When Infertility Treatment Fails

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 18 – 24, 2021

Anyone can be challenged to have a family. No matter your race, religion, sexuality or economic status, infertility does not discriminate. National Infertility Awareness Week focuses on removing the stigma and barriers that stand in the way of building a family. Together, we can change the conversation.


For the past two years I’ve been in the fight of my life. I faced an opponent bigger and stronger than me who had no regard for my emotions or well-being. Who didn’t care why I was in the ring or what it was that I was hoping to win. And after each of nine long, soul shattering rounds of infertility treatments, I peeled my tired body off the mat each time a little bit slower and more tenderly than the last.

Until now.

I’m tired. I’m beat. I concede to infertility. I’m that story you hear about a friend of a friend’s cousin’s college roommate who tried so hard to have a second baby and failed. I’ve tallied five rounds of IUI and four rounds of IVF. Hundreds of needle sticks. Innumerable bruises. Two hysteroscopies. Countless doctor visits. 36 Chinese herb pills a day. Thousands of dollars in acupuncture. Tens of thousands more in treatments. Royal jelly tinctures (if you don’t know, trust me, you don’t want to know). Moxa balm & heat packs. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes. Essential oils. Pomegranate juice. Healing crystals (I know, I know). Six negative pregnancy tests. Three positive pregnancy tests. Three miscarriages.

When Infertility Treatment Fails | Twin Cities Moms Blog

[And these are just the supplements, not the prescription meds.]

To clarify, I haven’t been going through this alone. My husband has been with me every step of the way. He’s been beside me for every procedure, every shot, every cautious happiness and every crushing blow. He’s felt everything that I have in his own way. But if there’s one thing infertility is really good at, it’s isolation. Because even though we both carry our individual packs of sadness and frustration, there’s nothing I can do to take his away nor he mine. We can only listen.

Through it all, right up until our last round of IVF, we both believed that having a second child was a when and not an if. We believed that like everything else we’ve done in life if we wanted it enough and worked hard enough it could be ours. The problem is that biology and genetics don’t agree with that philosophy. They’re mean sons of…well, you know. They don’t care about degrees or money or how fit you are. They don’t give a rat’s rear if all your friends have second or third children or how you worry about having an only child. They don’t care if celebrities are having babies at far older ages than you and they certainly don’t care how much you crave another babe in your arms.

Friends and family often ask if there’s anything they can do. We used to answer, “Just hope and pray.” Now I just shrug and offer my thanks for their support. Because at this moment I feel like I’m walking through life with a one-ton boulder on my back. We have countless cheerleaders on the sidelines rooting us on but not a single one – not my husband, not my mom, no one – can take this weight for even a moment. And that’s what I need. To rest.

And yet. There’s something infertility can’t take away from me. I’m still a mom. Four years ago, we conceived our beautiful, perfect, and now we believe miracle, little boy on our very first round of treatment. So you can suck it, infertility. I still win.

When Infertility Treatment Fails | Twin Cities Moms Blog

“Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
– Myles Munroe


This article was originally published on April 2, 2015, but the hope remains the same: to support one another within this beautiful community of women through the journey of infertility.

20 COMMENTS

    • Thanks so much for your support! It was scary putting this out there but hopefully sharing our story will help others feel a little less alone.

  1. Powerful, heart-filled and real! Kristin thanks for sharing your incredibly honest post. Many will read and stand-up at their desk or honk the car horn or simply yell in the grocery store…”Yes! You still win girl!!!”

    hellos to you and the incredible family of yours.

  2. As if I wrote this myself! I wanted 4 kids. Just like you, we have one (amazing) boy and have one more attempt in us. Everything you wrote, our life. From the thousands of $ for acupuncture to wondering how in the H a 55 year old celebrity can have a baby. We finally realized we can’t be sad about having our little guy. We can grieve but we can’t be sad. That’s hard to remember some days. This helped to remember. Thanks for writing.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve experienced the same difficult journey. I’ll be sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way during your last attempt! Just know you’re definitely not alone in this and that no matter what, you still won. 🙂

    • I can’t lie, waiting for this to post was scary. But thanks to people like you I feel less alone and a lot less scared. We may have just one, but man are we lucky to have that beautiful, wonderful one. 🙂

      • I did start a “mom of one” group where we get together for dinner about every 6 weeks. All of us are not by choice but we have resolved that one child is it. It’s really fun and supportive. Let me know if you would like to learn more!

        • I would love to learn more! Though if this is the same group my friend Nicole E just joined in the past few months (I think she’s been there once or maybe twice) I may already have the info. I believe she learned of the group through Jeanette Truschess. Would that be the one?

  3. Thank you!! At 40 and struggling with infertility having our second, this is exactly what I needed; a reminder of how blessed we already are with our daughter. Suck It infertility!

  4. Infertility is my heartbreak. I had NO IDEA.

    And I have never felt so alone. My husband is amazing, beautiful it’s hard to hold someone up in your own grief.

    Each time my 5 year old daughter asks me when I’m going to give her a sister ( or a brother she digresses) I must tighten each muscle in my body to prevent the tears for leaking out.

    Thanks
    For your piece – makes me feel a little less alone.

    • That is me. Our 5 year old was conceived naturally with no difficulty, then we began trying for number 2. We were smacked in the face with infertility. Now I hold back tears every time she asks for a baby…or tells me that one of her friends is “getting a baby.”

      • I’m so sorry to hear that you too know this pain. It’s so unfair, confusing, painful, etc. I hope that knowing that you’re not alone brings you at least a tiny bit of peace.

  5. Awesome article Kristin! So proud of you for putting yourself out there; maybe just maybe it will take just a tiny tiny bit of of that weight away! Keep being the wonderful mom that you are!

    • Thanks, Kelly! It’s been a wild, emotional ride. I still have days when I can’t believe what we went through – or that we’re done. Just hoping that someday I’ll be able to look back on all this with some peace.

  6. Great article!

    We have lived a very similar journey.

    Fertility treatment for our miracle son (who is now 8) and failed subsequent attempts. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, minerals and vitamins, exploratory investigations and IVF. Had to have a hysterectomy last year so no chances of anything now…even an immaculate conception!!! ?

    But that’s just how it is. We are blessed to have our one, though sometimes it still hurts lots not to have made it more. Anyway, you get it!

    Wishing you and your family a brilliant journey ahead!!

  7. Hi! You should actually reach out to Dr. Geoffrey Sher at Sher Institute in Las Vegas HAVEABABY.com . There is actually something called a DQ Alpha match that makes people miscarry but if you do the correct immune therapy it can help alleviate miscarriages and he also specializes in the correct protocol in IVF for older women. I went through 14 rounds of IVF but I now have 2 beautiful children. I had many rounds of failed IVF and lost babies in MN before I found this brilliant Doctor. There is actually movie next Thursday Oct 20th at 5:15 at the Twin Cities Film Festival that features Dr. Sher, myself and 3 other struggling couples. Please try to see if! I can send you the details. But seriously you need to go to Dr. Sher and do the correct IVF protocol, do immune therapy which is Lovenox, Prednisone and Intralipid. He could totally help you!

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