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Infertility is...

Infertility can mean a lot of different things to different people. Some couples have the official diagnosis of “infertile”, while others just wait, and wait, and wait to become parents, with no real explanation of why. Infertility affects 1 in 8. Yet, until you are experiencing it, you may or may not even know that others are having the same struggles. Since we’ve started this journey, I’ve learned so much, and have met so many people along the way that are dealing with this struggle. This diagnosis – or lack thereof. It affects each couple differently, but also the same. It is hard. And UGLY. So what is infertility?

  • Infertility is a DISEASE… not to be cured by “relaxing”
  • Infertility is yearning to be a parent so badly, but month after month feeling disappointed and defeated
  • Infertility is “giving up” on conventional methods, and realizing you may never carry a child of your own
  • Infertility is watching all of your friends give birth to perfect babies while you yearn for that experience
  • Infertility is questioning your faith, and humanity in general
  • Infertility is avoiding social gatherings because you’re afraid someone will announce they’re pregnant, or talk about pregnancy and/or babies
  • Infertility is being sad to see someone else’s good news in the form of pregnancy announcements
  • Infertility is realizing that you may never hold a child that has “your nose” or “his eyes”
  • Infertility is having so many doctors and nurses “down there” that you assume the position a little too easily when you see stirrups. And aren’t embarrassed in the least
  • Infertility is spending thousands and thousands of dollars and injecting yourself countless times only to learn that another round of IVF did not work
  • Infertility is waiting to be picked for adoption, and being passed over once again
  • Infertility is trying to distract yourself for a day while you wait to hear back about your latest bloodwork
  • Infertility is being oh-so-familiar with the uncomfortable wand used in your (sometimes daily) vaginal ultrasounds
  • Infertility is sitting in a waiting room full of pregnant women, trying not to cry
  • Infertility is strained relationships and people avoiding talking to you because they have no idea what to say
  • Infertility is adopting a pet, so you have someone to “mother”
  • Infertility is being afraid one day you will wake up and realize you missed a lot of important moments in your friend’s lives because they were too hard for you to bear
  • Infertility is worrying about whether you or your husband are strong enough to make it through
  • Infertility is no longer caring if the people sitting at the next table overhear you talking about your losses, your IVF schedule, or your doctor’s appointments
  • Infertility is uncontrollably sobbing for no apparent reason
  • Infertility is avoiding the grocery store – hell, any store – for fear of seeing one more pregnant woman
  • Infertility is not wanting to get out of bed some days
  • Infertility is lying on an acupuncture table with needles all over your body, pleading with God that this time it will work
  • Infertility is isolating
  • Infertility is having friends offer to carry a baby for you
  • Infertility is realizing that every show you watch, someone winds up pregnant when they “weren’t even trying”
  • Infertility is trying hard not to slap the next person who asks when you’re planning to have kids
  • Infertility is listening to friends complain about their kids, while you would take on every single challenge they have with their kids if you could just have your own
  • Infertility is getting to another birthday, anniversary, or holiday and realizing one more year has gone by childless
  • Infertility is mistaking all of the PMS symptoms for pregnancy symptoms. And then being devastated when your period starts
  • Infertility is skipping baby showers and ducking out of gender reveals, because you just can’t do it
  • Infertility is feeling like a crazy person, and wondering how your husband hasn’t left you
  • Infertility is finding a support group and an online community so you feel more “normal” and can freely talk about what you’re going through with others who understand
  • Infertility is feeling like everyone else around you is having kids and “lapping” you
  • Infertility is fearing your friend’s kids will all be grown by the time you have your own
  • Infertility is going to a child’s birthday party and being the only person there without a child of your own
  • Infertility is realizing just how strong you are
  • Infertility is a true test of your support system, and hopefully the time when they come out in full force

Infertility is rough. It’s unfair. It’s heartbreaking. It does not discriminate, and affects people of every race, color, and background.

If you know someone battling with infertility, please reach out to them today just to say you care. If you are struggling through infertility, know there is support out there but sometimes you must seek it out. And it may not feel like it at the moment, but it WILL get better. I don't think the pain of infertility will ever go away, but I do believe that we can all make it through, and become stronger people as a result. 


  1. This list was spot-on. You covered the gamut of what infertility puts you through and what becomes your normal when you are faced with it. I never knew what I never knew before we were faced with our infertility struggle. I never saw what others might be experiencing. But once you know, there's no going back. Now with the utterance of one word, infertility, I can relate to a complete stranger in a way that only 1 in 8 can. Thank you.


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