Everyone deals with not getting pregnant in different ways. Here, writer and administrator Lori LeRoy shares how she and her husband are coping with Living With Infertility. They’re a couple who focus on finding humor, researching unusual infertility stories, and writing about their struggles with getting pregnant. Lori shares about her book, whether she’s considering adopting, and her perspective of the lighter side of infertility.
“The way my husband and I have coped with all of this nonsense [four years of unsuccessful fertility treatments] is through humor,” says Lori. “Instead of shedding tears, we have decided laugh as much as possible – better for our moods and for our relationship.”
Lori LeRoy is a Public Relations and Marketing Director, infertility humor finder and aspiring author in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here’s how she’s coping with not getting pregnant; if you’re not dealing well with infertility, click Coping With Infertility: Clinically Proven Ways of Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster for help.
A Surprising Way One Woman is Coping With Four Years of Infertility
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen: How are you coping with infertility?
Lori LeRoy: As a woman with a gigantic set of birthing hips and two uteruses (I have a bicornuate uterus), I thought I’d have no problem conceiving. Adding insult to injury is the fact that my husband’s sperm count is off the charts. However, it’s been about four years of assisted and non-assisted trying to get pregnant and still no baby. The way my husband and I have coped with infertility is through humor. Instead of shedding tears, we have decided laugh as much as possible – it’s better for our moods and for our relationship. It’s probably not the method of choice for every couple coping with infertility (and we do still have our moments of sadness), but it’s helped us tremendously.
Are you considering adopting or fostering children?
Actually, we are in the process of adopting a baby boy from Vietnam, but unfortunately everything is on hold indefinitely due to some issues with the local government. We are also currently in the process of working with a gestational carrier. We have two embryos left (I have had 10 implanted over the course of a two-year period), and they clearly don’t want to “stick”, so a friend of our family has graciously offered to be our surrogate mother.
What are some examples of funny moments or the lighter side of infertility, from your own life?
There are so many… one of my favorites is the fact that my husband and one of his friends had a competition to see who had the higher sperm count – (only men could stoop this low, but I still thought it hilarious). Another is when I was waking up from an anesthesia-induced haze after my egg retrieval surgery. I kept loudly asking the nurse, Nick, my doctor how many eggs they got over and over again. Turns out it was a whopping 23! I then proceeded to ask them what the record at that hospital was (I guess the competition gene is in me, too). Proudly, I was only three shy of the hospital record.
What do you think individuals or couples should know about coping with infertility?
I think that you have to be realistic and if possible, look at the lighter side of things. There are many, many embarrassing and awkward moments when you’re going through infertility treatments, and many wacky suggestions from Web sites and friends.
The other bit of advice when you Living With Infertility is to be prepared for all of the advice and commentary from friends, family and even strangers. It’s smart to have a pat answer for the unsolicited questions about getting pregnant and offerings of advice when you’re coping with infertility. We’ve found that people are more than happy to say what they’d do in our situation, but until they’ve experienced infertility, they need to keep their mouths shut. Besides, we believe there’s no right or wrong way to build a family if you’re coping with infertility. It’s about whatever the couple is comfortable with and makes them happy.
What would surprise people to learn about coping with infertility as a couple?
The way my husband, Nick, and I look at it, is that we’ve grown closer as a couple, but maybe not in ways you’d expect. I mean, how many women can recite their husband’s sperm count number and how many men can say that they’ve given their wives a needle in the stomach? Truthfully, not getting pregnant can be an incredibly stressful time during a marriage, but keeping the lines of communication and giving each other the benefit of the doubt when you’re grumpy or sad makes a world of difference.
Thanks for your time, Lori – you’ve definitely shown us the lighter side of coping with infertility!