Motherhood

IVF: One Couple’s Funny, Heartfelt Story

One Couple's IVF Story by Doree Shafrir and Matt Mira

When they started doing IVF last year, Matt Mira and Doree Shafrir were open with friends and colleagues about their quest to become parents. To their surprise, scores of people started sharing their own infertility experiences. “Women and men were coming out of the woodwork,” Doree says. “I realized, wow, so many of us are going through this, but there’s such a stigma around IVF, we never talk about it.” They started a funny, addictive podcast, Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure, which quickly climbed the ranks on iTunes. Here’s their story, and what they’ve learned after undergoing three rounds of IVF.


When did you realize you were dealing with infertility?
Doree: I was 38 when we got married — my eggs are fairly old — and my gynecologist said if we didn’t get pregnant within six months of trying we should both be tested. Honestly, it was in the back of my head that I might end up needing some fertility help. I’d never been pregnant, even though we played it loose a few months before we got married, and I wondered if everything was working the way it’s supposed to.
Matt: I’m weird, but long before we started trying I’d say, “I probably have an incredibly low sperm count,” even though I had no real basis for knowing that. It was sort of a joke and sort of a hunch. I’ve always been overweight, which can affect sperm count; and I thought, “What are the chances that I hadn’t gotten anyone pregnant this far into my life?” But after I went for a sperm analysis, the urologist called and told me I had a million sperm in my sample. At first, I was very excited — absolutely thrilled — that I had a million of anything, let alone sperm. I couldn’t wait to tell Doree that I was great, better than great, even. And then the doctor explained that my sample was actually short by about 79 to 100 million sperm. Yeah, there we are.

How did you decide to do a podcast about your IVF journey?
Matt: I co-host another podcast called Nerdist, and Doree gave me her blessing to talk a little bit about infertility there. I told the story about getting my sperm analyzed because it’s funny, but what surprised me was how excited other men seemed about my openness on the topic. I started getting messages online saying, “Oh my gosh, the same thing is happening to me.” Doree suggested we do an IVF podcast and at first I said, “That sounds not fun.” So, I took a poll on Twitter asking if people would listen to a podcast about my wife and me going through IVF, just to show her that was a bad idea and prove her wrong.
Doree: When I saw the response Matt was getting from men, I knew a podcast about infertility could be great. Women don’t talk about IVF much publicly, but at least there are communities online where women can find each other. The poll from Matt’s Twitter feed came back 81% in favor. (I won.)

What are you trying to accomplish with the podcast?
Doree: Matt and I noticed that once we started talking about IVF, we immediately met people who had some connection to it, but felt there was nothing out there for them that’s not super serious and depressing. It’s not a fun thing to go through, and while we never want to feel like we’re making light of IVF or anyone else’s situation, we do feel like there needs to be a chill place to approach this topic. Our listeners are women, men, gay, straight, people going through IVF, people who know someone going through it — it’s a wide range of experiences.
Matt: I think if we can try to make this very serious situation not feel so serious all the time, it might help someone who’s having a crap time of it. It has probably saved us from couples’ therapy, just being able to talk it out in a more lighthearted way. Also, my mother listens to the podcast and gets all her updates that way, so it saves me a phone call every week.

Yes, you guys seem so supportive of each other throughout this process.
Matt: Doree bears the brunt of it as far as what’s being injected into her body and the stress of all the appointments and procedures. I’m always keenly aware of that and I try to be as supportive as humanly possible.
Doree: We try not to blame each other for anything in this situation. I think that’s a good ground rule.

Have you had any really low moments?
Doree: There have been a lot of ups and downs, naturally — with medication hassles, disappointing results, that kind of stuff. Once, when Matt was out of town, I was trying to inject myself with progesterone, something you have to do once a day after your embryo transfer. It requires an insanely long and thick needle that has to go in your lower back above your butt, and I was contorting myself to do it. I could barely get the syringe in. When I pulled it out, the needle was bent 90 degrees. I started crying and was thinking to myself, “Why isn’t he here and why am I even doing this?” I developed a nasty bruise. It was definitely not a high point.
Matt: I had driven four hours from L.A. to Las Vegas with a friend and I got a tearful phone call from Doree. I looked at my friend and said, “I have to leave now. We have to drive back to Los Angeles. We’re having a crisis that’s four hours from being solved.”

Have you learned a lot about your bodies?
Doree: Totally. I didn’t realize how much I had absorbed until we changed doctors at one point. She was giving us her spiel in what used to sound like a foreign language, but I was like, “I understand every single thing she’s talking about,” Endometrial lining, um, yes. People often write to us asking for medical advice and we’re surprised that we invariably have a handle on the answer, even though we always refer them to experts, of course.
Matt: I didn’t know there was a wall, let alone a lining, in a uterus. That’s a lot of information I never dreamed I would have in my head. I would wager I know more than 99.8 percent of men about human reproduction.

What has the financial aspect of infertility been like?
Doree: Last year, a lot of our treatment for two IVF cycles was out of pocket. We spent about $45,000 spread out on different credit cards and we’re still paying them off. Now we have better insurance coverage through my work, but if the round we just completed doesn’t work and we decide to do another one, it will be totally out of pocket again.
Matt: The financial burden is bananas. There’s a part of your tax form that lets you deduct medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of your income, and I never thought at this age I’d be someone who could use that. Every time I walk into the doctor’s office, I think, “How exactly will we do this?” And then I just tell myself we’ll figure it out. It’s all worth it right now.
Doree: We talk to podcast listeners from all over the world about how they pay for it. Many other countries, like Canada, Australia, the U.K. and Israel, are much more helpful with infertility coverage, and it’s also cheaper elsewhere to pay out of pocket if you have to. There are a few income-based IVF financing programs here that will help if you make below a certain amount, but IVF is out of reach for many. It’s so disappointing to think that someone struggling with infertility who wants to undergo treatment can’t afford to try.

What advice would you give someone who’s about to start IVF?
Doree: Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. If there’s anything you’re not sure about or don’t understand, ask them. Many infertility specialists have been doing this for a long time and they see a ton of patients; they don’t always remember what people don’t know. You’re paying them a lot of money and you can ask all the questions you like. Also, I would tell someone that it might take longer to go through IVF than they ever imagined. Every time you feel like you’re getting somewhere, they’re like, “We have to do this one other test” or “We have to wait three weeks until we can start this protocol.” You just have to give in to the unpredictability and keep the faith. That’s especially hard if you’re someone like me who likes to plan everything.
Matt: I would tell male partners to be as aware as you can be about what the other person is going through. All you have to do is go into a terrible room and jerk off. That’s literally all you have to do. So, if that’s it, then you better make yourself useful the rest of the time, going to appointments, answering her texts when she needs a friend, helping with injections, whatever you can do.

Has anyone close to you gotten pregnant while you’ve been doing IVF?
Doree: A friend of mine posted a few weeks ago on Facebook of all places that she’d gotten accidentally pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. I had a visceral reaction when she posted it. I thought, “Aw, man!” It was hard for me to see. How can it be so easy for someone who doesn’t want a baby to get pregnant? But when other friends have gotten pregnant this year, I’ve been happy for them. I just don’t love it when they say things like, “We weren’t even trying!”
Matt: When you hear someone else’s pregnancy news, it’s like when you’re seeing a friend Instagram from vacation and you’re in the middle of a 14-hour work day.

What’s it been like negotiating the demanding schedule of IVF with work?
Matt: I work as a writer on a sitcom and my hours are crazy. I’m there all the time. Whenever I slink into my boss’s office and knock on the door, I barely get the first letter of IVF out of my mouth and he’s like, “Take all the time you need.”
Doree: Luckily, my work has been very understanding as well. Not everyone has the same experience, obviously, but you’d be surprised how many people have told me their bosses and co-workers have made every accommodation they could.

Has any of the medical stuff been scary?
Doree: Nothing is as scary as you might think. I didn’t love the injections at first. They’re just not the best thing in life. Matt used to be there when I would do my injections during a cycle, but I’ve gradually gotten braver and better at doing it on my own. I will say, I’m what the phlebotomists call a “hard stick,” which means I have very small, deep veins the nurses often can’t find. Given how many blood tests IVF involves while they are checking your hormone levels (sometimes daily), that hasn’t been fun. When I’ve had to go under anesthesia for three egg retrievals, they can never get the IV in, which is anxiety-inducing.

With every cycle, do you think or daydream about your future life as parents?
Doree: Honestly, the nuts and bolts of IVF make the actual baby feel so abstract. We’re so focused on the mechanics of something that feels far removed from even a pregnancy, let alone a baby — we want to have a positive attitude, but also, I think, there’s an element of not allowing ourselves to fantasize about it, if that makes sense.

What if it doesn’t work?
Doree: I think when we started we said we’d do two rounds max, and here we are on our third round. But every time you do it you think, “Maybe I can do it again. Maybe it will work next time.” And you meet people who did eight rounds, so how do you know when to stop? I didn’t go into this process thinking it would take that many attempts and I don’t want it to. But if we tried transferring all of our embryos and none of them took, I don’t know. We’re not long-range planners. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Matt: For starters, we would probably get another dog! But we still want to be human parents. Would we try to adopt or use a donor egg? I don’t know.

If I someone I care about is going through IVF, what are the best and worst things I could do to support them?
Doree: Tell them that you’re there for them whenever they need to talk and check in periodically but not invasively. You could send a text saying, “I’m just checking in, thinking of you and I’m around if you need to talk,” or, “Thinking of you — want to [do X fun thing] next weekend [that does not involve children or anyone pregnant]?” Or send a handwritten note saying that you know they’re going through a hard time and you’re there for them. And it’s really important not to feel offended if they don’t respond. A few bad things are asking questions like, “How’s the IVF going?” or “When will you be pregnant?” or “Why is it taking so long?” And don’t give them any guilt trips about not going to a baby shower, don’t joke about IVF or infertility, don’t comment about how you can relate because went through something similar if it’s not (like having to try for a few months to get pregnant). That’s not the same!

What’s been the most surprising part of this whole process?
Doree: How good it feels to be open about it. It wasn’t my initial instinct to be open, but once I was I felt so much better. In terms of the podcast, I will say this: I’ve been a writer for big publications my whole career and nothing I’ve ever written has gotten this level of response. Every day, we hear from so many people who just want to unburden themselves. They’re not even expecting a reply. These conversations have been very powerful — the most powerful part of my IVF journey so far.

Yes, I’m blown away by the podcast’s Facebook group. It’s a real community.
Doree: There were a lot of places for women to commiserate online about IVF, but not that many co-ed spaces. I think that’s what makes it unique. This is gay couples, straight couples, single people from all over. It’s fascinating to see what everyone is going through.
Matt: It’s incredible. The other day a guy who listens to the podcast posted on there who was like, “I’m a single dude and I’m not dealing with infertility, but I love hearing about everybody’s experiences and I wish you the best of luck.”

Thank you so much, Doree and Matt!


Doree is a senior culture writer at Buzzfeed. Her first novel, Startup, comes out in April. Matt is a writer on the ABC television show The Goldbergs and the co-host of several podcasts, including Nerdist, James Bonding and Star Trek The Next Conversation. They live in L.A. with their beloved dog. You can listen to Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure here and join their Facebook group here.

