My Infertility Story

infertility story video

I was reading through some old diaries the other week (actually looking for some photos of my Dad, but that’s another matter) and I started to read through a few of my entries. I used to keep a daily journal – it was part of the preparation for my Masters degree – and I so I have a whole stack of Collins desk diaries, day-per-page, filled with line upon line of neat black writing. (Pen of choice: Bic Medium biro in black. There is no other that competes. Apart from when the pen starts to bobble and splot ink blobs onto the page, but that’s usually only after you’ve been going for an hour or so.)

Anyway, reading through my memoirs-to-be (ha!) it struck me that the whole trying for a baby episode of my life took up seven whole years. Seven. At the time, in my late twenties and early thirties, when I should really have been enjoying my social life and focusing on all of the amazing opportunities that were coming my way, all I could think about was having a baby and why it wasn’t happening for me.

Not that I’m trying to downplay the emotional hardship of trying – and failing – to conceive; it just suddenly hit home quite how soul-destroying and disruptive that part of my life was. Although thankfully, at the same time as manic-shagging and weeing on ovulation sticks like some sort of barmpot scientist, I was throwing myself into starting up and growing this website. A Model Recommends. Which was a brilliant distraction and I think that I would have driven myself crazy had I not been able to devote every waking hour (that I wasn’t straddling Mr AMR like a depraved lunatic – “IT’S TIME! IT’S THE RIGHT DAY!”) to doing something that I truly loved.

I was filled with a great sadness, actually, for the years that we kept on trying. It’s painful to think back on it but I tried not to dwell on the bad bits so that I could sensibly – and quite cheerily – film a video about it. Though it’s rather unstructured and more of a preliminary discussion than anything else – I’d welcome any questions so that I can make a follow-up version. The whole infertility subject is such a minefield; I almost don’t feel qualified to talk about it, or entitled to talk about it, because I have two beautiful children and – in the end – I didn’t have any sort of intervention or treatment. So was I infertile? Or was my body just biding its time? If I was infertile, how to explain the babies? There are many people with more poignant stories, who have tried for longer or had to face proper medical hurdles or, sadly, have been unsuccessful and I think it’s this that has put me off filming my own story for so long. But people ask, frequently, and if it helps just a few people to listen to my own ramblings on the matter then I’m glad. When I was struggling along, feeling alone and miserable, there weren’t really any stories out there – Youtube hadn’t quite hit its Peak Overshare Moment – and I do wish that there had been more things to read or watch.

So here – two videos. One about infertility, which strictly belongs on my baby and family blog, The Uphill, but has ended up here, and the other slightly more light-hearted but nevertheless related. It’s about my wedding rings and the reason I have two.

If you’re interested in baby and family videos, they are all on my separate Youtube channel, The Uphill, which is here.

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  1. Cassandra
    April 16, 2018 / 8:15 am

    So much of what you described resonated with me – certainly not the length of time it took, but the why not me. Miscarriage isn’t easy, but lonely and well meaning people really didn’t help. Anyway, I look back now with a beautiful 15 year old girl and am very grateful for the opportunity to be a mum.

  2. thespocat
    April 16, 2018 / 10:16 am

    I needed to hear this, especially this week, so thank you. I’ve been trying for five years in total. Our journey back in September ’16 sadly resulted in a miscarriage at 7 weeks and then six weeks later I fell pregnant again. I was so excited that things changed for us but that was not meant to be. I lost my dear baby girl at 36 weeks in June ’17. I nearly lost my life as a result as my body went into DIC after losing four litres of blood. It was the worst time of my life. After two months, we decided to pick up on the journey again and try to conceive. It still hasn’t happened and I’m heartbroken to say the least. This week we have our fertility appointment at the hospital so I’m hoping they can help. I have since found out I have a low AMH (3.6) so I’m a little scared about it all. No doubt grief is edging it’s way in there too. I’m hoping we have luck soon, that’s all I have to go on right now. xx

    • Martha
      April 19, 2018 / 8:23 am

      Just wanted to say how sorry I am to read this and how much I admire your bravery and courage for getting back on the horse (so to speak). There’s nothing that can make it better, but I hope that knowing there are others who share your experiences and pain at least means you don’t feel alone xxx

  3. Martha
    April 16, 2018 / 10:57 am

    This is lovely (if that’s the right word!?) thankyou so much for sharing the full story. It only (ha!) took me three years to have my baby (now six months old) but it was absolutely the worst time of my life. You described it so well about things being on hold – I didn’t feel like I could move forward with anything else and became more and more just sad all the time. I remember having a crap meeting at work and crying all the way home because I felt like I couldn’t do *anything* right.

