9 Things Infertile Women Want Women with Children To Know

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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>>> If you are new to Lovely Little Life and haven't read my story you may want to start HERE and HERE to get a little background on me and my journey before reading this post. <<<

To all my readers, 

The same is true of this post as is always when I talk about infertility. I have chosen to share this part of my life not to complain or gain pity, but rather as an attempt to be an encouragement to others who may be going through something similar or for that matter anyone going through trials. My ultimate goal is just to give the glory to God, and try let him use me during this time of testing. Thank you so much for visiting! I sincerely pray this blog is a blessing to everyone who reads it!

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Please let me begin this conversation by saying that I mean only good to anyone reading this post. I pray that God takes my words and uses them for good and not for evil. I want you to know that the #1 reason I have chosen to share my experiences of infertility is to try to help other women who are in my shoes know they are not alone. The second reason I talk about it is so that others who want to help may be able to gain insight on what women with infertility go through day to day. I am not looking for pity however, I covet every prayer you send up for me and my husband during this time in our life.

This post has been weeks in the making. The general idea came to me out of the blue (I'm pretty sure that was God) and has gradually evolved into what I'm sharing today. These are not solely my thoughts and opinions. These are the shared feelings of women who are currently enduring infertility, those who are finally expecting after years of trying, and those who went through it in the past and are now mothers to multiple blessings. With all of that said, I apologize for the length of this post... I really did edit as much as I could! I know this is a tough subject and it may be hard to read to the end, but I hope you will feel it has been worth your time when you are done.



1.) I'll just come out and say it... we are jealous of you.

Please know that we in no way hate you for being able to bear children and would never wish this hurt we feel on our worst enemy. But there's no use in denying it... infertile women are jealous of women with children. We see the connection, the love, and the amazing bond that you have with them. We see the joy they bring to your life every day and we want that for ourselves more than anything. We would give up everything for it, spend our last dime to get it, and die to know what it's like. We aren't mad that you're happy... we just want some of that happiness too. So there... now you know. Ok, let's not kid ourselves - you already knew, but now it's out in the open so we call all stop pretending we can't see the green monsters sitting on the shoulders of all the infertiles. LOL!  :)

2.) Cards, emails, words of kindness, and caring acts are appreciated more than you know.

Infertility breeds tons of self-esteem issues, insecurity, and feelings of being on "the outside". One little handwritten note, text, or thoughtful action could make our entire week. Mother's Day is an especially hard time for women who want to, but are physically unable to become a mother. I will NEVER forget the handful of friends that sent me a message this year on that day. I went from feeling extremely depressed to feeling overwhelmingly encouraged and touched that someone was actually thinking about me and took the time to let me know. Though Mother's Day is one of the more difficult days for childless women, infertility is always looming no matter what day it is. One simple thought could brighten one of those days.

3.) Don't take it personally if we decline a baby shower invitation.

Honestly, our not being in attendance is doing everyone a favor! Seriously... do you really want us to look sad the entire time and risk a sudden outburst of tears? Nah... I think not. You're safer to accept the fact that we are truly happy for the lucky lady, but don't want to ruin her special day by being a gloomy guest.

*NOTE: Personally, I do ok at showers. However, I have talked to many ladies that don't handle these types of events as well. This point is for them.

4.) We are constantly hurting.

I'm sure that sounds like an overstatement to someone who hasn't been in our shoes. For those that have, you know EXACTLY what I mean and can probably still feel that bitter pain every time you think about that time in your life. Things the average person would never think about add to our hurt every day. Something as simple as a commercial about diapers with a baby crawling across the floor or seeing a mama out with her little ones or even just walking by the baby clothes in Target are all daily reminders of what we are missing. It feels like a huge knife is stuck in your chest and every time you are reminded of your emptiness that knife gets pushed deeper and deeper. The pain, though less intense at times, never goes away.

5.) Telling us to "just adopt" doesn't help.

Adoption will not magically erase the pain of infertility. It is definitely something that most infertile couples consider, but the desire to bear your own children won't just disappear by adopting. Then there's the money aspect. Here is my response to that... "Sure! After we have spent thousands on infertility treatments let me just pull out that extra $25k that I have stashed under my mattress and 'just' go adopt!" I won't go into greater detail about that, but financially, legally, and emotionally it's really not an easy fix as some might have been led to believe. 

6.) We still want to be friends with you even though you have kids. 

I understand it can be awkward at times. You might feel bad about inviting a couple dealing with infertility to an event involving your kids or a birthday party for a child. Yes, There are times where we will decline the invitation when we may feel emotionally unable to be in that environment, but please don't assume that we never want to attend if your kids are present. We already feel isolated because of our circumstances... please don't add to that by excluding us from your lives because you're worried about us feeling uncomfortable.

7.) Please don't give us advice on how to get pregnant. Believe me, we've already read, heard, and tried it all!

We do understand that you are sincerely trying to help, but more than likely everything you say to us we have already tried (and more!). We have heard every story, researched every option, and we really don't want to hear about how your cousin's best friend's sister-in-law knew a girl that tried such and such and magically conceived. That's great for them, but we aren't that girl and you probably don't know the details of her situation or ours. I'm sure that sounds hateful... you might be able to tell that I've heard one too many words of advice from people who have no idea what is medically wrong with me.

8.) Understand that we can't empathize with you when you complain about pregnancy or your children.

I think part of the "infertility rite of passage" is making a promise to God and/or yourself that you will TRY as hard as you can not to complain about pregnancy or your children if that day ever comes. In fact, I would wager that 99% of the women affected by infertility will know exactly what I mean when I say that hearing someone complain about morning sickness, lost sleep, or whiney kids can literally make you cringe inside. When you wait, hope, pray, and shed countless tears as we have you simply can't relate to women that take the miracles they have for granted. We would gladly trade your worst day with children for our best day without them.

*NOTE: We understand that motherhood is hard. We aren't expecting every day with children to be perfect. The point is that we can't relate to women who make a habit of complaining about something we give anything to have.

9.) We covet your prayers. 

I personally feel this is the most important thing that you can do to help and encourage us. There can never be enough prayers going up for women and couples dealing with infertility. Not sure how to pray? Pray for our emotional and physical state and for our faith in God to stay strong. We are dealing with the reality of possibly never being able to have a family, with the physical problems associated with the cause of our infertility, and are on a constant emotional roller coaster month after month as we continue to try to conceive. In addition to all of that, most infertile couples are dealing with extreme financial stress since insurance does not pay for ANYTHING related to infertility. All of those things can be taxing on our relationship with God so prayers for our spiritual well being are welcomed as well. I came across Galations 6:2 while writing this post this week. Don't you love it when God says things so simply, but perfectly?!



Thank you so much for taking the time to read this to the end. I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have the best readers! I love you guys! Thank you for making me feel comfortable enough to share my heart.
Hannah

324 comments:

  1. Well said. The barren womb carries a grief that only God can help others understand. I love how you wrote #8. I completely agree, and I actually did have that conversation with God and chose by His grace to never complain about His gift of this child. Thank you for your courage to post this.

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    1. Stephanie, thank YOU for being a good example to me to stay positive and to keep a good attitude during this time in my life.

      Hannah

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    2. I couldn't find out how to reply without posting on someone's message so here it goes. I found out I was pregnant late January and miscarried the night of my first ultrasound. Thankfully I was only 5 weeks along, however, the pain is still with me. My husband and I are about to start our journey with fertility doctors, I believe there is hope for us and everyone. Although we have not started the process as of yet, a few meaningful people have really cut us down when we've mentioned the procedure in which we could possibly conceive, IUI. Hurtfully, they've said, "so you're having a baby through a petri dish?" My husband and I are still extremely hurt. I found your blog on pinterest and shared it onto Facebook. As I read, I was and still am bawling my eyes out. God knows what he has planned for me and my husband and right now I think He's blessed us with your readings as I was due this month to have our first baby.

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    3. I don't think that she is trying to say that your sleep isn't important or it doesn't matter that you haven't slept all night. The point that is trying to be made is that an infertile women would rather be up all night with a child than not have one at all.

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    4. I am sitting at my computer after reading this in tears. This is exactly how I feel. I have been unable to have children for 13 years. Needless to say, we chose not to adopt, something I regret. I feel too old now. I have missed out on the most important part of my life. Unless you experience it, you have no idea. I have 3 wonderful neices that I love with every ounce of love inside my heart, yet my heart feels empty for the child I never had.

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    5. I too can't bare children, I had a hysterectomy when I was 17 and as I get older my desire has been very hard at times. I married a wonderful man who loves me even in my hardness, he has a son who is grown now and I love him too, he is my stepson and I love it. Knowing that I cannot have children hurts and am not sure if we will adopt because he doesn't press the issue. I have mentioned it, but he doesn't seen too worried. I.praise God that he loves me for who I am. I just want to be a mommy. Only God can fill this void, I ave wonderful nieces and nephews too. I love them too,
      Be encouraged, God Loves You.

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    6. Just found out first round of IVF failed. Thank you for your words. They gave me comfort. You nailed the 9 things!

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    7. Stephanie,
      I understand your pain and others too. I dealt with infertility for years and we did adopt from Russia which was a healing balm and since then we had 2 girls too. God works in each of HIS children in different ways and a comfort for me was to know He was in control and obviously my 5 years of every fertility treatment was leading me and my husband to take 4 very different children into our lives and was molding us for that through heartache. That being said it was good to read this because thankfully the pain has gone away but I do need to be reminded so I can continue to empathize with those struggling with infertility...a pain so intense it can become all consuming. I do have regrets though as I look back at those years of treatment, I wish I would've tried more to enjoy that time with my husband instead of being down a lot...my husband is such a blessing to me and I feel like that was the biggest mistake I made, though it is hard to avoid too. I guess it is "easier" on this side of it but God's plan is perfect so trusting that is a comfort.

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  2. Well said! :)
    Raising awareness is important, I think the people who have told me to "try doing a handstand after sex" & "oh I've been so sick, threw up 3 times in one week, although you really wouldn't understand how hard this is would you"...I believe all those people aren't the malicious type at all. But having never been in my shoes, they don't realize that I still go over those comments in my head to this day, usually when I am dying of PMS symptoms yet again.
    Being sensitive to other's circumstances and holding each other up in prayer is so key in other areas as well, realizing full well that we most often don't see some pain or longing that another is experiencing. Acknowledging that we too are most likely guilty of having said something that was unintentionally hurtful.
    Thank you :)

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    1. You are SO right... they are not intending to be malicious when they do that. It's just a matter of education. The general population just doesn't understand the facts. Thank you so much for stopping by and giving your feedback!

      Hannah

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  3. You are ever in my thoughts, my friend..... and my prayers. I had only a SMALL taste of not being able to bare.... and hated ever bite....... You are loved... and you are appreciated... These were wise words.. and put together so well...

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    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer! I so appreciate your prayers! Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  4. thanks for being brave and sharing your feelings! that's the best way i think for us to band together, when we realize that there are more of us who really understand what you're going through because we've been through it too!!!!
    i would just rephrase and maybe mention that not everyone with children already has an easy time getting pregnant! we had a hard time getting #1 here and had to go through extensive infertility treatments and then with #2 BAM nothing! you never know what someone's journey is and so the best is to not judge and love each other as Christ would!

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    1. At the beginning of this-she mentioned that it was ALSO for those who had children after years of trying or to those who were expecting after having to go through difficulties, etc....they ALL could understand those feelings, so I definitely don't think she was judging anyone with children! No one could ever know other people's journies to the fullest extent...she was just sharing her own.

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    2. Thank you so much for reading, Carissa. I have talked to many women who feel that way (about TTC #2). It's a huge emotional roller coaster because you want to just be thankful that you have one child, but you also long so much to have another. On top of that people can't understand how you had one and can't have another. Blah! Praying for you that God will bless you again!

