My Journey of Infertility


Infertility. What an ugly word. That word just sounds miserable, dirty, horrible. Maybe because that word brings me back to a time in my life when I was young, feisty, full of life… or so I thought.

Infertility Awareness

That word changed the way I thought about myself. I mean, I was healthy, and ready to start a family. Yet month after month, my disappointment would rush over me like a terrible, suffocating tidal wave. I internalized this failure to conceive.

It made me feel like less of a woman. I loved kids, had always wanted them. Why wasn’t my body able to do what it was designed to do?

If you have never struggled with infertility, I am so glad. I’m not sure I can accurately depict how much of a blow it is to your womanhood to go through a trial such as this. If you have gone through a period of infertility, or still are, you know this struggle cuts deep into the very soul. For as many women who have been touched with infertility there are just as many stories, each one different from the next.

The story of my infertility took place over a year and a half. Looking back, and knowing that many women struggle with infertility for much longer than that, it seems like a trivial amount of time.

However, for me, each of the 18 times when my period came hurt deeper than the last. It was almost as if the weight of the reality that I couldn’t get pregnant kept piling up on me. Some months my period would be a day or two — maybe even a week — late, and I would rush to the cupboard for a pregnancy test (because I always had them on hand) to see if this would be the moment my hopes were realized.


Those 18 months were super hard because infertility was a struggle that I felt alone in. I didn’t have support at home, and the only other two people who knew I was trying unsuccessfully weren’t yet in that stage of life where they were thinking about kids, so they didn’t really know how to support me. Also, I kind of played it off like it wasn’t a big deal.

Luckily, towards the end of the 18 months, I found someone who “got it.” Kelly was someone I taught with. We were the same age, and she also had no kids and the summer off. We decided we were going to get pool passes and join the old women of Dubuque, Iowa, for some water-walking every day, then get our tan on after that. What a great way to spend your summer, right?

Well, that June, my OB/GYN and infertility specialist had me undergo a laproscopic procedure to see if endometriosis was the cause of my fertility issues. When she went in, she found that my large intestine was fused to one of my ovaries, so she cut them apart and hoped for good results.

While we were water-walking, Kelly noticed the incision on my navel and asked about it. When I told her that I’d had a laproscopy, she immediately confessed that she’d had one recently, too, and that she was undergoing hormonal treatment for her endometriosis. She and her husband were having a hard time conceiving as well.

We had a lot in common before this revelation, but as soon as we discovered this connection, we were besties. We filled that summer walking through water, soaking up the sun and lamenting over our fertility problems, and sharing news of what treatments we were receiving. Having someone who walked beside me, literally and figuratively, who understood the complex emotions and frustrations, just made things better. Misery loves company, or so the saying goes.

And then it happened. In late August, I found out I was pregnant. My hopes and dreams realized with a faint little red plus sign. I was ecstatic! Elated! Over the moon! But, wait. I didn’t want to get too excited. My infertility story had actually started in 2001, early on in my marriage, when I’d had a late miscarriage at 13 weeks. So, I was downright terrified that history would repeat itself.

Then there was the whole guilt thing. I had gotten pregnant while my friend, Kelly, was still undergoing her treatment and unable to try for a while. How was this going to affect our friendship? Luckily, she was amazing, and even though I know it hurt her a bit to hear my news, she still was genuinely happy for me. I’d like to think that if the tables had been turned I would have been as good a friend to her as she was to me.

The silver lining of my infertility story is that I have made a lifelong friend because we endured this trial together. This friend is someone whom I try to visit from time to time when we pass through Dubuque. This friend who now has four beautiful children, two of which are twin girls almost exactly nine months younger than my oldest. 🙂

Me and the Boys in a Field

Have you been affected by infertility? If so, did you have someone who helped you through?


  1. There are just so many facets to infertility that it’s difficult to pinpoint just why it sucks so much. Because it sucks so much in lots and lots of ways.

    There’s lots of guilt, lots of insecurity, lots of feelings of inadequacy, of being left out or left behind, of disappointing spouses or family members or friends, the loss of control… just sucks. All around. Just sucks.


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