When Trying is Trying

infertility and ivf_extra petite fashion blog
When it comes to the women in my family (or maybe it’s Asian culture), personal issues are supposed to remain just that – personal. It was only very recently that my mom opened up to me, sharing about the pain and loss she went through as a woman and as a mother. Things she had kept internalized for years that I never knew about. Watching her raise me and my two younger brothers, I saw firsthand being a mom isn’t easy. But what I was never really prepared for was the emotional and physical strain of trying to become a mom.

While I have all the admiration in the world for women who fight their battles quietly, I’m opening up about something very personal in this post. It’s different from the curated version of my life you usually see on my social media, but I think it’s important that we can talk about this kind of struggle without fear of stigma.

The Frustration Cycle

We all have friends who don’t want kids or who are indifferent (“If it happens, it happens”). I respect that, but I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom. Once Nick and I decided to start a family, we naively thought it would happen right away. When it didn’t after several months, I started tracking my ovulation like a hawk (I think Ovia overtook Instagram as my most-used app!) And after that, we probably tried every wives’ tale in the book – Mucinex, “special” lube, headstands. Lots and lots of headstands. You try to keep the negative thoughts from creeping into your head, but it’s hard. There’s always this whisper … maybe there’s something wrong with me.

As time went on, the pregnancy announcements that seemingly surrounded us eventually became babies and then first birthday parties. And while we were genuinely happy for our friends’ milestones, at the same time it was like a depressing re-run that I had to watch on repeat. Every cycle the same. High hopes, scheduling, timing, followed by waiting, and then frustration. And shame. And anger. And always, sadness.

Getting Tested

Earlier this year, we finally decided to see a fertility specialist and get tested. It was a few days of getting poked, prodded, and dyed, and plenty of surprise “oh, insurance doesn’t cover that part” bills. When it was over, I was almost wishing for something definitively wrong so we could just “fix” it. But our doctor told us everything looked fine, and started us down a 6-month plan of fertility treatments. Meanwhile, everyone would offer their own advice. Do acupuncture. Don’t stress. Work less. And of course that one line of advice that undoes itself as soon as it’s uttered…“Just don’t think about it.” During this time, the once innocuous question of “so when are you guys having kids?” by well-intending friends and pesky aunts became one more pill to swallow and politely smile through.

After months of the less-invasive treatments without success, the next step would be In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). A more invasive, more expensive, and even more emotionally draining procedure.

For those who aren’t familiar, the IVF process starts with a few weeks of daily self-injections into the abdomen to essentially trick your ovaries into becoming an egg factory. Your doctors monitor egg progress at the crack of dawn almost daily by drawing blood and doing vaginal ultrasounds (let’s just say, it’s not an EXTERNAL ultrasound), and then determine your injection dosages for that night. Next, surgery is performed to retrieve as many eggs as possible, which are then fertilized externally with sperm before being transferred back into the ovaries as an embryo.

However, since our tests indicated nothing was wrong, we were told our insurance would not cover IVF. And without insurance, it can become quite expensive because each cycle brings only a chance of success, and each attempt could cost upwards of $15-20k. Needless to say, at this point I’m not doing so well following the “not stressing” or “not thinking about it” advice!

ivf injections and medications
When it came to giving stomach injections, “nurse” Nick had to employ some creative distraction tactics
An Insurance Mix-up

This August when I got my period again, I just felt empty and defeated. We made the hard decision to pay for round 1 of IVF out of pocket, and to figure out the rest as it unfolded. As a last ditch effort, I had our doctor submit the case anyway even though we were told insurance wouldn’t cover it … and we were dumbfounded by the response. Our insurance said that our test results (from over half a year ago) showed sufficient abnormalities to approve IVF coverage. Had we submitted it sooner, it would’ve been approved immediately at the time. I’ve never felt so frustrated and relieved simultaneously.

ivf egg retrieval surgery extra petite
Nervously awaiting egg retrieval surgery, where as many eggs as possible are removed from the ovaries
Where We’re At

Last month we officially started IVF. Probably the most emotionally loaded three letters I’ve ever typed. The fertility journey is a roller coaster, and one of the hardest parts is you never know how far along the ride you are. The ultimate unknown and worst part, is that you could go through it without success. That you do all of it for just a chance to be a mother, and you might have to do it again and again.

Throughout it all, I’ve felt ashamed and frustrated that my body couldn’t do something that a woman should be able to do. Lonely because there was no one to talk to who I felt would understand. Jealous every time there was a new pregnancy announcement, especially from those who weren’t even trying. Guilt, for even feeling that way. Left behind as I watched seemingly every friend and peer graduate onto the next chapter, wondering when it’d be our turn. And silly, knowing how many women go through years of infertility, miscarriages, and so much worse compared to me.