P.S. Another woman’s infertility story, and what if you can’t have a baby?

  1. Meggie says...

    One thing that isn’t discussed here: the reason behind infertility. It’s proven that the quality/numbers of men’s sperm rates are declining. The cause is likely because of environmental factors. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/opinion/sunday/are-your-sperm-in-trouble.html?_r=0)

    The environmental factors need to be looked into and are one reason why I believe IVF should be covered by insurance, and second, why there should be less judgement over those who opt to IVF, especially as I imagine infertility is not simply a factor of couples, for example, waiting longer to conceive but rather that it is in fact, more difficult to get pregnant.

    Thank you for posting on this topic. Good luck Matt and Doree! And for anyone looking for success stories, my husband and I had our daughter despite retrieving just four eggs.

  2. It is so wonderful to see IVF and infertility discussed here, on my favorite blog. I had to keep from crying as I read through the post, it resonated so deeply with me. My husband and I just went through our first round of IVF and thankfully we were able to transfer an embryo. And now? Waiting. Initial results have come back positive but there’s always more waiting… For the next test, the next ultrasound… And the anxiety in the waiting — the crazy, terrible things your mind can come up with in the wait — I think that might be the hardest part. Having an outlet, having a community to connect with that understands, is so critical to surviving the emotional rollercoaster that is infertility and IVF. I look forward to checking out Matt and Doree’s podcast, and send them so much love and baby dust on their journey! xoxo

  3. Susan says...

    Our precious boy was conceived through IVF. He will be five this summer, and I still willingly tell people he was an IVF miracle because I want others to feel less alone if they are struggling with pregnancy. It opens the door for conversation and reminds people that getting pregnant is not always a slam dunk proposition. Sending love and positive thoughts to everyone experiencing infertility.

  4. chloelle says...

    never give up! i’m currently 8 months pregnant, we got lucky on our first round ever and I’m 42 years old. i kept thinking something will go wrong, but touch wood we are here now and all is great and little one is absolutely fine. i can’t believe how expensive it is for you! i’m from europe and it cost us about 4,000 euros total from our pocket as we went private. i wish you all the best, you got this.

  5. JPC says...

    For anyone interested in listening in or dialing in (212-631-7553), we’ll be discussing this topic tonight. Join us for a very candid conversation about infertility on morphmom moments radio tonight– 7PM
    http://www.cityworldradio.com/morphmom-moments/

    Feel free to call in and share any of your stories above–they are all great and inspirational and they are definitely helping someone somewhere at least know they are not alone.

  6. Lael says...

    Here I am reading and holding my ivf newborn on my arms. All the luck in the world to you two, and I love how you have been so open about your experience. When I tried to be open about it people get so awkward and don’t know how to react! “I’m pregnant, we did ivf! It wasn’t so bad!” And people would really struggle with what to say. Just be supportive, people. Some people have a lot harder time than you getting pregnant, and you don’t need to pity them, just be open to hear about it. Can’t wait until the world is more open to hearing about this stuff all the time.

  7. Loribeth says...

    I’ve traveled with a close friend half way across the country for a transfer, and had to give her all her shots including the progesterone. It was terrifying for me, I can only imagine how bad it was for her! But I’m also very grateful that she invited me to be a part of her journey and it has opened my eyes a lot to the lengths that people will go for their families.

  8. Infertile in USA says...

    All the best to Matt and Doree! I hope all their dreams come true.

    I’m a certified nurse-midwife and I’m going into my fifth year of personal infertility (always the midwife, never the mom, amirite?). I have primary ovarian insufficiency and endometriosis (overachiever). I’ve been through one endometriosis laparoscopy, multiple rounds of Clomid/letrozole, one round of IVF that ended in a devastating miscarriage at 8 weeks, and another IVF round that resulted in a failed transfer. That was the very clear end of the road for us in using my eggs on our doctor’s recommendations. I was only 29 and it was shattering to already know that I’d never have a child with my genetics. It’s easy to think that it wouldn’t matter to you, but you really don’t know until you face it yourself.

    My career in pregnancy and women’s health has really convoluted my whole infertility experience. My husband and I began by being very open with everyone about it all. That was nice at first with the support, but then led to many problems. Once the information was out there, then some of our friends and family naturally assumed there were no boundaries, and would freely discuss our personal medical details with total strangers (not intending harm). It became difficult for me at work, because I could never escape from the experience. Because we live in a small town, even my patients would hear about it from others and ask me about it, and it would distract from the professional relationships I wished to maintain. This led to us tightening the circle of people who knew the details. However, even then some of our parents wouldn’t respect our direct requests for privacy and would discuss it with anyone they chose. It’s difficult, because there has to be some processing for them of the experience of having an infertile child, but I feel it should be done without violating our specific requests for privacy. Now as we’re considering how to proceed (donor egg, donor embryo, or adoption), we’ve made the decision to not tell anyone. We’re leaning toward embryo adoption and won’t tell anyone the details if we do conceive. We will then share with others when our child grows up and learns the details herself in age appropriate ways. It’s a little awkward now having to deflect questions when we’ve previously been so candid, but it feels like a better way to protect our emotions. We had a great infertility therapist who stressed the concept of privacy vs secrecy, and that it’s not a bad thing to want some privacy. That’s just our experience with it so far.

  9. Willow says...

    I wish you all the very very best Doree and Matt. I know exactly what you mean about the tightrope you have to walk between staying positive yet not daring to fantasise it will ever happen. I truly hope it happens for you.

  10. Susan says...

    YES.
    These two. Maybe you. Definitely me.
    It is wonderful to see such support and compassion in this article. Talk about it, find others like you. IVF was the most grueling process I have ever been through.

  11. Susan says...

    YES.
    These two. Maybe you. Definitely me.
    It is wonderful to see such support and compassion in this article. Talk about it, f

  12. Kelly says...

    Love that this podcast exists! Though i ended my ivf journey almost exactly 10 years ago after many years dollars and failures to treat our undiagnosed infertility that I may still listen to it to deal with my ptsd over the whole experience!

    i’ve seen alot of anger in the comments over the adoption suggestion, so i’ll try to tread gingerly around this one. our plan b was adoption. i now have two beautiful adopted daughters, 6 years and 11 months. while it is not the biologically related family i imagined, hoped for and planned for (nor what my girls might have imagined if they were able to before getting stuck with us) – we are so very much a family, with all of the joy and struggle and love and exhaustion that entails.

    It took me 2 years to emotionally process my infertility and 2 years for each of my adoptions to come through and i waited 3 years after adopting my first to start on the second because the i hated the process and i’ve been there in the anger and hating all pregnant people and so so many days i didn’t want to get out of bed but i did it and adoption worked and some days i can hardly believe it but it’s the best thing ever!

    for those of you whose ivf journey doesn’t end with a baby, if what you really want is a family, you can get there. adoption is hard and egg donation is hard and infertility is not fair and there may be more setbacks and horrors and grief ahead but there are still doors open.

    and if those doors aren’t in fact open to you for some reason or they are not the right doors for you, other life experiences will open that will bring you peace and happiness and serenity. I waited to start our adoption process until i knew that was true for me (which i know isn’t an option for everyone – i finished 5 years of infertility treatment at 35 so felt like i had a little time to make decisions). i know it is hard to hear that through the longing and anger and grief. i couldn’t hear it until i was ready and it took a lot of time and i lost friends who didn’t understand how deeply i was grieving. just make it your mantra that it won’t always feel like this and wait for the day that it’s true.

    peace to everyone wherever you’re at in the infertility journey!

  13. Anon says...

    I’ll throw another variation of the fertility/IVF grief into the mix: egg freezing. I know it has a reputation of being a vanity procedure for happily single rule the world women, but here’s the hard truth: I want to be a mom so badly. It aches when I find out friends are pregnant or when I hold their babies. But I haven’t met the right person and haven’t quite gotten there on going it alone (single mother by choice world refers to people as “Plan A” and “Plan B” and it’s definitely Plan B for me). So I did what I believe is a responsible thing and did multiple rounds of egg freezing in my mid-30s to try to give myself better odds. I also get my fertility tested every year to stay informed on my options – and now I watch my fertility rapidly decline every year. Here are some things that make egg freezing hard in it’s in own way:
    1) There is no one to call when the needle bends and you panic.
    2) There is no one that can give you emotional support quite like a partner doing this with you (although friends who have done IVF definitely help!)
    3) The cost is hard enough on two salaries, but even harder on one (So far, I’ve spent $30,000 completely out of pocket.)
    3) You feel like you are making enormous fertility choices for someone else – a potential future partner – and hoping you guess right on “how far to go.”
    And here are some of the things people say that aren’t helpful:
    1) “There are so many children in the world. You should adopt.” (because single women don’t deserve to have a desire for biological connection)
    2) “We would totally babysit if you have a baby on your own. Do it! We love babies!” (as in 3 AM diaper changes?)
    I am so, so grateful to have this technology – which while no guarantee, does give me better odds of conceiving. But I think it’s easy to look at single women and think they have no idea the grief of infertility. Some of us do and we’re part of the injections and hormones sisterhood too!

  14. Tatiana says...

    Thank you for creating a safe place for people struggling to conceive. I wish Doree and Matt (and every reading who is also struggling) the very best of luck.
    I, too, have something to add to the worst ways to support friends going through in fertility. Please, please, please don’t say anything that starts with, “I know ..” As in, “I know it’s going to happen for you soon.” Or, “I know you’re going to be a parent someday.” I think this is a natural response to hearing about someone’s struggles and I can see how someone might think that having a cheerleader is helpful. And although these comments obviously come from a place of caring, they truly discredit the scariest part of infertility: no one can ever know if they will conceive. Facing the very real truth that having a baby may never happen is so isolating and terrifying. The best thing a friend said to me during my 3-year infertility journey was simply:

    “If you find you can’t hold hope for this on a given day because it’s just too hard, know that I will hold it for you until you’re ready for it again.”

    • Marie says...

      Yes! This!
      Can we just print a flyer of this and hand it out to people walking their friends to fertility treatment appointments?

    • Tanya P. says...

      Amen!! A friend continuously told me that she knew my miracle was going to happen. It was not helpful.

    • Willow says...

      Yes yes yes. You have absolutely nailed it. Also, those friends, trying so hard to be helpful and positive, who tell you a miracle story about how IVF worked for their friend’s neighbour’s sister. It is done with absolutely the best intentions but does not help AT ALL – if you’re going through IVF, you know that miracles can and do happen but you don’t know if they will ever happen for you.

      IVF is so hard and takes you to some really dark places. For example, I questioned whether I should leave my husband to give him the chance to have a family with someone else.

      I send my love and thoughts to anyone struggling with the awfulness of infertility. I hope you find peace and happiness xx

    • Sarah says...

      What a beautiful statement. It’s similar to a line in a poem I repeat to myself when it’s hard to see the light of day:

      “Between hope and despair,
      Choose hope.
      It will be harder to bear.”

  15. Jane says...

    I listened to the podcast last night and LOVED it. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for during my IVF journey to make me feel less alone and a tad more sane.
    If anyone has any other IVF-support resources (Instagram accounts, FB groups, YT channels, etc.) like this that are light-hearted and relatable to ladies who might be inclined to read Cup of Jo, please share them here!

