No More Happy Birthdays

I wanted to be a doctor from a young age. I was one of the few kids who thought it was neat to get a shot. I was inspired by my physicians, and I think MASH is still the best show on television.
When I started medical school I was sure that I would be a family physician. Yes I enjoyed medicine, but I found that paying attention of the personal aspects of care to be very rewarding. Asking patients about their family, jobs and family was very appealing to me.
So I went on to became a fertility specialist, but attention to the personal details was still important to me. I like asking patients the details about their lives outside the fertility world. And that’s how I became frustrated with “Happy Birthday”.
Birthdays are difficult for women who are infertile. As they get older, the hands of their biological are chipping away at their chance to be a parent. When I first started practicing I would feel awkward about bringing up the subject.
And then I thought, what force has the right to take away one of our most basic pleasures? Who doesn’t remember the fun in having an entire day dedicated to you? Blowing out the candles was always thrilling. Heck, you even got presents for no reason at all, except for the fact that this was the anniversary of the day you graced the world with your presence.
So I say now have a very Happy Birthday. It’s your day, soak it up.

6 responses to “No More Happy Birthdays”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. It is the eve of my 37th birthday and I have been insemming with great timing and no results for 9 months, and this was the most thoughtful birthday card I could ask for.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Dr. L for this comment! I just happend upon your blog from a post from someone on another website. I have PCO, I’ve been reading your blog for over an hour and love you explanations. I’ve had a really hard time finding a good RE in my area. Most of them are cold and have really bad bedside manners. My last RE told me, “don’t worry, your still young.” I’ll be 30 this year and fear how long it’s going to take me to get pregnant. This is the last thing I wanted to hear from a dr. I’ve been on the search since!
    Thanks again for taking the time to give so many women, advice and hope!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much!! I am 41 and a half and I am getting an IVF to my first baby. I never gave up!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This was very helpful. My birthday is in four days and even though I am only turning 25, I have just be diagnosed as infertile and my husband has low sperm so I have a gloomy outlook on childbirth. Your message was very thoughtful, considerate, and appreciated.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You mean well Dr. L, but for those of us who watch those years continue to creep up – with no conception occurring – it’s too hard to “soak it up” really. I just watched my 46 come & go, & after so having waited too long to try unknowingly (40) & too many years of trying naturally with no luck since & not enough money to adopt or go IVF, there’s nothing that I want to soak up or smile about right now. & any appreciation that I had in my home has now fallen with the economy. No, it’s a combo of too many no-win situations & it’s hard to toss aside & party to the tune of my upcoming 47th birthday!

  6. Liv says:

    Thank you Dr. Licciardi, I really appreciate this post. I’m turning 42, deal with ovarian cysts, and am still seeking out a doctor I feel comfortable with. I’ve been reading through your blog posts …a lot of great information.

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