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We are the 10%

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Please note, I have no idea why there are no paragraphs in this post, and why the photo on Facebook is of yogurt dip.  Oh technology…

They say that within a year, 90% of couples trying to have a baby will have conceived without issue.

Being a six foot tall feminist who was in ROTC in high school and would now happily garden and bake all day means that I’ve never been one to fit in to a statistical mold.
Sadly this one is biting us in the ass.
I was ready for another kid once Jack turned three.  Likely because he was such an asshole as a three year old, I was probably looking to replace him.  Three is evil.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that two is where the trouble is at.  Three year olds need to be shipped off to an island where they can have their emotional breakdowns over the fact that “this dinner is TOO DELICIOUS MOMMY”, and promptly be returned when they are four years and one week old.
But for a multitude of reasons, trying for another one didn’t make sense until early last spring.  With the last five years being such a challenge for us, I kinda foolishly felt like God was going to give us a freebie on this one.  Like “hey, I know since 2010 your life has been kinda shitty, so let’s call a mulligan on this one and make things easy”.
Oh me and my little plans.  When will I ever learn?
When cycle two started, I laughed with a few friends because “of course it wouldn’t happen the first cycle, but I’m sure this will happen super soon”.  Then just imagine that same conversation happening each month, but replace “first” with words like “fifth”, “ninth”, and on and on…
I have many friends who have suffered from heart-breaking fertility issues, so my initial gut reaction was always “play down the feelings because it isn’t THAT bad”.  I think it was some time in February when I was discussing it with a friend and she said “Infertility isn’t a competition, and secondary IF can really suck donkey balls”.
Up until that moment I had never really thought about that word, and it possibly applying to me.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a patient person.  I will stand in front of a microwave and yell “hurry up”.  Patience is not my strong suit by any means.  So this process has been a very hard and challenging time for me.  For us. To want something so badly after having to wait so long, and then still not have it happen has tried my natural “Pollyanna” outlook on life.  It has challenged my relationships with others, and my relationship with God.  Please notice, I didn’t say “ruin”, I just said challenged.  It has forced me to grow in my communication and faith.  And I used to think if you just worked hard enough for something, it would happen.
And god knows we have worked hard enough at this.  HA!
I am so sick of shaving my legs.
We’ve tried everything that conventional advice recommends.  We’ve tried not “trying”.  I’ve peed on things (not Troy, but we’d probably be willing to give it a shot if it had a history of success.  “Hey, urine luck and got pregnant”), I’ve taken my temperature, I’ve ignored the thermometer, and just about all the other things you can think of.  I’ve prayed, I’ve bargained, I’ve brushed off the disappointment, and I’ve cried through the pain.  We’ve tried tests, looked for a diagnosis, and all those wonderfully invasive “fun times”.  We officially have a file in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist’s.
The delay in starting this next journey in our life has delayed a lot of other things I’ve wanted to do, and things I’ve wanted to share with you.  It’s kind of been a black cloud over my heart for an extended period of time.  I’ve gone back and forth a thousand times on whether or not to even write this post.  For one, it’s fiercely private, and even though I never shy away from sharing private details with you, this thing has the ability to make me sob at a moment’s notice.
After praying about it, and asking Troy’s permission to share (this is after all not a “me” thing, but a “we” thing), I finally settled on talking about it.  I feel like the word infertility is like saying Voldemort’s name aloud; calling it by anything else would only give power to the hold it has over a situation.  We are not powerless in this struggle.  This is a time in our life that once again will be a challenge to overcome, but it doesn’t get to own me.  It doesn’t get to own us.
One thing I would like to do is say a giant thank you to all of you who read this blog, whether you are new or have read since the beginning.  I see a lot of blogs out there where commenters are constantly saying “are you pregnant?  You look pregnant”, or “when are you going to have another baby”?  Not a single one of you have ever left a comment like that as far as I can tell, and I just thank you for it.  We never know what is really going on in a person’s life, and comments like that can be like to a knife to the heart.  So for your restraint and your loyalty, I thank you.  If you have room in your life to add us to your prayers, it would be appreciated.  And just for the small percentage of people who can’t refrain from throwing in “helpful” commentary – telling an “infertile” that you got pregnant within three seconds of wanting a kid…not helpful!  Anyone who says that gets kicked in the lady taint.
Voldermort, Voldermort, Voldermort.
I am no owned by any label.  We’re not powerless in this.