    Anyway, I wanted to say thank you because your pregnancy and baby updates, ironically, were one of the things that got me through. I got pregnant the same month as you did with Ted, but I miscarried at 11 weeks. Weirdly, from then on I found all your posts even more important as they reminded me not only that there was still hope, but also why I was doing all of this in the first place – that at some point I would have a beautiful baby and it would all be worth it. And it was! x

  4. Anna
    April 16, 2018 / 11:55 am

    Yes please! I would love to see that checklist!
    And I have a question a – did you take hormonal stimulants to help you ovulate better?
    Thank you so much – this is very helpful!

  5. April 16, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I went through a period of trying and failing to conceive myself, not for seven, but for two years, and I remember it as a very sad period in my life. Just like you I have two beautiful children right now (and, unlike you, a new partner), but I remember just how lost and lonely I felt back then.

  6. Henriëtte
    April 16, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    Ruth I’m following you for a number of years know, and allthough I could be your mother (agewise), I really respect you and allways enjoy reading your blogs and looking at your vids. You make me laugh at times when you write something funny again (love your writing), but you’re also just a very nice person and because of your cosmetic ‘tips and tricks’ I discovered some great products.
    So, I just want to thank you for all ot that and I also was so happy for you at the time you were pregnant with (is that proper English?) Angelica, because that was such wonderfull news.
    I wish you all the best!

  7. Ekaterina
    April 16, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing this whole story, Ruth! It gives hope to so many of us in this (long) journey… <3

  8. Stacey
    April 16, 2018 / 8:32 pm

    Your first fertility journey post inspired me to try acupuncture when I was 3 years and 2 miscarriages into my journey. Like you I had rounds of tests and was weeks away from starting IVF when I found out I was pregnant again after 10 months of acupuncture – now I have a healthy 6 week old baby :-) your story convinced me not to give up trying after so much heartbreak x

  9. Allie
    April 16, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    You’re just so lovely! I just had to say that! Love your videos and your sense of humour! Thank you Xxx

  10. Sandie
    April 16, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing such personal and poignant stories, Ruth. I think it really does help to know that we’re not alone when facing the challenges, dilemmas and grief that we may encounter in our daily lives, and yes, infertility is such a negative label!
    PS Your Bulgari “wedding” ring is so gorgeous and fabulous!!

  11. April 17, 2018 / 11:07 am

    One of the things that plays on my mind as I get older is fertility and whether I’ll be able to have children. I feel like we should be able to get a free service that looks out for any problems that could stop me from getting pregnant. But as far as I know all these services cost a lot of money.

  12. evie p
    April 17, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    I haven’t quite solved my journey yet, but hopefully there will be a plus one here soon.
    One thing I should say is that I love your glasses: where did you get them from? They are the perfect shade for we blondes.

  13. Kelly
    April 17, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Thankyou for this, I think more people should talk more openly about infertility. I tried for 5 years, had various fibroid ops and descarring ops, 3 rounds of IVF only to be told I had less than 5% chance of conceiving. I was just about to start a cycle with a donor egg when i became pregnant! Unfortunately I lost him at 21 weeks but I became pregnant 4 months later and now have a daughter (with the help of medical interventions). I am nearly 42 and guess what, found out I am pregnant again this week. So much for the early menapause that the IVF clinic were adamant about. But I will not forget the endless months of waiting for the right timing and then the endless 2 week wait only for my period to start whilst crying at FB pregnancy announcements. This is why I would never post a baby announcement as I know how upsetting it is and you never know who is having difficulties. But I will always tell people never to give up hope.

