Reblog – Start asking friends and family for support —

Day 4 of the Bloggers Unite Conference at!  I don’t know who this lunatic blogger is, she is harping on about something for infertility awareness week…..oh wait….it’s me! I’m excited to be part of the bloggers unite conference this year, and very grateful to Miss Conception for hosting it!

I discuss how we opened up to our friends and family about our infertility journey and yet had never actually asked for support from them.  I assumed I didn’t need it.  But I was wrong. People find it hard to know how to help their infertile loved ones, so if you ask, they will leap, I have no doubt about that as we have experienced.  I suggest ways you can ask for support from your friends and family.  You don’t need to be as open about your infertility journey as we have, but knowing when and how to ask for support will help get you through those tough days. Click the link below to read more!!!  XXX

Hi! My name is Dani. My husband, Chris and I, have been trying to conceive (TTC) since December 2013. We were diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility‘ in January 2015. I decided to blog about our journey of TTC as I quickly realised that talking to friends and family about our situation can be difficult. It can be hard for them to […]

… more of my blog post here via #niaw – Day 4, Bloggers Unite Conference – Start asking friends and family for support —


At least you know you can get pregnant

I think I’m quite a tough lady when it comes to receiving mis-informed and unintentionally hurtful infertility advice from the more fertile.  I experience it frequently because I am open about our infertility journey.  I forgive them because I know they don’t understand infertility as a disease and they only mean the best for me.  And I also know they couldn’t possibly truly understand how I feel because it has never happened to them.  Similarly like to people who have suffered from other diseases such as anorexia or depression or cancer, I don’t know what it is like or how it feels…I would never offer my uninformed opinion about treatment options or ways to overcome the symptoms of these diseases.  I won’t offer consolation that attempts to make them feel better about their disease.  Rather, I will offer my ear and my hand.

So why is infertility any different to any of these other diseases in how we talk to other people about them?  Why do so many bloggers end up writing about this struggle?  Is lack of education really the cause of this? May be other disease sufferers experience similar unhelpful comments too.  I really don’t know.

Have you seen that film about depression where friends and family offer their advice about depression, but the recipient of the advice is portrayed as a cancer sufferer?  The point of the video is that you wouldn’t say these things to someone who has cancer, so why would you say these things to people who have depression?  I think it is a great educational video (it’s at the end of this blog post if you want to see it).  Ultimately, I think there needs to be a film in a similar light about infertility.  I know there has been outrage on some forums of comparing infertility to cancer.  I understand that it is outrageous because people generally won’t die from infertility.  Comparing depression to cancer may also outrage many people as well…but depression can lead to suicide, it can kill too, but it is not a well understood.  So what is my point?  My point is that there are helpful things you can say to someone with infertility, and then there are unhelpful, even hurtful, things you can say to someone with infertility.

I have written about things that hurt, what to say, what not to say to someone with infertility many times before (ignorance is bliss, a voice of the child free family, Grow some thicker skin, you are so lucky you don’t have kids, Understanding: #YouAreNotAlone, Reblog from Que Milagro: Pardon Me While I burst into flames).  Today’s post adds to this list.  Today I am writing about one particular comment I have received multiple times since our loss from IVF cycle 1 from both fertile and infertile people:

“At least you know you can get pregnant”

I’m just going to put it out there straight away.  There is nothing consoling about this.

I get that there are many women who have never seen those two pink lines, me being one of them until our fist IVF cycle.  So I understand how hard it is to get negative after negative 25 times in a row.  But being pregnant  and losing a pregnancy is not consoling, knowing that I ‘did get pregnant’. I didn’t stay pregnant.  Maybe they would say “But it’s one step in the right direction”, yes perhaps, but it was then like ten steps back after our loss.

Would you say this to someone after they lost their baby during childbirth?  No.  Would you say this to someone who lost their baby in their third trimester? I doubt it.  Would you say this to someone who has suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss and miscarried 6 times? Definitely not. Would you say it to someone with secondary infertility? For goodness sake, NO.  So why does this need to ever be said at all?  It makes absolutely no sense at all and simply reminds me that we simply FAILED.