  16. Sarah says...

    “Matt and I noticed that once we started talking about IVF, we immediately met people who had some connection to it, but felt there was nothing out there for them that’s not super serious and depressing.”

    I couldn’t have said this better myself. After 2.5 years of trying for our first child, (turning 3 years old in two weeks!) and 2 years so far of trying for number 2, I had given up the search for an infertility/IVF blog/podcast/forum, as everything I had found to date was making me feel worse. Unfortunately, this only heightened the isolation and depression I was already feeling without a safe and friendly place to discuss the struggle.

    Two weeks ago, I discovered Matt and Doree and their ever-so-eggcellent podcast. Yesterday, underwent our 5th embryo transfer. This morning, opened feedly to see my favorite podcast featured on my favorite blog. What?! Worlds colliding! Thank you, Matt and Doree (or Doree and Matt ;)) for keepin it real. (Wish me luck through the 11-day wait.) Thank you, COJ, from the bottom of my heart for spreading the word about this podcast. Big hugs to everyone out there who has, is, or will face this inconceivable (no pun intended) struggle. You are definitely not alone.

    • Oh my gosh, are you me? We literally have the same story – 2 yrs of trying for my first, who is 3 1/2, 2.5 years trying for number 2, my 5th transfer is tomorrow, and I discovered this podcast 2 weeks ago which was exactly what I needed. I’ve been blogging about my infertility experiences to manage the stress and laugh at what is a rather insane process. Fingers crossed to you, and to everyone else slogging through this journey. Thank you, Matt and Doree – and thanks Cup of Jo for spreading the word!

    • Sarah says...

      That is amazing, Grown ass woman!! ;) Please share your blog!!! And best of luck with your transfer tomorrow!
      Xo
      Sarah

    • Heather says...

      Sarah, I think you can click on Grown Ass Woman’s name to see her blog! :)

    • Sarah says...

      *Slaps forehead* Thanks, Heather!!! ☺

  17. Laura says...

    Wow, I wish this podcast had been around 3 years ago when I went through IVF. It was one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. We were lucky in the end and got pregnant on our third IVF cycle, though it wasn’t just luck, it was also excellent doctors and nurses and research. I didn’t know anyone who had gone through it before and I was determined to be open about it despite how awkward people were when I talked about and the terrible insensitive things people would say like “Oh you’re so lucky you don’t have to worry about contraception!” or (regarding the embryos we’d make which would inevitably seem to stop growing) “Think of all those little babies each saying ‘pick me, pick me!'”. When people said things like this I just tried to remember that they were trying to be supportive and didn’t know what to say and how could they know?
    In our case (we had ‘unexplained infertility’ and had been trying to get pregnant for 5 years) the process required a lot of tinkering to get optimum results and we had a great and very experienced doctor who knew how to proceed based on my responses to each failed cycle to make the next one better. That final cycle, we were so excited, we had 9 embryos, an incredible number, especially compared to the first 2 cycles. I was terrified to get a call from them before my scheduled embryo transfer because it meant that something had gone wrong again and sure enough, 2 days before they called me: 8 of the embryos had just stopped growing again, we had ONE left and I had to go in immediately for the ET. My husband and I were devastated but we kept saying “Well there’s 1! If it’s still growing it must be a fighter! Let’s not lose hope!”.
    She was a fighter and now she just turned 2. :)

    • Robin J. says...

      What an amazing story! I’m so sorry for the arduous journey, but what a perfect ending. Congrats on your little fighter :)

  18. Ally says...

    Thanks for sharing, best of luck to you guys! People say that we don’t talk enough about miscarriage, but I think we don’t talk enough about infertility….. so many of my friends share openly about their miscarriage losses, and I feel pain for them, but what to share for those of us grieving the complete and absolute inability to get pregnant…? Often I feel silenced in the face of their loss, as if they have something tangible and real to grieve, while we just have a big void of nothing to grieve each month if that makes sense…. We are so fortunate in that we do have a wonderful son already…. but now going on 6+ years of secondary infertility and countless fertility treatments…. and the “secondary” part makes it isolating in a different way (is it just us and where we live, or do others find there is such a social stigma about “the only child” too?!)

    • Amanda says...

      Absolutely. We have a 3.5 year old and get “aren’t you going to give her a sibling? Get on it!!” Then on the flip side I was on an infertility online support group and told I “don’t know what it’s like, you have one at least.” It’s a strange lonely place. My family isn’t complete, it’s just not, and we’re allowed to want more.

    • Laura- says...

      Hubby and I are with you Ally – because we have one child already, I don’t feel right to be part of infertility groups (because of said child) but there’s not really many platforms for support in secondary infertility. We’ve been TTC for 14 months now, and our first specialist appt is at the end of March. Fingers crossed we can get on with further testing to hopefully find some answers to what’s going on (or not going on, as the case may be). Don’t find that our community has an issue with ‘only child’ – families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays (and I think most people we know realise that she wouldn’t be an only child if we had our way..!).

    • Sara says...

      So with you as well. My daughter is almost 4 and we get the “Don’t you want to give her a sibling?? Get on it!!” and then on the flip side, once we started IVF I desperately needed support but was told I didn’t understand because I “had one and should feel lucky.” My family isn’t complete, it just isn’t. I feel so incredibly fortunate we could afford IVF, but I felt terrible recently as I was getting my blood drawn for the 590195th time and the woman performing it chatted with me – turns out they’re also battling secondary infertility but IVF would be the next step and that just wasn’t feasible with insurance not covering even a dime. It’s a terrible spot to be in, no matter where you are in growing your family. Best of luck to you!!

    • Alli says...

      Hi ladies. I’m also dealing with secondary infertility with a 2 1/2 year old and have been trying to conceive for over a year. It’s a special kind of sadness – not only for me but also for wanting a sibling for our daughter. It’s hard to see all of her / our friends bring new babies into their family and wish we could do the same. Sending hugs to everyone out there in this situation.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Alli. It must be really hard. Liz from Say Yes wrote some great posts about her experience with secondary infertility, if you think they might be helpful: http://sayyes.com/category/infertility

    • Celeste says...

      Oh my people! I dealt with secondary infertility for 4 years and was initially told by my (now former) doctor that she wouldn’t start looking into it until I lost weight (even though I weighed LESS than when I conceived our first). That sent me into SUCH a shame spiral. Fortunately my next OB said “bullshit” when I told her about it.

      Long story short, last year we welcomed #2! Our boys are 6 years apart, which is not what I’d envisioned, but it’s fine and my eldest is shaping up to be an excellent big brother. I wish everyone here dealing with infertility, secondary or otherwise, the very best.

  19. Lisa says...

    I wish I could have listened to this podcast when we were going through our rounds! It was such a hard, lonely experience. I remember being one of five bridesmaids, two of the others were pregnant and one of them chose the “getting ready” part of the wedding day to reveal her baby’s gender. It was crushing. It also wasn’t helpful when people I would open up to would say things like “just relax, you’ll get pregnant when you’re relaxed and not trying”, “Ugh, I love my kids but they’re so tiring. You’re lucky you can do whatever you want, whenever you want”, or “I know someone who’s been going through IVF for five years and it still hasn’t worked”. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, sweating and crying from a nightmare about going through years of IVF with it never working for us. Something my husband and I did to try to bring a bit of positivity to the injections is what we called our “calcium party”. He had to do all the injections for me because I was too scared, and after every one we’d have a glass of milk and a piece of homemade rocky road. He was my strength during everything, and now we’re parents to a beautiful 10 week old baby boy.

  20. Kimberly S. says...

    My husband and I are currently undergoing our second IVF cycle. We were fortunate to be successful in our first cycle of IVF (after 3 years and 8 failed IUIs). We are hoping to welcome a sibling to our miracle IVF son in the near future. Thanks for shedding light on an important topic.

  21. Alicia says...

    I wish I could have listened to this while we were going through treatment! We went through 5 years of treatment, and now have a wonderful 7 month old baby boy from IVF. Those years were HARD and the pain, humor, and challenges were just our own. It felt like the most isolating thing at the time – people couldn’t really relate. It was all worth it in the end though!

  22. Megan says...

    Thanks for this post. It’s amazing to hear their story along with all the other comments. You only see the happy posts on Facebook or Instagram.

    After going through IVF, the worst lingering side effects is the anxiety. Worrying about the pregnancy, worrying about rare genetic diseases, worrying about SIDS. It truly can be crippling, there are certain triggers that I am not sure will ever go away. I don’t regret going through ivf, as I have my beautiful son, but it did come with a somewhat painful aftermath.

  23. Elizabeth says...

    I got more than a little teary reading this. I’m currently pregnant with an IVF bub (due in May). I have all my fingers and toes crossed that this round is THE one for Matt and Doree xo

    • Lisa says...

      Congratulations!! That is just fantastic news. I just had my IVF bub 10 weeks ago, and I am grateful every single day.

  24. Katie H. says...

    This is exactly what I needed today… the realization we’re not alone. Sometimes, it sure feels like it. Thank you Cup of Jo!

  25. Bethann says...

    Wow it is so awesome that Doree and Matt are sharing their journey openly and engaging so many people in the process. My husband and I went through IVF almost 4 years ago and luckily we had success. I remember exactly what Doree mentions that online forums for women have been around for a while but there wasn’t really any place for my husband to go to get support. Agreed that he just needed to jerk off in a room, but it was sooooo important for him to be 100% supportive through the process, help with injections like with the insanely long progesterone needles that went inches into my buttocks, drive me around, deal with my emotions, and I’m sure it could have helped him to find an online forum or listen to this podcast. Although we’ve been through the process and moved on from it, there will always be a part of me that remembers the pain of infertility and the oh-so-not-fun aspects of IVF. I wish Doree and Matt only the best and really hope they are able to conceive. Sending good thoughts your way you two!

  26. Jaime says...

    Great timing, just coming off of some more bad news after the most recent failed 4th attempt of an FET. The most helpful thing is knowing there are people out there that “get it.” Thanks for sharing! Sending you both good wishes!

    • Robin says...

      Sending YOU good wishes and prayers, Jaime!

  27. This post plus your female anatomy post made me wonder if you could perhaps do a series on women’s health. I feel like a lot of women’s health issue are really glossed over in our educational system and kept hush hush in society. I recently was diagnosed with endometriosis, a uterine polyp and also suffered 2 ruptured ovarian cysts. Despite biology being one of my favorite subjects in school and being an avid science lover in general I had never heard of any of these conditions prior to experiencing them myself. What’s worse is I suffered symptoms for years while doctors told me everything was fine! I knew something was off with my body and I wish I had been a little more empowered to advocate for myself. Even now that I know what is going on with my body I feel like I’m supposed to keep my “women’s issues quiet” and just sweep under the rug that I’m extremely ill every month and that it is very unlikely I will conceive without IVF. Also on a related note I think this is such a fantastic community that provides wonderful support, encouragement and insight.

    • Megan says...

      Love this idea!

    • Flannery says...

      Love this!!

    • Amy says...

      Yes! What a great idea!

    • Elisabeth says...

      I agree! I also recently had a uterine polyp (discovered while we were trying to get pregnant) and was surprised by two things: (1) a lot of women had experienced similar things, but had never talked about it; (2) a lot of women are really uncomfortable talking about it . I mentioned casually that I was having surgery to remove the polyp and my friend laughed out loud. Apparently she knew someone else who had one who had scheduled a private time to talk to her about a similar problem, and when I offered to share my experienced, was too embarrassed to follow up.