  14. Rosie
    April 18, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    Gosh! That whole commonness of getting pregnant just as you are turning to or starting IVF is crazy! Perhaps you should put on your checklist – Book IVF appointment! I had just started IVF when I got pregnant – sadly I miscarried that baby. I did go on to have what I call ‘extreme’ IVF and I do have the most wonderful son who I love to pieces! I was a very late mum – 44yrs when I got pregnant. I had been with a partner who I loved very much but who gave me a right old run around over whether he did – ‘yes he did’ ‘no he didn’t’ want children. I had meant to leave when I was 40 but ill health in my family caused me to leave at 41, when I thought it was definitely too late to even get pregnant, let alone have the time to meet someone and get pregnant (I’ve never been one to charge headlong into relationships). Life can turnaround in an instance though and I met my partner a rather brazen two months later!! We started trying a year after and at 42 (wish we’d got straight on it but that’s hindsight…) I saw my GP who said at your age you need to go straight to IVF I will refer you, oh yes you are too old to have it on the NHS!! So started our (expensive) IVF journey. I got pregnant naturally after about 6 months of amazing acupuncture (and sex obviously!) and just after starting IVF but saw my subsequent miscarriage as further evidence my eggs were too old and the 3% chance I’d been given was true. I wish now I had seen it as evidence I could get pregnant and given it more time naturally. I think you have spoken previously about the huge amount of scaremongering that goes on and the pressure for women to think they have no chance of getting pregnant in their 40’s. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it until then but I would also say if that is the circumstance you find yourself in – give it a good go naturally. Thanks for such a warm and understanding video Ruth. So much more encouraging than a glossy beamingly upbeat – I got there, you can too piece!

  15. Marilyn Adams
    April 18, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    I actually have a wonderful daughter who is the same age as you Ruth and she has a little girl aged 3. It took us 5 very long years to conceive her, although we had a very early miscarriage before her. Our son was conceived the minute I stopped breastfeeding at 9 months! So we are very lucky and all I would say is I have never taken my children for granted and always felt so fortunate to have them. The thing about having to wait to have a baby is you always appreciate them so much more.

  16. April 19, 2018 / 4:11 am

    I think infertility is a topic that needs to be shared, but often isn’t. So many women struggle with this and it is such a stressful and depressing period for many.

    I suffer from PCOS and it took me almost two years to conceive naturally. I am very grateful to have two healthy girls now, but during that period I can remember hearing all of the pregnancy news from my friends and thinking “will that ever be me?” and then having to share in their happiness while fears of being childless lingered in the back of my mind.

    Definitely glad that period is over, although it’s important to remember because it reminds me of how lucky I am now.

    Angela | Blush & Pearls

  17. Phia
    April 25, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    I really needed to hear this. I am only 26, but have PCOS, I have previously miscarried twins 3 years ago and myself and my husband have been trying ever since. I have my ivf appointment booked for September and am trying the last ditch attempt on Clomiphene for the next three months. I recently had the hycosy Fallopian tube procedure and you summed up exactly how I have been feeling since. I feel that the want and yearn for a baby has taken over my entire life that I can’t focus on simple day to day tasks anymore. God knows the amount we have spent on pregnancy tests ..over £90 alone in February when mother nature changed my cycle up from 28 days always to 69 days. You described it so well about how everything else is on hold – this weekend was the turning point for me, after trying to be the saviour for everyone and suppressing my own feelings I finally fell apart and now the floodgates are open I can’t seem to stop crying and haven’t since Sunday. On top of the constant testing and probing, we sadly lost my mother in law 3 months ago at age 56 and I have never felt so low and down in my entire life but stories like this give me so much hope and to keep fighting, one day I know I will have my babies in my arms. ❤️

  18. Jo
    April 25, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Following my own experience I’m studying for an MSc in nutrition with the aim of helping women with fertility issues. Your story has inspired me to keep going whilst in the depths of biochemistry studies, (which is as joyless as it sounds!).

  19. Ina
    April 30, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Thank you so so mich for Four open words Ruth!I found comfort in your words and it is kind of crazy to finally feel that there are people who understand how it feels like to wait and wait asking yourself if you will ever be pregnant at all.We lost our first baby at 13 weeks pregnant last April…a year has passed without a new pregnancy…it is 100 % for me how you described the “waiting game”…somehow my life is on hold…it feels like a big dramatic desaster. So to answer your question:Yes,please write that list. And please keep writing your fabulous blogs (both of them)!

  20. Danni
    May 3, 2018 / 7:18 am

    Hi Ruth – thanks for being your wonderful self, as ever!

    I have a question for your follow up :) Though not specifically related to fertility, I think you may have a good perspective on this: Obviously the circumstances forced your hand in this regard but it would be interesting to know your thoughts now on being a new parent starting later, say mid-thirties. Do you feel being older has influenced your approach to parenting?

    Thanks!! Much love, xxxxx

  21. Tab
    May 3, 2018 / 9:10 am

    Thank you for telling your story. You have been very honest and helpful. I am struggling to get pregnant and your point about the ovulation sticks and missing when you ovulate really hit home with me. Please do a blog post or video about a checklist as I would love hearing what you have to say.

  22. Sierra
    May 10, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    Thank you for your videos. How did you deal with the constant questioning of when you were going to have a family? Or tell people or not tell people?

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