ended in miscarriage, every single one of them. SIX times! Six times, I’ve been fortunate enough to see the second line on an HPT, six times I’ve been telephoned by my Gynae or FS with the wonderful news of doubling beta’s, six times I’ve gone for my six week scan and heard the Dr sigh and felt my heart break because I knew what was coming next. Six time I’ve had B-HCG blood tests done every second day, sometimes for weeks on end as dropping of the HCG levels is monitored. Six times I’ve endured the unbearable cramps and pain of a miscarriage. Six times I’ve thought my heart would break and that I’d never be able to smile again, never be normal again. Six times I’ve wished I were dead rather than have to face the pain of surviving one more moment of my loss. So am I really that lucky to have seen the second line on an HPT six times? Am I luckier than my fellow IF sisters because I’ve received the good news of a pregnancy?

Secondly, I call myself infertile because I always believed that being infertile was being unable to have a child, so far I’ve been unable to have a child, surely that makes me just as infertile as my fellow IF sister who’ve never been pregnant? The only difference between you and me is that when you’ve received the good news of your pregnancy you will believe it to be the happiest day of your life, for me, that is when true terror sets in. Night sweats, heart palpitations, nightmares, panic attacks and constant obsessing about when I”m going to see the blood. Do you know that my FS has already informed me that when I get the wonderful news of my next pregnancy they are going to put me on medication to try and control my anxiety levels because of the impact it has on my blood pressure and on the pregnancy? I have to ask, am I luckier than my fellow never been pregnant IF sister because of the beautiful way that I get to experience a pregnancy?

Thirdly, for those of you who have not read the “about me” section in my blog, here’s a quick recap: 6 first trimester miscarriages, countless chemical pregnancies, 2 laproscopies, 1 hysterscopy, 1 D&C, 1 HSG, 1 Office Hysterscopy, more timed and stimulated cycles than I can even count, 1 long protocol IVF with PGD, 1 “natural” IVF, 1 short protocol IVF with immune modification, 1 tubal ligation, more blood tests than most human beings have in a lifetime, HLA studies, Genetic Counselling, 2 PC Tests.  And I shouldn’t call myself infertile?

I’m so sorry if this posting comes across as angry, but I really am angry. To tell me I’m not infertile is like saying just relax and you’ll get pregnant, or take a vacation, or my favorite one, just adopt and then it will happen. Those are the ones that we all know, but there are some extra special ones reserved just for us KuKd sisters: “At least you lost the baby now and not later” Really? I’m so glad that there are better times to loose a baby. “There was probably something wrong with it” Well IT was my baby that I loved with all my heart, I had dreams and aspirations for IT that were shattered when I lost IT.And my most favorite comment of them all: “At least you know you can fall pregnant” Wow, yes, I’m so glad I know I can fall pregnant and have miscarriages, that has brought me soooo much closer to achieving my dream of having a child.

Infertility is hard for all of us, whether you’ve been trying for a year or for 10 years, whether you have primary infertility or secondary infertility, whether you have male factor or female factor, whether you’ve never been pregnant or suffered multiple pregnancy losses. I hate it when I log onto support forums or blogs where some people think that they are more entitled to their pain than somebody else and when they deliberately say things to make others feel like we should pity them more because they’ve been through more. Hurt is hurt, infertility is infertility, it doesn’t come in varying degrees, you either can have a child or your can’t, regardless of your prognosis or treatment. So please well meaning individual, don’t ever trivialize or minimize the pain and hurt and longing of a fellow infertile and KuKd sister.

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  • Reply Maritza

    How odd that anyone would be ignorant:

    “Uneducated in the fundamentals of a given art or branch of learning; lacking knowledge of a specific field”

    enough to make such a comment.

    It’s like someone saying you only have cancer if you’ve got liver cancer. I mean seriously. And in whatever which way, shape or form it comes, infertility is infertility.

    Is this not glaringly obvious? *shaking head in disapproval*

    July 26, 2008 at 12:09 pm
  • Reply samcy

    *sigh* I’m sorry that someone was so callous to say that you to Shaz… I hope that the well meaning commenter realises the errror of her ways and can realise the importance of checking what you’re going to say before you say it…


    July 26, 2008 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Murgdan

    Wow. So so many ignorant people…incredible. Sorry you had to suffer at the hands of someone else’s lack of insight. Ugh.

    July 26, 2008 at 1:55 pm
  • Reply duck

    You should be angry, infertile is infertile, no kids, no matter how many times they implant, ignorance and jealous can be everywhere.

    July 27, 2008 at 3:08 am
  • Reply Nikki

    I’m a lurker, but I am delurking to say my say.

    I am outraged! Here are the facts.

