Monday, April 25, 2011

How IF has defined me...

So, I have recently decided to take a break from Facebook. It's a big step for me. For years now, while eating breakfast, I would surf the latest updates, and check up on friends. It's how we stay in touch with family and friends from around the globe and it's how we share pics and stories of our everyday life.

During the month of April, I have been posting several articles and blogs about infertility. April is National Infertility Awareness Month, and it was the month of my third IUI. So, naturally, my thoughts and every spare minute has been spent on RESOLVE's website and the INSPIRE support group boards. I find great comfort in surrounding myself (even if only in cyberspace) with friends and allies who are going through the same trials and tribulations that I am. It doesn't help that in my professional life, my days are filled with whiny, pregnant women and unplanned teenage pregnancies that often end in abortion.

Apparently, my blogs and postings have begun to "annoy" some people on my friends list. They have commented and messaged me about my incessant infertility posts. Some have even made vague, but hurtful, comments regarding my posts. So, after dwelling on my posts for a couple of days, I have decided that I need a break. I don't understand, if women are allowed to post status updates about their "baby bumps" and "pregnancy woes", why am I not allowed to post informative blogs and articles regarding infertility? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Whatever happened to "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?" And if my posts are so annoying, why don't you just ignore them or skip over them? Who knows, maybe somebody else out there would like to read the information in the articles.

So, looking back at my many Facebook status updates, I have begun to reflect upon how Infertility has really impacted my life. In all fairness, I should say "secondary infertility". After all, I have a beautiful and healthy three year old, who was indeed, my little miracle.


1. Infertility has made me a better mother. I honestly believe that having to wait so long for my little one has made me more appreciative of her and the time I have with her. I cherish every minute of being her mother and love every little bit of her. I often see parents who get frustrated with their children and seem to "take them for granted". Many are annoyed by their children and seem to be inconvenienced by them. My little one was conceived after years of prayers, sleepless nights and waiting. I will never take for granted the miracle that took place when she was born, and I have enjoyed every last minute of being a mother.

2. Infertility has made me a better practitioner. Even though it's very frustrating while taking care of whiny pregnant women, and especially whiny pregnant teenagers, infertility has taught me a great deal about patience. I realize that pregnancy and motherhood is a great gift, and I try to teach that to all of my patients.

3. Infertility has taught me patience. I guess that old saying, "anything worth having is worth waiting for" is really true in regards to parenthood. It seems that while waiting to expand my family, all I do is wait. I wait for my cycle to start, wait for my medication to take effect, wait for my IUI, wait for two weeks for my pregnancy test, wait again for my cycle to start, wait to save enough money for the next round of treatments...wait...wait....wait.

4. Infertility has brought me closer to my husband. While battling infertility, every part of my marriage has been tested. My husband and I have invited strangers into the most intimate parts of our relationship in order to help facilitate the expansion of our family. We have doctors telling us "how to do it, and when or when not to do it". We have been pushed to the exhaustion of our financial, emotional and physical resources. We have spent hours, crying, hugging, talking and consoling each other. I have realized what a great partner that I truly have. I wouldn't want to walk this path with anybody but my Brad.

5. Infertility has taught me that I am stronger than I ever would have anticipated. Through the years of hurt, both physical and emotional, infertility has pushed me to the most extreme limits. I have had the best of times (the birth of my daughter) and the lowest of times (the ectopic pregnancy this past fall). Most importantly, I have survived the worst of these times and have emerged a stronger person. Looking back now, I don't really know how I survived many of those dark days of pain and tears, but I did.

So, as I look back and reflect upon the recent posts of this month, I realize that I do obsess over our "secondary infertility". However, either you accept me for what I am, or all you have to do is "defriend me". Infertility is a big ugly scab that has scarred me for many years now. Everybody has baggage, this is mine. Take it or leave it.


  1. Hey Ashley, I am sorry that people are rude and insensitive. I personally am thankful that you are so open with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I have a few friends who struggle with infertility and it helps to have some insight as to what to say or not say to them. I appreciate your honesty. I pray for you and Brad throughout this difficult journey and hope that it once again brings a little bundle of joy to you soon.


  2. This is a beautiful and honest post.

    I too have gorwn frustrated with FB. After just announcing the preterm death of my son last week on FB, I took advantage of the extra attention and came out of the IF closet this week for NIAW. I got 10 "likes' for my NIAW status. 0 comments. Same with my public blog, 0 comments.

    I don't think the negative comments you received are fair and I'm also haunted by the silence from my friends and family.

    Both just go to show that IF remains a taboo subject.

    btw, I love the last 2 lines on this post are awesome.

  3. I commend you for braving the FB waters in sharing your thoughts/info about infertility. I am closeted to all but maybe 2 of my FB about my IF, and recently I posted a link on FB about the petition started by the IF community requesting that PETA change its recent campaign for NIAW. Within minutes, I panicked and deleted the link from my wall. I realized I just wasn't ready to receive any feedback (or even none at all) about IF. I totally chickened out. All that to say that I think it takes such courage to post those links and updates, and I would wager that there is someone out there on your friend list who has been helped or comforted by what you've shared. Even if they might not openly acknowledge it.

    I echo all of the ways IF has changed you. :)

  4. I love, love, love this post. I, too, have posted several articles and links and feel very ignored by my FB friends and family. I even called them out on it this week, and got a few comments in return. It is ridiculous that a post about what I had for breakfast receives ten comments, but one about how my heart is broken receives none.

  5. I'm not on FB, and this is one of the reasons. I just don't think that I can deal with the games that people play. I'm sorry that your so-called friends have been so unsupportive.

  6. "if women are allowed to post status updates about their "baby bumps" and "pregnancy woes", why am I not allowed to post informative blogs and articles regarding infertility?"


  7. Here from the Roundup. Thanks for your post. Don't ever be ashamed of writing your thoughts and feelings True friends will understand.