By Beth Engelman

When the doctor told me there was something wrong, I was speechless. My mom had 4 babies in a row and my brother and sister each had 2 each without issue. Even my younger brother and his wife were pregnant and they were practically newlyweds. But there I was 36 years old in a fertility clinic because “try” as we might my husband and I couldn’t get pregnant.



The issue was two-fold, my numbers were a little high and my husband, well, he had a problem too which we later discovered is fairly common for men who are under a lot of stress. The fertility doctor, smiled gently as he delivered the news, given our issues it would be nearly impossible to get pregnant on our own, but there was hope as he we were perfect candidates for an IUI. 

I was nervous, but game. My doctor had been highly recommended and had an excellent track record. He was kind and sweet and had a reassuring manner that gave me confidence that we were doing the right thing. The doctor prescribed fertility drugs for me, which would increase our chances of getting pregnant. The shots weren’t that bad at least not for me. My husband on the other hand, had to close his eyes every time I gave myself a shot! The actual IUI procedure was relatively quick and painless and although my doctor said I could be up and walking around within a few hours I stayed in bed for an extra day or and kept my legs in the air.

Maybe it was the “legs in the air” or just really good science, but whatever it was, we got pregnant on the first try. It turned out we fertilized 2 eggs and although we would lose one baby when I was 12 weeks pregnant, we were blessed with a baby boy! I know how devastating infertility can be and how scary it is to wonder, “will I ever get pregnant.” If you are having trouble conceiving, my advice is to talk to your doctor about your options and visit a fertility clinic such as HRC Pasadena ( I was scared to get help but so grateful I did, as I’m fairly certain we would never have been able to conceive without a little extra help from our doctor. Want to hear more advice about infertility? Here’s a video (I did with some of my colleagues at iVillage talking about our own infertility issues, remember you are not alone!

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Bio: Beth Engelman is co-founder of a website dedicated to living large on a shoestring budget. Her column “Mommy on a Shoestring,” appears in over 30 local papers around the Chicago area. Beth is also a contributor to NBC Universal iVillage, Radio Disney and WGN TV. She holds a master’s degree in Education and has written several interactive children’s books and games.

Note: Beth Engelman was compensated for this post but all opinions are her own.