The Longest Longest Time


Lisa tried to have a baby. And then she tried some more. She tried and tried and tried and tried. In all kinds of ways. For 11 years. All of that trying eventually led to that little hand you see above and at left. In this episode, find out how.

Tell us YOUR Story of Trying
If you can relate to Lisa’s story, please consider leaving a comment on this post about YOUR story. It can be really hard to find a safe place to talk about struggles with fertility, and I hope you’ll find this place a good one to gather and commiserate. And encourage.

Infertility Resource
If you’re seeking professional support for infertility or adoption, Lisa says she found the Infertility & Adoption Counseling Center helpful. They also run in-person workshops and support groups in New York and New Jersey.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we have started a closed Facebook group, where you can discuss sensitive subjects like infertility in a more private place than the comments section. We still encourage your comments! But if you are wanting a more cloaked place to connect with other moms, head on over to Longest Shortest Time Mamas, and let the bonding begin!

23 thoughts on “EPISODE #23: The Longest Longest Time

  1. I saw a link that “This American Life” shared on facebook about a new (to me) parenting podcast. I love podcasts and thought I’d download the most recent episode and try this one out. I expected it to be about parenting, and was totally caught off guard when the topic ended up focusing on infertility.

    I loved this story not because it’s exactly like my story, or even close, but because it’s so nice to hear other people talking about their struggles to have a baby. I spent two years in misery trying to get pregnant with my first – so many drugs, surgeries, and failed treatments until finally we were successful on our second round of IVF. I wish I could have heard this podcast then, because when I was going through infertility, I knew almost no one who was also struggling. My friends didn’t know how to support me and it was the most isolating thing I’ve ever experienced.

    So thanks for talking about this important topic that affects so many women and couples. I am now listening my way through the archives and have yet to hit an episode that didn’t tug at my heartstrings in some way. Great podcast!

  2. What a great podcast and forum! I wrote a complete post on our troubles conceiving and what things we in this blog post: http://evidentlyblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/long-and-winding-road.html. In the middle of everything, I felt so not in control and wanting of something that seemingly came so easily to everyone except us–it was so frustrating. I hope that our story with help either providing some new ideas of things to try or encouragement. We tried to 2 years with various interventions and it was the longest years of our lives.

  3. I am new to the podcast & working my way through the archives. Love it.

    Had to come comment on this one. It was my 33rd birthday when I got news that my Bhcg’s were dropping. If was my 2nd loss and the one that truly signalled something was wrong. With me.
    3.5 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 2 m/c’s and 2 healthy pregnancies & kidlets later it still brought me to my knees, sobbing, to hear the birthday similarity. Thank you for telling the story.

  4. As an acupuncturist, I imagined all my fertility tools would be in reach. I never imagined how deep I would need to go with western medicine to get pregnant. After 11 failed iuis, weekly acupuncture treatments, and many years of treats showing there was nothing wrong with us, I was finally ready to try ivf. Even then, I was a “great responder” so I continued to be baffled as each individual embryo transfer failed.
    This was a depressing 4 years to say the least. Month after month, I could tell I was having chemical pregnancies. I felt the magic begin and disappear as my period came. I felt isolated from much of my community who knew nothing of our struggles.
    One day , our fertility clinic called and informed us that I have a balanced translocation. This effects 1/500 people. Basically, 2 chromosomes swapped material and so the majority of my eggs have missing or added material. Hence, the related chemical pregnancies.
    At this point, I decided to tell all of our friends one by one. We made a list and went on our way disclosing our struggles. Our friends were all supportive and it was a great relief to have no more secrets.
    Our remaining embryos were biopsied and tested to see of they were ok. None were which was devastating. We moved forward with another fresh round and testing. This time, I was not a great responder and only had 3 to test. Against all odds, there was one normal or balanced embryo and I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant with him.
    I’m 39 and my husband is 41. It feels like a miracle to be finally here.

      1. Thanks, Hillary! Every night, I listen to an episode or 2 of your podcast before bed. You keep me company when I awaken with insomnia as well. Hearing your show helps to gear me up for my future of being a mom.

