I’m infertile and it is my fault!

I have been feeling rather down lately. I haven’t quite managed to understand why just yet. Among other things, I think one of the reasons is that there have been many news of IVF working at the first shot lately. This is fantastic and I’m very happy for the now pregnant ladies. But seeing how they have managed to stay calm and properly prepare for it, I have started to feel horribly guilty about all I did wrong on my first IVF cycle and to think that it might have worked had I behaved differently.

I know this is not good but I can’t avoid feeling guilty and once the guilt starts it just becomes like a flood that I don’t know how to stop.

I feel guilty about all the energy I spent (and clearly still spend) being sad, depressed, in panic, worried, annoyed at other people, mad at my friends about all the stupid things they said to me… I really could have used that energy in a better and more constructive way…

I also wish I could have stayed calmer during IVF and when I found out about infertility. I’ve had so many moments of panic and I have been unable to pull myself together quickly. It took me over a year to decide to get on a diet. And that was after a year spent eating like a pig to cheer myself up after failed IVFs. I gained way more weight because of all chocolate and comfort food I had than because of the treatments.

I should have been more patient, looked for further information instead of jumping into the whole IVF adventure. But it was so exciting and seemed to be the quick and ultimate solution to all my problems. I should have googled and tried to better understand, looked at the issues, and success rates instead of trusting the doctor and her “of course it will work”. Had I taken my time to decide what to do I would have maybe found a better doctor who would have spared me a completely useless and painful first IVF cycle.

Then there is my job. If I had a less stressful job, maybe IVF would work. But instead I don’t take too much time off after transfers because I am terrified of being absent for too long. Every time I took time off for IVF there was an emergency at work. And instead of telling everyone to deal with it without me, I stressed like crazy and tried to help. I also stress out a lot in trying to balance work with medical appointments, running around from one place to the other. Would it be easier to get pregnant if I had a stress-free job and lived in the countryside? My first gynecologist told me for years that I would not get my period if I didn’t change my life style. He never mentioned PCOS to me. He just said it was my fault because of my life style. Somehow this got well encrypted in my mind. As much as a change in lifestyle meant nothing to me in high school, I do know what that means now…

And if I were overall a less complicated person? If I stressed less and took things more easily? Would that help IVF? We have a couple of friends who never worry about anything and everything always goes well for them. They started trying during a world tour, so they didn’t do all the check up tests I did. They didn’t worry about carrying backpacks, going hiking, catching planes or jumping while dancing etc. And yet they are about to have a child and we are not. Maybe that’s what is wrong with me. I worry too much. It’s my fault nothing works, and it is because I just try too hard.

I know if a friend told me all of this, I would find words to explain that none of us deserves to be infertile. Same as no one deserves to be sick. But I do feel guilty enough to believe I am the cause of my infertility. And I can’t manage to talk myself out of this.

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24 Responses to I’m infertile and it is my fault!

  1. I believe we can be and achieve anything we want. But remember, the only thing we can control is how we react. How we react to everything IS everything. You can react to your past by not blaming yourself and instead focus on the present and take steps to create the future you want.

  2. I have that same voice in my head, so I’d be a hypocrite if I told you “don’t be silly!” XO

    • kiftsgate says:

      As much as it’s good to realize mistakes and try to improve, this guilt feeling does no good. So, I very much hope that this voice goes away from both of our heads!!! xx

  3. E v e l y n says:

    I’ve often considered all the things I probably did wrong too that could have contributed to infertility too. We have to stop doing that. We aren’t infertile because of anything we’ve done. If that were true the earth would not have any humans left. Babies are concieved in the most terrible circumstances and they thrive.

    I find sometimes healthcare says things that suggest we are to blame because they can’t find another explanation. I know a lovely lady who has lung disease but has never smoked. I’d never consider she caused her own lung disease just like I’m not going to believe you caused your own infertility. Bad things just happen to good people. There is no explanation for it. You certainly aren’t to blame.

    • kiftsgate says:

      Thank you Evelyn!
      You are right. I know people even in real life that got pregnant even if they live unhealthy lives or were taking heavy meds and really not doing well.
      It’s actually true what you say about healthcare. This guilt feeling started when I went to see a doctor to try and solve a stress issue. He asked questions and made me feel guilty about the way I live (not stress free). And then it just got me thinking and all this got worse and worse..