      I was reminded of this again when talking to my husband about using the term “vulva” with our daughter. “It just feels uncomfortable,” he said. “Why? You use the term penis.” “Yeah, but we never had a word for it growing up, like penis.” “Doesn’t that say something?” I countered, “About how we view the female body? As something that can’t be named?”

  28. Heather says...

    Wishing you all the luck and sticky baby thoughts, Matt and Doree. My husband and I went through IVF last year, and finally had success on our third transfer and are expecting our miracle in October. It’s so emotionally and financially draining, but I think the love between couples who go through infertility is so much stronger. You two clearly love each madly; it’s so obvious in the way you speak of one another. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  29. As someone whose been open about fertility struggles with some of my friends, I completely agree with a lot of this. You are so right about some of the loveliest things to hear are just “I’m thinking of you” or “good luck”!

    To add to the list of things not to say (from experience):
    – “Why don’t you try adopting?” (It’s a different choice. Plus that’s not a cheap process either. A variant of this is the “why all people should adopt rather than create babies” posts by couples who clearly did not take that advice)
    – “Oh, it must be so fun to have all the sex you want” (Sure, especially when the doctor is telling not to have intercourse on days x and y and then to definitely have intercourse on day z.)
    – “Have you tried ?” (Yes. I probably have.)
    – “Just relax!” (Because clearly not thinking about it causes my ovaries to ovulate)

  30. Sara says...

    This moved me to tears. I’m currently pregnant with my second IVF baby. I wish for them everything they want. It’s so, so hard.

  31. Lisa says...

    I wish this podcast had been around when we did our five rounds of IVF! What saved me during that time was an IVF support group (I started going after my third IVF cycle). I also benefited from online communities.

  32. Summer says...

    Hi lovely ladies of Cup Of Jo,

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I do fall in love even more and more with every single day. Even my husband knows your blog and also knows to not disturb me while I am catching up with stories you post. I admire your openness and discussion on variety of really sensitive topics and questions, but always with such a grace and lightness.
    We can relate to this article so much as we are after three unsuccessful IUI rounds (though did get pregnant after the very first IUI and will never forget how unreal it felt) have just started our first IVF. Opposite to Matt and Doree we decided to not disclose it, only a handful of very close people know about it, and if I am honest, not sure if i am ready to disclose it to the world yet, however my hysband is my best friend and his support is endless, it actually made us closer as a couple and more undersanding of each other. It may sound crazy, but having to deal with IVF all other problems don’t seem as big and we both know it will all be fine in the end, we’ve just been sent this challenge.
    thank you again for great story and stories and please do what you keep doing!

  33. Ugh! I love this! My husband and I are starting ivf in May. We have been struggling with secondary infertility issues. I had lost a tube before the birth of our son and between then and now the second tube has gone out of commission. I love to say “my slip and slides are busted”. It has been a interesting journey because we have built up a network of so many other parents and literally everyone of them has gotten pregnant with or had their second. I just had to sit through my 12th announcement. Some have been planned, others accidents, and some are having twins! There is this really weird feeling of being left in the dust and also taking stock of blessings. I don’t feel at all like our family is complete, someone is missing.
    Anyways I just wanted to throw some advice out there to all those ladies trying. Be a squeaky wheel! Speak up if you think something is wrong. My OB kept saying you had a baby you will get pregnant just wait. I was embarrassed about it but I finally pushed for diagnostic testing and SURPRISE my only tube was blocked. I am so happy I didn’t waste another 6 months with out intervention.

    • Alicia says...

      Secondary infertility is a unique beast. I’m sorry we share that experience.

  34. Kathryn says...

    I’m a big Nerdist fan. It’s a little weird to see Matt here on Cup of Jo. Worlds are colliding!!

    • Eleanor says...

      Same!!

  35. Rebecca says...

    You sound like an amazing couple. Thank you for sharing your story! Going to bookmark this for the future because, like Matt, I’ve always felt a hunch that i will have fertility problems. Time will tell!

  36. Robin says...

    As someone who has been there and back, I can so relate to everything you described, and read most of your story in tears. In the end, we realized that surrogacy would be the path to our family and we were lucky enough to meet an amazing woman who carried our now 7-month old daughter. There were so many times during that 7 year struggle that I didn’t believe that it could really happen. I guess what I am saying is never, ever give up. Thank you for sharing you story.

  37. Thank you for sharing your story. I have my fingers crossed for you both & wish you the best.

  38. Jan says...

    Good luck you two. Thanks for sharing…. And call your mom

  39. Leah PS says...

    Our beautiful 9 month old daughter is the result a lot of prayer, tears & a successful IVF cycle. For those looking for support in your hometown, I highly recommend connecting with your local RESOLVE Peer Led Support Group. I met a fantastic group of women in my city who knew exactly what i was feeling walking through infertility. In addition to emotional support, these women had a treasure trove of knowledge! For example, from these ladies I learned about 1. sart.org as a place to compare Fertility Centers actual reported success rates and 2. PGS / PGD testing of frozen embryos. I would have never known of these things otherwise & I’m positive this knowledge influenced our treatment’s success. Reach out! Talk about it! So many more people are going through / have gone through this than you realize. XO

  40. Alli says...

    Thanks for sharing a story about infertility. My husband and I both had fertility issues that made conceiving very difficult. (I have been diagnosed with endometriosis, polyps and a post-surgical abscess after an appendectomy and he has been diagnosed with varicocele.) We tried conceiving naturally for 2.5 years with no luck. We did IVF a year ago this week and were lucky that it worked on our first attempt. We now have an amazing 3.5 month old son. Infertitiy is a painful and often isolating thing to experience, but we are not alone. 1 in 6 couples experiences infertility. We were open about our issues with our friends and family. We were the first of our friends to go through this, but now several other couples close to us have confided about their infertility struggles with us. My heart aches that they are going through this too, but sharing our struggles and successes with one another has helped us both.

    • Lisa says...

      I agree with finding it isolating. It wasn’t until I fell pregnant (through IVF) and felt confident that the baby was ok that we started socialising again (for the first time in years!) Before we just found it easier to avoid, because finding out another person is pregnant was heart breaking. It wasn’t that I couldn’t be happy to be them, it was just another reminder that I had failed at something so fundamental (through no fault and not for lack of trying).

      My tips for if you know someone is going through infertility / IVF – let them hide out if they need, but let them know that you’re there if they want to talk / cry / be distracted. Don’t say “I know it’s going to happen for you” because you don’t (sometimes not even medical experts know). And don’t (a good friend with the best of intentions did this) assume that when they tell you they have good news that it’s because they’re pregnant! Sometimes other good stuff happens

  41. Bets says...

    It is so true that its hard to know when to stop. Every time we start another round I say ” this is the last time..”. It’s hard to know when to give up on a dream. I am so incredibly lucky that I have an amazing and strong willed daughter who was the lone embryo created from her IVF round. After our last IVF round we had one more embryo but have tried for a year to get my lining thick enough to transfer without luck. I feel like we are stuck in limbo not wanting to pay for more treatment, but I can’t bear the thought of not transferring our embryo. It is so silly that I’m an ardent women’s rights supporter but I still think of my embryo as my baby, even though I know the reality is that it won’t become one. I try to remind myself that there are millions of only children who live happy lives and that my daughter will feel loved even if she doesn’t have a sibling. I’m looking forward to listening to the podcast, thank you for sharing.

  42. I’m so glad there is a resource like this for couples! After almost 3.5 years of struggling with infertility, we were lucky enough to be able to try IVF (thanks to my health insurance) and were very lucky again that it worked rather quickly and our expecting our first baby in May. I was so afraid of IVF for so long, and while it is a serious undertaking (I had a therapist lined up for extra support) it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It felt nice to be moving forward and putting it in someone else’s hands for a change. We found an amazing clinic through fertilityiq.com and I think that made a huge difference. Best of luck to everyone trying to build your family, I am rooting and praying for you – be very,very kind to yourselves – it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone though!

  43. Joanna says...

    1 ectopic (lost 1 tube) at age 36, tried IUI, had many many miscarriages, first IVF successful (3.5 old girl), later about 8 attempts of IVF for a second but now already 44 this year. Diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor (NET G1) and have no idea how to cope with the idea that a have to give up, although I want a second more than I wanted a first.
    Egg donation is a topic worth discussing more. I am not living in the USA and have no data about how common this has become. No one is actually talking about it. But, I am reluctant as to who the donor women are. It is not a simple procedure like sperm donation. Which women donate eggs? What is there motivation? I could understand that a woman near to you might want to help (rare case in my environment) but then how do you deal with the fact that the child would her child biologically? It would be her DNA. Tough topic.

    • Blandine says...

      Hi Joanna, I am so sorry to hear of all the health issues you are facing. I just thought I would give my two cents about who are the women who donate an egg. One of my good friend is struggling with infertility (a lot of my friends actually) and I have been lucky enough in that I was able to conceive my children and carry them to term without problems. I wanted to do what I could to broaden the options for couples who need help to conceive. Unfortunately, after a few tests it turned out my ovarian reserve wasn’t sufficient for me to qualify as an egg donor. From your message I am a bit surprised that you wonder about the DNA of the child being linked to the egg donor but that does not seem an issue when it is the sperm that has been donated. :-)

    • lexi says...

      I was an egg donor, so I can answer your question! In my case I was 22 and trying to figure out how to pay for the last semester of college. Lots of egg donor adds were constantly recruiting in our college newspaper (Ivy League eggs LOL). I happily traded them 20+ follicles in exchange for $5,000, they had a successful pregnancy and extra frozen follies to keep, and 18 years later I hope everyone is happy with the deal! I am at least, no regrets. Today I am a mom through assisted fertility treatment too.

    • Joanna says...

      Thank you for the above feedback!
      I wondered about the DNA issue and the biological connection if the egg donor is someone you know. Somehow it seems easier if the donor is unknown, as usually the case with sperm donation.
      I have not heard about these adds where I live (again not in the USA) and there where certainly not around 20 years ago when I was a student. But clarity and transparency about the procedures makes everything much easier to coprehent and accept. Thanks again.

    • Blandine says...

      Thanks for explaining. Reacting to the second comment, from where I am from it is illegal to sell or be compensated for bodily tissue or parts (sorry it is sounds gross, it is probably not the right terminology). I mean blood, platelets, bone marrow, sperm or egg and all this. You don’t receive any monetary compensation but all the medical expenses are covered (of course)

  44. Kara says...

    I found out after more than two years of trying (7? rounds of IUI, 1 round IVF) that my eggs are plentiful but abnormal, which was why it never worked. I think it’s super important to take some time to morn that “loss,” and I did, but I’m lucky enough to be married to my egg donor. My wife had a terrible time with stim and egg retrieval, but it resulted in three good embryos. We transferred one to me last week and we’re waiting now. I can test as early as tomorrow, but will probably wait a day or two longer. As anyone who has tried to get pregnant (in any way!) knows, sometimes the waiting is the hardest part.

    Thanks to everyone who shared!

    • guest says...

      Post results! We are considering this!

    • Blandine says...

      Good for you for trying to wait a little longer. I keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • Kara says...