    Any woman or man who needs any form of assistance in producing LIVE children for any reason is infertile. Any couple who cannot have kids because one of them requires assistance is infertile. Any woman or couple who suffers the loss of their child born or not, and continues to try is a HERO!

    July 27, 2008 at 12:45 pm
  • Reply Sassy

    Be angry. You are infertile, you don’t need to explain why to anyone.

    Honestly, I’d publish the comment with her blog address so she can be educated by the wider public. And I mean that, educated. She needs to learn how wrong she is.

    July 27, 2008 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Elize

    That’s absolutely shocking Sharon!! I would have been just as hurt as you are now. I agree you really should publish the comment. Saying that some of your pregnancies might not have made it also denies your feelings of loss and hurt. What is she trying to say in any case? You never saw your babies, you never held them.

    Just because she is now enduring IUI does not give her the right to negate your feelings. You’ve done so much more than IUI. I agree, infertility it infertility and the fact that you have not been able to bear live children to date certainly qualifies you more than enough to call yourself infertile. It is after all a medical condition that needs medical intervention.

    Not being able to call yourself infertile is like saying a person who has chicken pox doesn’t really have chicken pox because he doesn’t exhibit the same symptoms or number of spots on his body than the guy next to him. The truth is the truth. Whether you’ve been trying for 1 year or 12 years. I believe each additional year of trying brings about new challenges and emotions but in essence we are all the same going through the same motions.

    And to call yourself lucky because you’ve seen a positive test well whoop dee doo. I’d rather not have seen the damn positive than to deal with the hectic emotional scars brought about with a miscarriage.

    What she doesn’t understand, and for her sake I really hope it never gets to that point is the fact that you’ve had so many losses, is actually a loss in itself, in a way that has far more consequences than never having had a miscarriage. Not only did you lose your babies, but you’ve lost the ability to be excited about a BFP, you’ve lost the ability to have a surprise pregnancy announcement, you’ve lost the ability to be excited about your next pregnancy, you’ve lost the ability to be calm about your pregnancy in your 1st trimester, even maybe your second and third trimesters. You can never just breathe easy because you know all too well that it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.

    I’m sorry you were hurt hon. Hope the weekend helped to ease some of the hurt you’ve felt.


    Love and kisses.

    July 27, 2008 at 6:15 pm
  • Reply Dee

    WOW, amazing how some people are just

    July 28, 2008 at 8:32 am
  • Reply charne

    o Sharon my heart breaks just thinking how some people are clueless and how they say the wrong things at the wrong time…

    we all in this together and the ultimate goal is for us to be holidng our precious child… so really no matter who is going through what and what title we give our selves the point is we all striving to be mommies and we need to support each other…

    think of you as a fellow infertile sister going through this difficult journey to motherhood with me…. i could never understand how you have handled what you have, but i do believe God is there for you and will never leave your side!

    July 28, 2008 at 10:40 am
  • Reply Joni

    Hi Shaz

    OMG, I can’t believe someone can be soo callous! I was also told off this week for calling myself infertile, apparently I and my fellow PCOS suffers are only sub-fertile and basically have no right to the title infertile!!! “A rose by any other name…..”


    July 28, 2008 at 11:51 am
  • Reply jaded me

    i think i’ve just become your new bff. thanks for putting this to words. i have easily fallen pregnant 2x. yay?
    no miscarraiges. yay? yet lost both my girls – one at 22wks and one at 23wks pregnant. i have had to give birth 2x and not have a child to show for it. i have noticed that i hardly, if ever, get any return comments from the women that have not ever gotten pregnant. i lend them support and understanding and i get none in return. not that i give support to get it, but after a while i have noticed that pattern. are we really that different? i thought there was more that made us the same than made us different. the heartache. the sorrow of still not being parents. so what if i can be get pregnant easily, i still am yet to bring a chld home. am i therefor underserving of support?

    August 3, 2008 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply John Davis

    Thanks! Really interesting. I wish i could spend my time on writing articles…just have no time for it.

    August 9, 2008 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Katie

    OMG thank you I totally agree!!!

    August 26, 2008 at 12:53 am
  • Reply Stacey

    Hi there,
    I found you on ICLW. Strange that I picked this post to comment on but I, like everyone else am totally shocked.
    I have a hard time finding where I fit in, in terms of infertility. In the blogging world, it seems that with most people there are certain processes and meds and words I’ve never even heard. I’ve been pregnant 6 times. I still don’t have a baby either. All 6 ended in miscarriage. It’s horrible and it hurts. There’s no need to split hairs about who gets to be called infertile.
    What’s the point of being called “fertile” if you don’t end up with a baby? I totally agree with what you said here. Consider this a virtual high-five! 🙂

    August 26, 2008 at 2:08 am
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