news item: Ten words that describe infertility

A couple of months ago I came across a post by Pastor Steve Wiens that really struck a chord with me. It is entitled “Ten words that describe infertility.” Steve says:

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the hilarious and exasperating journey of parenting small children. But for seven harrowing years of infertility, Mary and I would have given anything to have children, no matter how hard it was.

He goes on to list the following 10 terms and break down exactly why those words described infertility for him and his wife. Go check it out – it is most definitely worth a read.

  1. Lonely
  2. Exposed
  3. On Hold
  4. Invaded
  5. Awkward
  6. Angry
  7. Stressed
  8. Despair
  9. Loss
  10. Ambivalence

His descriptions of those terms and why its okay to feel those things was gratifying for me. Statements like “It’s okay to go home and cry your eyes out when your friends get pregnant”  really hit home, because I guarantee you that almost every ALI person on the face of the planet has done this and then felt badly about it. We just forget from time to time that we’re not the only person to feel that way, and sometimes we need that reassurance that it’s normal and it’s okay.

So what do you think?


What are the top 3 words that you would use to describe your ALI journey?


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pail_josJosey is a semi-crunchy mom of a toddler who spent her college years studying business and French and traveling whenever possible. She now works at the local medical center and is continually in search of the optimum work/life/party balance as she cruises through her 30s with her family and friends in Colorado. She is more than a little Type-A and researches the hell out of random things that pique her interest. Josey blogs about her family’s travel and outdoor life adventures at My Cheap Version of Therapy.


  1. Hard to stop at three….angry, excluded, helpless.

    Sometimes it’s good to write it out.

  2. Scared, confused, jealous…

  3. I read this just last week, and every comment. I feel that this is the best description of infertility that I have ever read. Reading it makes me sad, but brings me peace – all at the same time.

  4. Misunderstood. Marginalized. Minimized.

  5. Jealous. Lonely. Minimized.

  6. Powerless, heartbreaking, unacknowledged…but I could pretty much go on for a while…those are my top 3, at least today.

  7. Isolated, misunderstood, broken.

  8. Ongoing, surprising, divisive. That last one refers to a few things– how IF can drive a wedge between someone and a supposed friend/ally, how it separates who you used to be from who you are now, and how it can really make a lot of things feel very black and white (“I would NEVER do that, knowing what I know now”). Complicated would be my fourth word, if I had four 🙂


  1. […] Steve Wiens, who writes about infertility from the male partner’s perspective, on “Ten Words That Describe Infertility.” This one has been passed around online quite a bit lately as it seems to have resonated […]

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