Stupid Comments

From the woman I haven’t seen since before the pandemic:

“I didn’t even know you had a baby!!! How’s it going? Got it all figured out? Ready for another one?”

From the dude I hadn’t seen since the pandemic ended:

“Ah another pandemic baby! Nothing to do at home during covid other than that, huh?”

From the slightly more informed folks who know we went through IVF:

“Maybe it will happen naturally this time!” (insert asinine story here)

You didn’t know I had a baby because I had to be so incredibly careful during IVF and pregnancy amidst the pandemic. So I stayed home. Hopped up on all kinds of hormones, with an unemployed husband and a global pandemic raging on outside…well that was fun.

And no. She was not born of endless nights of pandemic passion. (see comment about having to do IVF) Also- who was having passion during pandemic? I surely don’t know anyone whose sex life got a major boost past the first couple weeks (if even that!) Also? Ew. Don’t comment on my sex life.

And now for the real kicker: “It happening naturally this time?” Is that supposed to make me feel better? I honestly don’t know what people are thinking with this one. For one, it implies that what we had to do to become parents was unnatural. And when you really think about that word, it fuckin hurts. This also means that folks who are not in hetereonormative relationships who want to have kids literally have no “natural” way of becoming parents. And that certainly fucking hurts too. Show me a person who had to jump through so many hoops to become a parent and I’ll show you the most natural love in the world. The stubborn, I’ll do-anything- love of a parent. A parent who isn’t even technically a parent yet.

We had a crash course in the idea that parenting often doesn’t go to plan. Counting on that two hour nap? 45 minute crap nap coming right up. Counting on a short nap so you can go meet up with your one other mom friend? Snoooooze city. Did I plan on my road to motherhood being littered with hundreds of needles? No maam. I thought we would “try naturally” for a few months and boom we would be pregnant. That was not the case at all. We were even really trying from the start- there was no lackadaisical pulling the goalie and waiting to see what happened. From the get go it was cycle tracking and ovulation kits. Already being in my mid thirties, I wanted to be a mom like YESTERDAY. So I threw everything I had at it. I  did not anticipate the months of insanity, bouncing between being incredibly hopeful and more inconsolable than I’ve ever thought possible.

“Trying naturally” looked like this:

Take temperature

Pee on stick

Repeat until you finally get an indicator you’re ovulating

Force the issue and have the most unsexy sex ever.

Repeat for several days.

Wait two weeks. Try to invent ways to distract yourself.

Take a pregnancy test (not a blue dye one- those suck- only pink lines!)

Hold it up to the light

Take a picture, reverse the colors

Post on ttc (trying to conceive) groups- is there a vvfl? (very very faint line)

Get period.

Feel like a truck hit you.

Lie immobile in bed.

Period is over- time to start peeing on sticks again.

Maybe this will be the month!!!!!




I refuse to put myself back in that circle of hell.

I sit in an enormously privileged space in the infertile community in that I now have a kid. But unfortunately and inconveniently- I’m still infertile. From this privileged place, I would rather have an only child than put myself through that all over again. Easy for me to say now that I’m here, but also having to do IVF in the first place showed me that our initial efforts were quite Sisyphean.

“But what if you just “don’t try?” My sisters cousins best friend stopped trying and they got pregnant with TWINS!” It’s the same shitty advice we give single folk who are wanting to meet someone: “Stop looking! Stop trying so hard!” All well and good when you’re 22… but when you’re how-old-am-I mid thirties and tired of being alone? Shitty shitty advice. I can’t just not try. If there’s a possibility I’m pregnant, I will obsess and starting testing as soon as possible, thus starting that whole cycle again. Also- I’m STILL INFERTILE. While our case is “unexplained” we did have a couple things they could point to- low ovarian reserve and low morphology. I don’t want to keep rolling that boulder up that damn hill.

The other thing that’s painful for me with the idea of it happening “naturally” is that I have now had the experience of seeing a picture of an embryo that we had worked so hard to create, and 9 months later giving birth to a whole person that the embryo became! We have a picture of her as an embryo on her nursery wall and its one of my favorite things in there. To see how far we have all come is absolutely mind blowing and heart exploding in the best way.

I am exceedingly blessed that we have several embryos frozen for our next try at baby number two. Before Brooke arrived, I had never really understood being super attached to the embryos. This was probably born out of the fact that the first embryo I ever saw, I also lost. I think it was a weird way of protecting myself that I didn’t really see that  embryo as a baby. I was devastated, but more so at the loss of the potential of a baby, not the baby itself. I didn’t even think to name it.  Now I get it. I now see those frozen cells as my kids.

I feel I owe it to them to try them first! It honestly feels like it would be shitty of me to try  to get pregnant naturally when these embryos are waiting for me. *this is my opinion- I know many folks who would be ecstatic to get pregnant on their own (lets get rid of natural/ unnatural), but I am not one of those folks.*

Truth is: I don’t want to get pregnant on my own. I want to bring another one of those embabies home. We fought like hell for those. I put my body, bank account and relationship through absolute hell to create them. I love them.

This next part feels selfish. But here it is. The embryos that are waiting for us are genetically tested normal. I go back and forth about the morality of genetically testing embryos, but in our case, it was very clear cut. The embryos that we created that were “abnormal” were so abnormal they would not have become babies. I would have miscarried them if they had even “stuck” in the first place. So while I struggle with the eugenic adjacent morality of genetically testing embryos at all, I also know we have been through enough hell.  Many miscarriages are due to genetically abnormal embryos that are incompatible with life. And there are a shit ton of miscarriages that happen- 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. That’s not a lottery I want to play, especially since we’ve had trouble before. Especially since we already won the 1-8 lottery. (1 in 8 couples is infertile)

Even with genetic testing, I still miscarried a genetically normal embryo. Our first transfer- in March of 2020.  A beautiful embryo I later found out was a girl. She didn’t stick.  Another experience of here’s a picture of a bundle of cells- this is your baby- you’re now pregnant. Until you find out 14 days later that in fact, you’re not anymore. What absolutely floored me was that I didn’t fully grieve this loss until Brooke was here.

There are still times when I hate that this was our path to parenthood. Getting my period, even when there is zero chance I could be pregnant, is an emotional experience. Part of me is dreading having to go through the whole embryo transfer experience again- what if I lose another one? But when I look at Brooke, she makes me proud to be an IVF mama. Knowing that she came out of all that work  gives me the strength to try it all again. I hope I can bring another embaby or two home.

Join the Motherhood Pages Newsletter!

Sign up to receive a weekly email with our most recent writings sent directly to your inbox!

We don’t spam!

Recommended Posts