I am due to have my first beta test on Friday and in some ways, I am afraid of a positive than a negative.  Don’t get me wrong, I WANT A POSITIVE MORE THAN ANYTHING.  But I am afraid of when the positive comes, I know that even if this is my one successful pregnancy, my journey through the first trimester is going to be a psychological challenge.  If we ended up in a similar position to last time with a slow rising beta levels, pregnancy of unknown location suspected ectopic, yes it will be easier knowing the process the second time around, but it will be bloody damn hard to go through it all again.  And that is why I cannot accept the statement  “At least you know you can get pregnant” as consoling.


‘Tis the season…Pt 1.

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  True.  But my feelings can’t help but be a bit up-and-down like a see-saw.  So I decided to split my post into two.  Depending on how you are feeling this season, you may only want to read one or the other.  Maybe you feel a little bit like me, so read both!

Pt 1: ‘Tis the season to be jolly

Pt 2: ’tis the season to be not so jolly

Pt 1: ‘Tis the season to be jolly

I don’t know why I love the festive season.  Maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the gift giving/receiving, maybe it’s the family coming together or maybe it’s just that time when the year is coming to an end where you can draw a line under the past 12 months and feel excited to start afresh with the New Year.  Or, in my case, perhaps it’s because it is also my Birthday ;-p

This is the first Christmas we will spend in Virginia.  The first Christmas in the US we spent it in Vermont skiing, this is where we decided to make a go of becoming parents.  The second Christmas we returned back to the UK and rented a cottage so both our families could stay with us for the holidays.  This third Christmas is less exciting in comparison, we are staying put.  But this is exciting to me because I can finally buy Chris a gift that is bigger than my suitcase!!!

This past week has been filled with festivities abound.  Not just in the physical sense, but the emotional sense too.  Here is a summary of the amazingness (or jolly, if you like) that I have experienced so far:

1. Home made mince pies.  If you read one of my previous posts you will know that these are not easy to come by in the US.  I made Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess Cranberry studded mincemeat pies (recipe here).

mince pies.jpg

Home made Cranberry Studded Mincemeat star topped pies

My goodness, that pastry was so flaky and the mincemeat so juicy I couldn’t believe that I actually made them.  I shared them with some of my non-British colleagues at work who were intrigued as to what these ‘mincemeat pies’ were.  They didn’t spit it out in front of my face so that had to be a good thing 🙂

2. Decorating my house with a CHRISTMAS TREE!!!  The first time in the US!  OK so we still didn’t buy a real christmas tree, we wanted to see how our terrorquisitive cat Diesel would deal with one.  So we bought a small fake one.  He eats anything that has a dangly bit or rubber on it.  So far so good…everything remains in one piece and the tree still stands.

christmas tree.jpg

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

I also treated myself to one of those German wooden spinning pinwheels.  I have wanted one for aaaaages.  Every time I go to Germany I go to buy one and realise I don’t have enough room in my bags.  Plus they are quite expensive!


I don’t know why I love it so much!!!

When the lady at TJMaxx rung it up, she exclaimed -“$40 for that!!!!”, I pointed out that in Gemany these were usually over $100.  Anyway, I love it.

3. My first Resolve support group meeting.  Resolve is the US national infertility association and they provide various forms of support for people with infertility. I picked up a flyer from my clinic about this local Resolve monthly meeting about 8 months ago when we were going through our third IUI procedure.  I left it in my ‘to do’ pile of paper work and each month thought about going and never got round to it.  Finally I got round to it!!!  I am so pleased I did.  I met some lovely ladies who just get it.  It was good to talk, and good to listen to their stories too.  I will definitely be going again.

4. The #TTCMugExchange2015.  I participated in the Mug Exchange that Chelsea from Starbucks, Peace and Pursuit of a Baby organised.  This week I received my mug and a few extra lovely goodies!


I was spoilt with a box of goodies as well as a mug, cosy socks, an Irish Angel of Hope and a travel journal.

