Five things you probably shouldn’t say in front of the fertilely challenged.

1. “My husband can get me pregnant just by looking at me.”

2. “I’m so fertile I should do it for you.”

3. “I was made to have babies.”

4. “I’m going to get pregnant next month.”

5. “WHOOPS! Pregnant again!”

For those of you who have had to put a little more effort and a lot more of your heart and mind into making a baby you’re nodding your head. For those of you who just happen to be walking incubators let me tell you why being a difficult knock up sucks sweaty goat balls.

Clomid. If you like feeling like a hormonally out of control crazy lady with a heavy side of hot flashes and a dash of insane this is the medication for you. But if you like to feel like a normal human being, Clomid and you won’t be very good friends.

The excessive poking and prodding. “Hmm? Let’s shoot ink up her tubes and x-ray them! Nothing? Well, lets shoot her belly full of air and stick a little camera through her bellybutton, that shouldn’t be uncomfortable! Nothing still? Let’s spread her wide and take an enormous chunk out of her cervix out with a burning piece of wire! STILL NOTHING? Well then let’s put her on a pill that makes her feel like a hormonally out of control crazy lady with a heavy side of hot flashes and a dash of insanity. And, AND! while she’s taking the pill lets give her extra shots in her tender flesh and take her blood regularly to see what’s going on in there! Our own little infertile guinea pig! Hooray for science!”

Military scheduled sex. When you’re 16 “they” tell you that “You can get pregnant on any day of your period!” But when you’re a difficult knock up it’s really only a four minute window between the hours of 2:34 am and 2:38 am on the thirteenth day after the day before your period started compared to the month before it was supposed to end. All this leads to basal temperatures and mucous readings and ovulation test kits and scheduled sex. All of which are about as far from sexy as you can get.

Every month is a waiting game. Anyone who has tried to get pregnant knows the “signs of ovulation”. Anyone who has had to REALLY try to get pregnant knows that as soon as those signs are over and done with it’s a waiting game. You count down the hours to that first cramp, you may even take a few dozen pregnancy tests in anticipation. And if your period dares to be a day late? THE ANXIETY THAT COMES COULD KILL A SMALL PONY. If you’re not pregnant? It’s another thirteen day countdown to that four minute window.

Everyone else is pregnant. Yep, I’m looking at you. I have 27 friends who are either pregnant or just got done being pregnant in the last month. Horny little baby making buggers.

It took me three years of no birth control and six months on Clomid (along with all that other stuff) to get knocked up with the moosh. It became so routine that one night I even ran my to do list past Cody while he was doing what needed to be done. “Did you remember to record The Sopranos?” will go down in history as the least sexy thing ever said in our marriage.

Here I am, the moosh is almost three. No health insurance to speak of and none coming anytime soon. Do I feel guilty that my kids are going to be at least four years apart (minimum)? Of course, I’m a mom, I feel guilty, it’s in our job description. Do I even want another kid? Pregnancy isn’t exactly a cakewalk for me once it does happen. Do I just want another one because I can’t? If I were an easy knock up would I feel the same? I do know this, it’s not fair. You hear me? IT’S NOT FAIR. It’s not fair that baby making can’t be a spontaneous decision between my husband and me. It has to be a very well planned out and expensive decision among not only us, but by several doctors too. And I don’t even have it that bad. I didn’t ever have to go the route of IVF, sperm or egg donation. If I ever did have to go that far would I? Or would I stay grateful for my one little contribution to society asleep in the other room? the moosh is shortchanged on siblings, the husband is shortchanged on heirs. But how much is about them and how much is about me? It’s my uterus that has to go through the beating.

Now I’m rambling. See how flummoxed I am?

Kel asked back in my request for NaBloPoMo questions:

“…your August entry on “the difficult knock up” hit home… perhaps you could write more on that for those of us struggling with the same diagnoses, if you’re feeling serious / in the mood for sharing. It’s a bit scary sometimes and words from someone who has gone through this would be appreciated by many readers, I’m sure.