But sometimes, you just have to focus on what’s right in front of you. And in this case, that meant confronting the cooler full of syringes that arrived on our doorstep. As someone who turns into a 5-year old girl at the sight of needles, the daily injections and blood drawings never got easier. And then there were all the unnatural changes to my body from the hormones. The feeling of having no control over the outcome. This week, while waiting alone in pre-op before egg retrieval surgery, I was fighting nausea from the IV and felt tears start to roll down my face uncontrollably. A nurse came in and asked why I was crying, and I just couldn’t explain and didn’t want to have to explain. It was both nothing in particular and everything all at once.

cramps and bloating after ivf egg retrieval surgery
Not a pregnancy photo! Pre and post-egg retrieval, both ovaries (typically the size of a grape) swell closer to the size of grapefruits

Now, I’m writing this recovering on the couch, wrapped in a heating pad, awaiting news on how many embryos made it and will continue on to the next step. Infertility and IVF gets mentioned so much these days – whether it’s on TV or through a friend – it almost seems commonplace. But that shouldn’t take away from how tremendously brave and strong each woman is throughout her unique journey. It’s something we shouldn’t be afraid of talking about. Because it’s something that no one should have to take on alone.

So whether you have kids or don’t want kids; whether this topic is far off in your future or you’re in the middle of it right now – thank you for lending an ear and letting me open up.

Leave a Comment

668 Comments

  1. Anita wrote:

    Thank you for opening up. This is so raw and so real. I hope the best for you and Nick. ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  2. Eleanor wrote:

    Many hugs. I’m writing this with my 4 day old IVF baby on my chest. It will happen. It is the shittiest Road we’ve been down – for us, secondary infertility. Hurt me, my marriage, just hurt. It took a few friends sharing their journey for us to start IVF, so you have just been that woman to some other woman struggling. I’m very open now and though the journey is hard, it’ll be so worth it.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  3. Cathy wrote:

    Oh Jean, I’m so so proud of you for being so incredibly brave in sharing this. I can’t imagine all the emotions. I’ll be thinking of you and Nick, and I know you’ve helped countless others by sharing your story. ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  4. Irene wrote:

    Jean, I’ve been following your blog for years now but have never posted until today. I have benefitted so much from your elegant and timeless (petite!) style, and you come across as so genuine, classy, and down-to-earth. Thank you for sharing this difficult and personal experience, and for revealing such a vulnerable and human side behind your glossy images. You’re incredibly strong, and I wish you and Nick the very best.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  5. Lucy wrote:

    Thank you for sharing. I went through something similar and understand everything you said. Someone has to go through the same process to understand the extent of pain and frustration. To draw from my own experience, I have no advice other than just trying to stay strong. I ended up getting disappointed over the so-called friends who said sorry but they weren’t really.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  6. Stephie wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I’m tearing up thinking about how you must have felt in pre-op and currently feel. Sending you lots of love and positivity. Y’all will make amazing parents ❤

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Very special thank you

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  8. Emi wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing this blog, I can’t imagine the courage it took to be so vulnerable to share your story. It also couldn’t have been perfect timing as an encouragement to me as I myself am struggling with wanting and trying to have a baby. Best wishes with your IVF treatment and praying for a miracle!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  9. Hi Jean, thanks for sharing this very intimate journey. I’ve been through 3 IVF cycled and umpteen IUIs, all with no success of a heartbeat found on the ultrasound scan. I wish you all the best and peace as well as courage to persevere. I’m also now in the midst of saving up for my 4th IVF cycle with a different protocol. Let’s continue this pursuit of having a child bravely.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  10. Hope wrote:

    Jean, you have helped me improve my professional and casual wardrobe like no other, and you seem like such a lovely, glowing person. I always eagerly await your new posts. Thank you for sharing your painful journey – I was so surprised when I read this post because I, too, have been on the IVF journey.
    Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the world who cycles through the shame, guilt, anger, debilitating sadness and loneliness of not being able to have a desperately wanted baby. I am paying wholly out of pocket, and have just started my 6th (yes, SIXTH) IVF cycle… with no success yet. It’s taken a toll – I haven’t been truly happy since July 2016.

    I understand every emotion you are going through, and would like to offer some info that may be useful to you. There is a national infertility support group called RESOLVE, which I regularly attend in my area; I looked up the details in Boston for you at the bottom of this comment. Every single time I go, I leave feeling much less alone. The ladies are all extremely supportive and have deep knowledge of all the variants of the procedures, medications, clinics and doctors. They have a message board, too, which is super informative.

    Also, I’ve been reading the following three books: Silent Sorority (Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos), Ever Upward (Justine Brooks Froelker) and Avalanche (Julia Leigh). We are not alone.

    I read somewhere that we shouldn’t think of our story as one of deep sadness, or loneliness, or shame. Ours is, rather, a story of love. The tremendous love you have for your husband, the tremendous love that motivates you to create a family with him, and the tremendous love that holds you up every day to go to whatever length you need to to have a baby, who will be born of that love.

    My best wishes to you, Jean. I hope it happens very quickly for you, and for all of us.

    Best,
    Hope

    Massachusetts: Boston General Infertility Support Group
    Category: Peer-led Support Groups
    Boston Integrative Health Center, 581 Boylston St., Suite 700B
    Boston, MA 02116
    Date & Time: Meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:15PM
    Location: Boston Integrative Health Center, 581 Boylston St., Suite 700B
    Host: RESOLVE New England
    Phone: 781-890-2250
    Email: admin@resolvenewengland.org

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  11. Tiffany wrote:

    I had a lot to say in my comment but I erased it all. I’ve been following your blog since basically its inception. Your words have touched me more than any of your previous posts. I’m here for you, from one petite Asian to another (across the country).