The mug I received was so beautiful.  Quite honestly, I think it is the best one I have seen 🙂


My exchange partner is a bright and bubbly girl from Northern Ireland, she was originally told she would have to do IVF privately but just found out that the NHS will do IUI, so she is preparing for her first treatment!!!  She doesn’t blog, but is on Instagram.  As a result I’ve taken to trying out Instagram you can follow me @thegreatpuddingclubhunt if you have an account!

5. Just feeling the love around me.  We have received lots of invites for Christmas day so we are not alone; we have received lots of cards sending us well wishes and Christmas pressies that now sit under our tree.  And sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference.  At a work gathering our big boss spoke about a whole bunch of work things and then he turned to talking about the holidays.  He pointed out that this is the time to look around at our neighbours and check they are doing OK.  The holiday season can be difficult for some people, and if we notice someone looking sad, down or simply stressed, take a minute to stop and ask “Are you doing OK?”  then listen.


Ignorance is Bliss

Has anyone ever said something to you along the lines of: “If you knew how much responsibility was involved in parenting you wouldn’t ache so much for a baby?” or worse, “Here, take my children then see if you still want a baby so much.”

People who say this to you most likely care for your well-being.  It’s kind of like your bestie asking you just before you walk down the aisle – “are you absolutely sure you want to do this??”.

Dani and Chris-165.jpg

My Bridesmaids asking me: “Now are you sure you want marry this man?!?”

But what these people do not realise is that their message also comes across that we are ignorant.

If anything, I am more certain of my future responsibilities because I have had much more time to think about them.  I am lucky in the sense that I have the time to prepare.  Some women may only have 9 months to prepare for their future responsibilities.

I understand that I will never fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until I become a parent myself.  But please, let me dream about it for now.

French women don’t get fat, even the pregnant ones

There is a saying that you won’t find a fat woman in Paris. In my two day work trip to Paris, it’s something I observed to be absolutely true. Even the pregnant ones are slim; they just have a big round protruding tummy, doing what it should do, providing a cosy home for a baby to grow and develop in – but not an ounce of fat to be seen. I want to know their secrets. I need to know their secrets! This got me thinking about jealousy and pregnant women.

The past week has been one of those weeks where I have met three pregnant women. It’s kind of like buses in London – you never just get one bus at a time, three always arrive together after you have been waiting an hour. I like talking to pregnant women about their experiences and how they feel because I like to hear it from the horse’s mouth what this pregnancy thing is going to be like! I can read all about it, but it’s so much more interesting listening to my pregnant friends and family. Sure, there is a part of me that feels a teeny bit sad that I’m not pregnant right now, but my feelings are far more consumed with excitement and nervousness about what is to come. If it is a close friend or family member who is pregnant, my excitement for them is a gazillion times more because at the end of their pregnancy a beautiful baby is born waiting to be loved and I want to share that love with them, I look forward to falling in love with them.

I read an interesting blog article about being a ‘child-full’ couple rather than a ‘child-less’ couple; parts of the article I related to for how I feel when I find out my close friends and family are pregnant. Whatever happens in the future, I want us to be a ‘child-full’ couple. But there is one difficulty I have when it comes to being around pregnant women. When it is an acquaintance or colleague who is pregnant I feel less inclined to be excited for them, and I find them hard to talk about their pregnancy.  My jealousy far outweighs my interest in their pregnancy and their baby. Wow, how mean does that sound? But it is the truth and this is how I honestly feel right now.

This week I found out a friend of ours was 22 weeks pregnant, we had not seen her since before Christmas, and she had not announced it officially, so it came as a surprise when she visited our house for dinner with a big bump!! When she pulled up in our drive in her new car, I joked that she must have some exciting news to tell us because she has bought a brand new ‘soccer mom car’. Quickly our other friend who was unaware that we did not know our friend was pregnant quickly updated us that she was having twins! And wham bam without any digestion of this awesome new news our friend walked in with a huge bump! Last time we saw her before Christmas she was pregnant, but not noticeably and obviously not sharing the news because it was her first trimester. I had a lot of happiness for her because we had talked before Christmas about her plans to expand their family (I must not have been reading the ‘I’m pregnant’ subtle signals back then!!!). Our friend explained her recent shock of discovering at 20 weeks that she was having twins, there had been no indication at her 10 week scan. What a big surprise!! I had a variety of feelings for her when she talked about her pregnancy so far – nervousness for her, twins are a risky business – excitement that she will have two adorable babies to love – fearful for her sanity and how she will manage if her husband is posted the other side of the country, – general happiness that her family plan as going, well, to plan! So this pregnant lady was news where my excitement far outweighed any jealousy I might have.

