Battling Infertility

Rewind 15 years and you will find a very different Katie Marie.  Within my first year of marriage, I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  At the time it wasn’t completely detrimental news.  Mr. Man and I were still college students and weren’t looking to start a family until at least one of us had our bachelor’s degree and started a career with health benefits.  Receiving the diagnosis of PCOS wasn’t something I thought about too much until a year after when we decided we wanted to begin trying to start a family.  After a lot of medical testing, 2 major moves with the Air Force, and some pretty physically painful procedures we finally were going to be parents to twin boys.  We went through almost 5 years of heartache before Bean and Keegs joined us and doubled our family numbers.  While I know 5 years is definitely a short time for some couples who experience infertility; it seemed like a lifetime for Mr. Man and me.  The emotional scars are still very present at times; but in the face of the pain, we were fortunate enough to be able to find some humor in our journey.  Below is a list of the top 10 things no one tells you about infertility.  It is full of very laughable stories from our own personal journey.


Depending on why you are on the infertility journey, your privacy can be severely invaded.  I use to joke with Mr. Man that I felt like my lady bits were becoming a sideshow exhibit at the circus.  Towards the beginning of our journey, the specialist I was seeing wanted me to have an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) test.  The HSG is, in laymen terms, performed by having dye injected into your uterus while an x-ray is being taken to see if your fallopian tubes have any blockages in them.  This test was my first (of many) physically compromising and I hadn’t yet had my emotions seasoned for possible embarrassment.  When my specialist was explaining to me how the test would be performed, she failed to properly explain how the dye would be injected into my uterus.  Did I mention yet that my specialist was a doctor at a teaching hospital so she had a medical student shadowing her at the time as well?  Did I also mention that this particular med student was pretty handsome and physically fit?  So talking with my specialist about my, what I felt, as broken womanly body parts in front of this handsome med student were where my infertility embarrassment training began.  This med student was so good looking that even Mr. Man made a comment about him on our way out of our initial appointment and said something along the lines of “I hope he isn’t in the room when you have your test done next week.”

Well……..guess what?!  Mr. Handsome Medical Student not only was in attendance to my HSG test, he was the one who was going to administer it.  AND, this is where I learned just how exposed and potentially embarrassing this test would be.  Turns out the way this test is performed is you strip your bottom half, lay down on a very cold and sterile x-ray table with a thin sheet over your legs.  Then the radiologist inserts a catheter into your uterus through your lady bits and then makes you elevate your legs so the dye travels in the right direction.  That alone turned my face a nice scarlet hue.  But then the radiologist had to pull the catheter out; and as she was doing that an extremely loud fart sound exited my nether region.  It was at that moment that my face went from scarlet to almost violet.

After the test was over and Mr. Man and I were leaving the building, he turned to me and said “did you think Mr. Medical Student looked like Bill Nye the Science Guy today?  And what was with all the people in the x-ray room?”  I was so consumed with my own embarrassment that I hadn’t noticed that there was a total of 8 medical professionals in the room with us. AND I also never noticed that Mr. Handsome Medical Student was wearing a bowtie and glasses.


Towards the beginning of our journey, I had a bunch of bloodwork completed.  In this one sitting, I had over 20 vials of blood drawn.  The phlebotomist wasn’t terribly amused when I joked that I was going to be as proficient with needles as a heroin addict by the time I finally became pregnant.

Then when I was finally going to move from the devil’s drug that is clomid to Follistim shots; I failed to read the directions thoroughly for administering the self-injections.  I assumed that, just like every other movie that shows a woman receiving infertility injections, I was supposed to inject myself in the derriere.  Turns out the injection site is in the stomach.  After that first shot, my bum was so sore for about a week and Mr. Man had an endless supply of butt jokes that week.


Shortly after I started my first round of clomid, I actually screamed my head off and stormed out of the house all because Mr. Man had used one if our steak knives to open a box.  I actually called a hotel and almost booked a room for that night so I wouldn’t have to share a bed with someone who didn’t show respect to steak knives like I thought he should.

I’m a little ashamed to admit that that was not the last time I was a hormonal irrational mess.  I ended up doing 6 separate rounds of clomid, and because of that it truly is a miracle that Mr. Man stayed with me.


For some reason, people who have never experienced infertility, feel the need to continually tell you to relax and it’ll just happen.  If I had a $1 for every person who said that to myself or Mr. Man…but the one that takes the cake is a girl, who I thought was a friend, actually said: “maybe you aren’t worthy enough to be a mom.”  If she hadn’t said that to me in the hallways of the church on Sunday I totally would’ve punched her.

