I’m a Fraud

When you think of people going through infertility you think of hormonal medications, IVF and other procedures to assist in conception of a child. Even for men who are infertile they go through medication treatments, have varicocele surgery or even a sperm extraction surgery. Then you have the aspect of pregnancy loss that comes with infertility between miscarriages and still births. Almost all couples experience at least one of the situations mentioned.

But for our situation when going through our Infertility Rap Sheet we had went through none of this. For me specially my rap sheet is me giving two sperm samples (or lack there of) and one blood draw. Though I am a big pussy when it comes to needles it really wasn’t at all that painful. We didn’t go through any treatments, didn’t experience any pregnancy losses or go through any cycles.

All of this has made me feel like a fraud in the infertility community. The fantasy loss is the only thing that I can identify with and even that doesn’t feel real at times. How can I possibly complain about what I am feeling when everyone else has dealt with much worse? Why has this completely changed my frame of mind and outlook on life when it really is nothing compared to others? Most people at least tried treatments or had a pregnancy, they didn’t give up as easily as we did. Others who have had success actually put work into overcoming infertility to have a child and in most cases it paid off. They deserve their success because they worked for it.

I understand that everyone’s journey is different and that you shouldn’t compare. But when your journey can’t identify any part of your experience with anyone in the infertility community makes you feel like you don’t belong. I feel like I don’t belong because I feel like we haven’t even tried. We had options and choose not to pursue them. Though the odds are that we would be in the exact same position, we would know that we didn’t fold our cards after the first hand was dealt to us.

As someone who has always worked hard, never given up easily or accepted what was dealt to him this has been the hardest thing to accept. I fear regret later in life that we didn’t even try to have children and that we didn’t want them as much as I thought. That has me feeling like a fraud that doesn’t belong among those who have actually fought battles and didn’t give up as easily as we did.


33 thoughts on “I’m a Fraud

  1. kiftsgate

    I don’t think you are a fraud at all. The common trend among us all is that we suffer/ed from childlessness. And to me it looks like you fit pretty well in this.
    I wouldn’t worry so much about whether you fit in the blogosphere or twitter but on what you said in your last paragraph: the fear to regret later in life that you didn’t try enough. I think that fear is the problem, and maybe the desire to try to fight the battle, not being a fraud to others.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Having thought about this more, I think you’re right about this being more about the desire to try to fight the battle is what it is rather than comparing my situation to others.

  2. ivfbegins

    Greg, you are what you are (and you’re not a fraud), there is no tick list to gain entry to the ‘real’ IF world. Everyone has a different reason for being here, and everyone has had a different experience during.
    I have to agree with kiftsgate, I think it is the fear of the battle that may be the underlying issue. Perhaps you want to try more than you are willing to admit to yourself, I may be wrong but this is the impression I am picking up.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’d love to try to fight the battle but the window for that has come and gone given our circumstances. You are correct in your assessment on my willingness though.

  3. Angela Bergmann

    You fit perfectly fine. You said it yourself, we are all coming at this from completely different places. It doesn’t mean any of us do not fit. This isn’t a competition to see who has suffered the most or tried the hardest. We’re all suffering and experiencing things differently. Doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with where someone else is.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It’s not so much that I feel it’s a competition as I feel that we haven’t been through a fraction of what others have and yet it’s devastated me.

  4. Jenn

    Treatments aren’t what define the members of the infertility community, infertility is. You are infertile, so you belong. I know that I struggled with the same thing quite a bit, because by the 10-year mark, most people are on their 4th IVF or have already gone through adoption. We basically haven’t done anything. While you can lump certain groups together, everyone’s infertility story is different with different circumstances. Rushing into or forcing yourselves to go one way or another when you aren’t ready, isn’t going to help anyone. Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game that we all play.

  5. Justine Froelker

    We are not frauds! I feel so honored to see your bravery grow and for you to start this, sometime horrid, journey of embracing ourselves and our lives. Thank you for your pingback to Our Infertility Rap Sheets! Sending lots of love and light, Justine

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’ve been learning that there is more to what I’ve been feeling and there is always something underlying that makes more sense.

