Six Degrees of (Infertility) Separation


With the stats being 1 in 6 couples suffering from infertility (in Canada), chances are nearly everyone knows someone affected. They just may not know it. As it is not something that is openly discussed (for the most part), many of us suffer in silence. Over time I have found many sisters in infertility, but you don’t always know it about someone right off the bat. 

This week I took Baby Girl to see my coworkers, and say goodbye to them as I am moving to a different office when I return to work next week. While chatting with my former cubicle buddy she divulged that her daughter is getting “her tubes flushed” (I’m guessing an HSG) and that her and her long term boyfriend have been trying for the past three years (unbeknownst to her). Her daughter is around 36 years old, I’ve met her on multiple occasions, but don’t know her well. My coworker has made mention to me multiple times that she wants a grand baby. She even used to sometimes make comments to me about having a baby. I can only imagine how she goes on to her daughter about giving her a grand baby. When she would mention it to me, I would caution her not to push. She didn’t know what I was going through, and even after I got pregnant I didn’t discuss how it came to be with any of my office mates.

When my coworker told me about her daughters troubles, I told her it had taken us a long time to get pregnant too, and that I had had the same procedure to check my tubes. Needless to say, she was surprised to hear it. She then went on to say that her daughter doesn’t want to do IVF, and I told her that was how we got pregnant, again very surprised. We didn’t get into it much more than that but I couldn’t stop thinking about her daughter after I left.

I emailed my coworker when I got home, and told her to please tell her daughter to email me if she wants to chat, and that going through this is very hard, isolating, and difficult to understand unless you’re in it. I’m sure her daughter wouldn’t be overly pleased that her mother was discussing her fertility with me, so my coworker may have been hesitant to pass my contact info on. But I hope she did, and I hope I hear from her. Though I’m on “the other side”, the pain is still real and I just want to hug her, and tell her it will be ok.