The Big IF — Moving Past Infertility

Four writers look back at the roads they've traveled since wrestling with infertility.

Questions linger when faced with infertility

You never get to infertility by choice. But then, once you’re there, you must make a seemingly endless array of decisions. When do you walk away from fertility treatments? Give up the dream of being pregnant? Consider adoption? What route, which country? Donor egg? Donor embryo? Gestational surrogacy? In what combination? Which donor, which surrogate? Living childfree….? There are countless ways to work though these intensely personal decisions. Here’s how some who have traveled this road made their choices.


“Dear Infertility Patient”


Dear Infertility Patient,

I sat in that seat you’re sitting in. Comfy, isn’t it? Nice, rich, dark leather? Ask the receptionist for some water. They put lemons in it, very refreshing. Oh, see that door behind the front desk? That is the door the celebrities use. That big movie star with the new twins, she snuck in through there. Before you get started, I want to tell you a couple of things, things that I wish someone had told me years ago.



“Selecting My Egg Donor”


After a few inseminations and IVF treatments, I was ready to abandon hope for a genetically-related child and to pursue my fertility doctor’s next suggestion: poring through the clinic’s donor list and selecting an egg substitute.

It was strange that egg donation had never occurred to me before, since sperm donation has been in the medical mainstream for decades. As you might expect, the process of choosing either one is the same: you identify the qualities most important to you, then you pick someone to build a family with.




“Becoming An Intended Parent”


There is one thing I have wanted since I was very young–a family. For seven years I have been married to the most wonderful man in the world. He has the ability to drive me crazy like no other human being, and to make me happier than any other person on the planet. All that’s missing is a child. And for many of those seven years, we have been debating how to start our family.




“No Longer Hoping For a Miracle Pregnancy”


Mothers who come to adoption by way of infertility may think, in the back of their minds, that they could have a surprise pregnancy. It’s not that we aren’t happy with our choice of adoption, but it’s natural for a woman to feel the desire to be pregnant and give birth. My infertility stems from my body’s inability to release an egg. If you don’t ovulate, the odds of conceiving naturally are zero.



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