      Hannah

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    3. Thank you, Hannah for your very appropriate post.
      We were blessed with our own Hannah 10 years ago, and have been TTC for the last 8 1/2 years with no luck. I know that we are so incredibly blessed to have our daughter (and thank God EVERY day for her), but I am also able to empathize with so many of your thoughts and feelings. I think the one statement I despise the most -"Oh, it will happen .. as soon as you stop trying, you'll see." The thing they don't realize is we never stop trying. Even when I say I am done, even when I believe I am done .. I still hope every. single. month. that THIS is the month ... that THIS is the miracle.
      Lifting you up in prayers ...

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  5. I stumbled across your blog, while look at your yard stick craft on roadkilrescue.net. This post just stopped me, I got to #4 and started crying. I thought maybe I am too over dramatic, because a baby diaper commercial can send me into tears, I avoid having to walk past the baby section at any store. My husband and I having been trying for almost 7 years and just recently decide to try being foster parents. I don't know where this journey will lead to, but I am praying for the best. I loved your posted because I live in a very small town, where everyone but me has kids, I have spent many years feeling very isolated, good to know someone out there has felt the same way I do. Thanks!!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. I have considered being a foster parent many times... I am afraid to move forward with it right now, but I would love to hear how your experience goes!

      Hannah

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  6. Thank you for writing this! After TTC for 8 years, I can relate to every item on your list. I'm sharing this list with everyone who asks how to help. You've articulated the feelings of infertility so well, thank you!

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    1. I'm so sorry that you can relate to all of these, Jessica. I hate that there are so many women who can. Praying that God will bless you with a miracle!

      Hannah

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  7. Thank you for this post! If you don't mind sharing, what are the types of messages that you most appreciated hearing on Mother's Day? I would love to reach out to my infertile friends at that time (and others), but can never figure out what to say...

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    1. Thank you for reading! I really appreciate it! Really, just saying "I'm thinking about you today" or "I know today is hard" are all we need to hear. Just knowing that someone thought about us and took the time to let us know means a lot!

      Hannah

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    2. A note that celebrates your friend is WAY better than a sad note. Don't remind your friend how much infertility sucks (she knows), tell her what a great person and friend she is. Tell her the about the qualities you really appreciate about her.

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    3. Having lost my pregnancy right around Mothers Day, I know the feeling too well but I'm fortunate enough to have a god son who's mother sent me a wonderful message that day. I also work in child care which has a whole other set of issues being infertile but most of the parents thank me for being the school mom which is wonderful as well.

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    4. I hated Mother's Day so much as we battled infertility for 17 years of marriage. It was (an still is) compounded by an insensitive mother-in-law who got to have exactly the children she wanted when she wanted them -- and so still believes every mother's day is all about her. Now I am a mom to twin girls, an IVF miracle, but mother's day honestly still gives me the heebie jeebies -- too many years of dreading it and feeling like our failure to conceive was a failure of willpower on my part -- I still feel too acutely how this particular holiday just slams into the face of every woman and every couple trying to become parents.

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  8. thank you for your post. I found you via pinterest. my beautiful friend Debbie is infertile. she has tried ivf 3 times using eggs donated by friends. the fell pregnant once but miscarried. at almost 40 they have given up on having their own child. my heart breaks for Debbie. and it helps me appreciate my only daughter even more than I already do. I wish there was something I could say or do to help, so I thank you for your advice.

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    1. Yvette,

      You sound like an amazing friend. Debbie is lucky to have someone in her life that cares so much about what she is going through. Thank you so much for reading!

      Hannah

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  9. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It has said everything I have always wanted to say to friends and family who mean well but are unsure of how to "help." My hubby and I are 8 months shy of reaching our 10 year mark of TTC and it's scary. I am 31 and he will be 34 in a couple of weeks so it feels like we are running out of time. Out of a miracle, last August, we conceived naturally. I had no idea I was pregnant because of my wacky cycles, I was having what I thought was a period so it never occurred to me to test. Heart breakingly, I was 18 weeks when we lost our little boy, Wesley(12-4-12, due 5-7-13) Since then, most of our family and friends have shut us out because they simply don't know what to say. I hope that by sharing this on my Facebook they will read it and see things from my point of view. Thanks so much again for taking the time to write this. God Bless!

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    1. Tabby,

      I'm so sorry that you have had to be on this horrible journey for so long. I can't imagine losing a baby that far into a pregnancy. I so hope that by sharing this post that your loved ones will be able to open up again even though it may be hard. Thank you for reading and sharing.

      Hannah

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  10. As I read this I cried so hard, not from pain, but because I have never read something that put into words so perfectly what I feel everyday struggling with infertility. #4 hit home the best, because reminders are everywhere.. On TV, in the grocery store... Everywhere. And the well meaning comments aren't always helpful and sometimes downright hurt. Thank you for posting this. I know on not the only woman who has ever suffered with infertility but it's nice to read something I can empathize with so much.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. I'm so sorry that you have to know this pain. Praying that God will bless you with a miracle!

      Hannah

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  11. Thank you so much for writing this article. It is a perfect article for loved ones around you to read to empathize with the situation at hand. While everyone thinks they have a helpful hint, only the Lord knows whats in store.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. Yes, it is so hard for people to understand what we feel. I hope that this post will be a help to women in my shoes and to their loved ones as well.

      Hannah

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  12. After coming across this blog on Pinterest I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have skipped many a birthday party or social event cause it was painful. At the same time I have gone to multiple to see the kids growing. After years of trying to no success we found out the reason for our infertility. A lot of people just do not understand what it is like to go through treatments. I barely made it through the first one and was crying and as I went through the following 8 kept thinking in my mind yep so true done that been there. So once again thank you for having the courage I do not to post this.

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    1. I am so sorry that you know what this kind of pain feels like. I will pray that God will bless you with a miracle. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  13. ..I am do glad to have stumbled upon this! Im extremely emotional due to suffering through yet another menstrual cycle, I have been crying off & on all day ..its nice to know there sfe others out thers who understand this, whicj is also unfortunate for us all. But is nice to know that otjdrs suffering through this think exactly the way I do, at times id wonder of I was just over dramatic about it..thank you! Thank you so so much for writing this!

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    1. Oh my... yes, we "infertiles" know all too well what that time of the month is like. There is no way to explain it. I'm so sorry that you are having to suffer through this journey, but please know you are not alone. There are so many of us that understand. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  14. I am so thankful to you for this post....as a woman going through infertility for the past three years, I can personally relate to each and every last word of this. You perfectly described how I feel, and the anger behind those words...people are so dumb!

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    1. The funny thing is though...reading this, and fully understanding each and every portion of it to the fullest, I also can understand now why people begin to sort of alienate us....we are confusing in our sensitive state! You say, don't be surprised when we don't come to your baby shower, because it is just too hurtful for us...but then you say, please don't not include us because you have kids....? I totally get both things, but I do see how its a lose lose for the other party. Do you want to hang out with me and my kids, OR not? Also, you say, you giving us advice makes us want to cringe, but you also say please send me nice notes, texts to let me know you are thinking of me...I think when people tell you stories of how this worked for this person, or that worked for that person, they are just trying to be nice, and let you know they are thinking of you...so basically, you are saying: think of me, but there are only a few words that are acceptable to me...its funny, because it seems like everything is contradictory to something else. The thing is though, I completely understand and have felt all of the things you wrote. It just gives me a better perspective of how difficult we may seem to others, and how they may feel like nothing they do or say is good.

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    2. Thank you so much for reading. I am glad that this was a help to you. Yes, people can say some crazy things, can't they?! :) Praying that God will give you a miracle!

      Hannah

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    3. Anonymous: Yes, I think it is legitimately confusing! I also think there is a real (though non-obvious) logic to it. I would be interested to know if this rings true for anyone else. For me: things that focus on Babies in General really hurt and are best avoided, while things that pertain to particular children (children I know, with whom I have a relationship) are usually fine. I love baking cookies with my nieces and nephews, attending a piano recital or a ball game, and feeling like I am included because I am actually a significant part of their life. Not every significant relationship in a child's life has to be a parent, and I appreciate that and feel like I have at least one thing in common with every child-- that I was a child, even though I've never been a mother! However, baby showers are almost always celebrations of The Concept of Babies As Experienced By Mommies, not meaningful interaction with a particular baby. They are places to focus on all those little things that mommies have in common and the barren by definition feel excluded, though not on purpose. Advice given because "I knew this infertile person and it worked for her" also place me in a general category of All People Who Don't Have Babies. That is not helpful. Mothers' Day sermons are usually so general as to be exquisitely painful. Words or inquiries that are helpful treat me as a person, not a category (e.g. "I read this article about infertility and it said x. Is that true for you?" "I want to be your friend, but I feel like this is a minefield of a subject. Will you tell me if I say something that hurts?" "I am thinking about you today. Let me know if there is anything I can pray for." Etc.).

      Hannah, thank you for this article. I appreciated its common-sense, true content and especially its gracious, non-combative tone. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  15. Thank you, and the same to you!

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  16. Thank you for not making me feel like the only crazy on this journey. :) I started a baby hope box a few years ago and it all started with my sister who purchased 2 onesies for me as a token of faith that God would bless us with a child. I thought, girls do hope boxes for when they get married why not for when you start a family? Ever since then my husband and I will buy something for it it say a little prayer and put it in the box. Since then, I have several close friends who have given me stuff for my baby hope box and it has meant the world to me. Especially since a couple of them have passed away. A gift of a thought or prayer means just as much. Thanks for sharing what we all feel! Lord continue to use you in this journey. May he bless you richly because of it. :)

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    1. You are totally NOT crazy and I think the baby hope box is the coolest idea! Why not, right?! I may have to start one myself! Thank you for reading and for your comments!

      Hannah

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    2. Thanks! It has been a huge blessing for my husband and me. We think of it as coming before the altar of God, acknowledging he is a God of the impossible even when we have days of doubts. I hope it can be a blessing for you too!

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  17. AMEN!!!! Thanks so so much for this wonderfully written post!!!!

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    1. Thank YOU for reading! So glad it was a blessing!

      Hannah

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  18. One of my dear friends and her husband have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars trying to conceive, with no luck. I caught myself complaining about the tens of thousands of dollars my husband and I will soon have to spend on university - and suddenly felt like the worst friend in the world. I will never do that to her again.

    Thank you for the wonderful post. It really helped.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading. Your friend is lucky to have someone who cares like you do and who takes the time to read posts like this. Thank you for being that for her!

      Hannah

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  19. Absolutely beautiful and heart touching. Everything I ever wanted to say and feel. In pain since the past 4 years and solution seems no where in sight. Thanks ever so much for sharing it.

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    1. I'm so glad it was a blessing to you. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  20. Thank you for putting in words all the feelings I have. #8 struck close to home recently. My 8 month pregnant friend shared that her pregnancy is no longer a "joy" because of backache, swollen ankles, blah blah blah...... I feel bad for her but already thought of all the things I would give up to be in her position. I also want to wish you the best!!!!

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    1. Oh yes... that is always difficult to hear. We will just have to remember this if we ever get to be in her shoes and make sure we never take those things for granted. I'm just like you... I would do anything to have big fat ankles right now if it meant I were going to be a mother! Thank you for reading the post. Praying for God to bless you with a miracle!

      Hannah

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  21. Thank you for vocalizing many things that were going thru my head and heart in past 13 years. I was blessed with 1 kiddo, but only after 8 years of all above described. I'm still going thru it...every day...I am still hopeful and believe in God's miracles ahead. Praying for you, Hannah! stay strong. All things are possible with God!

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    1. Thank you for the prayers! I really appreciate them! I will keep you in mine as well.

