The Infertile Entrepreneur

Original image by Ben Romang Photo of Springfield, Illinois

I haven’t reached the highs of infertility treatment yet, but I am familiar with the lows. They come in waves. I’ve been open about the fluctuating emotions that come along with infertility treatment. Sometimes everything is normal – and other times, like an angsty teenager, I am devastated and livid and so unbelievably tired. But unlike the last time I felt this way, some thirteen or fourteen years ago, I have responsibilities now. I have to get up. I have a mortgage. I have a car payment. I have a company.

I’m sure some of you have no idea what I actually do for a living. Outside of the site, I’m a full-time writer. After years staffed at a magazine and working content marketing for a tech company, I became self employed in 2017; now I balance my time between working on client copywriting projects and contributing articles for various publications. I love it. It’s my dream job. And its success has occurred in direct opposition of my fertility experience.

We had just started our first medicated cycle when I was laid off at my last company. I assumed we’d stop trying until I found a new job (and worked there long enough to qualify for its maternity leave) but, with my husband’s undying support, I began working for myself instead of returning to an organization. It had always been the plan… that I hadn’t intended to start for another handful of years. We returned to the treatment shortly after and continued it for another year. Next we started in vitro fertilization. On our third transfer we had our short-lived success. And now I’m here, back on the medicated cycle bandwagon with what feels like nothing to show for the last two years.

Nothing, of course, except for the dream job I literally built for myself while this was happening.

I’m so proud of my work, and I couldn’t ask for better clients or projects – and when I wasn’t happy with it, I knew I could work harder and longer to change the outcome. My mind is having a hard time accepting that my other sole focus, infertility treatment, is not something that will change based on my overtime effort. And sometimes when I feel truly wrapped up in a proud or happy moment of success, I feel a stab in the ribs of guilt as if I’m not supposed to be joyful while also working on something so emotionally and physically complex.

I live in an odd limbo. These two journeys started at the same time, and balancing the drastically different levels of success is, at best, confusing. Seeing it in writing shows how different the two are, but the coordinated schedules and ample emotions make them feel deeply intertwined. Since I cannot work harder at infertility treatment, my goal is to use that energy to keep its weight from spreading to all aspects of my life. I couldn’t do it today. Maybe it will be easier tomorrow.




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