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119 comments on “We are the 10%”

  1. I’m so sorry that you’re going thru this. We tried for over a year to get pregnant w/ our second. Have you tried ovulation strips? I still have a bunch of them that I would happily send you if you’d like.

    • I just read thru some of the other comments and realized that my previous one may not be helpful or wanted. I enjoy reading your blog and was sad when you had to take a hiatus. It makes me even sadder to hear that you’re in such pain now. Please know that you have a lot of people out there that feel for you and while we may want to help, we also realize that we cannot. If there is anything that I can do, like keeping you in my thoughts, I will do so.

    • Yes I have. Ovulation is not my problem. I ovulate like a champ; gynecologists could write books about my ovulation skills!

  2. I have also walked the path of secondary infertility. While I knew what was causing it (PCOS) I didn’t understand how I so easily got pregnant the first time and couldn’t a few years later. I never ask “when are you having another” or anything along those lines because you don’t know their story. It was so painful to me when people would inquire without knowing we had been trying for a year without success. Sending you positive wishes and strength.

  3. You, my friend, are a rock star. I’ve got my little IF miracles praying for you every night. Whatever you need, you just ask. Or don’t ask, and I’ll try to remember to be there for you anyway. I love you and your family.

    • And I love those little miracles too, and am so honored to have them praying for me, the way I prayed for them before they were even “them”. Wonder twins activate!

  4. 1) I’m so sorry you are struggling with getting pregnant with your second. No advice, just good vibes being sent your way.

    2) I just stumbled across your blog and I love it. LOVE IT (she screams while continuing to watch The Office and drink Diet Coke…because lets face it, she’s lazy even when she is excited). Keep up the awesome posts…they are pretty awesome.

  5. I’m so glad you wrote this; I’m going through the same thing, except it’s #1 we’re trying for. It’s been a year, and nothing is working. Fertility Drug Round 1 didn’t work, and it turned up a cyst that they think may be endometriosis, so they don’t want to give me another round until they can figure that out, and they even uttered the word “surgery.” I just didn’t think it would be this hard…things feel pretty hopeless, honestly. I’ll be praying for you.

    • Melanie, I am so sorry you have a membership in a club that no one wants to join. My heart breaks for you, and I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  6. I found your blog quite by accident one day and have enjoyed it ever since. I love your uncensored wit. I was so excited to see your email post this morning, because it seems like forever since I last received one and I always literally LOL! Not so today. Well, I guess I chuckled at the comment about the 3 yr. olds, but the rest of the story broke my heart. Being a woman of faith, I believe in the power of prayer and your family has been moved to the top of my list! ((Hugs from Wisconsin. ))

  7. Thank you for sharing this, you have educated me. I have been one of those thoughtless morons who randomly throw out comments like “When are you having another?” during mindless conversations, without regard or consideration that there might be a painful issue at heart. I come to read your comments and observations on life, and laugh with you over monthly confessions. Today I leave smarter; touched by your honest insight and your determination to not let this own you. You and your amazing family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. I read your blog often, and love it. Another very cool blog has created a support group for people going through infertility (and they ban dumb ass comments like ‘just relax and you’ll get pregnant’.) I don’t know if is a place you would feel safe, but here’s the info:

    It’s more of a blog about family life, DIY projects etc, but they do link up to a facebook fertility group (I’m not a part of that. I got pregnant and lost a child to adoption at 17 – My husband and I cannot have children, but my experiences in adoption made me accept the possibility of infertility long before I was ever married. Weird, I know)

    Hugs. And good luck.

