This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and this year the focus is to #flip the script and serves a reminder that ANYONE can be challenged in creating a family. Talking about it is something that can help remove the stigma and change the conversation on how others view infertility. I’ve not widely told my story with infertility so here goes…

Ok, well sort of.  I’m not going to go into the details this time but the short story is that we dealt with the struggle to have a family for years. I endured many procedures and treatments to try to, quite unsuccessfully, get pregnant. And all of this was started and done when I was relatively young! I was 30 years old when we started “trying” so by no means past my prime in regards to fertility and yet we were met with unexplained infertility and with failure after failure in all our attempts. This was a sad and sometimes very hopeless time in our lives, all the while, we both managed to keep moving on in our careers and watching as countless friends and family started and grew their families. It was heartbreaking to want something so badly and deal with disappointment month after month, year after year.

Many well-intentioned friends and family tried to provide words of encouragement when we did share our struggles, but so often we put on smiling faces and acted as though it was all ok. I talked about it with my closest friends but was hesitant to share sometimes for fear of being judged for our decisions in fertility treatments.  I found an amazing local support group through the national organization, Resolve and met some ladies that have had a profound effect on my life and especially that period in my journey.  Looking back, I wish I had felt more comfortable talking about it all very openly and honestly but the pain and emotions were just too raw and I certainly didn’t want the world to see the hot mess I was on the inside!

All of this being said and eventually, we were successful at starting our family through the beautiful world of adoption!  It’s not a path for everyone and even those that choose adoption come to it from different places. What it was for us though? It was the perfect piece to our puzzle that led us to our amazing firstborn daughter. She was the missing piece that completed our family. I was over the moon when meeting her and overwhelmed with all the love I had for her and her birth family. And yet, even now that I was a mom, I had feelings of inadequacies as I didn’t have any birth war story to tell and didn’t know what it was like to feel her growing inside me. Meeting other new moms was generally a reminder that I was still infertile.

Fast forward and I was VERY SURPRISINGLY pregnant! Wow, after all that time and all hope was lost on ever having the opportunity to experience pregnancy and then bam, surprise, spontaneous pregnancy as the doctors call it. Yep, no joke, no planning, no hoping, lost track of tracking my cycle and that’s when my body figures out what to do. And let’s not forget, now I’m on the “geriatric” side of pregnancy. How ironic! 

Throughout my entire pregnancy, I heard it all “you weren’t stressed anymore,” “my sister’s cousin’s college roommate adopted and then got pregnant too,” “see, you JUST needed to adopt!”, “aren’t you excited to have your own baby now?” OUCH. Many of these comments seemed innocent but also brought with them a ton of pain.  And resurrected my insecurities in my own fertility. How had this happened (ok, not exactly how, I mean we all understand the birds and bees!), why is it happening now, what changed, how will I talk about this baby with my daughter, how do I explain that mommy couldn’t be HER tummy mommy but I could be her sister’s?  And the thought that drowned out all the other ones? This was an accident, I’m such a fake and am still so very infertile.

I say all of this to give a perspective from someone who’s experienced quite a bit on the fertility spectrum. No matter if we get pregnant again, adopt again or have completed our family, the emotional scars of infertility will always be with me. They don’t define me but they have shaped me into the person I am today. I am forever changed because of it and so is my family. I now try to take even small opportunities to talk to others about our experience in hopes that it will do even a little bit to affect their view on infertility. 

And for those of you in the battle right now, I can’t tell you that it will turn out the way you hope but I can tell you that eventually you can get to a place that you accept your path and hopefully, are able to embrace it and continue to enjoy your life, however that may look!


  1. Thank you for this piece. Pretty much my experience exactly and I can also relate to still feeling inadequate once I had adopted and also still feeling infertile once I had given birth. Time has dulled all of that, but as you said, it will always be there…


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