Sunday, June 03, 2007


It was recently Mother's Day. Congratulations to all the moms out there.

I think of all the different kinds of moms there are. There are the moms who are really into it, who read about kids while they are pregnant and know everything they are supposed to do. I think of the teenage single moms pregnant not by plan but by accident of passion. I think of drug using moms, who may love their kids but are simply unable to do right by them.

I think of stepmoms - boy, that's got to be one of the toughest jobs in the world. I think of moms of special needs kids. Although any mom's work is never done, that's especially true for moms of special needs children. I think of working moms, trying to do it all, or maybe shirking either their work or child rearing responsibilities. I think of moms whose husbands died young and had to raise multiple kids by themselves. (Rest in peace, Mom.)

But most of all, I think of three nurses in our unit who would like to be moms but cannot get pregnant. In their 30's, they have been trying for years to conceive, all the while watching babies born to some mothers who barely gave a second thought to getting pregnant. I don't know the details of their infertility, and I don't dare ask. It's such a private thing.

One Mother's Day morning I was leaving work when I saw one of the nurses with infertility problems by herself, and I said to her, "Darcy, I know Mother's Day might be hard for you, but I sure hope that by this time next year you can be a mom, too."

"Oh, I hope so too!" she said, with such earnestness that it showed the pain it must be for her. That was two years ago, and she is still childless. I really don't know what to say to her now.


Anonymous Julie said...

It's kind of you to think of them, and even kinder to acknowledge what they're going through. Thanks for this post. It's hard being infertile even under circumstances that are merely ordinarily challenging; I can't imagine what they go through every day.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell her to adopt!!! I really cant understand why people make such a big deal out of not being able to have a baby. It is not the end of the world and it is not your fault. There are so many beautiful children out there who have no parents. Reach out for them and adopt. I know I would.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I don't know what sort of medical infertility issues those nurses have, but I experienced secondary infertility. After a couple of years of not getting pregnant, I spent another 2 years working with 3 different physicians (including a reproductive endocrinologist) to figure out the problem. Seems I was an undiagnosed diabetic. Funny thing, my fasting blood sugars and assorted random sugars were NORMAL.

I had eaten cake before seeing doc #3 for the first time. I spilled a small amount of glucose in my urine (previous dips at the internist's office had all been negative). He had me check my urine at home. It was months before I spilled sugar again and was sent for a GTT.

Again, fasting sugar on the GTT was normal, but I had 3 readings above 180 (highest was 220).

Diabetic diet down 30 lbs and I was pregnant.

I think OB/Gyn physicians are more attuned to the problems of hyperinsulinism and infertility these days. I hope so. My son is nearly 12.

I don't know if there's any way to pass this information along to those nurses - but maybe they read your blog.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

anonymous, you can't understand why people make a big deal out of not being able to get pregnant? Are you kidding me?!? This would be devastating! I know I worry about not being able to have a second child and it kills me inside. I think that was a little cold to women out there who want a child of their own.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the post. also I send you great smile from my baby:

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of those single teen Mums who got pregnant by accident. Passion had nothing to do with it, I can assure you of that. I'm also a working Mum, and the mother of a child with a disability.

My best friend is infertile. Or was. She had PCOS and I went through 3 years of hell with her when she was trying to have her first baby. All the times she must have hated me - it was so *easy* for me. She never said it, but I knew. Our situations should have been reversed. I would have given anything to see her dream come true through those years.

She had ectopic pregnancies and for the first couple of years I made sure that I remembered them with her on Mother's Day. It is such a hard day for the women who desperately want children.
I'm glad that other people, particularly Drs, are taking the time to remembers not only those who are mothers, either through choice or accident, but also those who long to be mothers.

7:44 AM  
Blogger DementedM said...

Well, don't listen to the first anonymous poster. Who I suspect, may be a troll anyway. We infertiles don't need anyone to tell us what to do, we are well aware of our options and their limitations.

I suppose you can't really say much of anything, which is probably fine by her. Sometimes it's just a blessing when people don't rub salt in your wounds.

And I am the mother-to-be reading up on kids because I am BORED. Pregnancy is inching by soooo slowly and I can't stand the pregnancy books anymore. After infertility and doing my own medical research, I can't stand superficial treatments of the topic. I know more than they do. So I've moved on to child behavior and neurological development in infants--much more interesting.


8:06 AM  
Blogger Lisa - Mum to Mitch & Harry said...

Anonymous you stated "Tell her to adopt!!! I really can't understand why people make such a big deal out of not being able to have a baby. It is not the end of the world and it is not your fault."..

I was moved by your obvious compassion (sarcasm intended). It certainly isn't easy to adopt children. I know in Australia when we were looking at adoption there were 17 babies adopted in one year in the state we lived in - the only other option for us was overseas adoption which was cost prohibitive.

I went through so many years of aching to hold my own baby in my arms - and yes I would have considered an adopted child "mine". Each Mother's Day filled me with grief, but it was a private grief only shared with a few special friends. This grief only intensified when I came in contact with parents who abused or neglected their children. I would have given almost anything to have taken these children home with me.

Eventually after 10 long years my husband and I were blessed with twin boys. They arrived far too early at 24.6 weeks, but are the absolute light of our lives.

So thankyou ND for celebrating motherhood in all its forms and for acknowledging the grief of would-be mothers.