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  12. Jess wrote:

    THANK YOU for sharing your story. It’s so brave of you. Know that you are not alone and are greatly loved by the interwebs world. There is an entire sisterhood that stands behind you, understanding your pain, empowering you, and reminding you that you are an amazing woman. IVF is a challenging process, a huge struggle. Again, thank you for having the courage to share. Wishing you and Nick the best of luck in tackling this challenge. Sending love!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  13. JAN wrote:

    Hi Jean – thank you so much for sharing as I know what you are going through. I also feel the same, my husband and I have been married for almost 4 years and are trying to start a family as well, it is sometimes difficult to see pregnancy announcement from friends or families when you yourself are wanting to have kids. Thanks for sharing knowing that I am not alone in this journey of trying to start a family 🙂

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  14. Veena Talley wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are simply a strong and wonderful woman. Best of luck to you and Nick. 💕

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  15. HN wrote:

    I wish you both the best! I’m speechless reading your posts. I couldn’t find other words to comfort you! Will be praying for your good news! Keep us updated! Much love! ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, I have to say you are so brave. By trying that difficult path to have a baby, you are more than a mom. I don’t have a kid for a different reason and I cannot share it here as I am Asian 😉 but I do know how you feel. It’s like suffering like hell but cannot share the feelings to anyone. You also gave me a strength to try having a baby for the last time with this blog entry. You are not alone. There are so many happy faces who have so much pain in their mind. Thank you for sharing your feelings and help me to become braver than I am. Sending a big hug! Xoxo

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  17. Jennie wrote:

    I have been in your exact same position. When we finally paired everything with progesterone suppositories…a miracle. It’s hard to believe now, but this will make such a story of love to your child(ren). My miracle girl just started college!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  18. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience. I️ can totally relate to you in terms of keeping this personal coming from an Asian background. It’s such a brave thing to be open and sharing your experience with the world. I️ hope that round one works without any glitches!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  19. V wrote:

    Jean, thank you so much for sharing your story! My husband and I are also trying for our first baby, so to a certain extent, I can totally relate to the emotional rollercoasters we have to go through monthly. Best of luck to you and your husband! I hope we both get to see a big fat positive line soon! xx

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  20. Camille Suarez wrote:

    I give you so much credit for being so brave in your journey, and also for being open and sharing your story with us. I have been a very long time reader, and your blog is my absolute favorite to read. While I may just be a reader, having followed you for so long makes me feel like you’re a very fashionable girlfriend that I’ve known for years! I wish you and Nick success on your journey, and sending you so much love and support for you every step of the way.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  21. Row wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your journey Jean! While I didnt have to go through IVF, I did suffer an early miscarriage earlier in the year and it’s also one of those topics many women do not and feel ashamed of talking about. It has also brought sadness and frustration because I really wanted to be a mom. I felt the same jealousy of my friends who were getting pregnant and having baby showers…took a while to feel comfortable around them without feeling depressed about myself. We tried again and now i’m 33 weeks. But there hasn’t been a day where I don’t think about the possibility of something going wrong….that fear of losing something so precious and not being able to control it. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in the struggles of being a mother and by sharing your journey helped me share mine here.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  22. Monica wrote:

    You are so very very brave to share this and I just wish you so very much that IVF will be successful for you guys and you could become a mother soon! Will keep you in my prayers!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  23. Haley wrote:

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this! But you are not alone! My husband and I have been trying for 2 years. We had 2 failed IUIs and plan to try IVF in 2018 (after we switch to his insurance which thankfully covers it). Best wishes as y’all navigate this journey together. Praying you get your blessing soon!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  24. Martina wrote:

    Hi Jean! So brave of you to share your experience, my friend recently went through Ivf too and she shared her journey with me and I know it’s not easy. Now you have your eggs retrieving, the most difficult part, it should be easier but I know not the end .
    I totally understand seeing others falling pregnant weather planned or not and you know u should be happy for them but sohow you wish that was you. The frustration and the disappointment makes you angry. It should be nature and simple but it’s not , you ask yourself the question why inside your head many times and each time you have no answer.
    Jean, you got to remember, you are still young and healthy If it doesn’t happen the first time, try again. At least you are trying and have the chance to try if all failed don’t be sad or angry.. Think about adoption. I can totally relate to what you are going through, it’s like Mother Nature have taking the chance of you of doing the one thing you can do as a woman but my story is ten times worst. At 38, in a relationship, my chance of being pregnant is very slim for many reason but i hope one day I will be a mother too. so be positive!! If you need to chat. Let me know . Take care xxx
    Martina

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  25. Z wrote:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I believe it’s very beneficial for both the writer and the reader. The writer is able to vent and the reader is able to get a different perspective of what could or has happened to them. I haven’t been trying but from a few previous tests I’ve taken, it seems as if I will go down a similar route once I decide to have kids. I will be praying for you and your husband that you will have your bundle of joy however God sees fit. Thanks again for sharing

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  26. Graciela wrote:

    Make sure your doctors test your immune system too. Many times the reason for infertility has to do with the immune system preventing pregnancy or attacking a pregnancy. I am a nurse, that’s why I am telling you this. Best wishes!
    @authorgracielagarciabredehoeft