      1. Justine Froelker

        Yep! If you haven’t, definitely check out BrenΓ© Brown’s work it has saved me on this recovery especially since shame is such a huge part it for those of us suffering and surviving infertility.

  6. lucy50

    You are not a fraud at all. You have every right to be here. One of the things the IF community often gets wrong is putting one kind of IF against another. It doesn’t matter if you are a man, woman, seeking IVF, seeking adoption, have minor issues or major issues. All of us are dealing with IF, which is the inability to conceive a natural child. We will all resolve this in different ways, but the feelings of uncertainty and resentment and bitterness and sometimes shame and anger exist in all of us.

    I would only consider you a fraud if you jumped up on a blog and said that you had your wife had been trying for one month and were worried. πŸ˜‰

  7. Kitten

    It’s impossible not to compare our journeys. We all do it. And while it’s true that the components of your particular journey do seem to be completely different from everyone else’s in the IF community, as kiftsgate said, “The common trend among us all is that we suffer/ed from childlessness.” Your rap sheet (or lack of) doesn’t matter. It’s what IF has done to you emotionally that makes you fit in. It’s so important that you have a voice in this community BECAUSE your journey is different. That does not make it any less valid. So, while I understand why you feel the way you do, I hope you come to realize that you DO have a place and that your voice is important.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It’s not so much that I don’t feel as though I have a voice or that I’m not important. Though I don’t think I’m anymore important than anyone in the community. It’s that I sometimes don’t believe I’ve been through enough to have it impact me this much.

      1. Kitten

        I think I get that. I felt similar when I had my miscarriage, like, I wasn’t far enough along for it to break me the way it did.

  8. hollye7916

    I struggle with the same feelings since I managed to finally catch the egg the cycle before treatment. That doesn’t take away the time we spent before that with my body not functioning properly though.

    For you it’s lack of “treatment” and for me it’s “time served”… I totally get where you’re coming from.

  9. journeyformybaby

    You’re not a fraud. It’s not about how long we have tried, how hard we have tried, what treatments we have used, how many losses we have had. It’s not a contest or something. It’s not a special club to gain entry to only if you have suffered enough and long enough. The pain you have with having to grieve a genetic link with a child is pain enough!! Have you and your wife discussed the way you feel about worrying that you may regret not having children someday if you continue to live your life without them?

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Yeah, we’ve discussed it at length. She’s aware of this fear I have if we don’t at least try to pursue adoption. It’s a sensitive subject that brings up a lot in the both of us.

  10. beckdogenator

    We all have our own choices that we feel comfortable with making. I have worked really hard to not make comparisons anymore. I try not to judge people on whether or not they have been through more or less than me, I just know if they are feeling the same pain. That is what I pay attention to and where I place my compassion and you have it.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Oh I don’t judge people at all for the decisions they make. There are those who given our circumstances would have handled it differently and gone through things that we weren’t comfortable with. I don’t judge them for that at all. What works for one couple isn’t going to work for all couples.

  11. Geochick (@geochick_1)

    I get it. I probably would’ve gotten pregnant if we pursued IVF, but chose not to take that path and jumped to adoption. We all have to recognize our limitations, and they are all different. None are “better” or “worse” than the other. We have all been through our own personal “worst”.

  12. Fox

    You are definitely not a fraud. I understand why you might feel that way since your experience has been a bit different. But you are not a fraud. What’s more…you are not alone. You are not the only one to skip treatments. Granted, others I personally know who skipped or cut short treatments moved on and adopted. But still. Treatments are not for everyone. Neither is adoption. You haven’t completely decided your path yet. But whatever road you walk it is part of the infertility map. Of that you can be sure.

  13. Graceful.Hope

    Every journey & experience is as valid as every other journey & experience.
    We are all struggling to come to terms with fertility but this took real strength to write about.
    You aren’t an asshole & you do belong.


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