Is this true? Does this put any of your souls to rest knowing you’re not the only one on the block with a stubborn reproductive system? I hope so. My brow is knitted, my shoulders are tense. Five days to the thirteenth day after the fourth day of my cycle beginning. Or something like that.

Hugs and sloppy kisses to my sisters with bunk lady parts.


Kerflop wrote about the taboo subject of our religion yesterday too. (we obviously both subscribe to the same brand of crazy.) She deserves an award for segueing from sacred undergarments to doing it on a trampoline in the same post.

I heart Kerflop.


  1. I think it’s one of the worst paradoxes in the world that little teenage girls in high school seem to be able to reproduce like fruit flies when there are older, married, much more financially, emotionally, and intellectually stable women who want nothing more than to have babies but can’t.

    I don’t have as hard a time as you and others I know, but I’ve felt annoyed by the comments you mentioned in the beginning too. My problem isn’t so much getting pregnant as a)ovulating while nursing, and b) not miscarrying.

    We planned to have lots of babies fast and then be done by the time the oldest was 12 or so. But we’ve been married 6 years and only have 2, three years apart. Why don’t these things ever go according to plans?

    I’ve enjoyed reading your last posts. Haven’t had much time online lately so I’m playing catch up tonight.

  2. It took us six and a half years from when my first son was born to have our second child. And I’d wanted 18 months to 2 years between children too. I was so fixated on the timing between children and each month and year that would go by was AGONY. I can’t believe I’d once been foolish enough to say “I want to be done having children by the time I’m 30.” Really? I think God saw that as a personal challenge. 😉

    Loss and infertility had other plans, unfortunately. The good news is, we had our second. And this time, on the first round of clomid instead of the sixth! And he was worth every minute. I identify so much more with the infertiles than the fertiles, that I feel silly now that I’m pregnant again, this time by total surprise. I don’t know how it happened, but I have a feeling God is trying to make it up to me. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

    Yes, posts like these DO help. Posts like these are why I started reading blogs in the first place all those years ago when I was in the thick of it, and why I started writing my own. So, thanks for this. 🙂

  3. I just wanted to post support. I understand how you feel completely. Without going into detail from one hard to knock up chick to another, I hear you.
    Maybe I will post about it but I just couldn’t read and run on you, not with this topic.

  4. I’m sorry.

    I don’t know how hard it is to be a “Difficult Knock up” I love that term…

    It took two years to get Fa incubated…

    Now, I stay away from my husband even if I THINK it MAY happen…

    I see all those pregnant women, and I think…”I’m so glad it’s not me”…But I’m not you…and I feel for you…I really do.

  5. I’m right there with you, but had the added pressure of being 36 when we started all the testing and went the Clomid route. That’s what happens when you kiss a LOT of frogs waiting to find Prince Charming when you are 35.

    We laugh now every Thanksgiving looking back at 1996. With the military timing falling over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had to excuse ourselves from the house full of company and a gut full of turkey to go “do the deed.” We actually got in bed and talking about just skipping it. Luckily, we didn’t and we got the best Thanksgiving blessing ever.

    We joke about the “turkey baster” working that day every year.

    Hang in there. I feel for you!

  6. I love you and offer support, though (I think) I am one of those that you peak of. I have been very fortunate with planning and conceiving, but I know many who were not.
    I can’t say I understand how hard it must be to try and try and have everyone around you pregnant (and to hear them bitching about it like I have been), but I do want you to know that I care!!

  7. If all you blog people don’t stop getting/talking about/hoping to get/being pregnant, I’m putting you all in my wife’s parental control filter.

  8. Good luck. I hope everything works out. I was one of those easy knock ups the first time around. We joked that we would have a vacation baby and surprisingly we did. The second time around was not as simple and a couple heartbreaks with some false positive tests. It made me realize how grateful I should have been to be such an easy knock up the first time.

  9. Amen Sister. I have my one miracle boy. He’s 7. I’ll never have another though I wanted at least one more. I had given up when I finally got pregnant with him.

    Do I begrudge those that can do it fast and easy? Nah. But MAN would I have loved to have been one? Oh yeah.

    Hugs to you for being brave and putting this out there.

