Struggling With Infertility? Ask This 3 Word Question

Struggling With Infertility? The 3 Word Question That Goes Sadly Unanswered

When you decide to seek fertility treatment, everyone under the sun has advice on which doctors to see, alternative medicine to incorporate, and every baby making success theory under the sun. Yet, not one article, doctor, friend, or otherwise is likely to ask the 3 word question that will define your journey and ensure your personal success no matter what the fertility gods toss in your path.


Before you blow this off as existential, inapplicable bullshit, I dare you to ask yourself the following question:

If you could minimize confusion, heartache, unnecessary expense, and damage to your relationship on your fertility journey, would you do it?

No brainer. Even if you are just starting down this path, you have undoubtedly heard the horror stories of struggling with infertility: overwhelm, searing heartache, mountains of expense, and relationships left in tatters. This doesn’t have to be you.

The fertility journey has a sneaky way of throwing freakout nasty grams in your direction when you are at your most vulnerable, guaranteed. Doing the work ahead of time to be clear about who you are in the context of what lies ahead is an ace up your sleeve.

Grab a piece of paper, a writing instrument, and let’s work. Ground rules? Write your truth. Don’t edit. Throw “shoulds” out the window. The only “right” answers are YOUR answers. It’s time to get real real!

Know Who You Are

1) Do You Know Why You Want Kids?

Instead of screaming DUH, and dismissing me as an idiot, think about this. Have you ached to be a parent since you were little? Is it the natural progression in your relationship (if you have a partner?) Do you feel pressure from your family? Is the truth that you could really do without them?

The answer to this question is your baseline. Decisions about how far you are willing to go, what resources you are willing to expend, and when you reach your finish line are so much easier if you are clear on this.

2) What Is Your Definition of Family?

Delighted about donor eggs? Awesomely ecstatic about adoption? Set on raising a child that shares your DNA? Is your mind open to just about anything that will put a baby in your arms?

Figuring this out on the fly is for amateurs. Explore how you feel about these possibilities. Educate yourself. Information gives you the power to be proactive and change course if you need to.

3) How Much Money Are You Really Willing To Spend?

Unless you have a bottomless bank account, money has a ruthless way of keeping things realer than real. Don’t put your financial future, relationship, or alternatives at risk because you were in fiscal fantasyland. Not sure where to begin? Start Here.

4) Where Is Your Treatment Finish Line?

In some ways the answer to this question is dictated by your response to question in #3, but maybe not. Your calculus could be event based, not dollar bound. No matter where you draw your line, you need to have one. 3 IUIs? 5 failed IVFs? Attempts with donor sperm or eggs? 1 baby? Turning 45?

Denial is a dangerous drug. For the love of you, your partner, and your sanity, give yourself permission to acknowledge you’ve done what you can. A finish line isn’t failure…it’s FREEDOM.

5) What If There Is No Baby?

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, Mother Nature will serve you a steaming turd sandwich on sliced sourdough and completely forget your side of fries. Face the dragon. You may come away a little singed, stinking of burnt hair, but you’ll live. How free and fearless would you feel on this journey knowing the answer to this question ahead of time?! Liberation lies in daring to answer “what ifs.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there” thinking is for the lazy. It’ll bite you in the ass precisely when you are smarting from fertility treatment’s fabulous gotchas. Let these questions be a starting point! No matter what, knowing who you are empowers you to:

  • Minimize debilitating doubt, since you know exactly what you value and where you are headed,
  • Protect yourself from avoidable heartache, since you’ve asked yourself the hard questions up front,
  • Respect your relationship, by revealing your truth, and
  • Avoid senselessly spending yourself into financial oblivion

There are absolutely no guarantees. Your real success will be defined by the grit you had to stay true to who you are. Baby or no baby, you are no one’s bitch.

Which One of These Questions Gave You The Most Heartburn?

Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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With Love and Respect,


© 2014 From Maybe To Baby

3 thoughts on “Struggling With Infertility? Ask This 3 Word Question”

    1. Hey Kristen! You are so brave. Daring to say what you said out loud takes guts. So many of us have suffered silently struggling with so many of the issues we face on this journey. Now is the time to start asking questions and creating a map for our journey. You and your husband have a great opportunity to “get real” about who you are on this path and develop a timeline or game plan that is a true reflection of who you are as a couple…not filled with “shoulds.”

  1. Wow, great thought provoking questions. We journeyed through years of this and now have 2 beautiful girls (adoption & fertility work). It’s hard to let go still and enjoy these amazing gifts without wanting more and stressing. Being in the present moment and being happy, content in and of itself… I guess I never really thought we would get this far and feel pressed for time. There are so many resources that women just don’t know about, until they do. But our experiences shape us and allow us to help each other.

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