Mom's Viral Letter on Her Infertility Struggles Shows There's More Than One Path to Parenthood

April 28th 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

Parenting is not easy.

Yes, raising a child is no easy task, but parenting and the associated difficulties start long before a child ever arrives. For some, getting pregnant can itself be a battle due to infertility.

Infertility is more common than you think. According to the Centers For Disease Control, 7.5 million women ages 15 to 44 have fertility problems. The majority seek help: 6.9 million have turned to infertility services for support.

Desiree Fortin, 31, of Encinitas, Calif., knows wrote a letter on the subject that is going viral.

Fortin published a letter to her infertility on her website explaining her struggles and triumphs in becoming a parent.

The letter explains the heartbreak and struggle involved in her getting pregnant, and explains that it was infertility itself that taught her and her husband how to be stronger and more courageous.

The post was shared to the Love What Matters Facebook, where it has received over 24,000 likes, more than 3,790 shares, and over 800 comments.

The reactions to Fortin’s letter echo her experience, highlighting how hard starting a family can be for some people.

Some noted alternative solutions to parenting that come with infertility.

Others reflected on the story with sympathy, sharing how infertility resonates beyond one or two people.

Fortin’s experience was long and costly. Unfortunately, that is the norm for women who are infertile.

Reached by email, Fortin expanded on the difficulties.

“Infertility was one of the most painful experiences of my life,” Fortin told ATTN:. “It was exhausting emotionally, physically and financially.” Fortin and her husband tried for two years before working with a fertility clinic for a year. After two failed IUIs and roughly $30,000 spent, Fortin became pregnant with triplets via IVF.


A post shared by Desiree Fortin (@thefortintrio) on

Infertility takes a mental toll too.

Men and women affected by infertility can be profoundly impacted by it: half of women and 15% of men coping with such problems said infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives. Atop of this, couples begin blaming themselves for the problem while coping with the anxiety, stress, and sometimes depression surrounding the myriad variables at play.


A post shared by Desiree Fortin (@thefortintrio) on

Fortin echoes this. “Infertility can consume you and it can consume your marriage. It was definitely hard on us,” she shared. “We saw a therapist to help us through the season we were in. My husband was incredibly supportive. It was so hard him watching me face the physical and emotional struggles of infertility and fertility treatments while working through his own struggles as man.”

Infertility struggles are very real and their effects are wide-reaching.

While many are able to overcome infertility naturally, with medical treatment, or alternative methods like adoption, some are unfortunately unable to move beyond the issue. In fact, millions of women in the U.S. don’t have access to fertility treatment, exposing a disparity in access to treatment.

“We were one of the lucky ones to come out of infertility,” Fortin said. “It was worth the heartache, the emotional and physical aspects of treatments and debt too. “

You can read Fortin’s full post below.