  10. My brother and his wife had been trying for years with no success. They just announced last night that she is 3 months pregnant. It is a very happy time for our family.

  11. I don’t have much to add to the topic. Squidge was totally unplanned and unexpected and the timing was COMPLETLY wrong but I love her to bits and wouldn’t change a thing. I did want to wish you luck and I hope that things work out for you and Cody.

  12. as a woman with four children and a stepdaughter, i’m the infertile’s worst nightmare.


    my oldest is adopted.

    my second is a clomid baby.

    my third … GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer)

    my fourth … oops! who knew i could do THAT?

    hang in there. there are lots of us out there.

  13. While this is not something that I have struggled with, Matthew’s sister has. It has helped me to be more aware so I don’t ask stupid questions of people of whom I do not know their story.

  14. While I haven’t faced the same challenges as you (and God bless you – I hope it happens soon), I can still relate to this post. After giving birth to a critically ill baby, I had such a hard time even looking at all the healthy babies on the OB recovery floor. I couldn’t stand it. One of my husband’s employees had an emergency C-section four weeks early and was in a room at the hospital next door to mine. All I could hear were the sounds of her healthy baby crying, while my son was three floors down, OVER eight pounds, and fighting for his life. I couldn’t bear it.

    So – I am going to watch what I say around women regarding my easy knock-up status. It could be a woman like you who is struggling. You just never know.

  15. Oh yes… how I related. Zoe was quite a long time coming. I know all about the poking and proding (how weird is that whole dye x-ray thing????? And, who knew that a cervix would hurt so damn much when cut??? a small pinch my ass!) Military scheduled sex… been there, done that, doing it again. I love my little clearblue easy digital ovulation machine, btw. The waiting is the worse part. Just counting the days until you expect your period. And being even 1 day late just sucks.

    Good luck to you!

  16. Bless your heart. I am one of those look at me cross eyed and I’m pregnant women and I’m always hyperaware of that fact, especially around my SIL who is struggling. I believe you are helping more people than you know by sharing this with others.
    Bless you in your days and your struggles.

  17. With two of mine it took 8 months of trying. Clomid gave me a cyst that landed me in the emergency room the day before Christmas, so they won’t let me try it again. My middle one was a “surprise! here I am!) baby.
    We’re trying again. I’m getting real old. We’re just praying it happens and trying to not stress over it.
    Great post btw…

  18. look at the bright side: at least you can do the deed whenever you want without having to pay for birth control every month and without the worry of having another kid before you really can afford it!

    p.s. even if she is your only contribution to society, you can rest assured that you did a damn good job on her!

  19. Thanks! I DO feel better reading this post. And knowing it affects those younger women, not just us older ones. I assumed if you had one relatively easily, the rest would come. Boy, was I wrong!

  20. Thank you for your post today. I have been reading you blog for a while now and just had to de-lurk for this one. I am currently trying to get pregnant. We have been trying now for 14 months. I just had an hsg (the dye and x-ray thing) done last Thursday and thank God the results came back normal. No blockages!! So we are waiting on my husbands analyisis to come back. The thing that gets to us so much is that people know that we have been trying. So we get all the questions and advice of how to conceive. You know… “Just stop trying, Just go away for the weekend, Just don’t think about it…” It is so frustrating!!! These people are so insensitive. It doesn’t even occur to them that maybe we have health issues. So we just started telling people that we are not trying anymore. That way we don’t get the questions anymore. We also get people that ask us how long we have been trying and then go on to say “I was only off of birth control for 5 days when I got knocked up.” I just look at them is disbelief. Here I am telling you that we have been trying for over a year and you think it is appropriate to tell me how easy it was for you!!!!

    But anyway, thank you for your post. Maybe those people will read it and realize how insensitive they have been.

  21. no insurance here either. and three children. It’s very scary don’t you think?

  22. I so appreciate your openess and willingness to share with us.

  23. My sympathies. I hope that I do not have to do the poking and prodding to get pregnant.

  24. With our first pregnancy, I got knocked up the first month but miscarried. Then I got knocked up the next “first try”.