Kind regards,
mum to Mitch & Harry

9:03 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

It was nice for you to reach out to Darcy - infertility is very hard.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

"Tell her to adopt!!! I really cant understand why people make such a big deal out of not being able to have a baby. It is not the end of the world and it is not your fault. There are so many beautiful children out there who have no parents. Reach out for them and adopt. I know I would."

Woohooo that made my morning! "Why don't you JUST adopt?" is exactly what women struggling with infertility want to hear I'm sure. I love when people just ramble things off the top of their heads. This comment leads me to believe she hasn't adopted nor has she experienced infertility.

Having never dealt with infertility, I would never assume to know what they go through. However, having had miscarriages and a preemie, I often wonder which is worse...being able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat but losing those pregnacies (me) or not being able to get pregnant at all??

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in Peds and know all too well how hard it is to want children of your own and for reasons passing your control not be able to have them. It makes it twice as difficult for me when I see families that can sneeze and have another child - or the worst - those with drug or other issues who have the children and don't treat them right. (No judgment, everyone is doing the best they can with what they have - what I think they should be doing is completely my opinion!)

To those who say "go adopt one" - well, it's not so easy. You'd think from all the hullabaloo that you can just go on out to the baby farm and pick one out and take it home. Not so. We've jumped through burning rings of fire to try to adopt. Imagine being told no because your husband had cancer and he may get it again so they won’t take the risk of placing a child with you. Imagine being told no because you're not of the same ethnicity or too fat to be a parent (all stipulations we have been measured against in our quest to adopt). Imagine not having $25K + to pay for your "adopted" child. Imagine finding a biological parent who wants you to be their child's adoptive parents but then changes their mind when the child is born even though your nursery is ready. I don't understand why all the pro-adoption people think it's no big deal to adopt. I used to be one – just go adopt one, what’s the big deal. I’m telling you it’s a HUGE deal. It's been harder and more emotionally draining than trying to get pregnant!

7:24 PM  
Blogger WendyLou said...

I think you just let your colleague know you are thinking of her and that you hope all works out. I dealt with this when I did child welfare and was not getting pregnant... It was VERY hard. Sometimes I wondered if I was torturing myself by working with children in such bad situations when I could not get pregnant and give my genetic baby a good home.

Last year on Mother's day, I was the mother of a tiny one day old, who they were worried might have to go on CPAP because her breathing was getting labored. She calmed down, but that is what I dealt with last year.

And for the anon poster saying adopt.... you have no clue what you are saying. You are either a troll or someone who has never dealt with a loss in your life. I sincerely hope you never deal with infertility because you will have no frame of reference or coping skills to deal with the inability to have a child.

Just adopt... like a child is a new piece of furniture. So not a positive attitude nor a helpful one. Someone telling me "just adopt" when we were dealing with infertility is very minimizing of the journey we were on at that time, and so minimizing of the need to procreate with our chosen partner that many of us feel. The drive to pass on your genes and see whose ears your child got are very strong and powerful and not easily put aside.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not much you can say. Just try listen if they want to talk about it

12:44 AM  
Blogger daedalus2u said...

ND, many of the disorders characterized by low NO are also characterized by infertility. There are many pathways requiring NO involved in normal fertility.

One of the things that is necessary for oocytes to be able to be fertilized is NO, and how long an oocyte is capable of being fertilized depends on the ambient NO level. It has been suggested that low NO may be part of what leads to infertility in diabetes.

I have met the author (Abu-Soud HM) and discussed my NO stuff with him, and he concurs that stress induced low NO may well be an evolved feature to reduce pregnancy in times of stress, and he would like to work with me in trying my bacteria (in animals first), unfortunately we haven't been able to get resources to do so.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jacqui said...


As a mum to a kid with special needs, I get a lot of people telling me that I wouldn't get given more than I can handle. I guess you see every day why that isn't true.

i wouldn't know what to say to the nurse either. Sometimes circumstances just suck.


5:31 PM  
Blogger neonataldoc said...

Thanks, all, very interesting stories. Nancy, excellent question.

Daedalus2u, very interesting NO stuff. I hope you get the resources to check it out.

And Jacqui, I hate trite statements like "God doesn't give us any more than we can handle." What a bunch of bs.

9:54 PM  
Blogger daedalus2u said...

ND, I am working on a blog regarding the physiology of infanticide. I see it as a "feature", which can protect a woman (and perhaps some of her children) when she does have more children than she can provide for by inducing her to kill at least some of them and so shed metabolic load. I think this is what happened to Andrea Yates; metabolic stress induced acute (or maybe not so acute) psychosis. Believing that God was telling her to kill her children may have been a useful rationalization. I think raising NO levels can prevent this.

There was a recent powerful and moving post regarding why an individual feels motivated to provide abortion services.

Regarding Jacqui's statement. If "God doesn't give us more than we can handle", then presumably if there ever is a "mix-up" and He does, then no doubt He will send instructions to "send them back", as He did with Andrea Yates.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Dani said...

I'm so glad to see you back. :)

You make my heart melt with posts such as these, but then you make me laugh out loud at your bearded lady stories. You = awesome.

I 100% agree with the Andrea Yates thing.

I think anonymous is a jerk.

Again, it's good to have you back!

7:04 AM  
Blogger sexy said...







1:34 AM  

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