      2. I expected my pregnancy to be rough given my history but instead it was blissful. I enjoyed watching my belly swell and loved never having to carry groceries :) I worked seeing patients until th Friday night after a full moon when my water broke. We headed over with our doula to the hospital to give birth with our team of midwives. I hoped to have a natural birth and with little intervention. My labor was barely established 16 hours later and so I had to do Pitocin. After many hours of intense labor, I was maybe 6 cms dilated. At this point we learned that the Pitocin was stressing our baby’s heart. Our baby was asynclitic meaning he was stuck. The only option was a Cesarean birth. I can’t say I ever imagined the birth would go this way. The surgery was traumatic but in the end, we were handed our freakishly adorable baby. I was expecting a funny looking old man baby but we were appalled at his cuteness.

        The recovery was a rough road but I’m back in shape with a scar as a reminder. I feel that my journey to get pregnant prepared me to flow when I needed to with the necessary birth interventions. I had grief and sadness admist the baby blues for a couple of weeks as I waited for the swelling to go down in my Fred Flintstone blocky feet but I didn’t blame myself or feel less than for not having my perfect birth. Those were wounds that healed through accepting our infertility process.

        Our beautiful boy turns 6 months old on Monday. I went back to work after 6 weeks for 20 hours/ week. The rest of the time, I have a little munchkin on my lap.

        PS I have 3 friends still suffering from infertility. I feel like I can’t relax until they get their kiddos

  5. 8 years … and still trying. Every time our wedding anniversary comes around, I remember how long it’s been. That seems so sad.

    I cried throughout this story. Our clinic suggested that if another Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) fails, then we should think about a surrogate. Somehow hearing this story made that seem like a possibility for the first time.

    It’s heartbreaking that having a child is so difficult when it seems like the most natural thing in the world for others. I was even pregnant before at 13 from an incestuous rape, and so to know I can’t get pregnant now with my own husband underlines how unfair life can be. The only thing that makes it a little better is knowing that I’m not the only one. So thank-you for reminding me of that.

    1. Mary, I am so sorry to hear about all of your hardships. I feel honored that you are comfortable sharing your story here, and wish you the best of luck in your journey. Glad to hear this story resonated.

  6. So I’m new to your podcast and decided to start all the way from the beginning and just heard this episode. At work. Horrible Idea ha. It nearly took all of my strength not to break down crying. I reached the point in the episode where Lisa and her husband were denied the child they trying to adopt and immediately wanted to contact you. For some reason I felt like I needed to help them.

    I am a mom to 2 year old and am in my mid/late 20s. My pregnancy was beautiful and I loved every part of it. I have always been interested in being a surrogate and still kind of am. I thought to myself why not. This couple wanted a baby so badly and I can do that for them. I’m healthy, able and willing to consider doing this for them.

    I resumed the episode and later heard that they did finally got their long awaited baby using a surrogate. Which again made me tear up.

    I don’t ever do this, post on walls like this but this was such a huge reaction I had towards this episode I didn’t really want to hold it in.

  7. Hello,
    I am also new to the Longest Shortest Podcast. I’d fist like to say way to go on such a beautiful and unabashedly real show. I love it. After finding out about it, I started listening from the beginning. From probably the 3rd episode on I told myself to listen to each and every episode and hopefully I would hear some stories about the early struggles of parenthood that included issues on infertility. I told myself this because what I really wanted was to go straight to my computer to write Hilary to tell her about our story (my husband and I). For a long time I have felt that our story was so unreal and so heartbreaking that no one would or could understand. Episode #23 has helped me to see that this isn’t the case. My story is very similar to that of Lisa and her family. At the end of everything we tried medically for 7 years we are still without a child. And now, 1 year fully delved into the adoption process (money and all) our agency filed bankruptcy and we have been left to pick up the pieces. We never even made it into the pool of potential birth parents. I could go on and on about the emotional stress associated with our circumstances and I think I may check out the private Facebook group to do that.
    It has been great listening to your podcast and I look forward to the more than 100 episodes I have yet to finish. Just wanted to share and thanks for providing a place to do that. It helps.


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