    BUt more than 2 1/2 years ago, we decided to start trying again. And… No luck. If we are lucky enough to have another child, my son and that baby would be more than 6 years apart by now. We have three differnet couples in our hood with kids 6 years, 8 years, and 10 years apart respectively. So the age difference isn’t a big thing to me. These couples seem to be the least “emotionally fried” of the couples we know! 🙂

    We have thought of adoption. But right now, I don’t think it prudent. I don’t know if we’ll have more babies. My hubby travels alot and that strains a marriage. (Our son recently drew a pic of our family and forgot daddy. He’s 5! That’s how much my hubby works/travels.) Children strain a marriage too and honestly, I don’t know if our marriage could take the strain of a second child. So I guess God knew what he was doing when he’s made it so difficult for us to conceieve again. I’ve mourned but have just accepted it.

    But my heart is with you on this. It is heartbreaking and frustrating.

  25. Wait- I am the only one not pregnant, aren’t I? It sure feels that way.. I hear you loud and clear.

  26. Yes, it does help. We had Hollis after we’d been married for 10 years. Clomid and I were not good friends. And biggest understatement of the world? From my doctor, “Oh, the HSG is just a bit uncomfortable.” And then 4 miscarriages. Fun times. Fun times.

    Personally, I love finding women like you, women like me. Not because I wish this particular problem on anyone, but because it helps not to feel so alone.

    And all those years of worrying about pregnancy as a teenager….. I’d do them over again in a heart beat if I could be a fertile myrtle.

  27. Wow, it’s truly amazing the things we women can and do endure. I wish you all the sucess in the world on baby # 2!!!

  28. Thank you so much for sharing the rest of this story. I’m scheduled to have what sounds like the same type of cervical biopsy next week and I’m terrified. Your post gives me hope that I will still be able to make babies, even if it will be a “difficult knock up” 🙂

  29. Amen sister! Alyssa-Lou-Magoo is adopted. The phrase that chaps my hide beyond belief is that we got her the “easy” way. Easy my @$$! Infertility does bite the big one, but I sure LOVE my little pay off.

  30. ps, love the phrase “sucks sweaty goat balls” It makes me smile.

  31. Aw, Casey, I heart you. In a diiiiirty way.

    I didn’t know you had bunk lady parts. Tis sucky in the most sucky way.

    Wanting a kid and not being able to conceive one is one of the most trying experiences a couple can face. I know.

    But my story is a tad different. See, I’m as fertile as a rabbit. And my uterus likes to be put to good use. Now before you start throwing things at me…know that with all my fabulously good working lady bits, I’ve got me a body that doesn’t want them.

    I’ve a heart condition that is oh, fatal, if I conceive a wee one ever again. The stress of Bug just about did me in. A myriad of different doctors all told me in the strictest terms that if I ever got meself knocked up again I’d be orphaning my current children and most likely killing me and the new baby in the process.

    Good times. So the hubs got snipped. And no more baby making ways for us. Yet, I’d sell my left leg and right boob just for a chance to birth a wee one.

    I’m cheering for you doll.

  32. Thanks so much for this post. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one in the world that can’t get pregnant. Just this weekend I posted about I guy I’ve worked with for 11 years who keeps asking when I’m having kids. As of tomorrow, my husband and I will be married 8 years. We’ve been trying for 6. Some people just need to think before they open their yap!

  33. Been there. Done that. Have baby to say it was all worth it. Would I do it again for a second child? Umm, no.

    Best, best, best of well wishes to you.

  34. This subject makes me want to scream. AHHHHHHH! I’d love to make Tim a daddy…if I wasn’t broken.

  35. Not sure if I’ll ever get to that point…

    Being pregnantless with your 27+ fertile friends is like how I am forever husbandless in a state surrounded by thousands of ridiculously young brides. Do I wish I got married at a very young age? No. But if that meant I’d still be single by the age of 30, then hell NO. Why is it that the thing we most long for is the one thing most out of reach? I’m tired of these phrases:

    “Oh… you’ll find someone!”
    “I’ve never been alone!”
    “I just met him & we’re getting married in a couple of months!”
    (Any comment talking about how much sex they’re getting…)
    “I know a 45-year-old who is still single…”

    Casey, I feel your pain. People should be more sensitive with their words. I wish people could be more sensitive around singles too. People shouldn’t crack jokes to “lighten” the mood, it only makes us feel worse.