      Hannah

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  22. I was 15 when I was told I would probably never have children (endometriosis). At 23 I was told I waited toooo long already. Got married at 24 to my bf of 7 years, high school love. Was told to have a hystorectomy. I am nealy 33 now, still no baby. I love going to baby showers, I love watching friends being pregnant, I love visiting friends with babies and children, I love being around children. For me I feel this is the only way to "experience" that joy, through them, being part of the joy and the bad parts. But yes, at night, or alone at home, or watching movies I do cry, but I also laugh... I do not want to sink into a hole of despair, so this is how I chose to deal with this.

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    1. You are SO right! I don't want to spend this time in my life in despair either. I really need to write a post about that. Praying that God will bless you with a miracle even though it's been so long. Thank you for reading and for the positive feedback!

      Hannah

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  23. Thank you for writing this. I felt as if you took those words out of my mouth. It's good to know that I am not alone with my infertility and all the feelings that surrounds it. I have had 3 miscarriages, 2006, 2008 and 2013. I am a childless mother!

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    1. Gladys,

      I'm so sorry for your losses. I have only been through one so far. I can't imagine having to do that 3 times. I will be praying. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  24. Hi Hannah,

    Thank you for your post. After two years of trying, on Wednesday my husband and I were told conclusively by a specialist that we will never be able to get pregnant on our own. IVF is a possibility, but that doesn't take away the wave of grief that seeks to drown us. All we can do is cling to God and take one shaky step at a time. I so appreciated how you put into words all that I've been feeling and unable to describe. It makes me feel like we know each other, since we know the pain in each other's hearts.

    Praying for you.

    Jessica

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    1. Jessica,

      I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. One thing that I have held onto is that regardless of what the doctors say... God is still in control! I know several women that were told the same thing, but now have multiple children. All we can do is keep trusting. Whatever His answer is... He will take care of us. Thank you for your prayers. I am praying for you as well!

      Hannah

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  25. Thank you for writing this blog. My infertility is the most difficult residual effect of cancer. The question, "Do you have any children?" rips out my heart. However, I just put a smile on my face and give my rehearsed answer. Sometimes, I feel like I am all alone.

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    1. Samantha,

      I CANNOT imagine having to go through cancer only to have to face infertility. How awful. I don't know what that is like, but I do understand the ache of an empty nest. I will pray that God will perform a miracle in your body and bless you with a child. Thank you for reading this post.

      Hannah

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  26. Beautiful post, beautifully written. Prayers your way.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your prayers!

      Hannah

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  27. Hannah. I stumbled upon your blog, I just want you to know I am praying for you. I kinda know what your going through, I was told at a very young age well like 18 that I wouldn't be able to have kids, my body can't handle it. I've miscarried and been on so much hormones to try and prepare my body for a maybe future for a baby. I cry often, tears of hurt because I feel as if my body has fail, I can't do the one thing I was made to do. All the while everyone is getting pregnant around me. What I would give to wear maternity clothes and waddle pregnant through stores baby shopping with my hubbs, my momma, and mother in law. I came to the realization, well God brought me to a place that said HE would take care of me. I had to give all myself to Him even my hopes and dreams of babies. I am blessed because of HIM I am blessed, and I know He has plans for my future of hope and to processor . So Hannah I am praying for you and will continue to do so

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers for me! Yes, all we can really do is just give it to God. It is out of our control, but He knows what He is doing no matter how hard. Thank you for this comment and for reading!

      Hannah

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  28. Hey Hannah!

    I found your blog via pinterest and just wanted to say that you're spot on. I wrote a similar post on my blog (the post is entitled To the mamas from an infertile woman) and wasn't quite as tactful as you are in this post. But it covered several of the same concepts. The frustrating thing is that those who have never walked this journey really don't understand. They just don't. Even if they try. Fortunately I'm surrounded by good friends who are super mindful of our journey and love me unconditionally. That's my prayer for every woman waiting to be a mommy, that they will have friends come alongside them who love unconditionally, shoulder their grief and burden, and are intentional to include them in "normal" life.

    Thanks for this post - you did a great job!

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    1. Amanda,

      Thank you for reading this and for your feedback! I just checked out your blog and your posts are phenominal! I'm so glad that there are other Christian women that are willing to talk about this subject. It's difficult for people to do, but I think it's needed. Thank you again!

      Hannah

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  29. Hey Hannah. You've really inspired me to start really thinking about writing something similar, but from the point of view of the husband.

    It is true what others have said: "that those who have never walked this journey just really don't understand." It is so easy to be bitter, but we have to approach everything with love first. I've came to the conclusion that those dealing with infertility grow to become more loving and more patient and more strong and more gentle every day.. because the only alternative is bitterness. We have to be these things despite of our loss and despite of the 'jabs' we experience everyday from reminders of a life we may never get to experience. And those are wonderful qualities to have. Qualities that only bloom in hardships like infertility.

    I remember hearing an analogy of a blacksmith just beating and beating and heating and cooling and beating some more a piece of iron to make into a beautiful handcrafted sword. Never does someone question the blacksmith for the work being done to that iron because they know the end result will be wonderful. I have to believe that you and the many commenters, my wife and I, and all others enduring infertility today will one day see that we are becoming crafted into something more beautiful.. that this beating we're taking isn't in vain.. but for a greater purpose.

    Today may not have looked like we had hoped but tomorrow may just surprise us :) You rock Hannah. I'm praying for your tomorrow.

    -- J
    becky.jason@yahoo.com

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    1. Jason,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. The longer I am on this road of infertility I realize more and more that your approach is the only way to go in order to avoid bitterness. I pray that I come out on the other side a much stronger, more loving, and caring person. Thank you for your prayers! I will pray for you and Becky as well.

      Hannah

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  30. mel0710@hotmail.comAugust 27, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Thank you so much for this post. I have known since I was 11 years old that I can't become pregnant. At 34 now and married for 10 years I absolutely agree with all 9 but especially about adoption. It is an overwhelming process financially and emotionally and when people casually ask "when are you going to adopt" is hard. I dream about the little girl my husband and I long to adopt (we have a name picked out and everything) but I also rest in the promise that God is in control. You are in my thoughts and prayers and just knowing you are not alone out there helps.

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    1. I can't imagine having to deal with that reality from such an early age. That has taken a lot of strength. Praying for you that God will answer your prayer and give you that little girl!

      Hannah

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  31. Your post is spot on, I struggled with infertility from the age of 24 - and went through my first fertility treatment at the age of 39 (long story) - thankfully I have been utterly blessed with a beautiful daughter, although my arms are filled with the love of my child, and my heart fit to burst with love, pride and joy she has brought to my life - I will never ever forget the years of torture and heartbreak along the way. I have made lifelong friends along the way - and I'm probably guilty of sin number 6 - I understand exactly how my friends feel but would never wish to 'rub salt into the open and sore wound' of childlessness. Yes, it's true, I have lost friends since I became pregnant, but they weren't my friends to keep.

    You wonderful ladies and couples facing this 'emptiness' I pray that you too can find the joy and wonder from having a family of your own...I'm just soo thankful to have realised my dream, but my journey has just made me all the more appreciative of what I have now - love to you x

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    1. I am so happy for you that you finally have a little girl! What a miracle! Thank you so much for your prayers!

      Hannah

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for sharing this post on your blog.

      Yes, I understand completely what you are feeling. There are those in our lives that is do seem to just want to "rub it in". Thankfully there are many more that don't and that care. I will pray that God will bring more of the ones that care into your life and that He will give you strength to deal with the ones that make the day to day things more difficult.

      Hannah

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    2. Thank you! Prayers for you and your husband during this difficult time as well! :){Not sure how I deleted my original comment, but still ... thank you,and prayers!}

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  33. I had a FB friend post this due to her and her husband's struggle with infertility. I have read tips that women, like me, who have been blessed to bear children need to remember for women/couples like you who have struggle with infertility. Unfortunatley, I find your points more of a put-down, despite what you say, then anything. Everyone in this world yearns for relationships that they don't have...ie, being married, strong relationship with parents/siblings, and children. I have skimmed through people's comments and my heart does goes out to you and the other ladies/couples. I can't give sympathy, but I CAN empathize since that is simply putting myself into the emotions that you are feeling. Furthermore, if you are jealous of someone else's blessings, then you talk with God about that since God does not give infertility an exception to the commmandment of not being jealous of what someone else has...comes close to coveting. Also, I do understand that ladies/couples feel like there is a gap missing in their lives and they want to fill it with children. I actually do understand, but women hurt with children constantly as well. Is a different reason for the hurt, yes, but people hurt constantly due to an unsatisfied marriage or unfaithful marriage.
    I woulnd't not tell anyone to "adopt". Adoption should be an option with or without biological children of your own. And not going to parties or showers because you don't have kids, I think is a bit selfish. Its like not going to a wedding because you are single or just had a broken heart since the desire to be married (like everyone else) can be just has devastating as being infertile.
    I leave with saying, that it is true some couples complain about their children instead of uplifting them. And if you feel what she says/does upsetting and "rubbing it in", if anything a person does, (talking about kids, maternity clothes, pregnancy) or find that is too hard to handle, check your attitude first. They are excited. You don't tell a bride to be quiet or ignore if you are single. I do understand sometimes it maybe difficult to attend showers or birthday parties,or not constantly hanging out with your "family" friends, but celebrate with them too even when you think "its too much". They may be hurting too and you don't know it.
    I just find that if you focus on what you DON`T have, you miss out of what you do/can have/give. You may not have your own kids, but maybe your nieces and nephews could use your loving kindness or the kids in your sunday school class (if you are a Christian) or the kids on your street. God did not tell us to only love what comes from us biologically, but what can come from us spiritually was well. I don`t say this lightly since I thought I would struggle bearing children and had fears of not being able to conceive.
    So as I am told take take this blog and apply to my friends, celebrate the life you do have and the people you do have in their life...grass is not greener on the other side. LIfe is greener where you water and take care of it.

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    1. Hello! Thank you so much for reading this post. I am truly sorry that you felt my words were a hurt rather than a help. I sincerely did not intend to make anyone feel as if I were writing any of this out of bitterness. I just wanted to be "real".

      Even though I am hurt that you would be so harsh with your words, but I understand that there is no way you could fathom the hole in the hearts of women that are not able to conceive. I am glad that you don't know what it is like to go through what myself and thousands of others have to face every day as we walk this road of infertility. I am also saddened that my words were perceived in such a negative way and dissapointed that you think we are all so selfish. But again, I realize you can't relate.

      I understand that you don't know me personally. You have no idea how I live my life other than this single blog post. That's why I can't be angry with you. God knows my heart and He knows what I feel. I was at peace with Him when I wrote this and that's all that matters to me.

      Thank you for taking the time to read the post... I hope that at least some part of it was a help.

      Hannah

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    2. Yes it is true that people often want what they don't have. The thing is that becoming a parent has a very finite timeline to it. One can get married at any age for example or form closer bonds with other family members etc but that is not true for being pregnant. Once the window is gone it is gone. Yes the boundaries are being pushed with women having babies into their forties and even fifties but they are the exception, not the rule.

      The issue with attending baby showers, birthdays etc is a complex one. Of course one is happy for the people concerned. And if they are family/close friends attending such occasions can be great. The thing is though that especially baby showers are predominantly attended by mothers and all talk is about being pregnant or being a parent. As a non-parent one can not participate in these discussions. One ends up sitting there listening to all this talk and waiting for the time to pass. And if people don't know about your situation you get asked when you are going to have a baby (always an awkward question to answer, even more so on such a happy occasion) and if they do know about it they keep giving you sideways glances. Sound like fun? I think not.
      At weddings on the other hand not all the talk is focused on being married/in a relationship etc. There are a variety of discussions and a mix of people. A completely different dynamic.