      • I’m sending a gigantic hug your way. Another blogger going through IVF just posted about how her psychologist told her that studies have shown negative and positive emotions have zero impact on success rates. I’ve been debating going to see someone to help me with my stress issues too, but haven’t quite managed to muster up the courage/energy/time. I think it is a really positive move to make, but it sounds like the Dr. you saw maybe isn’t the right person to help you if he ended up making you feel guilty. Reading your blog posts, I have seen an intelligent and compassionate woman shine through. I’ve read how you have been extremely proactive for so many things during the IVF process and about the compassion you have managed to show to those around you. Having to deal with infertility is NOT your fault and each of us deals with this beast in the best way we can. Wish I was in Paris to take you out for drinks. xxx

        • kiftsgate says:

          Thanks for the hug and for the lovely message. I used to go see a therapist and I’m thinking I may go back since I’m struggling a bit lately. Alright, so maybe drinks when you come up to Paris next time 😉

  4. Elisha says:

    Oh girl you are NOT the cause of infertility. The Bible says that the devil lurks around to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10_. He is the one behind infertility. He is the one that places sickness and disease on us. But thank God the rest of that verse in John 10:10 says that Jesus gives us life abundantly. What the devil is meaning for your harm, will turn out for good. I’m praying for you to have peace about this and not feel the guilt. hugs!!


  5. Alex says:

    I swear, this post could’ve literally been written by me. Are you my long-lost twin or something?? I’m so sorry that you’re feeling down – I can totally relate. But please, please, don’t blame yourself!! There are a million and one reasons why a particular cycle or protocol might work for someone and not another person. I mean, I remember reading about a secondary IFer who went through a total of 10 IVF cycles – all paid for by the state she lived in – and came up BFN each time. In contrast, I’ve also read about women who were getting ready for their first cycle of IVF – and got pregnant naturally. There’s a happy story and an unhappy story for each set of variables. I know, believe me I KNOW, just how hard it is not to feel like a failure and to blame yourself. If only this, if only that. You want a do-over. You want to switch bodies or lives with someone who’s not struggling to conceive. All of those emotions are normal. I relate so much to what you wrote – the panic, the depression, all of it. I have days where I almost can’t breathe; moments where I get heart palpitations and have meltdowns that I can’t seem to stop. Sending you lots of hugs & love!!

  6. Holly E says:

    My little sister said something to me when I was having a really bad pity party kind of day. She said “You WILL be a mother one day, and that child will have a beautiful story to tell of just how much you tried to have him/her. It won’t be a story of a a drunken night, oops there’s baby. But one of a love so strong that you sacrificed your sanity just to get them here”

    It resonated strongly with me and I hope it does with you.

  7. jesselyn6585 says:

    i love you but I’m going to be kind of firm with you! This is not you fault…no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You cannot change the past so it does you no good to dwell on it. What you change is how you think today, which will lead to a better future…whichever way your path takes you. I know how hard it is to not blame yourself and think about all of the “if only”s. Remind yourself that it is not helpful to do so. Lean on your support system right now when you feel down. One thng that helped me is that I’d allow myself a short time (20 minutes or so) to be crabby and whiny, and all “woe-is-me”. Then when the timer went off, I had to change my attitude. I started making lists of productive things I could do going forward. Concentrate on what you can control…diet, exercise, meditation, etc. And if all else fails, know that we all love you and are in your corner. *big hug*

    • kiftsgate says:

      Fair enough. You are right that looking at the past won’t be of any use.. I have been continuing to do good things like dieting exercising etc, despite my grumpy and gloomy mood. I think I need to find something to cheer me up too now. Thanks for the push! Big hug!

  8. I think any time something doesn’t work out the way we want it to, we get a case of the “what if’s” and “I should have’s”. I know I’ve done it. But right now you are should-ing all over yourself! The truth is that we have very little control over our fertility. I made lots of mistakes on my first cycle, too. And my second cycle. And my third. It’s a lot of information, and hard to keep things straight! The good news is that I wasn’t the first person to use the wrong needles, or accidentally shoot an entire week’s supply of HGH at once. I wonder if it’s just easier to blame ourselves than to accept that there is no rhyme or reason to this. Some people have success right away, and others have to try again and again. It sucks. (Especially being in the again and again group). But it isn’t our fault.

    It’s not your fault.

    Be as gentle with yourself as you can. Grieve as much as you need to. Get pissed off about how unfair it all is. Then take a deep breath and do the next right thing, whatever that is.


    • kiftsgate says:

      Thanks for the message. It does really suck being in the again and again group!!!! Can I please just change group now!?!?
      My next right thing is to go see a new acupuncturist on Monday. I have great expectations, so he better be good! 🙂

      • Awesome! My therapist is always talking about “self care,” and acupuncture has been a good way for me to relax and feel proactive at the same time. Guided meditation is good too! I have some fertility specific tracks from my doctor downloaded on my phone and have been listening every day. Hope you enjoy the needles! xo

  9. Little Wife says:

    I think we all (or almost) fear to be responsible for all this mess, and it is probably more difficult when you don’t know what is your problem exactly.
    But remember what you told me last week, some girls manage to get pregnant even in the worst time. Don’t look behind, focus on the next try. First your appointment with numerobis, and then you will decide what comes next. You try hard because you are infertile, you are not infertile because you try too hard.

    • kiftsgate says:

      I like that! The “You try hard because you are infertile, you are not infertile because you try too hard”. Makes a lot of sense, thanks! The RDV with Numerobis cannot arrive soon enough!! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Trying to be positive | Today I hope

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