  9. I’m sorry. And I understand. It was a long and agonizing road to our daughter….and we’re back there again. And it sucks. Perhaps even more the second time.

    I’m sorry. Really sorry. I’ll be praying for you guys and this journey.

  10. Hugs to you. Walking the same road. My prayers are with you.

  11. Sarah – I’m so sorry. I will be keeping you and Troy and Jack in my heart. – Martina

  12. Thank you for your latest post. You are strong and wonderful, thoughtful in your writing, and graceful. Good luck on your journey.

  13. sorry for your pain. my thoughts are with you and your family.

  14. no comment, just sending a big, warm hug and a heartfelt prayer your way.

  15. Sarah, you are the reason I check my feed everyday, just to see a funny post from you. Just remember that you’ve got this, you have a lot of crazies like me who are there no matter what!

  16. Oh I wish there was a like button for your replies Sarah, they’re great (imagine the best Tony the Tiger voice, if you know who that is), just like you. Infertility sucks.

  17. Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear this, and honored you shared this …I will definitely put you all on my prayer list…. you amaze me in that even while sharing personal pain, you manage to slip in your humor (the shaving legs…priceless!). I have a friend from high school who had a 5 year old and could not become pregnant and witnessed the dumb ‘helpful’ comments in person. Really? Just relax and it will happen? Mostly from other friends who could get pregnant by eating a french fry! Love love love your blog and missed you these past weeks. I hope our support will be some comfort. You are amazing.

  18. I hurt for you and am so awed by your sharing. I struggled to have my second. I charted, took my temp and did everything by the book. My charts were perfect. After 9 months of charting and having no idea why I wasn’t getting pregnant, I insisted my Dr help me. I couldn’t handle one more person asking why we weren’t having a second or being told about one more “oops” pregnancy. Those were a horrible months. And I know now how lucky I was. My Dr sent me for an HSG to check for blockages and although the radiologist eventually stated there were no blockages, it took a long, painful time with lots of dye being pumped in and finally a complete explosion of dye bursting through before he made that pronouncement. I was able to get pregnant after that, so I know I was so lucky. My Dr said that she has a lot of patients who have issues getting pregnant with a second because there is gunk left over from the first in their tubes. I know joke that I needed to get my tubes “detailed” to get pregnant again. So I was so lucky and as I sat with my two babies, I watched a good friend deal with secondary infertility due to PCOS. She was told her first was a complete miracle. And then my sister went through years of fertility treatments to just have her first. It is horrible when your body won’t do what you know it was made to do.

    I will keep you in my prayers and pray that your second blessing comes soon. Thank you for sharing your darkest moments. I love reading your blog and it makes me laugh but I also like that you share the not-happy moments. Thank you.

    • I’m laughing at “getting detailed”. My hope was I would also be one of those lucky ones who would “magically” get pg after the HSG, but sadly they couldn’t even do it because my cervix was so blocked. For years, I always joked Jack’s toenails were so long at birth he probably did some damage on the way out. Now I feel like “oh snap, he actually did”!

      I appreciate your kind words, prayers, and personal experience.

      • Ooh on Jack’s toenails. That made me cringe! Doesn’t it suck donkey balls when our jokes come back and haunt us?

        I hope they find answers and help for you soon! You are an awesome Mama and I want your heart to be full!

      • In my last 3 months of pregnancy, I kept pointing to the spot in my belly where his feet were. I kept saying “he is marking his time in there with his nails on my placenta like a prisoner”. When he was born, even the nurses said “holy crap” because his nails were so long. He was like a wolverine.

        Maybe we should joke about winning the lottery?

      • Ooh, yeah let’s do that!

        You know, if I won the lottery I would probably not know what to do with all that money. I would be sad from the stress of it!

