Backwards Mom

Anxiety Induced Infertility

I need to digress from foster care for a while, so I will answer the question everyone wants to know……was Jett an in vitro baby? There were many years I felt alone when it came to kids and sex. There was something in this area that just wasn’t right about me. My friends talked about how they loved sex…their honeymoons were hottt (yes with the triple “t'”), and marriage was invigorating. There had to be something wrong with me. Why at twenty-something was I experiencing the complete opposite?


Truth Bomb. I think it all started on our honeymoon. Sex wasn’t what I expected it to be, and I’m sure it wasn’t what my new beloved husband was expecting. Sex hurt and it didn’t work. I was confused and figured there was just something messed up “down there“.


The first years of marriage I didn’t really think much of it as we weren’t planning hard to have kids. My brain kept flashing back to the many times prior to marriage that people in my life (lovingly at the time, but I didn’t take it that way) told me that I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids because of my intensive exercising and eating issues. I think I convinced myself that it was the truth, and that I was being punished for being hard on my body.


I asked close friends what my problem was and they had no clue. I didn’t like their advice anyway because they had kids, had great sex, and I felt ashamed that it wasn’t the case for me. I tried google-ing my problems and self-diagnosing my issues, and all I could find was stories of women not being able to have sex because of being sexually abused in the past. This wasn’t applicable to me either, so I just ignored the problem.


We found our own ways of connecting on a sexual level, but every time it was a “fail” I felt more and more depressed that I couldn’t deliver what my husband wanted. I couldn’t explain to him why this was so hard for me because I didn’t know why. It created angst between us and I went to great lengths to avoid sex (or at least that is what my husband would tell you).


In 2012, a prayer by a 4-year-old Kari, in search of a new mama, led us on a different journey. We began the journey of being foster and adoptive parents. This filled much of the void in my heart as I felt this was my calling. Of course people assumed I couldn’t have kids and so they would ask. My answer would be….. “I just feel like there are so many hurting kids in the world to help that why create my own.” I liked that answer. It was an A++ for society and allowed me to further ignore my issues while leading them to believe I was not infertile.


I know you are saying….”you idiot why didn’t you just go to the doctor?” That is so easy for you to say, but doctors were the last people I wanted to talk about with this. I hated and still avoid hospitals and doctors at all costs. To me all they were going to tell me is that I couldn’t have kids, and then all the blame would be on me.


Foster care and adoption did take its toll on me and being a new mama was hard. I began to realize that I wasn’t okay. I freaked out on my husband, cried all the time, got pissed when things didn’t go my way, and tried to fill my life with exercise to forget about it all. One night I completely lost it and went into a panic attack. Something had to change. I remembered a dear friend talking about anxiety medicine one time and gave her a call. She was genuine and said….”just go in and try some anxiety medicine.” I took her advice and I went into the doctor with shaking hands and knees.

I knew my doctor outside of the clinic and she knew enough about me to know exactly what I came in for. She gave me some anxiety medicine and it did wonders for me. I never mentioned the issues I had having sex. The meds helped and I was back on track as a foster and adoptive mom.


There was still a little hole in my heart every time I saw a pregnant woman, but I tried to ignore that too. About two years ago a dear friend shared at length with me the issues she was having regarding infertility (different from mine), but I saw her struggles and thought to myself….if she can go through these things and get answers… can I. So I booked the dreaded pap smear I hadn’t had since getting married.


For some reason I dragged my husband along thinking this would be good for the marriage and that the doctor would explain to him I have issues and he would believe me. She was delighted I came in for my pap smear that she had bugged me about every time she saw me. I sat in the room awaiting the dreaded pap. I was cold, nauseous, shaking, and sweating. I tried to convince her that I wasn’t normal “down there” and that it wasn’t going to work. She looked at me and said, “Honey, everything down there is meant to stretch and work together no matter how small you are.” I guess that seemed logical, but I was not convinced.


I will spare you the details, but the pap smear did not work. I ended up in tears because I was sure it meant I had issues. My doctor, bless her heart, wanted to help this crazy person. She stressed that I needed to relax, know that sex was natural, and should find a sex-counselor. And added that you wouldn’t find one in Northwest Iowa. I left the room ashamed, but one positive was my doctor telling my husband that he shared the “blame” for not allowing me to relax. A little burden had been lifted from my shoulders.


Ironically, a month later I ended up back in her office taking a pregnancy test that was positive. Shit….I was fertile as hell. All I needed was to figure out how to have proper sex. So what was my issue? I am convinced that my infertility was brought on by anxiety. Anxiety because of the pain of sex, anxiety for not being good enough, anxiety because I felt like I was the only one in the marriage working. I was overloaded in life and exhausted. And, in my mind the person causing the anxiety was my husband himself. It’s no wonder sex didn’t work.


Just over a year ago, we were blessed with our Baby Jett. 

For any infertile women out there………this is a real thing, but no one talks about it. I will be the first to let you know it is. And it’s not a fun struggle. It’s embarrassing and hard to get help….let alone write a blog post about.


What did it take to overcome this? For me it was a little anxiety medicine, a very logical biological answer, and a ‘slapping my husband’s hand’ by my doctor. I know some of you are thinking, “Why are you telling such and embarrassing story?” Here’s why:

  1. I want to help any other women struggling with this same thing….whatever it should be diagnosed as. I am here for you..
  2. To disprove to everyone who made an assumption that because I adopted first that I had IVF (or medical help) to get pregnant, that it is NOT the case. Also, please never assume that because someone is an adoptive mom, that they are infertile. I hate that assumption with a passion.  
  3. To answer the question I got a thousand times when I was pregnant, “O, was this a surprise?” Again just because we adopted first didn’t mean Jett was a surprise. We know that having sex leads to a pregnancy……so no NOT really a surprise.

And if you saw my Instagram Post on my daughter finding this book.… makes the Instagram story more hilarious. 



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