Honk if you’re infertile!

Each morning I drive past an emotionally provoking roadway sign that I now realize is like a thermometer for my state of mind. The sign reads, “Infertility? Try Acupuncture”.Infertility Sign When I first started travelling this route to work three years ago I don’t remember seeing this sign. Its not new. The sign was there the whole time, rather it is me changing a little each day. I didn’t see the sign three years ago because my mind was focussed on my upcoming spring wedding.

In the first six months of being a newlywed, the infertility sign was part of my daily life along with many other signs for foot fungus removal, subway sandwich deals, and public service announcements. I sometimes saw the infertility sign, but for the most part it was just a leaf on the tree of my big city commute. It wasn’t until a year after our wedding that I finally began internalizing this sign’s call to action…which coincided with many months of “trying” with no success. As I fell deeper into the frustrating “trying to conceive” hope and despair cycle; the sign grew louder and taller before my eyes each day as I drove to work. In my darkest moments, the slight sight of this sign was like a tractor beam that hijacked my thoughts and plagued me with questions and emotions:

  • Did the colors get brighter?
  • Why is this the only sign I see?
  • Was it put on the side of the road just for me?
  • Why am I so angry? Why do I want to cry?
  • Do they not realize how much this sign hurts me each day?

On the outside, I was happy and content…but on the inside infertility was taking its toll. I was sad and my heart was heavy. I had become a project manager in the bedroom. Every day my alarm went off at the crack of dawn so that I could take my temperature. Coffee and caffeine had exited my life. And most ridiculously, I found myself beyond pissed off at Kate Middleton because she was pregnant (along with everyone else) too! (And I don’t follow the Royal Family).

As the months and years continued the sign and emotions remained a constant each morning as I juggled naturopaths, acupuncture, body talk, chiropractic and fertility doctor appointments; there was no stone I left unturned. The sign always remained as a daily infertility reminder.

Last fall, around the same time we signed up for IVF, I had an epiphany that at some point I would see my infertility struggle as a gift. For fleeting moment I had clarity with the deep insight and awareness to know that infertility would mean something deeper in my life. Infertility has made me/us special…I/we understand fertility at a level that five in six women could not understand. Those five fertile myrtles don’t know what I/we know, they haven’t experienced what I/we have experienced, and they can’t help someone get through infertility the way that I/we can. It was around the same time as this epiphany that I noticed this roadway sign took on lesser meaning in my day to day commute. I noticed that I stopped seeing it as often and it didn’t evoke the same vexing emotions. Overall, I was more at peace because for a moment I understood and in that moment I let something go.

When our first round with IVF failed earlier this month, it devastated me and strangely one thought I had was wondering if the sign would again scream at me each morning. For the first few days it did, but I can see that the sign, again, is becoming less noticeable. I can feel that my mind is calmer and I know deep down that our family will grow one day…how? I am not sure yet, but I know it will, the same way I know that my battle with infertility will make more sense one day. Now each morning when I drive past this silly sign, rather than avoid or push down the feelings it sometimes brings up…instead I find myself doing an internal check to make sure I am okay…and I am.

9 thoughts on “Honk if you’re infertile!

  1. It’s funny how everything is a sign to us during times that we can’t control. We want the universe, God, someone to show us a sign that everything will work out! Eventually, after you experience failure, you finally just say, ok, not everything has to MEAN something. I still believe in God and the possibility of signs, but maybe you don’t know about it until after the fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG, I got “mad” at Kate Middleton too. And Chelsea Clinton. And the Duggar family. And a few others.
    Let me clarify. Not actually angry. I continue to be astounded when high-profile women announce it will be “the year of the baby” or “we’re hoping to have a baby in our arms by __________” and then it, of course, always comes true easy as that. I don’t want other people to not be able to have babies, but I’m waiting for the day someone like that declares this and then years pass by with no baby and the person needing to give their life over to infertility. I think only then would infertility come to a greater forefront and be less of an ashamed topic. Imagine the sorrow if there was no royal baby???

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! On the other side of things… My heart always breaks when they speculate Jennifer Anniston’s baby bump, is she? Isn’t she stories. Give the woman a break. If she is struggling with infertility, hopefully she will find her voice!


  3. This made me laugh. I look for signs in everything. Two days ago we went for a bike ride. It was pretty cloudy at first and even rained a bit on us. But by the end, the skies had cleared up and the sun came out. I said to my husband, maybe this weather pattern is how our infertility story will end. Dark and stormy at first, with glorious sunshine at the end.

    Or maybe the weather that day just couldn’t make up its mind.

    I’m so sorry to hear that your treatment didn’t work this round. You’re right though, no one can understand what we go through the way we inferility experts can. It’s just too bad there’s so many of us out there… Best of luck on your journey xo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Surviving and Thriving after my BFN | uncomfortably optimistic

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