There is something about going through something medical that causes individuals have uncontrollable word vomit about every thought they’ve ever had about your situation.  Some were comical and some were downright vile.

Top Word Vomit Moments

1. Oh, you have twins? I have two golden retreivers so I totally know how you feel.

2. Maybe if you would relax the sperm wouldn’t die off in your uterus so quickly.

3. Are you sure you want to have kids? Once you do you won’t be able to do whatever you want.

4. If you want kids so badly, I’ll give you my bratty ones.

5. If you need a surrogate, I’ll do it for you.  But first I have to get over the idea of your husband’s sperm occupying my uterus.

Almost immediately after we began the infertility adventure, I began to view my body as broken.  I actually didn’t stop that self-deprecating thought until a few years ago.  Not after we finally did conceive for the first time with medical intervention, and not after I found out I was pregnant with YoYo after only going off of birth control 4 weeks before.  It wasn’t until I was deep in conversation with one of my younger brothers where I was attempting to give older sisterly advice.  I was trying to convince him that I believe each trial we endure in this life, we committed to in the pre-existence.  I was telling him that I firmly think that Heavenly Father came to each of us, before we came to earth, and laid out all of our trials in front of us and asked if we would be willing to experience each and every one; with the promise that if we did and endured to the end we would be able to return to live with Him.  As I was listening to myself speak about these things, and essentially bear my testimony to my brother, I had a startling realization…how could I firmly believe this and actively try to convince him of such things if I also truly believed that my body was broken and defective?  How could I not just realize that having PCOS and all the health issues that entails and then go through the hardships of infertility was a trial Heavenly Father asked me to endure?  Since then I have a very opposite view of my body and what it is capable of.


Almost immediately I began resenting just about every pregnant woman I saw or associated with.  They had what I wanted; I would give anything to be in their position, even if it meant I was on bedrest and puking my guts out for 9 months.  I definitely ate my words with both YoYo’s and Goob’s pregnancy.  All of my resenting while going through infertility came back to me ten-fold and I was able to experience 9 months of puking guts as well as major gallbladder pain with Goob.  It’s ironic how I end up eating my words, even after over a decade later.  Lady Karma definitely had the last laugh.


DH, RE, HSG, HCG, 2WW, DW, IVF, IUI, TTC….there is a whole new alphabet when it comes to acronyms associated with infertility.  Between Air Force life, Mormon life, and then infertility most of Mr. Man’s and my conversations probably sounded like we were speaking in code.  Here are just a few of these acronyms…

DH-darling husband

DW-darling wife

RE-reproductive endocrinologist


HCG-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

2WW-2 week wait

IVF-invitro fertilization

IUI-intrauterine insemination

TTC-trying to conceive

To see an extensive list of infertility related acronyms click here.


After a while, intimacy can end up getting lost in the frenzy of infertility.  It is definitely not on the list of romantic things to whisper to your husband “I’m ovulating.”  Or “my BBT (basal body temp) is in it’s prime right now.”  Pretty much anything on the list of things that have ever been said trying to get your spouse to have intimate time with you while going through infertility causes sperm to shrivel up and die instead.  And then after an intimate session, when the woman decides to assume some odd position to ‘help’ his little swimmers swim the right direction, shoots any possible romance that was in attendance.



Clomid is the Devil’s one-eyed monster!  I say that with every conviction in my body.  It shoots your hormones full of steroids, causes water weight gain, forces every pimple you’ve ever had to come together and make a reappearance as a huge pimple family reunion, and makes you feel like you’ve been sucker punched in your ovaries.  The worst thing is, almost every OB thinks they should prescribe at least a few rounds of clomid to any woman who has trouble conceiving before they send them off to a specialist.  Sorry, not sorry, to any OB…just send the woman to a specialist.  Your primary schooling wasn’t dealing with infertility, it was delivering babies and extracting old lady uterus’.  Having a woman try clomid, most of the time without testing her first for what is wrong is just a huge waste of time.



Don’t worry, I cried A LOT.  Probably more than I laughed, and I’ve laughed a lot more since overcoming infertility…hindsight is 20/20.  The one major thing I learned through the whole experience was that if I just let the grief overcome me; nothing was going to bring me joy…not finally conceiving, not PCOS magically disappearing, nothing…thankfully Mr. Man is naturally a rather funny dude.  He is full of sarcasm and jokes.  Making light of just about any situation is his specialty; so he was always there to help force a smile even when I didn’t think I would ever smile again.  Easing my embarrassment, drying my tears, shouldering my emotional and physical pain are all things Mr. Man has done over-and-over-and-over…and not just through our infertility journey.  He truly is my better half and my emotional support.  I wouldn’t want to parent with any other man.

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