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    3. How is it possible that you are able to compare a marriage to childbearing? God created women with need, a nature to reproduce. As with all species it is to ensure the continuation of our species. A women is built with a yearning that women blessed in the childbearing areas simply cannot fathom. And frankly I find it insulting that you believe women without children don't treasure their lives they've been given. Telling someone who has no children of their own to just simply change their attitude or outlook doesn't help anything. They need our love and support. Your single paragraph comment had more negative in it than anything Hannah had to say. If you really believe that these women aren't cherishing everything they do have and spending every possible moment they can to fill their lives then you obviously don't know very many of these women. I think your time would be better spent giving support and showing Christ-like grace.

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    4. To the original poster:
      I find your post extremely discouraging. Furthermore, I think you have missed the forest for the trees. Infertility is not like "being single and having to go to a wedding". It is an intensely personal, dark journey, that is played out in a public way so that all can see your lack of children year after year. Maybe this would help you to understand, since Hannah's beautifully written, thought provoking post was so offensive:
      Infertility is a death. When you are told that you can't have children, it is a death of your unborn children, and the grief is very real. And, as grief can do, it never really leaves. The strangest things remind you of that loved one lost, and so different activities can be very difficult. Please don't call my grief selfish. It is by the grace if God that I can function some days, and I work very hard not to put my issues on other people. After 5 years, my husband and I have only told a handful of people our 'problems', the wounds are so deep and so fresh.

      To Hannah: thank you for the beautiful post. You have given me encouragement and a community, in a situation that is often very isolated and painful, and I can tell from other comments that others feel the same. May God bless you. :)

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    5. I am 60 years old. I was finally able to adopt. We adopted a son with special needs. He is now 26. I could not love him more than I do, or be more grateful to have him. But, the pain of infertility still never goes away. I never got to feel him moving in my womb. Someone mistreated him in pregnancy and infancy. He will pay for the rest of his life for her sins. I wish I could have given birth to him so that his life would not be limited so badly.
      People were always telling me how lucky he was to have me as his adoptive mother. I would always tell them that he and I were equally blessed. I needed him as much as he needed me.. One thing is true, I learned how to fight while struggling to get pregnant, and then through 3 failed adoptions. I had never been a fighter before. All that helped a great deal because I was ready and able to fight for him through his childhood: lawyers, doctors, agencies, even the schools.
      Infertility lead me on a path that made me the advocate he needed. That part is the blessing. I agree that infertility feels like grief. I watch my nieces and nephews and love them powerfully. I will always wish my son could have had the benefits they have had from the beginning.

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    6. I apreciate the words you have spoken here greatly. We are about to have a baby show for a girl who got pregnant out of marriage and I have been struggling much more with not being able to have kids myself. Some people will call it jealousy...and maybe to a degree I am. But within every woman there is this sense of "this is what we were created for" ...this hits at the very core of being woman. God told us to be fruitful and multiply and that for those who have not, cannot and will not be able to for whatever reason there is a feeling of not living up to what we were designed to do. Don't get me wrong, not every woman desires this in the same way as others and many women are content not having kids. But there is a part of us that is missing or is this sense of unfulfilled humanity that we genuinely desire but are not able to have. To those who havent struggled with this, please be sensitive to the women in your life who dont have children. That is really the heart of the message. It is about acknowledging that this is a real and sensitive subject for a lot of women. Many women doent even realize the hurt that many do experience regularly because of infertility. Because not only do I feel like I cannot live up to a portion of what I was designed or created to do, I also live with family expectations that are unfairly placed on you that assumes that because you are married you have to have kids. And it goes beyond just family...society expects you to have kids. My least favorite question in all the world is "when are you going have kids"? It burns me to the core...like I can just choose when or when not to have children. I have started saying "when it happens it happens." And while it seem like I say it with complete trust in God that he has my best interests in mind and that he sees and knows more than I can comprehend there is a fear within me...especially as I get older that it may not happen for us. And I am trying to be okay with that.

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  34. This was beautifully put! We struggled for almost 7 years. We were told we never conceive unless it was through IVF. We were blessed with a baby boy named Judah. He is our miracle. About 15months later we became pregnant with Josiah. We lost him at 39wks. After the loss we felt maybe we should stop trying because Judah was such a miracle and we were so thankful for him. We became pregnant again about 9 months later. We had a miscarriage at 9wks. Baffled at the losses we could only ask God for grace to get through and not question because we already knew we had our miracle. After the miscarriage God blessed us once again with a sweet baby girl named Justice Grace. She and her brother are perfect. Everyday I live with a reminder of just how good our God truly is. Hannah I pray God will bless you with many children. And like us, I know you will be ever so grateful for you truly know the struggle of conceiving and that of loss. This post was such a blessing. I enjoy reading these. Much love and prayers...... Jennie Miller

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    1. Jennie,

      Thank you for reading and for sharing your story, Jennie! I can't imagine going through what you have been through. It is an amazing testimony that you have stayed faithful to God through it all! Thank you for the prayers! I really appreciate it!

      Hannah

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  35. Normally I would not post this anonymously, but some people I may know might read this and most people I know don't know about my miscarriages... so... having to hide my name in order to comment.

    As someone who (secretly) struggled with having miscarriage after miscarriage before finally having a healthy child, I have to disagree a little with your point about not complaining during pregnancy. I never felt like any pregnant woman was taking her pregnancy for granted by complaining when I was struggling. I felt that it was her right as a pregnant woman. Being pregnant is hard. Especially for those who have real health issues while pregnant. I suffered through some major issues when I was pregnant, and complained. Sometimes to anyone who would listen. And yeah, I felt like a butthead afterward but at the time I wasn't thinking clearly... I felt happy and lucky to be pregnant. I thanked God every day for my miracle, but I hated it and couldn't wait to be over. Partly because I wanted to see my baby, but partly because I was legitimately miserable. I never felt as if I was taking God's gift for granted, because His gift was my baby. Spending most of my first and third trimesters in the hospital was not a gift. I believe that was Satan trying to steal God's gift from me actually.

    Yes, I would do it all over again, and there are some things I miss about it. But I was terribly ill. I wanted a baby and to be a mom. Not to simply be pregnant. When I was struggling I did indeed tell myself that I would never complain, but I did in the end. Of course when I was struggling I never imagined how hard actually being a mom would be. But yes I would say that everything I went through was worth it and wouldn't trade it for not having this blessing in my life. But still. Both situations have their ups and downs. Now that my baby is here, I don't complain about her. She is everything to me, and being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But because of what I went through in order to get here I know that I would rather be doing this hard, hard, hard thing than not.

    And I pray for all my friends still struggling that they someday get pregnant and that they feel free to complain and maybe whine a little bit. At least a little. Simply because its a woman thing to want to share and want sympathy.

    When I do get upset is when I see moms taking their kids for granted. Not ever wanting to spend time with them, ignoring them so they can talk on the phone or surf Facebook, complaining when their babies cry at night and they have to pause the DVR during Project Runway to go comfort them, etc. That drives me nuts. When my friends got pregnant and didn't want to be pregnant, I was always thinking, "can I have it?" I still get upset about that and just want to take the kids home with me.

    I also get upset when I see friends who struggled with infertility who finally get pregnant completely let their health go as soon as they get a BFP and endanger their unborn children by smoking or drinking and more during pregnancy. That is probably the worst to me because I know what its like to pray night and day for a miracle. I feel they are throwing it back in God's face and saying they want their blessing by not nurturing it as they know they should. Or when the baby finally arrives they ignore it and don't want to spend time with it. I honestly don't understand that at all, especially knowing how hard it is to get pregnant and bring a baby into the world in the first place.

    I did appreciate your post though. Very well written and hopefully helpful to others who read it.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. It's really nice to hear from someone that has been on both sides of the fence. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      Hannah

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  36. Thank you for writing this. I often feel guilty for being able to conceive so easily, but I've learned a lot from your post. I will use this information to encourage my friends who are struggling.

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    1. Bethany,

      Thank you for taking the time to read this! Your friends are lucky to have you! :)

      Hannah

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  37. Lots of great points there. Would like to point out though (as is also evident from some of the comments) that not everyone concludes their infertility journey with a child or children. There are many of us out there that for various reasons end this journey without becoming a parent.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your point is sadly so true. I can't imagine what that must be like. Praying for you!

      Hannah

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  38. From the other side of the spectrum, I got pregnant very easily. I have a sister that has struggled w infertility for 6 years and a really good friend that has struggled for atleast 10 years. I was very aware of their feelings throughout my whole pregnancy,so much so I was unable to enjoy what was more than likely my last pregnancy. So maybe you guys could give us a break? It's not our fault we can get pregnant and have a baby no more than it is yours for reproductive issues. I'm sorry to those of you who are hurting but try to see it from our side as well please.

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    1. No one is blaming the women that get pregnant easily. This blog post is to educate others on the feelings infertiles have. It is your own fault you didn't enjoy your last pregnancy not your sister or your "friend". Maybe you should think before you speak and realize how blessed you are.

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    2. Your right for being thoughtful of others that is my fault! Never said I wasn't blessed
      So read before you reply

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    3. I agree - you are the one that is in control of your feelings. If you didn't enjoy your pregnancy - that is on you 100%. That is like saying, well, I didn't enjoy that candy bar AT ALL because of my sister with diabetes! Dang her! Um...ok.

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    4. I think this is a very well written blog post, thank you Hannah. I try very hard to be sensitive and sympathetic to those who are very close to me who struggle with infertility. This post, to me, is about how women with children can support, respect and try to understand their friends who are on a very difficult path. As one who tries very hard to not add to the hurt of those around me I am grateful for that.
      I do not know this commenter personally nor do I know her story so I will share a little of mine. It hurts me to see those I love hurting. It hurts me very deeply to be a part of the cause they are hurting. I can relate very personally to how a very happy time can turn into a difficult, painful and very lonely time. I absolutely DREADED sharing the news that I was pregnant with my sister and my best friend. While they are kind to me, and I know they are truly happy for me, I also know it is a reminder of their hurt. I know that at times it brings them pain. I also have known some women who were hurting very deeply and were at a bitter time in their grieving. They were unkind and took their pain out on me. I again say I try very hard to not add to the pain. I also understand that just being pregnant or having children is enough to remind and bring out the hurt, and that is hard for me to deal with. I imagine this commenter's feelings have a story behind them. I also know she has a right to her feelings and her hurts. Though her hurts may be different, it does not make them any less real.

      While many may not blame women that get pregnant easily, in my experience there are many, not all, that take it out on us, even if they don't mean to. Comments like "and realize how blessed you are" can be very hurtful. She never indicated she didn't know how blessed she was. She indicated that perhaps her compassion made it more difficult to enjoy her pregnancy and maybe she was hoping for a little bit of understanding just as many of you are asking for and also deserve.
      We are all in control of our feelings, but hopefully we can understand that circumstances, hurt and pain can have a huge impact on those feelings. I try to respect the feelings of those around me and allow them to deal with their trials in their own way. I try not to take things too personally (although that can be very difficult). I would hope for the same respect and compassion from them.

      Just as I haven't walked in your shoes, you haven't walked in mine. I don't think that me telling my husband (I would never tell my infertile friends) how I'm feeling when I am completely miserable is taking my miracles for granted. I agree with #8 to not complain to those struggling with infertility, (And, please, if you don't want to know, don't ask your pregnant friends how they are feeling) I just feel I am also entitled to my feelings. And even when I'm sick and miserable I still feel strongly that every second is worth it. We are all on a rollercoaster and no matter how grateful we may be, we are not always on the top.

      I pray for the best for all of you! And I am truly sorry for your hurts.

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  39. I stumbled on this blog on pinterest. I can relate to most all of what you had to say. My infertility is in that my husband is 10 years older, was married before and after 4 children had a vasectomy. I am no spring chicken and fear that my system is or will shut down before I have a chance to have a child. The women in my family have had children in their 20's and hysterectomies in late 30's and 40's. I am almost 38 and let fear in my life to much. He has his children, therefore I dont think he fully understands my ache and emptiness. I love the grandbaby but it is very hard when you do not have your own children first.I am still asking God for his hand and plan for our lives.
    I thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for reading and for sharing your heart. I will bed praying that God will give you your heart's desire.