Later in that week my husband and I went for dinner round his friend’s house. I have met this couple only once before, they are more my husband’s friends than mine; I hear a lot about them and what they are up to, but personally I don’t really know them. They are currently 28 weeks pregnant with their second child. As we were driving to their house for dinner, Chris mentioned that he hadn’t told his friends about our fertility treatment, and he asked if I would be happy talking about it if it came up. I agreed that it was OK to talk about it if the conversation flowed to it. The evening was lovely, and as usual I took my opportunity to quiz them about their pregnancy experiences so far (I hope I didn’t come across as annoying asking questions!). Their 2 year old daughter spent most of her time in either Chris’s or my lap, wanting to play with us or just cuddle, she was an adorable friendly girl, a little cutie indeed. We had a fun evening, some interesting topics of conversation, lots of laughter and good food. But despite this, throughout the evening I realized that I still did not know this couple well enough to talk about any fertility treatment we were having – I thought it would be awkward, for me mostly, just because they are pregnant. So any topic that headed towards our plans of trying to conceive were vehemently steered away from (well I consciously did anyway, I haven’t spoken to Chris about that yet), it just didn’t feel right. However, as my second meeting with a pregnant lady in one week, with this pregnant lady I felt a little more jealousy brewing inside of me and I am not really sure why.

Travelling for work to Europe has its ups and downs

Travelling for work to Europe has its ups and downs

The third pregnant lady I met this week in Paris was my new colleague. A couple of days ago I wrote about how I had a dilemma about what to tell my new team (who I will be working with over the next 1.5 years) regarding my departure one day earlier than planned. My plans were amended after I found out my Cycle Day 11 ultrasound would be on the day of my return from Paris. After I wrote my blog, I spent the morning travelling from Charles De Gaul airport into Paris city centre plucking up the courage to be more bold and open about why I was going to leave a day early. My new team (a virtual team) were all relatively new acquaintances, so I was nervous, but had pretty much committed myself to being open. I had little to lose. But all of that went out the window when I arrived to discover that one of my new team members was pregnant. As I did not know the lady very well I did not want to create any awkward feelings within the team. Maybe it wouldn’t have been awkward, but I didn’t want to risk that with our new team going through the forming and storming stages of working together. I made my excuses and told the leader that I was very sorry to have to leave early for an unavoidable doctor’s appointment. He didn’t ask any more questions, thankfully, and all went well. With this pregnant lady I felt immense jealousy. When we went for lunch and sushi was suggested there was that moment when everyone cared and realized their error in suggesting sushi to a pregnant lady. I wanted that to be me. When she turned down wine at dinner. I wanted that to be me. When the next meeting was discussed to meet again in 6 months’ time. I wanted that to be me, saying I probably wouldn’t be able to make it because I would be busy with my new born baby. And it wasn’t me. Despite this jealousy, I do hope that someday soon I can share those moments and experiences with my new colleague because she is very nice and we have a lot in common. So I was not jealous of her, I just wanted it to be me, and I saw that this could be me in the not so far future. And that was kind of cool.

So let’s get this TTC show on the road, IUI #2 – tomorrow I get to find out how many follicles I have grown this cycle – and the best part is that Chris will be there this time at the ultrasound, I‘m very excited!

Ps.  If you ever go to Paris – the skinny women, the free flowing good wine, flaky, buttery pastries and creamy, chocolatey tartes, rich creamy sauces – this is no place for a lady on a diet (I’m not actually on a diet, but after the last couple of days I think I’m going to need to go on one!)