Infertility Has Made Me Crazy—How About You?

By Meirav Zur

If infertility’s made you crazy, clap your hands! (CLAP! CLAP!)

If infertility’s made you crazy, clap your hands! (CLAP! CLAP!)

If infertility’s made you crazy, normal daily life is hazy,

And you are triggered alllll day-z, clap your hands (CLAP! CLAP!)

As if infertility wasn’t fun enough (having a deep relationship with Wanda, countless strangers peering into your vagina, and an emotional roller-coaster wilder than those available at any amusement park), there’s the bonus feature of infertility’s glowing effect of insanity. It’s a wonder that couples manage to navigate infertility at all while holding careers and attempting to maintain normal human connections with friends and family.

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I’ll put it out there, like an exposed hooha ready for some sort of exam/wanding/IUI-tube-insertion/egg-retrieval/embryo-transfer/what-has-NOT-been-jammed-in-or-pulled-out-of-there: everything infertility is quite maddening. Here’s why:

Disbelief

If you’re like me, you grew up learning all about how to AVOID pregnancy because it was definitely going to happen instantly at the slightest contact between female and male genitals (go ahead and flashback to your high school sex-ed/gym teacher).

It takes the fun out of sex

Once you’re actually ready to have children, it’s quite incomprehensible that “regular” sex doesn’t result in a baby. Enter “timed intercourse,” the game plan beloved by so many. I mean, who wouldn’t want to turn a natural, even primal need or act of love into a boxed-in timed and planned activity reduced to a highlighted spot on a confusing chart or color-coded calendar with alarms?

Being poked and prodded in every direction

And no, I’m not just talking about blood tests. Did I mention the numerous eyes and hands and props that enter the woman’s vagina, which can make a girl feel like a disconnected slab of meat? Don’t worry guys, you also get to feel a tiny bit of lovely awkwardness when you have to provide semen samples. But at least you usually get some privacy.

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Hormones!

Just in case everything else wasn’t enough, women going through fertility treatments get to have extra insanity injected directly into them in the form of hormones. Think regular PMS mood swings turned hulk-PMS mood bungee jumps.

Emotions. Lots of emotions. 

Anger, sadness, frustration, fear, disgust, anxiety, depression, contempt, doubt, envy, embarrassment, grief, guilt, hatred, hope, hysteria, loneliness, paranoia, regret, shame, shock, isolation, rage….to name a few. FUN, right??

Everybody else

When I was going through infertility, my secret sauce was to fake it! I would put on that “everything’s-just-fine” face, and go head-on through people’s constant unsolicited advice, pregnancy announcements, baby showers, kid birthday party invites, and other lovely baby and family-related comments and events.

FPTSD

Yes, that’s right. Fertility Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After having gone through infertility and all it entails, it didn’t really end there for me. There’s always something that could trigger a memory or a feeling that would immediately bring me back to the infertility trenches. It’s nice and random, so I can’t even prepare for it—yay!

Let’s not forget the financial burden of treatments and other factors that add to the mental, physical, and emotional toll of infertility. But in a weird way, there is a bright side to the madness. As much as infertility can bring out your crazy side, it also brings out a lot of strength and self-awareness. I say this in retrospect—it took me a while to get there—but I did manage to find those kernels of brightness through all of the insanity.

Infertility’s made me crazy, I’ll clap my hands on that more than once. But I’m very thankful to have gotten to know many others who are clapping along with me. We are surrounded by wonder women.

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Meirav Zur is a mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, actress, producer, writer, and humorist, currently internationally raising awareness for infertility through humor with her live solo show Inconceivable: The Totally True One-Woman Semi-Fertile Quasi-"Musical" (currently running on Zoom) and its accompanying infertility humor online. Watch the trailer here.

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Twitter: @inconceivableSh