Friday, April 27, 2012

Battle of The Infertiles

I know that petty crap like this shouldn't bother me, but I am annoyed that it's been hard to find answers and support that I'm looking for on message boards.  And in real life I guess but message board is where I've looked the most lately. The problem is there is this sort of weird competition between women seeking a healthy pregnancy that sometimes makes it hard for people to empathize with each other.

The first problem is, I haven't been trying to get pregnant for an entire year yet.  It's only been about ten months.  In the world of infertility forums this means I haven't struggled enough to be worthy of seeking treatments, no matter the fact that I am anovulatory and am dealing with male factor infertility.  Just recently I have been called "impatient" by another poster for asking a question about IVF.  I wanted to say, "hey listen, chick, I am nine years older than you and you've only been trying for five more months than me and, yet, you get to start the IVF process?"

But I didn't.  Because I'm not trying to be petty.  And I don't think women who are struggling with fertility problems should compare themselves to each other in the first place.  Pursuing parenthood shouldn't be a race.

Yet, I'm a big fat hypocrite because when I heard the pregnancy announcements of two women today - one on a message board and one I know in real life - I admit I was comparing myself to them in envy.  The message board poster who announced her pregnancy had been trying to get pregnant for nine months - so only one month less than me - but she also has a nine month old son.  So, yeah, she has been trying for her second since presumably the minute her son was born.  Is that even allowed?  I don't know, but she has proudly proclaimed it for the past nine months we've been posting on the same message board.

The announcement from a friend in the real world came out of nowhere.  It was a couple that I've known for years.  They live in the same building as us and got married a few months after we did.  They're a really nice couple but a few years younger than us.  She's due in "the middle of December" which means she's only about six weeks now.  I was frankly shocked at the news on Facebook this early.  I hope everything works out but I can admit that I pretty much never want to see her again.

Bringing this back to the message board issue: I have infertility coverage through our insurance.  I wish everyone did but other than supporting online petitions and writing my congressmen there's not much I can do to change this.  I've been told that trying to structure my treatment schedule around my remaining coverage is insensitive to those that are pursuing treatment out of pocket.

Luckily I have found a few great bloggers through ICLW.  If only you guys were hanging out on the same message board as me when I want to ask 10 questions a day.  Do you post on message boards, readers, or have you encountered the same attitudes?


  1. Ugh. As Mel says, this isn't the Pain Olympics. I also am not sure what your scheduling of your treatments has to do with anyone else beside you and your partner. I participate on's message boards. The Infertility One group is great. I recommend it. If you need a link, email me.

  2. That's insane that someone would say/think that trying to structure your treatment schedule around your remaining coverage is insensitive! It's smart! And practical! And as someone who has had to pursue treatment out of pocket, I would love to have coverage but I certainly don't begrudge others who are lucky enough to have it!

    I've tended not to find message boards as helpful and have not participated in one. I think part of it is that I don't have the context of what the responder/commenter is going through (as I do through blogs) so it's harder to gauge the relevance/accuracy/credibility of the information. I didn't even realize about the pettiness. That is really too bad.

    Also, you are not being impatient! I was absolutely considering IVF already by 10 months and regardless, everyone has their own timeline and it's not anyone's place to judge. I'm absolutely appalled on your behalf.

  3. Hi from ICLW. Wow! How frustrating! I think I would be done with all that! I can't believe how judgmental people are...I haven't done much with the message boards. I did a few weeks with cafe mom but quickly gave up, when no one seemed to really care where I was or what was going on in my journey. So I turned to blogging and am SO thankful I did!

    I went to see the OB/GYN to try to figure out if something was wrong at 6 months. We had our first IUI at about 9 months. I knew something was just not right. Also, if I had coverage, I would definitely be trying to structure my treatment schedule accordingly!!! I would say that is smart, it really helps with the stress of it all!

    Take care!

  4. what the hell?!? i admit that sometimes i feel guilty and impatient because i haven't been ATTC for years, but this is NOT some competition. every journey is different, but all of them are hard and painful. i do hang out in some Baby Center forums, but not often anymore. i'm sorry you're dealing with that and if IVF is covered, USE IT!!!! I would if it wasn't so expensive. and i'm one of the lucky ones to have half of everything covered! i just don't understand how these women could put you down or call you insensitive. my suggestion is stalk some different groups and try them out until you find the perfect one. ;-) good luck and know that we're here cheering you on every step of the way!

  5. I get it. I too have only now been trying for a little over a year but during the first year I was obviously not fertile. I think I had my period more than I didn't last year. Definitely more than 100 days anyway. Obviously I knew I was going to need help and I would get so frustrated when people would say, "so many people struggle with fertility, keep trying - it hasn't even been a year.". I wanted to scream at them -"How the he** can I even try when I can't get rid of my period and the only time when I don't have it is after surgery when I can't try because of risk of infection.". But of course I didnt. Anyway, you have every right to think ahead and plan. And go you with your insurance coverage. Use it - it's not insensitive and anyone who says it is is just jealous! Any decision to move to Boston?

    1. Thanks, we're still waiting to hear details about the new job. It's driving me batty!

  6. I agree, bulletin boards and not very helpful. I find WAY more support in the blogging community. Tired of running into 22 year olds trying for number 3. :P

  7. Sometimes I get frustrated reading the boards too. I am insanely jealous that you have coverage but that is just how the world works, me being jealous isn't going to change a darn thing and I know that couples like you that have coverage are incredibly grateful that you guys do. So use it to your best advantage!

  8. I used to be on fertility friend and I posted a lot on the boards. As of last week, I put my account on pause because it stressed me out and I was sick of the same things you metioned in your post. My sister in law is 4 months pregnant--I see first hand what I can't have (or can't have YET), so I don't need to be reminded of it by other random people, multiple times a day. It's a frustrating situation, for sure. Those people who told you that you were impatient are dumb. Stick with blogs--we're way nicer ;-)

  9. I have tried to post on fertility boards, but for the most part they are not super helpful. I have found asking other bloggers is better.

    Infertility shouldn't be a competition of who has been trying the longest, who has had the most surgeries/drugs/treatments/etc, or of how much you have spent. We should all support each other in this awful, awful journey.

  10. Hey, just saw your comment on my blog. I know navigating the world of infertility message boards and blogs on the interwebs is tough. I don't judge you pain or the length of your journey. I'm a work in progress too.