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And Then There Was Silence

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Buffy comfort, Xander comfort

I'm Struggling With Infertility.

So I've decided to make this a blog post for several reasons. (1) I want people to know about this. (2) It's not a secret and I don't like feeling like this is a secret. (3) In sharing this, I hope that relationships will be deepened and there'll be greater understanding and sensitivity.

I've delayed blogging/posting on FB/telling people in person for several reasons. (1) I do not want advice. (2) I do not want platitudes. (3) I do not want anything except sympathy on this topic. Then talk to me about other things in life, I'm still Kat. I didn't tell my Bible study group because I was afraid of hearing things like "God grants us the desires of our hearts", "just relax about it, it'll happen in God's timing", etc. GRRR!!!

So here it is: James and I have been trying to conceive for about 9 months, unsuccessfully.

For those who don't know, this is how a typical cycle looks like. I get my period, we wait for about a week then start trying, then we wait for about 2 weeks, then I get my period again. This is what it feels like. We start trying and that's good and fun. Then we start waiting. I notice that something about my body is ever-so-slightly different and wonder if it's because there's now a baby in my uterus. But no! Don't start hoping, self. It probably won't happen. But it might! But it probably won't. But it might! For 2 weeks. Then my period is late by a day, or I've miscalculated when it'll start and things are a little more hopeful/exciting. Then I get my period. I'm a little disappointed but hopeful for the next cycle.

But that slightly sad yet hopeful conclusion changed one day about 6 weeks ago. A very awesome friend announced her pregnancy and my reaction was off the planet!! I was weepy and depressed for about a week from it. I hated being intimate with James and it was affecting my teaching at school too.

We decided to take a cycle off from trying. And that was really good. Then I got offered a classroom teaching position for next year and we've decided to stop trying until April to (1) give me a break from trying to conceive and (2) be able to finish out the school year in case I do fall pregnant.

I thought I was coping all well and good with not being pregnant, but yesterday at church I spontaneously burst into tears without warning! I was a bit embarrassed about it. Anyway, I don't like the idea of waiting to tell people after 3 months that you're pregnant. The reason people wait is in case they miscarry, as the risk is highest in that time. I don't like that waiting-to-tell-idea because I'd like people to rejoice with me, and mourn with me. How can people mourn with me if they don't know anything, or that I was pregnant in the first place? All this leads to: when do you tell people you're having trouble conceiving? When is the natural time to bring that stuff up? I don't know, and I'm sick of feeling like it's a secret. So here it is: we're having trouble conceiving.

We've both had preliminary tests for this stuff and nothing had shown up. When we return to Halls Creek next year, I'll get the doctor to take a week's worth of blood samples that should show up ovulation hormones, or lack thereof, and we'll take it from there.

The baby wave is starting amongst friends of mine. There have been 4 announcements in 2 months on facebook. Each time I feel a little sad that it isn't me. I am happy for them and I wish them all the best, but it is still hard for me. I don't want to be the kind of person who hides friends on facebook to avoid their happy news because I'm trying out self-preservation tactics. Or blocking their baby-related pinterest board for triggers. Yet, that is what I'm doing. I love you, friends. But I need to not cry all the time.

If anyone feels like they want to make life easier for me, this is what I'd appreciate: Please tell me if you're trying to conceive. When I hear happy news from you, it won't be a shock. Furthermore, I would have been praying and hoping for you and be emotionally on board with your pregnancy. And I think also, I won't feel so isolated. A friend's sister has been trying for a while now, and even though I'm not close with her, I am hoping and praying and anticipating her one day, maybe, finally, falling pregnant. I feel like we're in the same boat and I'm actually glad there's one other person in the whole world struggling with this as I am.

So there it all is. There are a couple of articles I've read that've been super helpful and I would appeciate if you read the before commenting:
What NOT to say to someone struggling with infertility
What can I say to people who tell me I'll get pregnant if I "just relax?"
The Infertility tag on Offbeatfamilies which has a variety of articles on the topic for further reading.

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Thanks for sharing, Kat. I am sorry you are struggling and I will pray. We have started trying for baby #2. We aren't counting or anything so we know it may take some time. We just try to be intimate a few times a week.

I think you should tell your close friends exactly what you wrote here. Just preface with your desire for sympathy and prayers and then move on. Your wisest and most wonderful friends will check in on you and how you are doing as you deal.

Aww, thanks for letting me know, Rose. I'll definitely be praying for you.

My closest friends know that I've been trying and not succeeding. But when do you get to the point where you say "I'm not coping so much anymore", y'know?

Well I haven't been in the situation of trying to get pregnant and not being able to, but you have my sympathy. I know it's horrible when people just give glib answers, mainly to make themselves feel better.

Over the past few months I have been in really bad health and have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I have been in hospital three times and am trying my best to stay out over Christmas but my symptoms still haven't really stabilised, even on medications. One of the meds I am on I will likely have to be on for the rest of my life (or until things are very well controlled as it is meant to bring you into and keep you in remission). When I am on this particular medication I am not allowed to get pregnant as there is a very high risk of birth defects. So in that sense I guess I am in a similar situation, only that we haven't started trying yet.

That's all I have to say really. Keep close to God- I know that's advice but it's the only advice that I will give. I will be praying for you and your husband. Hope you have an enjoyable Christmas

Bah! Wikipedia makes me believe that you have it pretty bad! *sympathies and hugs* Are you still in the house we had your kitchen tea in? I think I remember you or someone else saying the landlord won't allow children. So at least you don't have to move for a while!! WHOO HOO (I find celebrating terribly trivial and stupid things to lighten my spirits)

It is good advice. I don't want advice on how to make a baby happen. But advice on how to weather the trials and keep eyes pointed on Jesus is good advice.