      I don’t know how to respond to the note below, so I’m updating here. So far, PREGNANT! Can’t even believe it. Carrying my wife’s genes inside me––it’s a wild world and we are feeling very lucky.

  45. Thank you so, so much for sharing this! I love that more people are open about their struggles with infertility. Super excited to check out their podcast and sending up happy prayers that this next round of IVF is the one! We are blessed with a little daughter now, but I will never forget what the 5 years we spent struggling with infertility felt like. There’s also a tiny part of me that worries if we will struggle with getting pregnant with another child. So, thank you for sharing!

  46. Nykayla says...

    I love this ❤️

  47. emily says...

    I am a 30 year old woman, and I was recently told by my doctor that it is likely I am infertile. I’m not currently with a partner, so I’ve just been kicking around ideas in my head (and speaking to many female friends) about whether I want to have children enough to try something like IVF. Do I want children? Do I want them because I’m societally instructed to want them? Is it kinder to my body to adopt or foster instead of trying to get it to do something it may not want to do? I have no judgement for people who choose IVF and egg donors, but part of my personal process has been trying to accept that my value as a woman doesn’t lie in my ability to have children and also to accept the limitations of my body. I am also working towards being honest about my own infertility and trying not to be shy about saying it out loud. I haven’t reached any conclusions about this yet, but I would love to hear from other women who have asked themselves these same questions. I am working as hard as I can to let go of the guilt and stigma surrounding the active choice to leave options like IVF behind in favor of adoption, fostering, or simply not having children at all.

    • Mary Lynn says...

      I think questions asked by all couples facing infertility! My parents struggled for 9 years to get pregnant and adopted both my siblings along the way before I surprised them. So in the back of my mind I just assumed I’d have trouble and swore I’d never do IVF or any drastic medical intervention to get pregnant. However, things went PERFECTLY with my daughter. Textbook first try we got pregnant, so when she was 18 months we thought we’d give it another try. And try. And try. And try try try try try. Suddenly it was 2 years of trying and testing only to learn my daughter was complete luck.

      Had we known up front that this would be our challenge, maybe adoption would’ve been my immediate response, having grown up being so open about it. But when you have put literally years into it, it’s so hard to just wave the white flag and say ok, onto the next process that will take me 1-2 more years (or more). Plus when you get the pricing, both are stupidly expensive, at $20-40K for adoption and $12-15K for a round of IVF. (And fostering just can’t be for us, it would be too much emotionally to take in and possibly not keep a child with my daughter being so young but understanding). I questioned whether this was a sign that I should be happy with just my daughter, but my family just doesn’t feel complete. It’s not complete. We got VERY lucky that we had quick success with IVF and have spare frozen embryos (either for ourselves or to donate to a couple who might have egg or sperm issues), so I’m at peace with our choice, but I completely understand wondering.

    • t says...

      We certainly asked ourselves these questions. Here’s how we looked at it:

      1) Do we want kids? My answer was always no prior to meeting my partner. My partner’s was always yes. When we began exploring the discussion of marriage it was a deal breaker for my partner so I had to either get on board or not. At that point, being so, so in love with one another it just felt right for us to share that love with another being. I can’t explain it beyond that.
      2) IVF vs Adoptions vs Foster: My partner comes from a family that adopted older children (toddler and grade school) and the experience was very difficult on their family so my partner was adamant that she was unwilling to adopt a child beyond newborn/infant age. We actually wanted to adopt rather than try fertility treatments but we are a same sex couple so adopting an infant can prove very, very difficult and costly. It may sounds surprising but there aren’t actually that many domestic newborns available for adoption. We researched it extensively and determined that attempting to get pregnant sounded like a potentially smoother path. (note: international adoption is also very, very difficult for same sex couples and it was very important to us that we were both listed as legal parents.) My partner is also a CASA volunteer for foster children and although fostering children is so, so noble it wasn’t the right thing for us. She had seen some sad cases.

      Bravo for asking these questions and thinking about it. Whatever you decide only strengthens your value as a woman because you put thoughtful effort into coming to that decision. And of course that decision can evolve over time. Good luck!

    • Hande says...

      You are not alone! I went through several rounds of IVF – it took quite a bit of testing to determine that I am highly unlikely to conceive, then several rounds of IVF that got converted to IUIs to determine that I don’t even respond to the injections, then several rounds with a “miracle doctor” who couldn’t work a miracle on me. There was one round of injections that actually did take so that I produced two eggs, but my body was so poor at making estrogen that we had a miscarriage at 5.5 weeks. I am not saying these to be discouraging of anyone looking at posting here. This was just my story.

      There was a lot of processing to do after that. I could have kept trying (our insurance allowed one more round or out of pocket) and taken higher and higher doses of estrogen if it took, but I actively decided to stop. I also decided not to go the egg donor route after my body’s reaction to the IVF that worked and the miscarriage. It was not as easy a decision for my husband to make. There were feelings of guilt, of shame, of failure. But I realized that all of these feelings were about my own body, the one body that I have, that I am stuck with, that I have to be kind to, that I have to make the best of.

      It honestly helped to go to therapy. I went before, during, and after IVF. If therapy is not an option (financially, for example), it helps to have friends to talk to. Friends that will listen and let you talk (they don’t need to understand, but they should be willing to hear some complicated emotions without trivializing them).

      Good luck and take good care of yourself!

    • Anne says...

      Same age, no partner, same thoughts. My doctor was more like “very likely a bit difficult” instead of infertile, but. First advice was go find a partner soon, when I told her that men who wanted to settle down in this city were impossible to find, she told me to do social freezing now. or move ;)
      I would love to hear other womens stories on that.
      I don’t know, my body had been under a lot of stress the past years with operations exactly that area, I still want to recover. But I also want to enjoy the life I have now and not worry about finding “the one”right now, been there, done that ;) . I envy my brother who is 42 and becoming a dad and never had to worry. But would I want to have an IVF at 42? Would it work?
      The third option I am considering is having a kid in a rainbow family. I am friends with a gay couple who I would love to have as fathers, but I haven’t really dared to asked – somehow because I am still stuck with my heteronormartive ideas of ideal families (aka finding the one) . I don’t want to ask them and tell them, how about in 2 years, because I want to settle a bit in my job, and by the way. you’re only my second choice. Not good.
      Thanks for posting because that really helps me to get a better idea of IVF. I would love to hear more about “different” kinds of families – you once had an apartment tour of a single mom by choice – maybe more of that?

    • wb says...

      Women are so much more than….your process and questions are perfectly normal.

    • Alicia says...

      So freakin happy I found this post. Just last week I was told ‘it’s a good thing you’re here now!’ I’m 35, 36 in December and we’ve been trying for year so my Dr. referred us to the infertility clinic. My next step is to have an x-ray and maybe clomid? Here’s the thing…I’m freaked out just to do that! I feel like I’m forcing something that may not be in the cards and could cause possible side effects. And IVF, well…that is crazy expensive. I’m so confused right now. Adopting is definitely on the table, my husband is actually adopted and his father…so it’s kind of a tradition. My hubby is fine, it’s me with the issue…he even said it could be unexplained..
      I have so many emotions, I feel like it’s my fault, why did we wait, why me…so on and so forth. Here’s the kicker…is that I’ve only been with my husband since high school! We did everything ‘right’. I even made him wait before we had sex ,along time for being so young and in love! I was so scared of getting pregnant at a young age, disappointing my family. But now I feel disappointing in a different way…strange isn’t it? Sorry for the ramble, very new territory for me.

    • Ramona says...

      Just a random thoughts in response…

      – I wonder if there would be a way for people to respond to an announcement of a friend’s decision not to have kids in the same way that they would respond to a friend announcing that she’s pregnant. No one says, “But don’t you worry you’ll regret it?” or tries to talk you out of it when you say you’re having a baby. It seems like all decisions around kids/not kids should be given that same respect.

      – I think too often people only consider the baby/toddler phase when deciding to have kids, but really the baby phase is a pretty short period of time in the grand scheme of things. So maybe as you’re deciding if you want a child in your life or not (whether through IVF or adoption or fostering), don’t just picture it right now but also picture it in your 40s, your 50s, your 70s, your 80s.

      – Just remember that a lot of this stuff is in the hands of God or fate or however you would see it; it’s not something you can always control. Adoption might not work, IVF might not work, the right partner might come along or might not come along, you might wind up getting pregnant naturally despite what the doctors are saying…there’s a huge element of the unknown at work here. So you can’t blame yourself if the path you choose doesn’t wind up working out, because none of this is a sure thing and there are many, many ways to live a happy life.

  48. Megan says...

    THANK YOU for posting this interview! My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for 3 years. We were not prepared for what that meant and felt like. For reals. We have decided to take the adoption route this year and have a renewed sense of excitement and optimism. More fertility treatments are not completely off the table (we want 2 children) so it feels great to read about other people’s experiences. Infertility is a very lonely place. This blog helped. Thank you again!

  49. I really resonated with Matt’s comment: “When you hear someone else’s pregnancy news, it’s like when you’re seeing a friend Instagram from vacation and you’re in the middle of a 14-hour work day.”

    I did not suffer from infertility, but I gave birth to a premature son almost two years ago (at 29 weeks!) and felt sucker punched any time I heard or read about “a happy, healthy pregnancy/baby/birth”.

    Such a weird feeling to be both elated and angry/jealous/guilty/frustrated/sad for a friend experience at the same time.

  50. What a lovely post today that really hit home for me. My husband and I went through IVF once. We ended up with three embryos. We only transferred one the first time, and sadly the pregnancy didn’t take. The second time we transferred the other two, who had been frozen, in hopes they they would somehow “help” each other make it. This weekend we’ll be celebrating the first birthday of our twins, Hope and Evan. Hope is named after the emotion I struggled with the most during the journey. My heart goes out to everyone who is struggling to conceive. It’s so hard. Now that we have the twins, I can’t imagine life without them. They were worth the wait. They were worth the meds, the needles, the poking and prodding, the roller coaster of emotions, the cryfests at every pregnancy announcement.

  51. Eleanor says...

    If you are struggling to conceive, whether it be with your first, second or fifth child… there are others like you out there and I PROMISE you will feel better if you reach out. Yes some people will say stupid things (I was told that at age 33 I’m “no spring chicken….” or “be grateful you have one”) but I opened up to a very close friend only to find out that both of her beautiful girls were a result of IVF, she had been too scared to ever tell anyone. From there I found other friends had gone through it who gave me the strength to try it as well, and they even offered to give me shots when we realized needles made my husband physically ill.

    We were very lucky to have quick success through IVF, but it was a long stressful terrible road to get there, one that I never thought I’d go down (we had a 3.5 year old who we learned later was a miracle pregnancy). It took my husband and I down to our lowest low in our marriage, but on the day we were at our worst, staring at IVF vs adoption papers ready to give up and honestly almost divorce after a nasty fight (which, WHY ARE THEY ALL SO STUPIDLY EXPENSIVE?? 20-40K for adoption and 12-15K for a round of IVF. Stupid.) Anyway a good guy friend called my husband that day to open up about him and his wife’s IVF journey. Without them, we’d still be fighting and who knows where. So open up, and if you’ve been through it, you can be a lifesaver to another couple.