      Hannah

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  40. Amazing words! Even though I have 2 kids now, the pain of infertility never goes away. Thank you for sharing what so many feel inside!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it!

      Hannah

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  41. As you have scripture quoted in your post, I assume you know the story of Hannah ;)
    You hit the nail on the head with every point. Great post!

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    1. Yes, I am very familiar with the story of Hannah. :) I never imagined that my life would literally be a mirror image of hers just as my name is. I love the story so much more now that I understand it. Thank you for reading and for your comment!

      Hannah

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  42. I am in LOVE w/ this post...my thoughts and feelings explained to a T!!! Definitely have to share this...Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it!!!

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    1. Kat,

      Thank you for reading and for sharing that it was a help! I really appreciate it!

      Hannah

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  43. Hannah,
    I do understand infertility, because I shall never conceive. I had an emergency hysterectomy at 30 years old. I am now 33. At first, if it involved children, I couldn't do it. I was always like "Please don't make me go through the baby section!" I just couldn't handle it. I also have to stay off of face book on Mothers day, Christmas, Halloween. This year, I did better on the first day of school. I also shopped for a baby shower a year and a half ago. 3 months ago, I had 5 friends have a baby in 1 week. Sitting here reading this blog has sent me to pieces. I have friends who have fertility issues. I pray for them so much. My heart does break for those who cannot conceive.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I'm glad that things are getting a little better for you. I will pray that God will continute to comfort you through this trial.

      Hannah

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  44. This is amazing, I have been ttc for five years, been pregnant twice and miscarried both. This hits home to me as I wait to find out if I am pregnant for the last time. Emotionally, physically and financially can't do it anymore.
    Thank you

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    1. Wow... I can't imagine. We have been trying for a year and a half and had one miscarriage. I know that I am already feeling extremely "over it" so I can't even comprehend what it is like to do it for 5 years. I will pray for you!!

      Hannah

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  45. Sorry for the "anonymous" post, but it just seemed like the easiest option since I don't often comment on blogs and such. My name is Wendy, and my husband and I were married for 14 years before we welcomed our daughter into our family via adoption. Four years later, we adopted a son, and we are so grateful that God brought these children into our lives at the specific moment we all needed each other. We tried conceiving for years to no avail, and I remember all those feelings you described. It was painful and gut-wrenching at the time, but I finally made a conscious decision that I was not going to ride that roller coaster every month. I absolutely hated having my life revolve around my cycle. We never went down the IVF road. It just wasn't something we felt led to do (that's certainly not a judgment to anyone who chooses that path). It just didn't feel right for us which was hard for some of our family and friends to understand because my husband is a doctor. We of all people should have knowledge and access of all the latest and greatest medical technology, right? Anyway, I decided to do what the Lord had put before me and not base my plans and decisions on whether or not I got pregnant. No, the pain did not magically go away nor did the desire to be pregnant and bear children diminish, but I share this to encourage those of you who are waiting. I did so many awesome things during that "waiting period" -- things I would not have been able to do if I had had children. Relationships were forged during that time which would never have happened if I had been a mother already. I seized opportunities and grew in ways that I needed to at that particular life stage. I went to MANY baby showers, sat through several Mother's Day church services, suffered through tons of advice and sometimes insensitive comments from well-meaning family and friends. I share all this because I didn't really appreciate and understand all the the Lord was doing until after my children came along. I see His providence in having us wait to become parents. If I had become a mother 10 years ago according to my plan and time table, I would not have my daughter and son who I now know belong with us. I absolutely cannot imagine our lives without these 2 beautiful creatures (exhausting they may be at times). Becoming a parent did not happen the way I thought it would, but it DID happen because my God is faithful, and He met me and my husband where we were. Thank you for your honest and candid post. I pray my comments bring courage to the hearts of women (and men) everywhere who go through this type of experience.

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    1. Wendy,

      Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. I love your attitude of making the best of this time in our lives. That is GREAT advice and I totally agree. Thank you again!

      Hannah

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  46. Love this article.. we are TTC for almost 8 years and conceived naturally 3 years back and lost our Angel in 31 week of pregnancy.... trying IVF after that and waiting for miracle every month...
    All my friends were pregnant at the same time when I was pregnant.. now I miss my baby girl when I celebrate their Birthdays, schools....but I still love going to their celebrations as they make me happy too... (Depends on the stage of my cycle- starting of cycle I am very hopeful and happy to see kids but if the EVIL aunt aka menses is there then I hate all the things related to kids)

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    1. Oh my... I am so sorry for the loss of your baby girl. I CANNOT imagine how painful that would be. Praying for you as you continue on through this journey.

      Hannah

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  47. Ouch! Hannah, you are right on the money, thank you so much for putting this out there.

    Every. Single. Thing. Resonated.

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    1. Thank YOU for reading! I hope it was a blessing!

      Hannah

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  48. Your willingness to pour out your heart has overflowed into mine. Thank you. On your journey may you encounter the peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that's unspeakable, and love that overwhelms.

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    1. I love that Scripture! Thank you for sharing!

      Hannah

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  49. My name is Lin and I came across this post while browsing pinterest. I have PCOS and we've been trying for 6 years to get pregnant. I had my first roubd of Clomid in July, and between the positive ovulation test and waiting to see if we got pregnant, my husband's brother and his fiancee announced their pregnancy. I've been beyond devastated. I'm the baby in my family and my husband is the oldest of his. Having the first grandchild for my in-laws was my most precious, most cherished dream and to have that taken from me in just four words had ripped my very heart and soul into shreds. My clomid was increased to 100mg this month and I was told to see a fertility specialist if this doesn't work. We're not well-off financially and the specialist might be out of the question. Thank you for posting this. It helps to know I'm not alone in feeling these things.

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    1. My heart aches for you. And no, you are not alone. Sadly, there are so many of us that get exactly what you are going through.

      I too have PCOS. Personally, Clomid did NOTHING for me except make my hormones and emotions go haywire. The only thing that has worked so far is Femara. I have two friends that Femara worked for as well so if you do end up seeing an RE (which I recommend if you have PCOS) then ask for that instead of Clomid. It costs the same, but has way less side effects and is more effective with most PCOSers. I understand the financial part of it too... we have been on a "break" from going to the specialist for 3 months just to try to catch up on the bills and save for more treatment. We have had to make the choice between going on a vacation or saving for fertilty treatment and the list goes on.

      I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I will pray for you as I pray for every other woman who has commented on this post.

      ***HUGS!***

      Hannah

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    2. I just wrote a long comment and it disappeared! I'm sick about it. I'll summarize: I'm going to ignore #7 and tell you and any other woman with PCOS ttc, please try glucophage WITH clomid. It is a miracle. I have PCOS, had years of heartache, surgery called "ovarian drilling" and clomid alone. After 42 days of the combo I had a period on my own and got pregnant. It worked exactly the same way with #2! it is a $4 prescription that absolutely changed my life! I hope and pray it ends your heartache like it ended ours

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  50. This is GOLD. Pure GOLD. Thank you. You took the words right out of my mouth!

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    1. Thank you for reading. I'm glad it was a blessing!

      Hannah

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  51. This is a great post. But can I hold you to that promise that you will never, EVER complain about your bratty kids?

    And what if we women with children ask you to never complain about how the awesome vacation you and your husband took was too short. Or how you couldn't get dinner reservations at your favorite restaurant *this time.* Or how your noisy neighbors woke you up in the middle of the night, once. And you got to go right back to sleep. For six more hours. Straight. We all need to be more grateful for what we've got. Being infertile doesn't give you a monopoly on pain and suffering.

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    1. Emily,

      I'm sorry that my words were perceived in that way. I am in no way claiming a monopoly on pain and suffering. I understand that there are probably millions of people that are worse off than I... I was simply trying to give insight to those who may not understand the day to day struggles of infertility.

      I hope at least a part of the post was a help. Thank you for reading.

      Hannah

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  52. I too have PCOS. It took 6 years of TTC before being diagnosed. It took another year to get pregnant. All of that time was spent feeling guilty for not being able to give my husband a child or our parents any grandchildren. If i were to add anything to your post, it would be about the guilt of not being able to do what everyone expected me to.
    We have one child. We never told our families about the pregnancies i lost. I hate being asked why we only have one child. I just say that she's all that God sent us. That usually ends the questioning.
    We are celebrating our 20 year anniversary next week, our daughter is 10. We are past our baby years, but i still feel broken and guilty.

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    1. Julie,

      Thank you for reading and for your feedback. I am so happy for you that you were able to have a daughter! What a joy. It is great to hear a point of view from someone who has been through it all. Thank you.

      Hannah

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  53. We've been ttc for 17 years. Unfortunately, when you don't have health insurance, a big savings account, or good credit it's almost impossible to get anywhere with treatments. People don't talk to me about it anymore. At all. When I do get the rare message or email, I politely think them, but remind them that my journey is over so all the good wishes, thoughts, prayers, etc. can be saved for someone else. I know that I'll never have a baby. I don't do baby showers, gave up all my friendships when they started having kids and constantly do everything I can to keep from going to the in-laws. I have no interest in hearing all about their expanding family. The only left in my is bitterness and rage. It's best if I just keep to myself so that others don't have to deal with my pain.

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    1. Julie,

      I'm so sorry that your road has been so hard. It's so difficult to understand. I will pray that God will give you the grace to keep going and somehow be at peace with your journey. Thank you for reading and for your words!

      Hannah

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    2. This makes me so sad. I worry that if my sister in law is unable to conceive, I will lose out on any future relationship with my brother. They are already pulling away from us. They don't share much about their infertility treatments and I feel that is really setting their expectations low for us. We want to be supportive, which is why I read blogs like this to try to make sure I can be accommodating. But the bitterness and rage is soul destroying, isolating, and a dare I say a bit insane. After 17 years, some of the friends you abandoned are likely soon to face the empty nest experience. There are many experiences in life that have little to do with the raising of children. I am sure that your extended family and former friends would reach out to you if they could do so without feeling as if their mere existence poured salt in your wounds. I am sorry you put your spouse in the position he is in. I do wish you peace, but you will have to seek it out along the lines of the "serenity prayer." You certainly deserve better than the bitterness and rage you live with, you are in my thoughts as is your spouse and the family that misses you both.

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  54. Thank you for this great and honest post. It is a shame not all readers can take it for what it is, just a bit of a guide in to how we feel as women who are struggling with infertility. We do not ask for these feelings, they are just a part of the rollercoaster of emotions that infertility is. We have our good and our bad days, just like anyone in any sort of painful situation. I think it is a timely reminder that we all have different things we are battling and if someone can read this post and use the tips to help a friend who is struggling with infertility that's a great outcome.
    I sat here in tears having struggled for with infertility for five years now, all of those feelings are familiar to me and it is sad to read the comments and see that there are so many others out there who are dealing with the same thing and some for a very long time.
    So thank you again for this post and I can only hope that maybe a few of my friends may come across it and take on board the tips. We don't ask everyone to understand, but just to show support and compassion and know that sometimes there may be certain situations or conversations we can not participate in.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback! Yes, we all definitely have good days and bad days... I also love your comment about how we aren't asking everyone to understand, but just to show compassion. I will pray for you on your journey. Thank you again.

      Hannah

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  55. My husband and I have been married for 12 years. He left me almost year ago.I know that my emotional instability because of my inability to conceive all that time is the reason. We both wanted a family so bad, I think me even more than him. All I've ever wanted was to be a mom. But now he's gone and has been for@least the last 6-7months in a relationship with a 19year old girl. My hopes and dreams of motherhood left with him and everyday is a constant struggle to find purpose. I miss him so much. I mourn for not just the loss of my marriage but of the family I always thought we would finally have. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who is affected by infertility and i thank you for writing this article to shed light on some of the things I faced for a long time.

