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Monday, August 15, 2011

When someone tells you their struggle with infertility and PCOS, what advice do you offer?

I read an article a few minutes back in one of my magazines about people who are always offering up advice when sometimes the person on the other end is just venting or isn't wanting advice.  Sometimes I'm guilt of that and especially when it comes to infertility and PCOS.  If my friends even begin to mention it's been X number of months of trying and they still aren't pregnant I want to start shooting off questions
 such as have you used OPKs, has your doctor ran XYZ tests, do you know if you have PCOS, who's your doctor and do you trust them, have you tried a diet change or cleanse, and on and on and on. 

Something in me wants every decent woman to be able to get pregnant and have a baby and I feel like maybe I could say the right thing to them and soon they will be pregnant instead of enduring years of heart ache.

But the truth is, I don't even necessarily know how I got pregnant.  I have some ideas of maybe things that helped but that could be false, I'll never know.  I do believe if I hadn't opened up to my coworker about my struggles with failed clomid cycles, she would have never suggested her doctor to me (that doctor only took me in because of a referral from my coworker, she wasn't seeing new patients) and I'd still be with my old OB and probably not pregnant. 

A few days ago a friend stopped by to pick up several boxes of my wedding decorations I was getting ready to donate and she said she's been trying for 8 1/2 months and was telling me all the unsupportive things family and friends have said to her because in their mind people simply have sex and get pregnant, what's this about trying to get pregnant, you just GET pregnant.

I tried to not spout off too many questions and simply told her I'd send her my doctor's information (I do not just send anyone to my doctor because I want my doctor to know that I would only ask her to take on another patient if that person was in serious need of her help) and to not give up and think she simply can't have babies because there are so many things that have to work right AT THE SAME TIME in order to get pregnant.  I mean, it's a miracle anyone gets pregnant when you see how many things can be off just one at a time by just a little bit and cause you to not get pregnant. 

But I also remember thinking that I wouldn't ever be able to get pregnant or that I'd have to resort to IVF (which I'm in support of but like me, my friend doesn't have IVF coverage by her insurance so it would be all out of pocket, not necessarily financially feasible for everyone or at least right away) so I didn't want my friend to lose hope until she has more answers.

I also didn't want to sound like a book on infertility and a know it all.  I wish every city had an infertiles anonymous meeting which acted as a safe place to share your concerns with other people because it's an isolating thing to be among so many fertiles.  Yes you can turn to You Tube and these blogs but wouldn't it be nice to meet a new friend locally going through the same thing to hang out with and pick up the phone and call once in a while.  While I was going through infertility, I didn't really talk about it to anyone in real life but now that I have 2 kids, I'm more than happy to share my struggles with people in real life and it comes up a lot because my boys are so close in age.  I always get asked if we decided to do foster care because we thought we couldn't have kids because everyone's heard the stories of people adopting after years of infertility and all of sudden they get pregnant.

For my readers, when someone tells you of their infertility struggles, how do you respond?  Direct them to You Tube vloggers (I never do, I probably should, but I always would rather they just go see the right doctor), blogs, books, share your personal experience, etc?


  1. Hi Brandi,
    It's so true what you say. I think since we have expericed infertility, there is a natural instinct we have to share information in hopes of helping others overcome infertility sooner rather than later..

    My name is Angie and I have PCOS amongst other problems, and I was never able to conceive. However, we welcomed our Miracle Baby Boy (after 14 years) this month via surrogacy. I'm very open about my infertility, this led to our little miracle. I have direct communication with couples struggling with infertility, and I also have a website offering support and resources. You have an inspiring story, thank you for sharing.

  2. Yes, that's it Angie, we feel like we can help them overcome infertility quicker with our help:) I'd say a lot of us think if we just knew everything we knew now from day 1 it would have been easier.

    Congratulations on your baby boy!!