    Best of luck to anyone struggling, you are not alone. <3

  52. Corinne says...

    Thank you for writing this post and for everyone sharing their journeys in the comment section. <3

    I actually have a 3 y.o at home but in the past year, suffered two miscarriages. I always thought that after one successful pregnancy I was in the clear but clearly I was wrong. 2016 was a challenging year. I am currently going through IVF and my retrieval is scheduled for this weekend. It can be so hard to keep the faith but reading all of your stories really helps! Thank you!

    • Eleanor says...

      Best of luck to you! I also have a 3.5 year old and (very cautiously saying) I am 6 weeks pregnant after IVF. It can be terribly challenging in so many ways but I hope you find some peace and joy very soon.

    • Corinne says...

      Good luck Eleanor! I’ll be sending prayers your way. Thanks for sharing :)

  53. Carly says...

    I discovered Matt and Doree’s podcast in January, right when I was starting IVF myself. This morning, on my way to my monitoring appointment at 6AM, the first thing I did was load up the episode they posted last night! It’s like chatting with friends. I am truly grateful to them for providing a realistic, honest, light-hearted but never glib account of their experience, which resonates so incredibly with me. I am so happy to see them featured here!

    Thank you to the CoJ team, and to Matt and Doree!

  54. Meg says...

    Hi Joanna – I experienced secondary infertility, age related, and my 2nd husband and I went through every possible option/disappointment (IVF, miscarriage, horrible adoption attempts, etc.) for about 3 years before choosing to use an egg donor. I had huge misgivings, lots of shame/embarrassment and then I got over myself, and ultimately had an incredible baby girl, at age 47. She is now 3 1/2, and amazing in everyway. I believe with all my heart she was destined to be here. These days, I love telling people our story. I actually feel like it is my responsibility to do so given the pain that infertility causes and the lack of candid discussion. Medical science is awesome. So are leaps of faith, husbands who share your dreams and determination. If you are interested in more, I’m happy to share.

  55. Sandra says...

    It is so great to see infertility discussed more openly than it even was back when we were trying to have our now 6 y.o. I felt like I couldn’t talk to many people about our multiple pregnancy losses (6) before our son. Once I was out of work for a miscarriage and my boss decided (out of respect for my privacy) to tell people I’d been out with the flu. It felt so weird when I came back not to be able to acknowledge that I had gone through this huge loss.

    I don’t think I will listen to the podcast because I’m not sure I can revisit such a heartbreaking time in my life right now. For anyone still going through it, there is something on the other side of all of this. And acceptance of where you end up and making various decisions about how to proceed with our without children is all a process…I am still grieving because we weren’t able to have another child due to biology and financial reasons, but it does get easier with time.

  56. Margaret says...

    Loved reading this. I’m 25 weeks along after one failed IVF and one successful FET. It took a lot of years and so many appointments and needles, and I can still hardly believe there’s really a baby kicking inside me. I’m so thankful for medical technology that makes this process possible, and for all the other people who make the process bearable!

  57. Sarah says...

    I’ve been avoiding the Motherhood Mondays posts as it can be too painful to see the joys and struggles of motherhood when it’s something I want so badly! We just finished our second round of IVF (unsuccessfully) and are figuring out our next steps. Thank you for sharing this important perspective on the blog. I will definitely check out the podcast!

    • M says...

      Best of luck on whatever you decide <3

  58. chloe says...

    I have so much sympathy for Doree & Matt, and everyone else dealing with infertility issues. I had a lot of anxiety with regards to my potential fertility amd I kept telling my fiancé that it could take months or even years to conceive. We’re lucky to live in Quebec, Canada, where the government covers a lot of the costs associated with IVF but even then it’s not a pleasing prospect. We ended up conceiving on the first try (!) and I feel so, so lucky that we did. My fiancé was like: “Told you!” I wish the best of luck to everyone trying.

  59. A says...

    We tried for three years to conceive. I then had some pretty nasty gynae surgery and we were just about to start IVF – the cycle before we began – when I got pregnant naturally.

    So I guess I’m the lucky person someone going through IVF doesn’t want to hear from – but I just wanted to chime in and talk about the issue of secrecy. I was so ashamed by my infertility. Ashamed and silent. I couldn’t talk about it to anyone. I barely even raised it with my mother – and even to voice it then was so painful, I could barely speak for sobbing. I didn’t avoid pregnant friends (that would have stopped it from being a secret) but I cried after seeing them and sometimes – often – felt like I resented them and their children.

    It was a toxic, devastating period in my life. So I am just so happy to see this wonderful couple breaking down those barriers, talking about this issue, making it okay to discuss, making it normal. If more people spoke about infertility, perhaps more of us would be prepared when it happens to us, and others would be gentler with those awful ‘when are you starting a family?’ questions. The internet is a great tool in that respect. And this blog in particular is wonderful – so thank you.

  60. Jessica says...

    8 years ago we had IVF twins after about three years of infertility but only one round of IVF. We had about the easiest IVF journey you can possibly have, and I wish it was like that for every one.

    My husband and I were kind of terrible about the inappropriate jokes both during and after the process. We liked to tell people that I got knocked up by the doctor while the nurse held my hand (I guess I looked terrified) and my husband sat out in the waiting room. The look on their faces isn’t worth the thousands of dollars we spent even with really good insurance, but it does go a long way. And of course, the twins were absolutely worth it. Good luck with everything!

    • Laura says...

      Haha my husband and I did the same through and after our IVF attempts -made terrible jokes- somehow made it easier. I would say to him “If it’s not yours it’s not my fault…actually, if it’s not mine it’s not my fault!”

  61. t says...

    I loved the advice to “keep the faith.” As I went through the emotional roller coaster of fertility treatment, IVF and miscarriage I somehow ended up watching Nanny Mcphee with my niece and one of Nanny Mcphee’s lessons is to have faith. I am a type a planner and an atheist so having faith is so out of the norm for me. I don’t know if it was the clear/simple message of a children’s movie but it sunk in and I just went with it. From that moment on I thought about nanny mcphee constantly as I was going through this struggle. It sounds so freakin’ weird to write this. I would stand on our brooklyn patio and shout at the top of my lungs “Oh nanny mcphee!!!!” (thank goodness it is NYC and nothing is considered weird). having faith gave me such a calming peace and got me through it.

    The other story I want to share is that after all the attempts and cost (100% out of pocket) and miscarriages, etc we decided to set a limit of one more transfer. We had three embryos left and begged the facility to transfer all three (two was their max). They didn’t want to do it because of likely complications from having multiples but we convinced them. We wound up with twins and I love our children more than anything but we were not at all prepared for having twins. We had limited support from family although they said they would help and we were not at all prepared for the strain of two babies at once. Our daughter was an extremely fussy baby which added to the stress. Were I to do it again I would only transfer one embryo at a time. Just our experience.

    I never knew there is a stigma around IVF nor did I experience one. I agree with speaking openly about it – that always destigmatizes things. Good luck to everyone going through this adventure. And keep the faith!

  62. Jessica says...

    I’m overwhelmed by this post, what a great story and so powerfull to see the comments below, besides the distance I can tell we are many on this infertility road and we are not alone. Thank you, thank you Cup of Jo dor this amanzing honest talks. ♥♥

  63. Cynthia says...

    When I was trying to get pregnant in the early 80’s, the first IVF baby was born, so it was a very new and very, very, expensive procedure. We decided that if we could have a baby of our own, we would, if we couldn’t, we would look into adoption. I did not have this overwhelming urge to get pregnant, and we decided together to have children. I was blessed to have 2 textbook pregnancies and 2 beautiful daughters. I think it is wonderful that this couple is sharing their experience, so they are letting others in the same situation know that they are not alone. Thanks to Cup of Jo for all the informative posts.

  64. Annika says...

    Thanks for this! My husband and I are definitely going to listen. The Dr.’s told us we couldn’t get pregnant, but we had one miracle baby. She is almost 6 now and we are considering IVF for the second, but to be honest I am terrified. Hopefully the podcast will help me understand the good and bad parts that you don’t learn in a consultation visit to the clinic!

    • Eleanor says...

      I have a 3.5 year old miracle and just did IVF to get pregnant with number 2. Never in a million years did I think I’d be here but… it wasn’t that bad. I felt so badass giving myself shots, egg retrieval day was an excuse to lounge, and then bam if things go well there’s an embryo in you. My husband and I dealt with infertility terribly up until deciding to do this, then it was like a weight was lifted. We looked at adoption too and started paperwork for that but cost and time veered us to IVF. Good luck in whatever you decide!

  65. Erin says...

    Thanks for including IVF as part of your motherhood posts! I am a pediatrician with now 4 year old IVF twins. Five years ago, it was challenging for me to experience infertility while also happily caring for families who were welcoming newborns into their lives. This article reminds me to continue to be incredibly grateful for my 2 amazing, healthy children and give them extra hugs today.

  66. Susan says...

    We had secondary infertility and with 3 procedures to clean up scar tissue, one tube still completely blocked, and the eggs of a 48 year old, our little ivf dude will be 8 weeks this Wednesday <3

    Good luck to everyone trying no matter how you make your family is the perfect way to do it.

  67. Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea that the treatments were so expensive!

  68. Emily says...

    Thank you for sharing this story. This topic is so incredibly important to talk about. Kudos to Doree and Matt for creating a forum where people can go to feel a sense of connection to others who are going through this . All the best to you, Dorree and Matt. When you finally meet your baby whether you use a donor egg, adopt or conceive on your own – it really is worth all the bumps you have had along your journey to parenthood.

  69. Elizabeth says...

    Doree and Matt,
    I will keep you in my thoughts and hope the next cycle is will be the one. It took my husband and I over three years to conceive our twins through IVF and it was emotionally grueling. Many times I think people think if you are infertile you just do IVF and get pregnant right away and that is not always the case. Since going through this it’s made me a lot tougher than I thought I was. I went from being so squeamish with needles to injecting myself. People do not get the financial and emotional impact that it has on a marriage too. Thank you for bringing some awareness to the topic. I am going to check out your podcast tonight and wish you all the best.

  70. “When you hear someone else’s pregnancy news, it’s like when you’re seeing a friend Instagram from vacation and you’re in the middle of a 14-hour work day.”

    THIS.

  71. Without trying to sell myself or sound uncaring or a know-it-all (I hate when people leave comments that sound like “you’re doing it wrong; my way is best”), may I offer another holistic option for anyone having difficulty conceiving? It is a manual pelvic organ visceral manipulation called Mercier Therapy and has been shown to be 83% effective in achieving conception. Reproductive endocrinologists know reproductive endocrinology and use RE to solve fertility problems, so they are not often aware of other options that are less invasive. Manual work for fertility problems is a newer procedure and one being investigated by physical therapists and naturopathic doctors. I am happy to provide information to anyone who is interested.

  72. Brianna says...

    As someone who has chosen singledom and non-parenthood, I can’t even fathom what Matt and Doree are going through, but my heart goes out to them. It’s clear from the way Matt talks that he loves his wife and wants nothing more than to be a dad. I hope they have success soon!