Like, Sarah, this is making you more like Jesus and is bringing glory to God. I like John 9:1-3 for this. It brings me comfort. So my advice is to read it and meditate on it ;)

Hi Kat, yeah I do have it pretty bad but it has taken me a long time to accept this! Yup still in the same house and won't be going anywhere for a long time (except maybe to the Drs).

Please pray for wisdom for me as there is so much conflicting information about what I should and shouldn't be eating.

I pray for you in your uncertainty too, that you would know the peace of God and what he has planned for you

*hugs back*
Thanks Spall!

Thanks for sharing your struggle.

Dear Kat,
Thanks for being so open and I only hope that this post makes it easier for people to care for you. I know the feeling of really wanting children, but being unmarried I am having to be patient, but it must be very tough for you and James being married and still waiting. I will keep you in my prayers and please know that I feel for you. God loves you so much He gave His son for you, so know that He cares too. God bless. Pete.

Re: Thanks for sharing your struggle.

Thanks Pete. :)

Hugs. I'm praying that you and James will be leaning on each other and trusting in God. Xx

I'm sorry to hear this Kat. Sucky things are very sucky. However, thank you so, so much for sharing.

I've recently been having tests for PCOS. (I had the test but haven't got the results yet... I am delaying a bit.) I have wanted to adopt children for a long long time - half my life - because adopting is awesome. *I* want to. But. Now the amount of time where it will be a choice *to* adopt, *despite* 'being able' to do the biological thing, or at least feels that way, is getting smaller and smaller and smaller, three guesses as to what I actually *want* right now? Yup, biological kiddos.

I'm not married right now, as you know, so I probably wouldn't be persuing children, biological or adopted, irregardless of the PCOS. And I might never get married, but I hope I will. But... looking down the road and knowing that biological children are not necessarily going to be a possibility for me (for us, if I stay in my current relationship, although of course it's still early days), and that even if they are they may not come easily to me... well, I'll say it again, sucky things are sucky. And sometimes I want to throw things.

Do you want me to pray for you, Kat? Do you want me to pray that God will be enough for you, and for James, as I am just starting to pray for me? Do you want me to pray for anything else specifically?

Sorry to hear you're having a crap time. Love you, friend xx

If there's nothing medically wrong with with either of you that would make it difficult, I'm sure it will happen eventually, though obviously it's really hard in the meantime. But be confident, it takes some people longer than others :) I'm happy you're coping as best you can and hope you don't have to do that for too long!

BTW I don't get the cycle thing, why do you wait for 2 weeks in there?


-A woman starts menstruating. That lasts for about 4-7 days. Day 1 of menstruating is Day 1 of her cycle.
-At about Day 13, she ovulates. Sperm lasts for 3-5 days in the uterus, while an ovum only survives for a day unless it is fertilised. So sex is to be had in the days proceeding ovulation.
-After ovulation, a woman's body releases progesterone which prepares the uterus for implantation of an embryo and for early pregnancy.
-When the progesterone production drops 14 days later (Day 28), menstruation begins anew.
-If there is an embryo that's implanted in the lining of the uterus, other hormones will take over (and pregnancy tests look for the presence of those hormones)

So pretty much, there's a very small window of pregnancy opportunity that occurs, but there's no way of telling if it's been successful for another 2 weeks after conception.

Side note, I was on a progesterone birth control for a time, which tricks the body into believing it's already ovulated.

The more you know!


The female reproduction system is incredibly complex and there's a lot (a LOT!!!) of variation. Yet hormonal birth control is STILL, somehow, a woman's domain. WHY is there no bloody hormonal contraception for men!?! WHY is this only something that's been looked into NOW!?

Edited at 2013-01-03 09:54 am (UTC)

Re: The More You Know!

I'm not sure how I feel about knowing this.

Re: The More You Know!

Reproduction is everyone's business! Being a man who does not want children, I think you ought to be informed on reproduction in order to avoid it. Being a man who wants to have sex with a woman means you should know something about what women's bodies do.

If you end up with a woman who also does not want children, then you're going to require birth control. If you're committed, you'll probably both make a decision to be on some kind of hormonal control as opposed to a barrier method, which is going to be messing around with her system. It's not just her issue. It's YOUR issue too!

You should feel educated! :)

Re: The More You Know!

Condoms and/or pill = sorted ;)
Only thing I really need to know about the cycle is which days of the month to hide :P

Re: The More You Know!

You could bury your head in the sand, or you could know stuff, get over it and perhaps be man enough to buy a lady friend supplies {chocolates, tampons, etc) during shark week.

This icon is for you, Nic ;)

Re: The More You Know!

Well i don't know if this is helpful but I've heard a rumour to the effect of some people's bodies can take 2 yrs or longer to return to normal after ceasing hormonal contraception :O

Thank you x a million for writing this blog! It's everything I always think. I at first didn't tell many people we were trying because I wanted the pregnancy annoucment to be a surprise when it happened. We are about to go into our 7th month of trying, and now I don't want to tell anyone because of reasons 1-3 that you listed. Recently our best friends became unexpectedly (to us at least) pregnant and it rocked my world a bit. It's definitely a difficult secret to keep, and even harder when people don't understand how you feel. So, thank you again for your post and you aren't alone!

Hello Kat,
Just wanted to let you know that we are, and that we will continue to pray for you and James.

Thank you Rebecca. Here's some news I haven't shared on the internet yet (but plan to on facebook next week). I'm pregnant!! Yay! I'm 6 weeks along and we found out last week.

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