Infertility Series | Ooh Baby Baby

When I decided that I wanted to do an infertility series, my cousin and his wife were some of the first people to come to mind. They have been blessed with an adorable little girl, but it took IVF and a lot of crazy miracles to get her here. Here is their story and some advice on what not to say to someone that doesn’t have as many kids as you think they should.

Written by Whitney Smith:  Jason asked if I would write a post in regards to infertility and things that are appropriate and what not to say to individuals, as well as some insight into our story.

Ooh Baby Baby…

Now this fertility game is different for everyone, but this is my take on the roller coaster (and abbreviated version) that Trevor and I experienced after 6 years of tests, procedures and several IVF’s.

Our initial hurdle was created when Trevor had surgery for a hernia around the age of 3 and was essentially given a vasectomy – which then 25 years later caused all of my planning to go out the window. Infertility happens to other people, but not me. I mean, right?

After Trevor and I had been married for a year or two we started getting the questions from friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances (that we all get) of “When are you going to have a baby? And, “Why don’t you have kids yet?” They may seem like relatively innocuous questions, but alas it can be as efficient as a slap to the face.

It took many tests (for both of us), time and money to find out that our only option to have biological children would be through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). IVF is an amazing process that is ridiculously expensive, exhausting, uncomfortable, and funny. Yes, funny. One of the funniest questions I have ever been asked was at my first transvaginal ultrasound, “Would you like to place the probe?…Or would you prefer that I do it?”…Um, you are the medical professional – let’s see if you can do it.

Our biggest obstacle initially was the cost. Who has $12,000-$15,000 to pay upfront for the possibility to maybe get pregnant? But miracles do indeed happen. With the generosity of strangers, our family, and our savings, we were ready to move forward and try. The next obstacle was obviously the emotional and then the physical toll. It started with a consultation, an initial medical evaluation and we were on our way. The doctors and staff are amazing, so thorough and genuine.

The initial round of IVF went well and I got pregnant, but unfortunately miscarried at around 8 weeks. To say we were devastated is a complete understatement. We had put so much into this effort. So much prayer, love, thought, time, money, and hope – and it all seemed wasted. We thought we had been tried and tested even before this. It was an awful time. Words of comfort were given by everyone around us, but most of these comments were (inadvertently) making things worse. Just a word of advice, when someone’s going through something like this, it doesn’t help to say “it just wasn’t meant to be” or “God has a plan, and it will work out in the end”, or “At least you can get pregnant.” All I could think was that I failed somehow and it was my fault. Why was this so hard for us? Why can the obviously pregnant, smoking, pajamas wearing lady get to have a baby? Why do they get to have their 3rd and 4th baby etc? It is a little like in Baby Mama where Tina Fey starts to see babies everywhere. It’s as if the world is trying to drive you insane.

We didn’t know what to do next and felt lost and alone. We looked into getting the adoption process started, but that is expensive as well and we all know that just because you want to adopt doesn’t mean you will be chosen. We didn’t know how we were going to be able to afford to try again or when we would be able to. Shortly after this I got a new job, which paid significantly more and had a lot more flexibility. I am still not sure how it happened, but 6 months after my miscarriage it was tax season and between our refund and my new job we had enough to pay for another IVF attempt. It still doesn’t make sense, but it worked out. We started this cycle very quickly in February 2011. They adjusted my doses this time and were able to get 14 eggs, 10 were fertilized, 2 were implanted and 4 embryos were frozen to use later.

Infertility Stories | The Modern Dad

Our “Worth the Wait” Baby: Bailey O’Quinn Smith

One of the most important things I have learned through our struggle with infertility is that you have to make the most of it and keep moving forward and find the humor – yes humor, where there might be none. Otherwise you will drive yourself even crazier. Also, I have found that I go through times where I am fine and then days where I get mad and bitter again. It is definitely easier now that we have our Miss Bailey, but the struggle is real and hard and continues every day. We recently went through 2 more IVF (frozen) cycles and neither of them worked. So we are unofficially officially done with IVF. We definitely can’t afford it now after spending nearly $40,000. Adoption isn’t off the table, and who knows what the future may bring. But for now we are ridiculously grateful for our little miracle.