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  27. Melissa wrote:

    Jean, you and Nick are so brave for sharing. I have followed you since the beginning and I am sending you both prayers for your growing family.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  28. Suhasini wrote:

    Dear Jean,

    Good luck and while you are braving it all I’ll keep you in my prayers. I have been following your blog for couple of years now. You have become such an integral part of my daily routine when I log in every weekday. As someone who is on the wrong end of 30 and looking at separation, a social stigma in my part of the world, I have given up any hope of a second chance to start over and hopefully have family of my own some day. I have 2 adorable nephews , the latter being 5 months, that make my very soul go mushy. Not amount of being positive can reset our biological clock or keep it from ticking away and taking with it better chances at natural pregnancy.Either I resign myself to being single / kid-free or I start over. In which case I may be doing exactly what you are in the time to come. Opening up to your family, to your friends to even strangers like me through your blog is much needed outlet for the emotional distress. I am still fighting out my separation process and the trauma is debilitating with the mud slinging and slander. I am probably going the penniless way so I do understand the financial struggle. I’m shamed every now and then, some subtle some overt but finally I have reached the point of tuning people and noise out. This is a first for me too. Sharing the failure of my late marriage which in itself has been a shaming highlight of my life. I’ll be fine though. You will be fine as well. I hate it as well when people state the obvious of not thinking about your worries or stressing over it. Of course we would. If I don’t worry for myself and find a fix no one will. They can empathize /sympathize but no one is more vested in my well being than myself.Period. Babies are a blessing, even in a country of quarter and a billion (and counting) they are nature’s way of touching your soul. They bring the one emotion to surface that nothing else can..loving someone more than oneself. You will get there and be a great mom. How beautiful and incredulous is that I can feel your hardship through your written words alone. And that I want to hug it out. And to tell you that , not that I am religious, I’ll ask of the million gods here (probabilities yay!) to send a stork on a visit to your home .
    Cheer up and chin up babe!
    Lots of love

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  29. Nancy wrote:

    I’m also a long-term follower and thanks so much for sharing. I’m 24 and not married yet, but kids are definitely in my future (or so I hope). Wish you and Nick all the best.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  30. Jess wrote:

    Jean, you are such a beautiful, brave, and strong human being. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope the topic of fertility and IVF can become more common so women don’t have to be afraid and fight this battle alone. Stay strong, Jean! I will keep you in my prayers!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  31. Hanh V wrote:

    I’m sorry you’re fighting this battle. I hope it’s one you’ll win soon. No suffering should be done alone. I hope this outlet will bring you some comfort and relief.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  32. Megan wrote:

    Thank you for being vulnerable with us and sharing this part of you. Your reflections and feelings are very relatable. My heart really reaches out to you and Nick. Stay strong!! And keep believing <3

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  33. Rachel wrote:

    Thank you (& nick) for your bravery and kindness sharing with us, especially since you don’t know what’s next. its a daunting prospect to think it may not all work out for you, and myself in the future but I’m extremely grateful for your courage to reduce the stigma about IVF and fertility struggles. hugs from afar~

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  34. Shirley wrote:

    Jean, this was really hard and personal of you to share, and I think all of us netizens want to stand up for you in sharing this. It takes a lot of strength to overcome challenges like this but I think you and Nick are really inspirational in your lives. Not everything online is picture perfect, and each person has their own struggles. We hope we can stand with you as you continue to share about your story!! 🙂 <3

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  35. Lizzy wrote:

    Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. Sending you good vibes for any of the hard days. It’s going to happen for you <3

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  36. Mui wrote:

    Wow, reading posts like these makes me relive everything my husband and I went through. I can tell you it will happen when you least expect it and God works in mysterious ways. My first pregnancy happened when I decided to give up and stop trying. Our second pregnancy happened after a horrible, distraught loss…but we now have 3 beautiful boys. Yes, our second pregnancy were twins. I will also share that both pregnancies were trying and tough. My first I was hospitalized multiple times due to hyperemesis, I lost 20 lbs in that pregnancy. The twins pregnancy ended up in preterm labor at 30 weeks and 2 days. My babies being in the NICU for a month and a half. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it certainly was not easy. I wish you the best of luck and will keep you in my prayers.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  37. Ella wrote:

    Wishing you all the best on your journey xo

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  38. Ivy wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story, Jean. You are breaking barriers set by Asian culture by opening up about the pain and struggle that you have been going through, and as a Canadian-born, Vietnamese-Chinese female, I cannot thank you enough. Although I am not yet at the stage where I am trying for children, I know that I will struggle to conceive in the future due to suspected PCOS complications. Your story is one of bravery and perseverance. Sending all the love and hugs to you and your husband.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  39. Jo wrote:

    I’ve been following you for so many years and this has to be my favorite post. The vulnerability and the emotion that I felt from reading this post really touched the deepest part of my heart. I’m not married like you and Nick, but I’m 28 (turning 29 soon) years old. I’m single, but someday when I meet the right guy, I would love to become a mom. Doctors have looked at my hormone levels and told me that it would be difficult to have kids. In the midst of my friends’ wedding/engagement news and pregnancy surprises, it’s hard to stay encouraged knowing that I would once experience that joy as well. I even thought freezing my eggs, but the the money that would go into that process [10k+] discourages me at the same time. I even did the transvaginal ultraound [the one you mentioned in this post] by myself (that ultrasound was so scary and painful). Although we’re in two different seasons of life, I feel that I connected with your loneliness and defeated state. Stay strong, Jean. God will provide you and Nick a child very soon. Thank you for sharing you journey. xx