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    1. I cannot imagine the pain you have been and are still in. I wish there were something I could say, but all I know to do is pray. ***HUGS!***

      Hannah

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  56. Hannah

    Thank you for sharing this. It is very helpful as I have a friend whom I love dearly who has just started her first round iui after trying many alternate paths. I think its important to be there in the best way that I can and everyday I say a prayer that this method will work. I can see the hurt she carries although like a godess she never lets it show except in only very private moments. I draw her pictures of her dressed as a superhero or positive notes on her down days. I wish everyone who desires a child will be able to live thier dream. Again thank you for the insight good luck to you I hope with all my heart you will have everything you want in life. Xoxo

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    1. You sound like an amazing friend! I will pray that you will know what to say and know how to be there for her. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this post!

      Hannah

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  57. I appreciated reading this! Though I do have 3 kids now, I did struggle with fertility for a couple of years and experienced a m/c, so I got a small taste of the agony it all involves. But respectfully, I do wish you'd been a little easier on people in #8. Of course way too many people complain way too much about their kids, but for most people, it's not a constant thing. But EVERYONE has rough days and we are all HUMAN, so there are going to be times when we do get frustrated with our kids - no matter how much we cherish them! While we can't totally understand what you go through in wanting to become a mom, you also can't totally understand the little things that can occasionally be frustrating to parents, so please don't criticize people for not being happy and sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time. I love my kids more than life and I am so grateful to have them - I absolutely treasure them and know how fleeting childhood is; that said, I do lose patience or get frustrated sometimes because I'm just a human being! My utter humanness is not a statement about how I feel about my precious babies - and I'm definitely still a work in progress and far from perfect. So try not to judge or expect that if/when you do have children, every day will be 100% perfect. It's not realistic. Aside from that, thank you for sharing these ideas and your story - I hope it will help many people!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. I totally agree with you and I understand that kids are KIDS and that can come with a lot of crazy, frustrating days. The point I was trying to make was really just to think before you speak about that one. For example, I have a friend that is constantly complaining about the hospital bills she received from delivering her baby. However, my infertility treatments (of which I have nothing to show for) have cost double what she paid to give birth. It's just hurtful that she doesn't even consider how I feel when she complains every time I see her. Make sense?

      Again, thank you for your words! I appreciate all the feedback and will definitely take it to heart!!

      Hannah

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  58. Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.

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    1. Thank you for reading! I appreciate it!

      Hannah

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  59. Saw this on Pinterest and read the whole thing. I just prayed for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your difficult journey. I really want to be a mother as well, but we are not in a financial position to have a baby at this point. That is hard enough. I can't imagine what you are going through and will continue to pray for strength and a happy resolution for you and your hubby! God bless!

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    1. Thank you for the prayers, Trish! We so appreciate it!!!

      Hannah

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  60. Found this on pinterest. It's like you've read my own heart. Thank you for speaking out for us.

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    1. SJ,

      I'm so sorry that you understand what this post is all about. I wish you didn't. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  61. I just came across your post and I have to THANK YOU for putting this out there! I'm currently going through IVF and had 1 embryo that did not make it, I found out today. It is truly challenging, heartbreaking, traumatizing, tiring, and you often become hopeless. I will have to share this when the time is right.

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    1. Erica,

      I can't imagine how hard that would be. I will pray that God will sustain you through this time. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  62. Thank you for this wonderful post.

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    1. You're welcome! Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  63. Good post.

    I have 3 very young children. On #8, I have to say, that just like you tire of seeing mothers "whine" about their kids, well, I have to say that seeing my childless friends (infertile or not) go on vacations, be able to do whatever they want, sleep in, etc.... makes US very jealous. I love my children dearly but the grass is always greener. Just one day I'd love to be able to just relax and just BE... by myself, or with my husband. Be content where you are. I am a part of several birth groups online and several of the moms in them struggled with infertility for years.... only to be completely surprised how much they struggled with PPD and the shock of having a baby, some even resenting getting pregnant. We women like to idealize mothers and children and when you have years to play in your mind what having children might be like, well, it really hits women once they do have a baby. I know this won't make sense to you but I know other mothers know what I am talking about. Children are a blessing and I love mine dearly. But man, its HARD, so excuse me while I whine on FB! ;)

    Oh and btw, I know this breaks one of your rules, but a friend on one of these birth boards tried for years with infertility and miscarriage. She went on a gluten free, GMO-free, vegan diet and has had two babies since. I truly believe a lot of infertility issues have to do with our American diet.

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your feedback.

      Hannah

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  64. I stumbled on your blog last night ( thanks to pintrest) and it broke my heart. I have been in your shoes, six years and countless dollars we finally got our beautiful daughter. Please don't give up on your dreams and hopes. We thought she was going to get a brother or sister but miscarried last Thanksgiving. I pray for you and any other family going through infertility issues. I was really disgusted by the post about feeling sorry for the sleep deprived moms. There is no comparison and I thought it was very shallow to post.Good luck

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    1. Shannon,

      I'm so sorry that you understand what this kind of pain feels like. I really appreciate your comment! Since you have been on both sides of the fence you get it. Thank you!

      Hannah

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  65. I came across your blog on Pinterest and am SO thankful I did. My husband and I are currently going through IVF after having done one cycle of IUI and it has by far been the biggest challenge for the both of us. Your blog hits every emotion I have felt and has literally brought me to tears and made me confident, strong, and have faith. I especially loved this blog about what women with children need to know...I do plan on sharing with my friends. I don't see this as a negative at all but if anything I think it will help them understand how to react when I'm around and how to approach how I'm feeling. Many times I feel they don't know what to say and this blog hits that exact issue. Thank you so much for inspiring so many others that are in your shoes...I'm truly continuing to follow you.

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    1. Erica,

      Thank you so much for reading the blog and for your feedback! I really appreciate it and will be praying for you and your husband as I pray for every women that comments here. ***HUGS!***

      Hannah

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  66. I am replying because I want women who can't get pregnant to understand what those of us who can are going through as well. I can speak to both parties as I am a mother of triplets who had to have help getting pregnant. While I don't have a long, drawn out fertility story, I do have one. But this is what I want women who don't have kids to know.
    1.Sometimes, it just isn't God's will. I say this not to hurt you, but to say that God most assuredly says "No" to some prayers. He has said No to many of mine. Many that I placed well above having children and that hurt. I grieved for those losses just as much as I grieved over non-pregnancies. Children aren't the end all, be all. Again I am not being mean, but I think sometimes women put too much pressure on themselves to have children. Then once they have them, too much pressure to be perfect mothers. God made us to be so much more than that.
    2. It is hard to be friends with someone who constantly harps on not having children. Or makes comments like, "I wish I could stay up til midnight with my child," when I complain about having to do that. Raising children is HARD. You aren't in that persons shoes, so don't act like you would say differently.
    3. And along those lines, pregnancy is the hardest, most miserable experience of my life, hands down. I hated it.... not the making life part of course, but the sickness, constant nausea, throwing up, inability to breathe, inability to sleep, constant need to pee part. You saying you would give your right arm for it doesn't make it any less miserable... or anyone any less likely to do it. But pregnant women have earned the right to complain, I say!
    4. I understand that suggesting you adopt doesn't make it better. But it is an option. A great option. One that I really craved. I would have rather adopted actually. I love the idea of giving a home to a child that needs one (my husband wanted to try to have one first and we got pregnant very quickly). But adoption is beautiful and doesn't make you less of a woman or mother.
    5. I pray hard and long for my friends that want to have a baby and can't. I will continue to do so. But what I really want to say every time is, "if God doesn't allow you to get pregnant, it is only because he has much greater plans for you."

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    1. With my first husband, we tried almost four years to have a baby. When I remarried, I got pregnant pretty quickly. Having experienced a quick pregnancy and infertility, and two miscarriages in the past year, I am willing to admit that I was one of those who resented mothers who complained about being pregnant, or complained about their kids, because I thought, "I would do anything to have a child! I would do anything to be in your shoes!" but the thing is, when I got pregnant, it was super uncomfortable. I did not like feeling constantly nauseated, and yes! I complained about it! I complained about it a lot! It's not that you are taking that blessing for granted. I went through infertility. I had been told by doctors that I would NEVER have a baby on my own. And later when I was pregnant, having had that experience did not make pregnancy easier. I still complain a lot. Being a mom is hard. It's a different "type" of difficulty than going through infertility but we have as much right to complain about screaming babies, sleepless nights, etc. as women who are unable to have children of their own do about their trials. I give your comment five stars. Thank you.

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  67. not that I wouldn't be happy for anyone to not be in the same boat as me/us...but it is so good to know that i am not alone and despite how it may feel, i'm not the last infertile woman on earth! thank you for your post!.

    tumbleberryco.blogspot.com

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    1. Cambra,

      I totally get it! I also wouldn't wish this on anyone, but it IS really great to know that other women understand what we go through. Thank you for reading!

      Hannah

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  68. Hannah, I have PCOS and you have put all my feelings into one blog. I appreciate the fact that you wrote this for all of us and all the struggles that we go through. I struggle daily and appreciate you bringing it to life that I am not the only one out there. Also appreciate that you noted that when people are telling us ways that they have heard of other women conceiving doesn't help us and they don't know the whole story completely sums it up for me! Thank you so much for putting your heart out there for all of us! You are AMAZING!!!! May God Bless you along this journey!

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    1. Kristen,

      You are so sweet. I really appreciate you reading and for your feedback! I'll be praying for you!

      Hannah

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  69. I come from both sides of this fence, I was blessed with one amazing beautiful daughter. The Lord gave me the chance to be a parent and I am truly thankful but after her birth I became infertile and diagnosed with Endometriosis it took several years of pain, disappointment, and depression before being diagnosed. Once diagnosed there was nothing they could do but remove my uterus and ovaries at 28 years old. I became very bitter, jealous, pulled away from people who were pregnant (family). I couldn't be around babies, I worked in retail and saw all kinds of parents ones I judged as unfit and became angry because their child was dirty or they didn't speak nice to the child. It was very difficult for me, even though I had a child...so I can relate to everything you said. The one thing I remember that hurt me the most was my sister in law got married and conceived on her honeymoon - she said to me, I don't know why you act like it is so hard to get pregnant, you must not be doing it right!! I was SO hurt...I wanted nothing to do with her, her pregnancy or her baby...at the time I was going through treatments for the Endometriosis before they did the scope and found there was nothing they could do. Sad that people are so ignorant!! Prayers for you. I have heard of many miracles, God is Good - Always!!!

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    1. Yes, God is always good! Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback! I really appreciate it!

      Hannah

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    2. I was happy to read your blog. It really up lifted me. I'm a African American woman with no children due to many ailments. It's devastating when women get together taking about their children and now grandchildren and someone turns to me and ask " do you have children", and when I say no, you could hear a pin drop. I know I shouldn't but I've isolated myself from woman with children because I don't want to here about other people children.

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  70. Wow! Great job explaining the struggles those of us with fertility issues deal with. My husband and I struggled for awhile, we tried adoption but waited and waited for years and never heard anything. When I had finally given up I found out about embryo adoption. We went through three cycles before we were blessed with a little one. While trying to conceive I made all the same promises to God...I'll never complain about pregnancy, etc. I honestly think my attitude factored in on how well my pregnancy went. I also promised I'd be happy with only one, but as my little one grows I find myself back in the same position I was before. Wishing I could so easily conceive like most of my friends. It's not that I'm going back on my word..my little one fills me with happiness ...but I feel like God is telling me not to stop at one. However rough the journey may be. I used to tell my husband in our moments of self pity that God knows us.Perhaps we were chosen to endure this trial because He knows we will do ANYTHING for a family of our own.