  73. Kathy says...

    Ah, thank you so much for this post. I already started listening to the podcast. My husband has a genetic disorder so we have been trying IVF with genetic testing for a few years now. We have done 3 egg retrievals resulting in only 5 total healthy embryos. We are about to start on our last transfer (we decided that our last retrieval would be the final one). Between the financial and emotional toll it has taken, we knew we couldn’t handle any more rounds. Luckily we have the option of trying naturally (with the obvious risk of passing the disorder along) but it breaks my heart to know that for so many women this is it. Adoption is also something we talked about and isn’t off the table, but that is also a very lengthy and costly road. After struggling for years, I can’t imagine jumping right into another roller coaster process like that. I know that one day we will be parents, and it will be worth the wait! Hugs and happy thoughts to everyone in the same boat!

  74. Jane says...

    Thanks so much for this post. It feels incredibly timely for me as I just started my prep-month for my first IVF cycle. It’s a long and lonely road so I’m grateful for stories like this that help women to feel less alone and outnumbered in their struggles with infertility.
    I told my therapist that I wish mothers who had fertility issues but now have babies could wear a sign on their foreheads revealing that “hey, it wasn’t easy!” to let all of us aspiring mom’s know, and she said “they don’t have to! Just look for the twins!”
    With what feels like a million weekly social media baby announcements, the reality is that 1/8 couples struggle with making a baby; it’s about time that we talk about it.
    Fingers crossed that the treatment works for us all <3

    • Laura says...

      Best of luck to you. It really isn’t easy.

  75. Tracy says...

    I have been enjoying this blog for many years now and this was a post that really hit home for me. My husband and I just recently went through IVF and PGD (genetic testing of embryos) to eliminate the chances of carrying on PKD (polycystic kidney disease), which runs in his family. The process was definitely not easy, but we were very open with talking about our journey with family and friends, which helped a lot. Doree really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the “mechanics” of everything. You’re so wrapped up in the science behind it – the baby seems like a far away, abstract thing. We’re due in July and grateful that our child will have a chance at a healthy life.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Doree and Matt. Wishing you the very best!!

  76. Lara says...

    This was such an amazing read! As someone in the medical community and with several friends who have gone through IVF, I often struggle to find the balance of expressing caring but not being overbearing. OR expressing my own pregnancy news in a sensitive way. Love that they are making IVF a relatable experience for everyone.

  77. A in Tx says...

    Bravo to Doree and Matt and anyone else out there openly sharing their experiences! One of the hardest thing about going through fertility issues is the isolation because it seems like no one talks about it and it feels like no one else knows what it is like.

  78. Ling says...

    My husband & I just started down the path of IVF because my husband’s employer-sponsored health plan recently upgraded our coverage to include a lifetime max of $10k on fertility treatments. While that is generally great news, because YES, it is SO insanely expensive and every little bit helps, but OMG the calls with insurance??!! We are now viscerally aware of all that is wrong with healthcare in this country. No price transparency, no guarantees on what stuff costs until they bill you… so many head-banging moments. Because making a baby wasn’t already hard enough. It’s a total slap in the face. For the record, large portions of our treatment are still being paid out-of-pocket separate from the 10k coverage because once you mention you have insurance, every estimate you previously got gets inflated 2-3x so that pharmaceutical companies & medical facilities get more money.

    I’m happy for this couple to be able to talk about infertility openly and being so supportive of all who are going through similar struggles because there are so many facets to the infertility struggle that few understand. <3

  79. Janine says...

    Everyone’s journey to parenthood is different, and I don’t want to place more value on adoption than IVF, but this is a discussion my husband and I have had many times, and I wanted to offer my perspective. I’m adopted, and considering adoption, not just because of my origins, but because I, too, am having difficulty with infertility.

    My parents tried to get pregnant for a decade before adopting, and at that point they only had enough money left to adopt one child, not the multiple children they had hoped would make up their family. I often forget that I’m adopted, as it has little to no bearing on my life (except for not knowing about my biological family’s medical history). I have no frame of reference for how anyone else loves their biological parents because I only know the love I feel for my adoptive parents. I never think of them as my adoptive parents, they are the only parents I have ever known, and my love for them is deep, and real, and complicated, in a way that I imagine most people’s love for and relationship with their parents is.

    I encourage people considering IVF to also keep adoption in mind. There are many factors that make adoption impossible for some, and the experience can be daunting. It is often cost prohibitive (but usually not more so than several rounds of IVF), and the prospect of having a biological parent reclaim the child is terrifying (although this is rare). Despite these concerns, my husband and I have decided to pursue it if the time comes that we’ve exhausted our options and the next step is IVF.

    Adopting a child does not make you a saint. It’s not a selfless act that requires deep, extraordinary wells of love. DNA won’t matter when you’re up at night feeding and rocking your them back to sleep. You will be the only person they want when they’re sick, and the face they look for at after-school pickup. They will be yours, even if they started off as someone else’s.

    I wish everyone the best of luck on their journey to parenthood, and to remember that even though infertility sucks, it’s not necessarily the end of road.

    • Jules says...

      I understand you’re coming from a good place, and you put your story in such lovely words. But as someone who has struggled with infertility, and sister to a woman who never became pregnant after years of treatment, I have to point out that the “adoption is always an option” narrative is incredibly painful. We know adoption is an option, but the desire to have biological children is obviously strong enough for us to try these invasive and painful procedures. If adoption is the calling that a couple is meant to answer, they’ll come to it on their own.
      Again, I don’t mean to wag a finger at you in particular, I just remember hearing “you can always adopt!” while I was in the throes of treatment and it was easily the most painful experience of the entire ordeal.

    • Janine says...

      Jules, I’m so sorry for what’s undoubtedly been a difficult and trying experience. Of course, I didn’t mean to delegitimize any children born to couples through IVF, my larger point was not simply that “adoption is always an option,” my point was to not become preoccupied by biology. There are many ways to make a family, and a child that comes into your family is yours whether they grew inside your womb or inside your heart.

    • Andrea says...

      Thanks for your comments! It’s sad that your parents couldn’t afford to adopt more children, like they had hoped. I think it is hard for people to weigh options once they start down one path and spend more time, money and effort than they thought at the beginning. Taking one path can start to close off others.

    • I respect your experience, but as someone dealing with infertility and currently going through IVF now is not the time to be pitching me on adoption. We live in a society that places way too many expectations on women’s bodies, and part of why I have not been open about IVF is I frankly didn’t feel like having to defend that choice against the deluge of well meaning people who almost immediately ask why I don’t just adopt instead. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of how or why I chose the path that is right for me. Unfortunately, so many people don’t respect that and it leads too many of us to do IVF in secret, isolated from the support we critically need. IVF patients experience similar levels of stress and depression to people suffering from cancer and other illnesses. We’re struggling with incredibly emotional, private decisions about our lives, our partnerships, and our families.

      I know your comment comes from a place of love, and maybe if IVF doesn’t work out for us adoption is something we can consider down the line, but for those of us struggling with IVF it can be incredibly exhausting to constantly be questioned and given advice by people who haven’t been through this. Just say, “I hope that this works out for you.”

      Also, even adoption agencies typically request that anyone going through IVF wait a minimum of 12 months to start the adoption process. I find it ironic that the very agencies that want to place children are also the most respectful about this–let’s follow their lead. There’s a lot grief and emotional processing involved, and it’s important to set the adopted child and the couple up for success

    • Eleanor says...

      Both of my sisters were adopted and when we had the paper work for IVF and adoption in front of us, it tore at me. We have one miracle child, and with my diagnosis (just a blocked tube) we were told all odds were for us to only need one round of IVF and heck we could even have more kids for next to nothing if we froze a few embryos.

      I understand what you’re saying and have said the same to others. We opted to do IVF and luckily had quick success. It’s shitty that NEITHER can be an option for many… 12-14K for IVF vs 20-40K for adoption (the prices I found at least). Makes infertility even more terrible than it already is.

    • Erin says...

      I’d also like to add that adoption often isn’t an option. I was diagnosed with cancer in my early twenties. My cancer was so advanced that I did not have the option of freezing my eggs to retain fertility and chemo and other treatments destroyed any chance I had at natural pregnancy. When I finished treatment we wanted a family right away and we looked into adoption first. But because of my cancer no adoption agency would work with us. We talked to 14 agencies and the best answer we got was try again once you’ve been cancer free for 5-10 years. I am currently pregnant with my second IVF baby and I wouldn’t trade my children for anything. But please be mindful that for many IVF isn’t the first choice and many of us would love a chance to adopt. Just like everything else involved with women’s healthcare and women’s bodies so many of our choices are often shamed and impeded and made to feel wrong. Let’s celebrate all children and all ways families are formed.

    • Rashmi.k says...

      I completely agree. My sister in law is an adopted kid and she is loved just as much as my husband; maybe a teeny bit more as she is the youngest of that family.
      If a biological urge is so strong that people are willing to push their bodies and minds through such insane levels of torture, then it’s quite clearly a choice for them. It’s most certainly not comparable to cancer – no one CHOOSES to get cancer, people CHOOSE to do IVF. I don’t get why people would then talk of stigma and complain about not being able to get sympathy. It’s like I choose to take a vacation to the hinterland and complain about the discomfort. At the end of the day, it was clearly my choice. This is not at all the same as having a difficult pregnancy (my sister had 3 miscarriages and was left bed ridden after 2 of those). This is something that people in a calm and collected manner chose to endure. I wouldn’t be wasting my sympathy for this.

    • Lena says...

      My comment is for @Rashmi.K:
      You said: “It’s most certainly not comparable to cancer – no one CHOOSES to get cancer, people CHOOSE to do IVF. ” But that’s not accurate.

      No one chooses to be infertile. Yes, they may choose a specific treatment path – but it’s a treatment for an underlying problem, which is failure to conceive or carry a child.

      Your comment is an example of the stigma infertile couples feel they face – this idea that they’re somehow “choosing” this path, or that they’re the architects of their own misery.

      Imagine wanting something badly, but not being able to have it because your body cannot perform. Say you want to live another year and see your daughter’s seventh birthday, or your granddaughter’s first. If your body were to let you down, it would be a tragedy- if you lost your ability to walk, or you lost your ability to talk.

      The vast majority of infertile couples are young people just trying to start their families, to build their lives and move forward – it is a natural impulse to want to have and raise young with a mate.

      It is so sad to me that these couples receive so little sympathy – even empathy! – from people like you, who think that they’re making a “choice” to be disappointed. They’re just trying to figure out if they can make their bodies do what they want them to do, and using medical science to help.

    • Rashmi.k says...

      @Lena. You know what, I never actually thought of it that way. My humble apologies. Thank you for your beautifully worded response.

  80. I’m 3 days from delivering our IVF twins after 3 years of fertility treatments and two failed IVFs. Thank you for shedding more light on this difficult journey – I absolutely agree that community and being open about our struggles is what got us through. I have made so many connections with incredible people through sharing our story. I love the male perspective of your podcast as well; there are definitely fewer resources out there for male partners going through infertility. This has been the hardest 3 years of our lives, for sure, but I also wouldn’t trade all it has taught me about strength, patience, communication, and deep and honest love. I wish you both all the best ❤

    • Carrie says...

      Congratulations Kristin!

    • Bethann says...