Having said that, we all have our own trials and hardships in life and this happens to be one of ours. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mother and learn how fortunate I am. I never take for granted my Bailey – that doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated with her. She’s three and loud and opinionated like her mom, but I am always mindful of how blessed I am to have Bailey. Being a member of this fertility club has brought some extraordinary people into our lives that I might not have been fortunate to know otherwise. Things happen for a reason – I truly believe that. My faith in a higher power is also a huge comfort to me in my darker moments. Fake it till you make it.

Here are my words of advice:


  • Don’t ask people when they are having children. If they want to discuss it with you – they will.
  • Don’t tell someone that you understand unless you really do. There is something that bonds those of us with infertility issues together like a really sad, but funny and strong sorority. You can sympathize but you cannot understand unless you have been through it. And no offense, but 3 months of “trying” does not get you membership into the club.
  • Don’t tell someone to “Just Adopt”. There is no “Just Adopt”. It too is a difficult, expensive and emotional process.
  • Don’t tell someone that once they adopt they will just get pregnant. Yes we all know or have heard of a cousin or a friend of a friend or someone that this happened to, but that isn’t necessarily the case and when you say it – I want to punch you
  • Don’t keep happy baby news from me, but be aware of how you share it with me.
  • Be understanding and know that I might not go to every baby shower I am invited to.
  • I can be happy for you and sad for me at the same time.
  • If you ask a stupid question that isn’t any of your business – don’t be surprised if you get a snarky comment back.
  • Don’t give me advice on how to “do it” and yes I want to punch you.
  • Don’t tell me I am lucky that I can’t have kids. (It’s happened)
  • Don’t tell me that the miscarriage, etc. is a blessing.
  • Don’t tell me to get over it.
  • Don’t take your children for granted.


  • Do tell me that it sucks and isn’t fair.
  • Do tell me that I’m strong and loved.
  • Do tell me that you are sorry.
  • Do tell me that so and so’s baby isn’t cute.
  • Do let me cry when I need to.
  • Do let me be sad.
  • Do allow me to grieve on my timeline – not yours.
  • Do let me vent.
  • Do talk to me about normal stuff not just babies.
  • Do know that some days will be harder than others.

Here are a few classic exchanges I have either had with someone or ones that were recently shared with me.

“Why don’t you have children? Haven’t you been married a while?” – My response: “I really like sleeping in and I hear that kids can really mess with your sleep schedule.” Or “What if they are ugly?” or “travelling is so much easier without them…” I have found that saying things like this really shut people up quickly.

I had someone ask me once what they should do as they hadn’t gotten pregnant after a few months of trying. I suggested that if they were worried about it to go see a doctor and possibly get on some medication that might help. They then let me know they didn’t want to do anything “Unnatural”. Well then you can suck it – IVF isn’t unnatural – it’s a miracle and yes I almost punched her.

Recently someone went on and on about how they are so happy their child isn’t an only child and how awful that would be for them. I reminded them that I have one and might not be able to ever give Bailey siblings and gave them an opportunity to stop talking and yet they reiterated how awful being an only child is. Really?! Just stop talking! I can forgive people their ignorance and hurtful comments (mostly) but I can’t forget them – so mind what you say.

Guy: “Hey, I noticed the picture of Mary Poppins you posted on Facebook. I thought you had to like children to like Mary Poppins?”

Me: “Who says I don’t like children?”

Guy: “Well, I never see you post any pictures with children.”

Me: “That’s because I don’t have any.”

Guy: “Why don’t you have any?”

Me: “That’s not up to me.”

Guy: “Who is it up to?”

Me: “God.” (Mic drop)


Woman: “So, where are you guys with getting pregnant?”

Me: “Well, we’re going to try naturally for a bit, maybe a couple more IUI’s and then if those don’t take we’ll need to look into possibly trying IVF.”

Woman: “And there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.”

Me: “Um, I know.”

Woman: “How’s the baby making coming?”

Me: “Just still trying.”

Woman: “What you need to do is get some of Steve’s (my best friend’s husband) sperm in you. He’s got good baby making sperm.”
(What is it about fertility that people think they can offer a person sperm? This has happened to me and some of my friends)

Infertility Stories | The Modern Dad

*If anyone wants to talk further or find someone to vent to –please email me.