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19 Pictures That Show The Reality Of Dealing With Infertility

"Every single month you get your hopes up only to be completely crushed and then forced to keep going. It is a rollercoaster."

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Infertility — the inability to get pregnant despite trying for at least a year — can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and expensive to deal with when you're trying to have children.

To help people understand what it's like to experience it, we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share pictures of what navigating infertility is really like.

Here are some pictures that they shared — but keep in mind that everyone's journey is personal and unique, so these are by no means universal experiences of infertility.

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4.

buzzfeed.com

After the follicle stimulation hormones (FSH), ovaries swell from the size of grapes to the size of grapefruits. This is a normal side effect but one can’t help but be heartbroken by looking so pregnant and still having such a long way to go. —sandyp4172f13d0

6.

buzzfeed.com

• Over seven years

• $18,000+

• Four failed artificial insemination with donor sperm

• A failed adoption

• A combined total of eight medical procedures between my husband and me

I finally got pregnant. Lost her at eight weeks pregnant. —rowdieangel

7.

buzzfeed.com

My infertility looks like this: two moms, five kids, four adoptions at the same time, two judges, one courtroom. One surgical endometriosis diagnosis, six cycles of drugs/donors/dreams, one emergency hysterectomy. We built our family through adoption, but it took me years to understand that raising my amazing kids didn’t treat my infertility. It is okay to mourn my fertility — acknowledging that loss sets a good example for my children. —megm44de4605c

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8.

buzzfeed.com

Ten years and multiple miscarriages, surgeries and heartache. Finally a friend offered to carry for us. First transfer ended in miscarriage of two embryos. One year later we transferred our one boy (we still have three girls) to our friend and we have a healthy four-month-old son!! —tarabethblankenshipt

9.

buzzfeed.com

One “perk” of being infertile and spending thousands on IVF is that I got to see my babies a few days after conception. How many people can say that? Now my twin girls are about to be one and a half years old! There’s hope, don’t give it up. —banana1104

10.

buzzfeed.com

Needles used for IVF to celebrate our rainbow baby. You can see the five day embryo and the 12-week ultrasound. —aprilh41cd5a127

11.

buzzfeed.com

Infertility is popping fertility drugs at Fenway Park with 14,000 of your closest friends. We’ve dealt with infertility for nine years now. Six pregnancies, two living children, one infant loss, three miscarriages, and trying to conceive again. —catecurryp

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12.

buzzfeed.com

This is the flash from the exact moment our now 12 week old little girl was transferred and became one of the best things to ever happen to us. A day five frozen embryo transfer (FET), thankfully funded by our provincial government. —megang43eb7300a

13.

buzzfeed.com

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when I was 18. I am 32 now. We have been trying to have a baby for four years. Three rounds of IUI so far. Countless invasive tests. TONS of medications and herbs and supplements. Soooooo much money spent. It is the loneliest process that you will experience. All while countless specialists and nurses and radiology techs look on.

I think that women who are facing fertility issues are the strongest people in the world. Every single month you get your hopes up only to be completely crushed and then forced to keep going. It is a rollercoaster. —j4cac9cf5a

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19.

buzzfeed.com

This is my rainbow baby. Infertility for me was getting the innocence of pregnancy taken away. You think that when you see that positive pregnancy test you will have a healthy baby in your arms nine months later...but nope. Doesn’t always work that way. I had two back-to-back missed miscarriages (basically thought a baby was growing for ten weeks but when they checked only the sac grew, no baby). Then I went through two years of infertility and the month we were supposed to start IVF I got a surprise positive with my rainbow baby! After a very stressful pregnancy she is here. —traciev4ed2b402e