      Congratulations Kristin and best of luck with the delivery. I somehow think that all the strength and patience you develop by living with infertility sets you up quite nicely for being an awesome mom to twins :) Wishing you the best in your journey as a mother of twinners! -mom to 3 yr old IVF twins

  81. I loved reading this. Though I can’t relate since I’m neither in a committed relationship nor ready to have children. I do know people who have been through IVF and some who have brought beautiful children in the world because of it. I really like their perspective though I imagine it’s still hard to talk about it!
    x Tali
    http://www.stylecheese.com

  82. Lucy says...

    Having gone through this process myself, for years, I discovered that the best thing for me was to talk about my IVF openly. It took me from feeling isolated and unusual to being part of a welcoming and supportive community. And yoga. Lots of yoga.

    This resource didn’t exist when I was going through the process, but I recommend it to those who are trying to find the right doctor, which can be overwhelming: https://www.fertilityiq.com/

  83. When my partner and I had been married only a year, we were that couple that got accidentally pregnant while our friends were struggling with infertility. I was really upset at being pregnant then as I was only 24 and we had been planning to wait a few more years. Shortly after we told them, they came by to drop something off, and she stayed in the car because she wasn’t ready to see me yet. I completely understood. I think we both felt really shitty about the situation and I remember wishing I could just transfer the pregnancy to her uterus. It was a rough time. We had that baby who of course we loved despite my initial misgivings and later another; they eventually adopted and then got pregnant with twins, so have three beautiful kids now. A happy ending, but there were a lot of complicated feelings up front, that’s for sure.

  84. Di says...

    Our last IUI/clomid/injectibles cycle worked before we were to move on to IVF, and reading this brought back vividly all the ups and downs. We now have two little ones (both born through exactly the same precise protocol) and I thank my stars every day that they are in our lives. I think those of us who have worked extra hard to make our miracles are all that more thankful for them. I wish you luck and good news soon.

  85. mt says...

    These guys are freakin’ awesome! You got to be seriously brave to talk openly about something so important and hard, but where you don’t know if it will work. Their openness is a massive gift to so many people struggling silently. Kudos Doree and Matt – I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed for you!!

    Hey, Cup of Jo – I love love love your blog! Thanks for making it! This is a half-formed idea, but it would be really cool to hear from even more people in positions we don’t talk about. For instance, I’m single, and when I read stuff about parenting, even though I’m crazy happy for people, some small part of me thinks sadly that I wished I even had a partner to be going through problems with. I know that’s silly, but, it does make me think that I’d love to hear from single people, people who never got to have kids, older people too (seems like they get forgotten sometimes in diversity kicks). Basically, I’d love to hear from more people going through stuff that sucks! Haha

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Great idea, MT, thank you so much for your feedback!

    • Carrie says...

      I agree with you MT. One thing I’d really love so much to read about is couples who disagree on when/if they want to have children.

    • MEL says...

      MT—just wanted you to know you’re not the only one who feels that way. I’m getting ready for my first IUI in April to (hopefully!) have a baby on my own; I’m almost 35 and done with waiting. I get jealous of the women in the doctor’s office with supportive partners, but this is my path and I’m excited about it.

    • L.M. says...

      Yes, I agree. Also, dealing with health problems or losing parents/a partner at a relatively young age. This is a lovely post (of course!) and I know Cup of Jo would do right by other similarly sensitive topics as well.

  86. Sharon says...

    I literally came online to google “best IVF discussion forums”, got distracted by my usual first stop (i.e. you guys), and then there was this. AMAZING timing, thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow, that’s awesome. thank you!

  87. Brandy T says...

    Reading this, it felt like our own story poured out on the page. Always so comforting to remember we’re not alone, thanks for sharing this journey with us.

  88. Lisa says...

    Three failed IVF cycles made me realize that what I really wanted was to be a mother, and it didn’t matter to me HOW I got there. My husband and I adopted a baby! I saw him born and cut the cord. He is 13 now and I can’t believe that I did’t give birth to him. He is SO wonderful!!!

    • Elle says...

      That is lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  89. Emma says...

    I love this! Especially having a man be so open and supportive not only of his partner’s journey but of other men too- there’s such a huge disparity between what men and women physically experience through the birth process, it’s so essential for the non-carrying partner to be aware of that.

    One thought though- I have many friends who went through massive struggles to get pregnant and during that time they avoided all friends who were pregnant or had children. Then, once pregnant or once the baby was born they suffered dramatic pregnancy depression/PPD and sometimes felt isolated and guilty because the baby was so wanted. I think part of the problem is that no matter what stage of parent/non-parent you are, isolating yourself from the “other side” can lead to feeling a lack of communal knowledge and support. For example, I had both hypermesis gravidum and a child with a severe tongue tie which lead to breastfeeding issues. Before becoming pregnant, I’d never heard of either thing and had never actually seen someone breastfeed. I was so focused on my stage in the conception game that when the next step came I was unprepared and lacked support that I could have spent time cultivating. Anyway, my point is, it takes a village- every step of the way and I totally understand needing a break from babies/pregnant people, I would advise against making a habit of staying away because if your goal is to parent, you’re going to need those people and they are going to need you!

    • Cara says...

      This is a great perspective and so true! I think this can be used and applied to any aspect of life at this weird age of adulthood (a friend getting a promotion but you are unhappy with your job situation, a friend getting engaged but you are single and lonely, etc).

    • Sandhya Subramanian says...

      Just wanted to chime in with complete agreement. I had three miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy and went through three rounds of egg retrieval (banking for a frozen transfer since I was a poor responder) when I got pregnant again and miraculously, this time it stuck. I was so anxious during my whole pregnancy about miscarriage, stillbirth et al that I refused to make any plans for actual parenthood and almost forbade our husband even to set up the rudimentary furniture we would need — and then of course our son arrived two weeks early and I was reduced to picking up any baby supplies and clothing that weren’t nailed down at the hospital so that he would have some vestigial garments, diapers, etc. since we had NOTHING at home. I would also add, though, that since each stage of parenthood is so different and unpredictable — and somehow it all gets completely eliminated from your memories in a MIB-like erasure as soon as it’s over — it’s hard to figure out too much in advance. We just ask our friends with children who are a bit older than us and are total free riders. ;)

    • Ramona says...

      It’s great that these people are showing how you could talk openly and honestly about IVF with others. Someone in my family married a little later in life and while I know that she wanted children and it is clear that she is still working through the reality that she probably won’t have any, what I didn’t know until recently was that after a series of miscarriages she and her husband tried IVF once but then had to stop because they couldn’t afford to keep going. It makes me so sad, because I know that if we’d known at the time our extended family and friends would have come up with the money to get them through another round or two. I’d imagine that it was just really hard to talk about, and there was probably a lot of fear that we wouldn’t understand, or that we’d ask too many questions, or that we’d increase the sense of pressure to get pregnant.

  90. Melissa Capaldi says...

    Thank you for sharing and being so open. Best of luck to you, Doree and Matt! You will make great parents.

  91. Jenna says...

    4 rounds, 3 heartbreaking disappointments, 2 miscarriages, 1 hard decision to use an egg donor and finally we had our miracle babe! Best decision I’ve ever made. Keep it up. It. Will. Happen.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations, jenna, that’s wonderful.

    • Alexandra says...

      Jenna-
      how did you come around to the idea of using an egg donor? Me – 1 termination for medical reasons, 2 miscarriages, 2 failed ivf-cycles (each only yielded one embryo with abnormal results) – facing decision to stop and let it go (we already have a wonderful 4year-old) or use egg donor. My husband is ok with it – I’m struggling really hard with this…I’m 42 – so running out of time… Thanks!

    • JenMarie says...

      Alexandra,
      We had a very similar situation to Jenna. Actually did multiple rounds of IVF (and had one miscarriage). My husband was completely open to using an egg donor but it took me a while to feel ready to give up on the idea of having a child that was biologically connected to me. We saw a really amazing fertility therapist who help me walk through some of my issues (Would I feel jealous that somewhere out there was my child’s “real” mom? Would I freak out when the kid was bad and think the donor must have been a dud? Would I feel less connected?) The therapist also helped with the idea that it was OK and even important to mourn the fact that I couldn’t have a child the way I thought I would before I moved on to plan b (or c or d). That helped me a lot. We ended up using an anonymous donor, matched to us through our fertility clinic. And we now have the absolute best 5-year-old on the planet. Good GOD I love this kid. We talk to him about how he got here — we want him to feel proud of it. And when I think of the donor it is with tremendous love and gratitude. Somewhere out there is another member of the team who helped make this extraordinary kid. Absolute best decision I’ve ever made.

    • JenMarie says...

      Also, on a lighter note: one day we were at a picnic and the group included 1 donor kid, 1 open adoption kid, 1 sperm donor / single mom kid. All us parents started joking that, when our kids get older, they will come home from school and say something like, “Today I learned that Timmy’s parents had him by having SEX. That’s so weird!” And we will say, “You know, sex kids are just like you and your friends. You shouldn’t treat them any differently…”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is awesome, jenmarie!

    • Jenna says...

      Alexandra, ugh I’m so sorry you’re going through this. For us, it was after our first IVF round with my eggs. I have a very low AMH level which means that I don’t have that many eggs and it also correlates to the quality as well. My doctor said to try one round with my eggs and if it doesn’t work then we should consider an egg donor. She said I would regret it if we at least didn’t try but warned us that it probably wouldn’t work. Well it didn’t. It was heartbreaking. We actually had 6 embryos that were doing very well and then about 3 days out from our transfer 3 dropped off and then the day of the transfer the embryologist came in and told us that they didn’t make it over night. I remember crying in the room for hours. The office was incredible and just let us stay in the room and cry it out. After that, I didn’t even think to use my eggs again and about a week later I was looking at potential egg donors. It’s like online dating! you just type in what you’re looking for and a pool of girls come up. I started with what I look like, blonde hair and green eyes. Not very many matches. Then I tried blonde hair, blue eyes. Still nothing. We ended up with a girl that had hazel eyes and brown hair who is Greek! I wanted to use a proven donor and the girl we chose had done it 4 other times (which means my daughter has half siblings out there somewhere). She charged $10,000 for being a proven donor which was totally fine with us. Not only that, the egg donor coordinator told us that this girl was amazing. They absolutely loved working with her. Some of the girls are so irresponsible and the nurses actually have to go to their house and inject them and call to remind them about injections and appointments. No thank you! We got very lucky! She gave us over 25 eggs, 20 of them were fertilized with my husbands sperm and they all pretty much made it for a blastocyst transfer. Again very lucky! But then, our first fresh transfer resulted in a chemical pregnancy and I miscarried. Our second transfer we transferred 3 grade a frozen embryos and none of them took. It was awful. Finally on our third my doctor threw in the kitchen sink. We did everything. I had my acupuncturist come in for my transfer, we did embryo glue, we did 2 other things that I can’t even remember and then I did 6 intralipid transfusions. They would hook me up to an IV and pump a highly calorific mixture of natural fats. Crazy! But it worked! That is how bad I wanted this to work and I was willing to do anything to make it happen. Now on April 19th we will be celebrating our baby girl turning 3! I started telling her her story right away. She was born a couple days before Easter so she has a special egg that we put special things in. We read lots and lots of books about being an egg donor baby. I honestly don’t even think about it. She’s mine. I got to carry her and deliver her and I get to love her everyday for the rest of my life. Sorry this is so long! I really hope it helps with your decision! Good luck with your journey. Lots of love to you and your husband, Jenna if you have any other questions ask away!