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  71. Thank you so much for sharing these tips. The more information that is shared, the better. My husband and I just found out on Saturday that our first round of IVF failed. It was so, so hard. There are so many emotions but here are a few things that I've experienced in the days and hours since getting the news:

    - Infertility is isolating and confusing. Isolating in that the ONLY people who truly understand what you're going through are those who have experienced infertility and IVF, etc. themselves. People can try to empathize and they are so kind, but at the end of the day, they really don't know the emotional roller-coaster it puts someone through. I had NO idea starting IVF what I would feel like during and at the end of a failed cycle. Now, I understand.

    - One of the worst things that can happen is silence from family members and friends. I have two sisters who I love and who I have (or thought I had) a good relationship. They literally did not call or email ONCE during the 2 month process of our first IVF cycle. It broke my heart and made something terribly sad and isolating even more heartbreaking. Sometimes people don't know what to say or do, so they do or say nothing. If they only knew that a sweet card or email would have shown support. But to be abandoned at such a difficult time because they don't know how to handle it is confusing and heartbreaking. Of course people are caught up in their own lives and worried about what to say or what someone going through IVF will say, but it doesn't have to be all about IVF! Just sharing some funny things from your day, calling to share a story or anything just like normal times helps. The worst thing possible someone can do is abandon you during this process. Sure people may be scared and worry about saying the wrong thing or not knowing what to say. But guess what? IVF is scary. I'm scared for having to go through this again in 5 months! I'm worried to tears wondering if we'll ever have a family. I'm terrified of the alternative of not ever having children. So let's be honest about fears, acknowledge them and I promise that most of us IVF'rs won't lash out or suddenly burst into tears if you call or email or text. We just want to feel that we are loved.

    - The failure of an IVF cycle or miscarriage is a real loss, just like a death of a loved one. Why? Because it is yet another opportunity to have a family that is lost and there is a very real grief associated with this loss. You feel that with every passing year and failed IVF cycle and with every birthday closer to 40, your options get more narrowed down. The loss of the opportunity for even one baby is heartbreaking and requires grieving time.

    - Sometimes we just need our space and privacy. There will be good days and bad days. Mostly good days (for me) but waves of sadness do come and it's normal.

    - One of the best things my other sister said while we were going through our first round of IVF was something like this: "I don't understand infertility and IVF, it's so new to me and something that I'm not sure how to help you with...but I want to understand, please help me understand." And then she would call during the drug cycle to ask about it and what certain terms mean, give supportive emails for important dates during the cycle, etc. For some reason, her just acknowledging that she didn't understand but wanted to was the BEST thing she could have said.

    Just some initial thoughts from our first cycle that are so fresh and raw right now:)

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  72. Hi Hannah, I also write a blog about my subfertility journey, and was really blessed by the way you have expressed here what so many of us go through... it can be a lonely journey, and yet at the same time, we are drawn closer to God because of our desires to see Him answer the deepest longing of the heart.

    I would love to link to / re-post this posting on my own blog: http://journeyforbubba.blogspot.co.uk/ would you allow me to do that and to share these 9 thoughts as a guest post?

    Steph

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  73. I am 65 years old, and yes....infertility emotions & wounds never completely heal. We went through 12 years of infertility, plus 1 miscarriage and two adoption "attempts". (one--the mother changed her mind in her 8th month of pregnancy, and the other ended tragically in our baby boy dieing at 3 days old) My road took me through 5 surgeries; innumerable fertility treatments of all kinds; relationship problems with relatives, friends, and husband; financial exhaustion; emotional "meltdowns", etc. etc.-but the worst was the isolation of feeling so very alone and different from all other women I knew. My husband's family tree dates back to the 1200's and him being the only son of an only son also created an "unseen" pressure to continue the bloodline. But the worst pain of all was never being able to tell my husband that I was going to have his child.......or being able to actually give birth to OUR baby.
    We finally had a baby girl dropped into our lap via adoption when I was 36 years old, and we absolutely know that God gave her to us to raise and nurture in His ways. All children are gifts from God, and given to us to care for and love and nurture. But the circumstances being what they were, we joyfully accepted her as such a very precious and wonderful gift.....I just know that He has special plans for her and I always felt that she was something very very special in my life ! Unfortunately, she has gone her own way now and things are not as we had hoped they'd be.
    However, I also know that God was "moulding" me during those years, and as I look back, I can see that He was teaching me to have a much deeper sense of compassion, patience, care, and love for others....plus---the very very important point.......to rely on Him. For the first time in my life I came across something that I could do absolutely nothing about on my own, and it slowly, but surely made me really realize that He was in control and to submit to His will. If you pray for healing and focus on believing God has a plan for you (with or without children) it can give your life meaning again and help you regain a sense of "sanity" and focus. We are human, and I can tell you that the painful emotions that are accompany being infertile still raise their ugly head even as I am old......and when I least expect it! Then I have to remember that it is Satan reminding us of our "faults and inadequacies" .......but we are God's child and He loves us. ALWAYS remember that!!

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  74. I appreciate this post and will keep all of you in my prayers. Try to go easy on the mothers who are complaining. They love their children but do suffer for it in minor and major ways. Hopefully, they are not taking their blessings for granted but just trying to meet the burdens and responsibilities of parenting. It seems after reading this, that once you have chosen to parent, whether your child comes or not, your heart bears the weight of being a parent whether that soul is manifest on earth or remains as an angel in heaven. One thing I say with understanding and not judgment, if you've declined several baby showers, baptisms and other child-related celebrations, please understand that once you do have a child people are going to be a little bewildered if you demand their participation in celebrations for your child, after sitting out on all of their children's celebrations over many years. It is good that the author is able to handle this stuff, for the sake of the children who are in her lives and I am sure appreciate her involvement.

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  75. I have to follow the strong knowing I have that for some reason I have to share this- Perhaps it will be of use to someone... I have a friend who was told she would in no way ever conceive . Her and her husband found something called the Raw food Diet- It can be easier, more creative and tastier than one might imagine... there are plenty of fun books and videos on dvd, netflix and youtube and people on youtube talking about their personal experiences with healing with Raw Foods... The woman I know who was told it was medically impossible, felt her body (and life) change, and she now has 4 children. I have such an incredibly strong yearning to share this, knowing that for some reason I had to. So I am really sorry that it goes against one of the numbers up top.

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  76. When you do finally get to experience motherhood (I sincerely pray you do) and find yourself seeking an understanding heart for a new set of refining trials that similarly exceed your mortal capacity, that you can't bear successfully without God's help, and that leave you feeling like a failure at the end of the day, go ahead and vent about those trials too; we will commiserate then too. :)

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  77. Wow... So well written and so true. I struggled with infertility for three years and after many surgeries, IUI, and six rounds of IVF I was able to conceive a baby boy. Now almost three years later I find that I still struggle with my past infertility issues and just started counceling. What we have gone through is traumatic girls and its so nice to have supports like this out there. May God bless all of you and help you during your times of grieving and struggles.

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  78. I concur with other respondents: this was very well written. You have taken the anger out of this nightmare and explained it succinctly. I have been infertile since the age of 24. Lost two husbands to the fact that I couldn't bear children (the second guy said he wouldn't mind if the IVFs he knew I would need didn't work, he lied.) and the pain is unbearable. We cannot expect people who are blessed to understand. But you have given them a guide on how not to add to our heartbreak. Thank you.

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  79. Thanks so much for this. I have 4 children. 3 biological and 1 adopted. I've never struggled with infertility but we're still at "that age" in life so many of our friends are having babies, adopting children, and dealing with infertility. My husband and I have a "Lord give them a baby" prayer list. It's not written down or anything because the ones we know who are waiting and hoping to become parents are our friends and we love love love them to pieces and can't WAIT for them to change a million dirty diapers and have dark circles under their eyes from sleepless nights and get Christmas cards from them with more than 2 people in them...the whole nine yards. I give praise and honor and ALL the glory to Christ who, as Ephesians says, is the author of every family...because so far, no one on the list has been there "very long" (I know to them as they waited it felt much longer!) and I have found praying for them and reminding them that I'm waiting too (not too often bc I worry I don't want to bring it up too much) for their big day has given me a compassion for their desire and a gratefulness for my own children that I don't think I'd have otherwise. I am a talker and a "fixer" so doing my best to pray for, remember, and just listen and "weep with those who weep" as the weeks and months go by is hard for me. I would otherwise tend to offer the advice which would, as you so succinctly put it, probably have the opposite effect of where my heart really lies.
    I did want to make an observation- not as advice, but maybe as just simple another facet of this whole becoming a parent thing and the emotion involved when, for whatever reason, it doesn't go smoothly. I wonder if the "dual-ness" of the feelings on both sides of fertility can be explained, and validated (not that they NEED validation) in looking at what happens when adoption happens. When we adopted our son (it was a domestic, newborn, open adoption) our emotions were at both extremes of the spectrum. We could NOT believe that we were handed a BABY. It was thrilling. We were parents again. He was gorgeous. We took pictures. Showed him off everywhere. At the very same time we were grieving. We could NOT believe that his birth mom had the ability to leave the hospital in such an act of faith. We knew her heart was breaking and ours broke for hers- still do- when we thought about it. All the terribleness of why adoption even exists weighed heavy on our hearts. And all of these emotions and feelings were existing in our hearts at the same time.

    I know from the fertile side of motherhood that I have been simultaneously grateful and elated at the Lord deciding to give me children and so sad and grieving and angry and confused that that same good God would decide something different for a friend. I have no clue if you or others who are the infertile side would agree...but I hope that this explanation can make the existence of such differing emotions believable. For both sides. For mothers to believe that their infertile friends ARE truly happy for them and to embrace the "rejoicing with those who rejoice" part of what they offer us in their friendship AT THE SAME TIME as they grieve their own infertility. And for hope-to-be Mothers to believe that their friends with children ARE grieving with them AT THE SAME TIME as they rejoice in the children they are given. I know we are all fallen and are human so NONE of us do this perfectly and without offense. But it just passed through my mind that if such "opposite" feelings can exist when it comes to something like adoption that they can exist simultaneously when it comes to fertility/infertility. My prayer when it comes to any of my infertile friends is that I will weep with them when they need me to and to rejoice with them when they need me to.
    Blessings to you!
    ~Sharon

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  80. So glad to read that someone else felt the same way I was feeling. Sometimes I thought I was a bad person for feeling that way especially when yet another person comes up and tells you they are pregnant. You have to put on a smile and act so happy for them, when in a way I was but a major part of me wanted to know why not me!! We did the fertility pills and did get pregnant but miscarried. From there on to fertility clinics for other options which ended in disappointment as well. And yes, sooo many people say Just Adopt.... So not easy. They just don't realize how much money that takes. We ended up fostering and did adopt that way.. There is so much risk of not getting to adopt right away though, and losing a child you have grown to love. We were very blessed though, we adopted the very first child we got, he was only 8m old. After adopting we did stop fostering, I just couldn't got through all the emotions anymore. We now have a small family with one child, who was definitely sent to us from God!!

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  81. thank you so much for this...even though it brought me to tears, it helps me to know I am not alone... everything said is how I feel. Thanks again.