    I wish you luck. I do believe it will happen for you again.

  36. I told you that if you want to get pregnant, your husband needs to get a great legal job. Then you’ll get pregnant. Then he’ll get fired.

    Then you’ll cry all the time for lots of reasons. But you’ll be pregnant. And broke. But pregnant.

  37. Not much to say. I’m a “fairly easy to knock up” kind of chick. But I have a sister who will never carry/bare children of her own and I’ve seen the pain and hurt in her eyes as she’s watched four of her five sisters be pregnant, give birth and nurse their children. It’s a look I will never forget…although I wish I could.

  38. PS: I just re-read my comment and realized how wrong it must sound. I’m not saying what she’s been through is any more difficult than what you’ve been through. Just that I would imagine it’s a similar kind of pain. Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t comment when it’s 11:01 pm and I’m exhausted beyond all get out. Forgive me.

  39. And kerflop hearts you. She also apologizes if she’s EVER stuck her oaf like foot in her mouth re: anything reproductive.


  40. I used to joke that I should have shares in home pregnancy tests – I bought so many of them 😛 It’s good you wrote this post: wanting to be pregnant and not being able to is seriously rough emotional territory.

  41. I could have written your post any time during the last 2 years.

    Having one or more children already really does nothing to dull the pain if you want another child.

    Those months when my cycle was a bit longer? Each day was excruciating because I’d take test after test and they’d all be negative. Thank goodness for the Dollar Tree cheap tests or I’d have sent us to the poor house.

    It seems like that always happened to me too, I’d want to be pregnant and there would be at least 10 women I knew pregnant…and at least 2 of them who said it was an “oops.”

  42. I like being able to tell people that my child was the result of an immaculate conception – you know, all that sterile equipment.

  43. Been there. Done that. Doing that. Princess is quickly headed toward 3 years old, many friends and co-workers are pregnant/having babies this month – when I would have had child #2 if that chemical pregnancy would have stuck.

    Want to know my little secret? Every morning when I wake up after 7 or more uninterrupted hours of sleep I think of all those pregnant women going to the bathroom multiple times during the night or zombie moms tending their newborns every 2 hours and laugh maniacally… Bwahahahaha! Small potatoes compared to a baby in your arms to love, but hey, I need my beauty sleep. 😉

  44. *raises hand*

    Secondary infertility is the biggest bitch I know.

    And I know her far, far to well.

  45. Hello there,

    I am donating my eggs for these exact reasons: A woman should not be denied the right to bear a child, especially if she has spent her fertile days helping others, loving her husband, building a business, or working as hard as she can. If I can give someone the reproductive tools, someone who is trying to desperately to make a safe, secure home for a child, then I would feel nothing short of honored. More power to you ladies who are willing to suffer through endless days of medical hell in order to fufill your rights as women.

  46. Hooray for Hanna! Thank you for being willing to donate eggs for women like myself who need an egg donor. It’s been a very gratifying experience reading the comments from so many wonderful women, some of whom are fighting the same emotional battle science calls “infertility”.

  47. i can’t say i REALLY understand what you went through, but i do understand a bit. friends of ours have been trying to 6 years to get pregnant. now in their late 20’s, they’re both healthy, so it seems so absurd. but they’ve been through everything…tests, meds, IVF…nothing’s worked. they have enough money for one more IVF try, and it that doesn’t work, that’s it. it’s so sad. i know so many people who really shouldn’t have had kids (for various disturbing reasons), and then these friends of ours, that would be absolutely wonderful parents, can’t get pregnant.

    amazingly honest post, Casey. hugs.

  48. Why would anybody want to be pregnant? Sounds like not so much fun.

  49. I’m with you on this. Only our issue results from a very bad car accident and the injuries that have left us more than likely unable to conceive. We haven’t tried (yet) because I’ve had a zillion surgeries since the accident. But EVERYONE I know is pregnant or just had a baby…it sucks raw eggs 🙁


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