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  40. Mony wrote:

    Hi Jean! Thanks for sharing your journey. Hope you and “nurse” Nick have good news to share in a few months!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  41. Candi wrote:

    So much love and support for you!! As an Asian American, I empathize with how difficult it must have been for you to open up and write about this personal journey, and sharing with us. You are strong, courageous, and everything we aspire to be as women. Fingers crossed for you and Nick!!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Candi, although we may not know each other in person I am keeping you in my thoughts and hoping you can stay strong and hopeful. I also wanted to recommend @eatsleepwear and @socaleatery on IG, they’re two friends of mine who are either currently going through the process or went through it for many years and have been a positive inspiration, if you’re looking for other sources of community while TTC. xx

      Posted 9.2.20 Reply
  42. Vivian wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is important for women to share struggles like this with each other so this does not have to be a lonely journey. I have a 3 year old who did come as a surprise. When we wanted a second child, we foolishly thought it would be just as easy, but it did not. Two miscarriages later, I finally find myself pregnant this week. Yet, it still comes with fear, fear that this too would end in failure. Trying is hard, and as I have come to learn, miscarriages are even harder. I wish you and everyone the best of luck on this journey. You will be a wonderfully stylish mom. Don’t give up!!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  43. Jen wrote:

    ❤️ thinking about you and nick. We struggled for years with infertility and know how heartbreaking, frustrating and lonely it can be. Four years later we have a beautiful one year old after two rounds of ivf. Thank you for sharing your story- I share mine because I know someone somewhere is going through the same thing. Your post will resonate with a lot of people. All my best. 💫

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  44. Meagan C. wrote:

    Thanks for sharing, Jean. Sending you positive thoughts and wishing you the best of luck on your journey. You and Nick will become great parents to that lucky kid one day.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  45. Phuong wrote:

    Jean,
    Thank you so much for sharing this deeply personal story. I’ve been following your blog for years now and have always loved everything you post. This post, while I’m sure was difficult for you to write and post, is so appreciated by me. I am starting IVF now and am feeling overwhelmed by what has already happened and what is yet to come. I’ve also had many friends get pregnant while my husband and I have been trying for the two years and don’t know anyone struggling like me so it’s been a lonely time. Reading your post has made me feel less lonely about the experience and I am so grateful to you. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. I hope you feel better soon and that the embryo transfer goes well in the upcoming days and that you and Nick get pregnant! Thoughts are with you! 💙

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    Sending you love and prayers from Toronto 🙏
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You’re a beautiful person inside and out Jean.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  47. Maryiam wrote:

    Praying for you and wishing you all the best! God has a great plan for you! ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  48. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for sharing something so personal as infertility. I tried for 4 years and went through the same emotions as you are going through now. It’s such a taboo topic that few people talk about but as a someone who had gone through this journey I share my experience with infertility with anyone who wishes or don’t wish to talk about it because you never know who’s in that dark cloud struggling and would like to hear that they are not alone, especially when all their friends seem so lucky. I’m now blessed with two boys and I know you will be blessed with children. Don’t despair. Thank you for being so open. I’m sure you’ve made many ladies reading this blog feel like they aren’t the only ones struggling. Good luck. Sending lots of hugs and good vibes your way.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  49. Susan wrote:

    jean, you are so brave for sharing your story and going through the whole IVF process. Society should be moving towards breaking the stigma that these things shouldn’t be talked about, or that pregnancy announcements should be hush hush until after the first trimester. If things like this aren’t shared, that leaves the couple to grieve alone, which is not right. I wish you and Nick success, and know that you are not alone! We are all here supporting and praying for you!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  50. Emily wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing something so personal! This is so common among women but so taboo to talk about and it really shouldn’t be!! Praying for you and hoping for good results! ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  51. Priscilla Jules wrote:

    I’m so sorry that you and your husband are going through it!
    Few months ago talking to a friend of mine that lives in Brazil. She told me that she has been trying to get pregnant for over 2 years… she had done tons of exams to make sure that her and her husband are fine! And the exams results are fine!
    She told me that they may try the IVF at some point!
    Other couple friends of mine were trying to get pregnant for over 3 years! She got pregant 3 years ago but she had a miscarriage. They also got exams and the results were fine… they kept trying… and few months ago a little before they go to the doctor to start the IVF they found that they are expecting a baby boy!
    It seems like some people take more time! Don’t forget that each body reacts differently. Don’t go hard on yourself. I hope you recovery fast.
    I will be praying for you beautiful! And I’m sure you will be a wonderful mom soon!!
    Send you tons of love!!!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  52. Emma wrote:

    Thank you for opening up and sharing your incredible journey. I wish more women felt as supported by their partners and communities so they they could seek out comfort. You are incredibly brave.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  53. Lil wrote:

    Hello! Just wanted to let you know that i adore your blog and I absolutely adore everyone of your outfits! I also love that you opened up and shared such a personal story, I wish you all the luck and positive vibes. My twin nieces were ivf babies and I cant imagine life without them now. My sister had to try twice and as hard and expensive it was, she says it was worth every pain and tumble. Please stay positive and Im sure there will be little cuties in your future♡

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  54. Lacey wrote:

    I read your blog often and just wanted to say – as someone who wanted children and now it’s too late — you are brave and you are not alone. God bless you and yours.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  55. Ashley A wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this. There are so many women fighting this battle – and it’s brutal. Seeing my sister-in-law go through IVF opened my eyes to the process – it’s not just one procedure, it’s pain – physical wounds and emotional nightmares – it’s time and it’s money. I know everyone’s results are different, but after she fought this battle for about 6 years, God has blessed her with two adorable boys. Praying for you.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  56. Anonymous wrote:

    Although not in regards to pregnancy, I can completely relate to seeing the cycle of milestone announcements from friends while experiencing the “depression re-run” for myself.

    I can’t fully express why, but it means so much to me that you shared this struggle BEFORE having an ending to your story. While I’m genuinely happy for friends and bloggers who share their struggles and end it with a happy ending, those stories only depress me further. (“Well that’s nice they got their happy ending…”)

    But reading a post from someone who is still trying made me feel less alone about my own struggles. Thank you so much. My heart goes out to you, and I wish you and Nick the best.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
    • Anonymous wrote:

      I love your blog and have never commented before, but this post was so touching I find myself knee deep in the comments section! I definitely agree with this comment. It would be far too easy to post about this topic with a glowing pregnancy photo at the end (although I hope to see that at some point too). Thank you for bravely sharing your journey on social media. I’m an ob gyn and so many patients feel alone, sad, and betrayed by their bodies. Social media doesn’t usually help that process, but in this case, I’m hopeful. You are certainly not alone and I wish you the best!

      Posted 11.7.17 Reply
  57. Elizabeth wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this, Jean. I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest post to pen and publish. Just tearing up as I’m trying to finish the post and I cannot imagine how hard this was for you and how exhausting this process must be. Thinking of you and Nick. You both will be the most amazing and thoughtful parents. Please keep us posted.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  58. Jules wrote:

    Sending you virtual hugs! Thank you for sharing your journey, it made me appreciate some things I usually take for granted. I pray for a safe and successful journey for you and your husband. ❤

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  59. Joanne wrote:

    Thank you for sharing and know that you are not alone. My husband and I have a very similar story and this has also been a very frustrating period of my life. My heart bleeds for you because I can see so much of me in your post. The most important thing I want you to know is that, even though you may not feel it at times, you are beautiful and worthy. This does not define you. I pray for a positive outcome and wish you the strength and support throughout this process. Stay strong!!!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  60. eM wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It really isn’t easy to share something so personal and private, especially not to all 400k followers of yours. Please remain hopeful and happy. We love you, Jean! Good luck, xoxo.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  61. s wrote:

    Good luck and stay strong! You’ve made it through so much already. Things have a way of working themselves out. Take care of yourself. Sending much love and strength your way 🙂

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  62. Alina wrote:

    My husband and I are in a very similar situation, but a few cycles behind in the process than you are it seems. My dye test and his second SA are this week. I also wrote a blog post on it trying to be open and help others feel less alone/stigmatized so I really appreciate your sharing. We’re also in the Boston area so I hope you will keep us updated on your journey and if you have any advice or recommendations on doctors or facilities you’ve been happy with I’d love to hear it. You can read my infertility post at http://averyalina.com if you’re interested. Best wishes and good sticky baby thoughts for you!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  63. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi jean! So brave of your to share your experience. My friend recently had IVF too , she shared her experience along the way and I can tell you it’s not easy. Especially the eggs retrieving part .. Oh boy! But I can tell you that’s the most difficult part and once that’s over the rest of the journey should be much easier . It frustrated as everything you done could all be for nothing but for now you got to stay positive and you are still young so that an advantage. I understand the whole feeling of seeing others falling pregnant weather planned or not, you should feel over the moon for them but some how you wish it was you. Getting pregnant should be simple but for some reason it doesn’t happen to you .. You ask the question why many times in your head and don’t get any answer.
    Just remembered you have tried your best and you are still young and healthy so don’t give up. If all fail, think of adoption… If your want to chat , let me know. Currently at 38 years old, in a relationship but still have hope I will be a mother one day but I know it will be a slim chance .. That’s life ! Take care xxx
    Martina

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  64. Shirley wrote:

    I went through this exact same scenario. Having nothing wrong but yet not getting pregnant. I had over stimulated ovaries after egg retrieval as well. It’s so trying… on your relationship, your life, your everything. But after two cycles, I became pregnant with twins. All the needles, injections, drugs…. it’s all worth it. Keep your head up! I know first hand how hard it is. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Although it’s so hard to see now. Sending happy thoughts your way 🙂

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  65. Jules wrote:

    You WILL BE an incredible mom! I send you a big hug, and thanks for sharing such a personal story.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  66. eM wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It really isn’t easy to share something so personal and private, especially not to all 400k followers of yours. Please remain hopeful and happy. We love you, Jean! Good luck, xoxo.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  67. Charlotte wrote:

    I usually never leave comments but this topic touches me personnally. I have been there and reading you was like reviving what we went through a few years ago. We did IVF and we now are parents of 2 beautiful kids. I love them more than anything in the world. Going through IVF was emotionnally very difficult but it was so worth it. We went through a couple unsuccessful rounds but the third one was a charm 😊 and the fourth one, too 😊. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Tons of positive thouhts your way.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  68. Susanna Fong wrote:

    Jean, I’ve followed you for years and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed you being you. You’re like a girl friend that’s not afraid to tell me how I could improve my outfits. I feel like I know you personally but none more than now. Thank you for such a courageous and heartfelt post. My heart aches for you and I wish you the very best always!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  69. Carolyn B wrote:

    Thank you for being courageous and sharing such a personal and heart wrenching struggle in life. We dealt with significant infertility as well and had to make some really really really difficult and frankly unimaginable decisions to start our family with children and later in life than we had ever hoped. This was followed by a pregnancy with some scary complications a subchorionic hematoma that caused lots of bleeding in 1st and 2nd trimester! Just wanted to send you positive thoughts and hope as we have been there too. Now our miracle baby is 11 months old, all the best!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  70. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Jean and Nick.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  71. Shelly wrote:

    Thank you for sharing a heartfelt post. My friend went through something similar and finally got pregnant 3 months ago. She struggled for 2 years. Sending lots of love and strength your way ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  72. KittyC wrote:

    Sending you love. IVF is beyond tough, and you’re brave to be open. Best wishes for a good result.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  73. Lesley wrote:

    I feel you!! I’m in the middle of my first IVF right now, just did shots an hour ago. I’m lying on the couch hugely bloated and sore. My egg retrieval should be sometime this week, ultrasound and blood work tomorrow morning. I feel YOU. Our insurance isn’t covering any of it, we are paying cash out of pocket. Yes I feel alone like you but now you have made me feel a little relief that someone like you is going through it too. We are about a week apart in the process. Thanks for sharing and keep in touch if you want to discuss or compare stories. Lots of love and luck, L

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  74. Steph wrote:

    What a wonderfully honest post. I just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone, and I’ll pray for your success. My husband and I tried for over a year to get pregnant, and we were on the verge of trying ivf. Turns out he was having personal issues with the anxiety of our new business and secretly drinking. After being clean a few months, we were able to get pregnant . Our baby is due any day now and my husband has been alcohol free for over a year. Everything happens for a reason and maybe it just wasn’t your time. Best of luck to you and your husband. You guys are a beautiful couple!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  75. Kitman Figueroa wrote:

    I wish everything goes well for you both and your wish is granted. All the best!!! hugsss!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  76. Laura wrote:

    Jean! I’ve followed your blog and loved the fashion. I was touched by your story and can relate to it so well. We struggled with infertility for five years also ‘unexplained ‘. This experience will make you stronger as a mother and a couple and when you finally welcome your baby , whether through IVF, adoption, or spontaneous pregnancy, this trying and desire for a baby will make you an even more patient and loving mom. Best of luck!!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  77. Alli wrote:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. Wishing you so much luck! You are not alone in your struggles. We had secondary infertility issues after our first son and it was a time I never want to go through again. But, I’m happy to report I’m sitting at home here with 2 perfect kiddos 10 years & 6 years later. I’m hopeful for you!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  78. K wrote:

    This was a very brave post from you. Thank you for sharing your experience Jean- wishing you the best of luck!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  79. Anna wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for 2.5 years and have gone through 3 rounds of IVF so far with no success. I’ve had two miscarriages in the last 6 months and I’m feeling defeated. Since sharing my journey with close friends, I’ve felt much better about the whole process. I hope that sharing your story with the world will empower you to know that you’re not alone and that we should be embracing how brave and awesome we are by going through the whole IVF process.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  80. Rachel wrote:

    I’ve followed your blog for years and never posted until now, even though I’ve benefited so much from your style inspiration and recommendations. This post made me love you even more. Pregnancy and trying to have kids is such an emotional roller coaster and just wanted to say bravo for sharing your experience in such a vulnerable way. Many style blogs can feel overly curated at times and while I can appreciate it’s a balance between oversharing on the internet and looking TOO perfect, I love how this post reminds me that every person you meet is fighting a different struggle, you just don’t always know it. Praying for you on this journey and wishing you the very best!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  81. Rachael wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you have to go through this and wish you and your husband the best of luck with IVF!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  82. Linda wrote:

    Wishing you and Nick all the best. Thank you for sharing your story ❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  83. Azzaya wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone, you are incredibly brave to do so. I wish you all the best and hope that you get pregnant soon!