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  82. I have had one opportunity to have 1 beautiful lil boy since then he is grown . I had one more child he was born n I had a wonderful 3 hours with him. he wiggled his lil toes n squeezed my finger his eyes so blue.. but we lost him his heart slowly stopped n he drifted away in my hands .. I never really talked about it and I feel for you. as I no I can no longer either have a child. I was blessed with one n 3 stepchildren.. not one day goes by that I don't look at lil children n man I pray I could have one more but there is no chance. I know the feelin I hope n pray that people do know it is not easy I agree. everyone always said it will be ok ..but I disagree it does not get better, n it does still hurt you just learn to deal with it. the only thing that got me by was knowing that my lil boy is with his gramma n I know hes safe. you too in time will learn to deal with what god has laid in store for you .. and never gives you more than you can handle that's what I was told and it did help me. I hope this helps

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  83. Thank you for sharing...I actually don't have children because I have never married, not because I am unable to conceive (that I know of anyway). While I certainly have no experience with the physical problems that would cause infertility or the medical bills associated with trying to overcome it, I found this post exceptionally interesting simply because much of what you say also pertains to older singles such as myself who are approaching or have passed the age of childbearing. Baby showers, news of another expecting friend, watching my sister with her two adorable boys...the list of things that can bring on tears as it becomes more likely by the day that I will never have a biological child is enormous. And I agree entirely that hearing others complain about pregnancy and children (not to mention being "stuck" with a loving husband) makes me absolutely crazy. I won't comment on each point you made...but thank you again for sharing. I appreciated this post.

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  84. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your honesty and perspective. This helps me understand me sweet younger sister better. I wish the world for you and my sis. Lauren.

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  85. I just wrote a long comment and it disappeared! I'm sick about it. I'll summarize: I'm going to ignore #7 and tell you and any other woman with PCOS ttc, please try glucophage WITH clomid. It is a miracle. I have PCOS, had years of heartache, surgery called "ovarian drilling" and clomid alone. After 42 days of the combo I had a period on my own and got pregnant. It worked exactly the same way with #2! it is a $4 prescription that absolutely changed my life! I hope and pray it ends your heartache like it ended ours

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  86. Hello Hannah,
    Thoughtful post. I was really moved to tear while reading this.
    I simply liked the very first point you brought out - we mean well for you and the little one as much as we are craving to have one :) Simply and Truly. And #8 as well!
    Thanks for the post again...

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  87. Beautiful post! Very well-said. I'm glad I found your blog!

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  88. I have been married 11 1/2 years without bearing a child and am now a mother to three beautiful children through adoption. You said it right when you mentioned adoption is not a cure-all. I still struggle with the pregnancies/babies around me and sometimes entertain the lie from Satan that I'm not a "real" mom. On the other hand, I wouldn't trade any of my blessings for bio ones! Thanks for this post...wrote a similar one on my blog months back. We need to make people aware of the pain and also let people know it's OK to feel this way and there are others who understand completely!!

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  89. My heart goes out to all you beautiful women without children. I am not going to pretend I understand what it is like. I have been blessed with four lovely daughters!!! - and every day I am thankful that I am their mother - I am in awe of what God has entrusted to me. So often I don't know what to do or say to you who have no children. Anything I say or do can be the wrong thing to say, so thank-you for this blog! It seems so unfair how life can go, but I'm sure you've thought it all.... I have also had my share of suffering and pain, and all I can say is: God alone can fill the void. No husband, mother, job, position or looks (that's a big one too: how skinny or fat we are...), amount of children can fulfill us. We often deceive ourselves into thinking that, but it's when we entrust everything to God: our whole selves, with all ALL our desires (including motherhood) that we do receive peace. That is one of God's promises. Bless you, all you lovely women out there, with the pain of infertility. I love you all and admire you for who you are! Keep your heads high. You are complete in Him!

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  90. And I really feel compelled to say this too: we mothers can hurt too and our lives are not perfect - even though it may seem that way to you. We live in a broken world and there are many problems people have to face. Along with infertility, people struggle with other huge problems too. Please don't forget. Other problems can be just as challenging and not visible to the outside world. "We" mothers also have to deal with major problems (that have nothing to do with our children) and sometimes I get the feeling that those are not allowed to exist because "at least we have children" and our lives seam perfect and easy to you.... This is a happy mother who had to face abuse, rejection, condemnation (in the church), being accused of many things while people were not informed, divorce etc. It is too easy to say: at least you have children. In all these problems we want the best for our children, and it is heart wrenching when you see you can't fix everything for them. It is okay to feel hurt and sad, not having children. It is also okay to hurt because of other things. No suffering is the worst, we all have to face our own issues with God. I hope this doesn't sound harsh to you, it is not my intention. Let's all try to share eachother's griefs and hurts.

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  91. Thank you for this wonderful and insightful post. My daughter Vikki (30 years old) is a type 1 Diabetic, became blind in her one eye, got thyroid cancer and now cannot carry her own child. She is heart broken, but your message gave me hope for her and I know and I pray that the peace of knowing God is in control of your life no matter what He did or did not bless you with. We can echo the words of David in Psalm 16: "LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (vv. 5–6).

    Maybe your cup wasn't filled with what you wanted or the boundary lines hadn't fallen exactly as you planned, but they were assigned to you by the Creator of the universe, the most powerful God, the One who loves you and gave His life for you. I pray that God will embrace each and every woman who cannot have a child and bless you all abundantly.

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  92. Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. I've also lost a baby and it's hard! Praying that you may be blessed with your own little one in God's time.

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  93. There should be a number 10 and 11. #10 Do NOT mention abortion to an infertile woman. I had a close friend who I had confided in after finding out it would be a struggle to have children. A week later she told me that she thought she was pregnant. I was happy and concerned for her since I know how she feels about motherhood. A few days after she had confided in me, she said that she hated to admit it but she would get an abortion if she was. This broke my heart when she told me because of the struggles I face like some other women. All I could do was walk away disgusted. It was her choice, but to have told her my struggles and for her to then say what she had, it felt like she had slapped me across the face. I ultimately felt that way because she was willing to throw away a blessing like a child when others can't even conceive. #11 This may only be me but... Don't offer to carry someone's child because she can't do it herself. Both my mom and friend offered to do this. I know they meant it to be a nice offer but it made me feel like I was being outcasted as a woman because I have fertility issues.

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    1. Your #11 made me giggle.My SIL who smokes 2 packs a day, drinks often, cusses, eats crap, and cheats on her husband often offered to carry my baby.My MIL offered to pay for it.They said we could do it "turkey baster" style.Whatever that was.My SIL was even so kind to tell me how cute she looks pregnant and how good it feels to be pregnant.Yeah that helps.

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  94. WOW!!! Hannah, where were you 12 years ago when my husband, after 5 miscarriages, realized we would never have a child of our own. I cried and cried. We tried everything. One medical possibility had the possibility of deforming a child or killing me. We opted out of that. We kept trying and got pregnant one more time only to lose that child just before the 12th week (yet again, my body just would not hold this precious gift). I sunk into despair. I was hurting so I put my energy towards teens in crisis. That helped, a little bit. But, it did not go away. Even now, as i go through the "changes" I realize that humanly speaking I will never have a child made between my husband and I. We did look at adoption but again, didn't have that "$25K" under our mattress either. The worst thing was at our new church, the new pastor's wife got pregnant, and an elder asked me, me??? of all people, to throw her baby shower. B/C both of us were new, I did it, because I love her. But, i did it through anguish, tears, heartache, sorrow mixed with joy for her, and a bit of anger. I did rejoice for her and told one woman, a new friend who couldn't believe I did the party, that I was okay with it b/c of my dear friend, but it hurt. No one seemed to understand that. Right now, seems our church has a boom on babies coming and that makes it even harder. I'll never hear the pitter patter of little feet from a child blended with the attributes of my husband and I and it makes me sad. However, those hurting days are farther apart than before. I have come to understand that children were not God's plan for my husband and I and I am finally more than just "okay" with it.

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  95. We chose adoption over drastic infertility methods, seeing as my endometriosis caused much physical pain. We didn't want to risk fertility treatments that would potentially cause greater pain.

    However, adopting children does not take away the emotional scars of IF. I still mourn the children I could never conceive. I ache to experience pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, to those who think that by "just" adopting, all your pain will be gone, well, that's just not true. Adoption is complex, emotional, and not for everybody.

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  96. I'm 47 and have struggled with infertility since I was about 24. I have been married for almost 24 years, and have never been able to get pregnant. We have both had surgery and there is no known reason for our infertility. We tried some medical interventions that were covered by insurance, but to no avail. It is just the way it is. About 7 or so years ago, I started to come to terms with the fact that I would never get pregnant. (I use "come to terms with" very loosely, it still hits hard every now and again.) You do eventually become able to attend showers, and go to church on Mother's day, but there were years where that was just not possible. I have 2 sisters, both of whom got pregnant both when they wanted and when they were not wanting to get pregnant. Difficult doesn't describe it. About 10 years after we were married my husband became a pastor, which give a whole new stress to not having children. We never adopted -- mostly because of the cost, but the time was never right. So, now my answer is usually "We were never able to have children." It shuts down the conversation quickly. I don't usually want to talk about it at length or I will start crying.

    All of that being said, I am happier not living my life in two-week increments, nor worrying about my temp, or what that pain may mean. I am on birth control to help with my periods, and I just don't keep track of anything.

    Articles like this are so important, and I wish this type of information was around 20 years ago -- it may have helped me to talk to the folks around me about it. People don't try to be insensitive. They can be, but they are not usually aiming to be.

    Blessings, Friend.

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  97. Yes, yes and yes! Especially number 8. So so much!

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  98. Thank you so much for this post! You explained everything perfectly. My husband and I have TTC a little more than 13 yrs now and most days I can keep things in check, but every once in while the hurt returns(not that it is ever completely gone) and the tears just flow. My prayer would be that no other woman would ever feel this emptiness but just by reading a few of these comments, there are many many more that know this terrible feeling. Thanks again for sharing.

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  99. I was told at 25 I would most likely never have kids, but thankfully after almost 9 months of intense sickness from endometriosis, I had surgery and was able to conceive. We now have 2 kiddos. It's a wonderful blessing. My struggle over the years with other woman with endo has been when they ask me how I got pregnant, and after sharing my experiences with them feeling like it might not be helpful to share. So many women with endometriosis are never able to conceive naturally. Also, my best friend is now dealing with infertility and miscarried a baby in September. I felt sick and totally heartbroken for her. I have never lost a baby but I can only imagine that pain, and how deep it must run. I found this article helpful, because now I'm making even more friends who have fertility issues and I want to be a good friend to them. Motherhood for me has at times been lonely and hard, but I understand that infertility is a completely different loneliness and hardship that has so much more isolation and so much more grief. Thank you for writing this! Even though it was hard to read and definitely made me think back on past mistakes, and how my words or actions could have hurt people I truly wanted to love and support. I will be sharing with more friends too. Thank you again!
    I think moving forward with friends with infertility can only be helped after reading your post. Thank you!

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    1. Why did you feel the need to tell us about your birth story?We do not all get a "life time movie" ending.

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  100. Hannah: You will certainly have my prayers, and the kindest words that I can conjure up. I did not go through exactly what you are experiencing, but I did have two second trimester miscarriages that were their own special kind of pain. I got a happy ending, and I pray that you will, too. Any child would be blessed indeed to have a mother with your caring heart and dedication.

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  101. I have enjoyed/cried thru reading this. I am a mother to 2moro precious little girls and I have a dear sister struggling with infertility. I struggle with guilt when I have a bad day or am depressed n bogged down with the day to day mothering because I know I have what my sister longs for.and I struggle many times to know how to share my sympathy with her and my girls in a way that would help and not hurt. We are not jealous of the infertile but some days we are tired beyond tired and we wish for a reprieve. My thot is mayb the infertile would sometimes be blessed by encouraging the weary mom..

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  102. I cried while reading this.I have a 17 year old son.He was born to me while I was in my 16th year of life.I am unable to have any more children.People say some things to me that hurt so bad and they have no idea.Your list plus more.I am only 33 years old.As put by a friend "retired from being a mom".

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  103. Thank you for this reminder. I suffered from infertility, but after years of all the struggles you've described, i was finally able to conceive and now am busy raising my kids. In the stress and busyness of life, I have not thought as much about the woman who are still hurting as i should have. I appreciate your lovingly worded list, and I will endeavor to remember the things you've said and to lift up the prayers, send the notes, and extend invitations. God bless you!

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