Dear Annie: My husband and I have had some difficulty getting pregnant. I am 32 and feel the clock ticking as each day without my having a fertility doctor passes.
This entire process is completely embarrassing. I am ashamed I even have to go through this. I feel as though I am less of a woman.
We recently moved to a new city, and I don't even have an obstetrician. I want my husband to get his sperm tested but don't even know where to send him. I have to get my fallopian tubes tested but don't even know whom to call.
I do not feel comfortable asking my friends for referrals. Is there a secret list of all the good fertility doctors? What are my options? — Baby Wanter
Dear Baby Wanter: I'm sorry you're going through this. I know it's incredibly stressful, but you have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed. If you and your husband are unable to achieve pregnancy through traditional means, it does not signal any sort of "failure" — biologically, morally or otherwise. And you are by no means alone. In the United States, 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving.
As for next steps, I know that to-do lists tend to be a mile long after big moves, but near the top of the list should be getting set up with a physician. You and your husband can ask neighbors, co-workers and new friends for suggestions. Once you've found a physician you like, he or she can refer you to an obstetrician/gynecologist. As a bare minimum requirement, any doctor you see should be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. You can check whether a doctor is certified at http://www.certificationmatters.org.
I'd also recommend reading Heather Huhman's article titled "The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Fertility Clinic... and Knowing When to Get a Second Opinion," which is available online. Huhman is an outspoken infertility advocate and host of the weekly podcast "Beat Infertility," which you might enjoy listening to while unpacking boxes. I wish you and your husband all the best.
Dear Annie: "Planning Ahead" wrote to you about planning for her and her husband's senior years. She was wondering whether they should move in with an adult child. I just wanted to share my experience.
My husband and I live in a "life-care" community. We are currently in the independent section. One meal a day is included. We get housekeeping service weekly. And there's a 24-hour EMT or nurse on duty in the event of a medical emergency. Transportation is provided if necessary. We are totally independent and don't take advantage of the transportation, but it is nice not having to deal with household problems, etc. When the time comes for assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care, these facilities are on the same campus. We don't have to ask friends or family to help us with any type of problem, as the facility will assist us whenever necessary. — Living Stress-Free and Loving It
Dear Living Stress-Free and Loving It: Thanks for sharing this success story. I'm always keeping an ear out for voices of experience. By that token, I would love to hear from readers who have gone the other route that "Planning Ahead" was considering: moving in with an adult child.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]