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  84. Aubrey wrote:

    I am so sorry you have had to go through this; you are so brave along with all the other women who are going and have gone through what you are going through. I wish you all the best and when it happens you will make such a wonderful mom. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  85. Katie wrote:

    I’m so sorry; what a tough thing to go through. Sending love your way. ♥️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  86. Tiffany wrote:

    Thank you for using this platform to talk about something that affects so many women. I agree that this topic should be shared, so that others do not feel as alone. Thank you.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  87. Tori wrote:

    Wow, in tears reading this. I’ve been reading your blog for ten years. I cannot imagine how exhausting this road must be for you and Nick. I will pray for you both-not just for fertility but also peace in the process. I think you’re onto something really good with what you said about just facing what’s right in front of you…that’s honestly how we survive the overwhelmingly hard and scary moments. Thank you for your honesty, sharing, and willingness to make yourself vulnerable.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  88. Jessy wrote:

    Thank you so very much for being brave enough to share your journey! I’m in a similar stage – all our friends are having babies, and we are trying but stuck. I’m short but weigh a little more, and carry my weight in my stomach, and every family function where people ask “oh, is there something going on?? Are you guys expecting??” is like a punch to the gut.

    But for all the downs there are so many ups – one of my good friends just welcomed their son Vance after doing IVF earlier this year! Sending you love and light as you continue your journey to motherhood, you are going to be an amazing (and stylish!) mom! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  89. Rachelle wrote:

    I’m not sure there are any words quite fitting, but Thank You for sharing your journey.

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
  90. Shenu wrote:

    Jean I have been following you for 5 years now, I still haven’t found a blogger I like so much. Not just your style but I just love what a beautiful person you are! I teared up reading this. I don’t know why because I think you are so strong, opening up like this… I’m speechless! I’m sure you will get good news very soon! “Hugs”

    Posted 11.5.17 Reply
    • Karla wrote:

      Thank you for writing your personal birth journey. It was touching. It helps women who feel alone to read your journey. And sharing hopefully makes you feel less alone. May your birth journey lead you to love, children are always love.

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Tammy wrote:

      Thank you for sharing your journey so openly. It takes courage to go through IVF, not knowing what the outcome may be. I know firsthand because I went through it myself. By God’a grace, I conceived a little girl over 2 years ago. I pray that you will have a positive outcome! 🙂

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Bana wrote:

      You summed it up perfectly, my husband and I have been trying to for 5 years and have done nine ivf cycles so far, you described it perfectly when you said you cried because it was everything and nothing, eight of my closest friends are all having babies around the same time including my two sisters, i am genuinly happy for all them but i understand when you say it’s a just a daily reminder that it’s not just as easy for others. Please know that you are not alone at all, the injections the swelling the the pressure you are not alone. The only thing that made this process bearable was the decision that my husband and I made is that this process will make our relationship stronger and not break us. Have faith that everything happens for a reason or a lesson that we will appreciate later on, good luck xo

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Adelia wrote:

      Jean, I can feel your frustration. I have been married for 6 years now and I can’t get pregnant naturally. I tried many yoga poses like the head stand that u shared, Chinese medicine’s etc. Nothing works. I felt the frustration, the shame and lost of hopes. I salute u for going through the IVF process. I heard horror stories about it. I don’t have the courage to do it. U r really brave! I have finally accepted a life without children , and be grateful with what I already have. My husband occasionally still complains about my inability of having children. But I don’t feel sad or pain anymore. When I have accepted myself for who I am, I feel free.

      I hope u all the best, Jean. I really hope u live a happy life, with or without children. Most importantly, u always have the support from all the people who loves u, especially Nick.

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Anita wrote:

      Reading this as I have to wake up early for my own super early appointment. The roller coaster of emotions is so real. Sending hugs your way. Stay strong!! ❤️

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • carolkim wrote:

      Jean I pray that the IVF process will work for you..Take heart

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Cat wrote:

      We too have struggled with infertility. You are very fortunate to have insurance cover your treatments because most do not. It is a very emotional and stressful time, lots of tears, hope and then tears. Felt like a roller coaster for us, only one of my 4 embryos were viable . We implanted that one embryo and now we have a little boy that just turned one over the summer 🙂 I really hope and pray that you too will have a happy ending! Carrying the gift of life was the best thing I have ever experienced! I was one of those weird ones that loved being pregnant lol. But it was not hard to enjoy it when it was something that I wanted so badly for years so I gladly accepted the morning sickness. I wish you and Nick lots of luck in this process and virtual hugs!

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Olivia wrote:

      As someone who has gone through infertility for 4 years and who is also a private person, I know how hard this was for you, it was very brave! I am currently saving for IVF for 2018. I wish you the best and pray that it works for you!

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Winnie wrote:

      Dear Jean. Thank you so much for sharing. I was tearing up as I read. I’ve been following your blog for a few years and I can sense the sincerity in all your posts. This one is particularly touching and personal. Sending you and Nick warm thoughts and wishes.

      Posted 11.6.17 Reply
    • Lillie wrote:

      Jean, we are praying for you and sending you guys love and warm fuzzies. Wishing you the best of health and strength on the road to babies and beyond. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a remarkable woman.

      Posted 11.7.17 Reply
    • sophia wrote:

      I been visiting your blog for not a long period of time. However, this time I want to thank you for sharing such a private side of your life. I am a patient living with cancer and doctors tell me i would not be able to have children. my only option is thru surrogacy. Even after 4 years, i am having hard time accepting the fact. I hope you the best of luck with your IVF cycle. and lots of “hugs” to you.

      Posted 11.7.17 Reply
    • True. Sign. And I’m one of those, who says ” if it happens it happens” I sure hope there is a happy ending

      Posted 11.14.17 Reply

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