        (Hmmm…. now waiting impatiently…. probably should actually buy a ticket)

  19. Sorry you’re going thru this, my husband and I are/were in the same boat. We came to the conclusion that if it’s meant to be it will be. We still have an awesome time practicing but we both have come to terms with my screwed up baby maker. I hope you get your good news very soon and we will be praying for you!
    in the mean time you know what’s fun? When people ask you when you are going to have another and you tell them you are infertile and thanks a lot for bringing it up yet again and how much you appreciate their concern but don’t they feel just a little bit like an asshole because they brought it up? Nothing gets people to shut up faster than throwing their insensitivity back in their faces. Douche bags.

    Hmmm maybe I am a tad bit sore about all of the questions we got!

  20. Thank you for your honesty and openness about a very personal subject. Reading through the comments it is obvious you have given a voice to many women (and couples.) May that bring you some comfort and support. My thoughts are with you, Troy and Jack, and all your readers dealing with the same issues.

  21. First, so glad you’re back!! I missed your witty posts. Second, I think the most painful thing people said to me was, “Don’t worry! It will happen when it’s supposed to happen!” Oh really? Thanks for that super helpful advice. Our adoption home study is next Friday and I can’t wait to be in the pool of waiting families!!! Good luck to you on whatever path the IF takes you. 🙂

  22. Kudos to you for writing what I felt so many years ago! Bottom line is that, like most things, no one really knows what you and your family are going thru unless they have been thru it. Blessings to you and your family.
    P.S.- We have one son, through adoption, who is 20. He is one of the best people I know-thoughtful, passionate, considerate. So if anyone ever gives you any crap about an only child, SLAP THE SNOT OUT OF THEM! As you can see, he didn’t learn those qualities from me.

  23. Just wanted to chime in and say that I love your approach to life, the good and bad. Lots of prayers and love for you, Troy, and Jack. Thank you for being constantly open hearted. I am incredibly sorry you are facing this obstacle.

  24. I have had fertility problems myself and I know that it can affect more than most would ever realize. You have taught me so much and have provided me with laughs when I really needed them. I will be praying for you.

  25. I have absolutely no idea what you’re going through and can’t possibly imagine the pain and heartbreak. I’m 27 and we haven’t tried for kids yet. I can only hope that everything will go smoothly for us but of course life does not always go as planned. I am so sorry you are going through this but greatly appreciate your sharing your family’s struggles. Thank you for being candid. Hugs from the Seattle!

  26. When you are younger it seems like if someone sneezes in the wrong direction you will get pregnant. After struggling with my own fertility and seeing other friends struggle as well you realize each child is a gift. My thoughts are with you.

  27. Sarah,

    I’m really sorry that you are going through such a hard time. You are very much in my thoughts.

    Loads of love all the way from the UK xxx

  28. Sarah,

    I’m rooting for you and sending good vibes your way!

    Not, you know, vibrator vibes, well, unless that would help, but you know, healing, strong, general well being vibes.

    Man, sometimes it would be easier to just be religious so I could just say I am praying for you ;0)

  29. Infertility is the worst. You pee on so, so, so many strips. Praying this cycle will be your last for the next 9+ months. It has the power to break you in ways people who don’t struggle with infertility couldn’t understand. The poking and prodding in invasive and embarrassing ways and places. All the statistics thrown at you by RE’s. Then the meds… oh the joys. Good thing my husband loves me because if you’re not already mental from trying so long those things make your hormones out of control.

    Wishing you the best and hoping you’ll get a new addition your your family sooner than later.

  30. My heart and prayers go out to you Troy, and Jack. I’m an only child due to secondary infertility and I have PCOS which has caused me to be infertile as well. I have 2 amazing step kids but I want to throat punch everyone who asks when we will have our “own”. Infertility sucks, secondary or not. You’re a strong woman for sharing this and I thank you for it.