Karen Jeffries, AKA ‘Hilariously Infertile’ on Instagram, helps so many people trying to conceive, by providing light-hearted humour in the hardest of times. She has written a book too, which you should check out. See what light relief she can bring you during your fertility journey and fertility clinic visits.
Over to Karen…
www.hilariouslyinfertile.com | @hilariously_infertile
Hilariously Infertile is definitely one of our favourite light-hearted fertility accounts on Instagram. What inspired you to start it and how does this work with your ‘real job’ and family?
Thank you for saying that. I was helping a friend, and a family member through their infertility cycles and I was explaining it to my husband one night. He said, “I think you should write a book.” I laughed him off, because I don’t even read that many books, let alone think about writing one. Then maybe a week or two later I just started writing and it poured out of me and onto the page. I finished writing the book in five weeks. I tried submitting it to literary agents near me and I didn’t hear back from anyone, or I heard, “We just don’t think it a big enough market.” That is what fuelled my fire to today. I wasn’t ready to give up on the book idea, nor on the idea of helping people struggling with fertility, who feel as though they are suffering alone. A friend suggested that I start a website and use social media. I was against the social media idea at first, because I didn’t (and still don’t) have a personal Facebook page, because I am a teacher. But, he felt that social media was the best way to help people today. I started it and it took off.
Having a “real job” and being a social media influencer is a lot. I am also a mother of two small kids, so it is all a balancing act – I triage. Family and teaching come first, then Hilariously Infertile. I have many very long days, but I do not want it any other way.
Related Article – Jess and Ryan’s Story of Changing Fertility Clinics and Hope
Fertility is obviously not a funny story, but how do you think about these insanely relatable memes and content to give people some ‘yup that’s me’ laughs?
That’s the thing, infertility is not funny. It’s not. It’s hard and heartbreaking. I try to find the little pieces of humor in certain situations and focus on them, to get people through the day. To me, the funny parts are: the male ejaculation rooms – hilarious, the trans-vaginal ultrasound wand love – hate relationship, the fertility clinic waiting rooms where no one talks, the IVF injections in the butt – which I loving call the ‘ass shots’. Those are the things that I choose to focus on. I think people want to know that they are not alone and the crazy thoughts and feelings going on in their head, are totally normal when trying to concieve..
Anything light-hearted happen during your fertility treatment?
During my initial visit to see my fertility specialist, he explained the options to me and my husband. He told us about IUI and IVF. When he explained about IUI he said, and I swear these were his words, “Your husband will come in and give his donation and then the lab on site will clean and buff his sperm.”
That’s what he said! Donation, which is a very bizarre word for sperm collection – and clean and buff!!! As my husband and I walked out of our fertility clinic, I elbowed him and said, “This sounds like a load of BS. Your sperm gets to go to the spa and all I get is that wand thing?” That was one of our first laughs about the whole situation, and it helped up get through the rest tremendously.
Related Article – What Motivates Men to Become Sperm Donors?
Tell us about your book?
Hilariously Infertile: One Woman’s Inappropriate Quest to Help Other Woman Laugh through Infertility – quite a mouthful of a title. My book is just my fertility story. Starting from marrying my husband, to trying to conceive on our own, to finding out that I’m infertile, to IUIs and IVF. It is raw, inappropriate, snarky, and hilarious. It is the way that real women talk when we’re at lunch or dinner with our true friends.
Summarise Infertility in three words…
Painful. Isolating. Confusing.
How did you keep a sense of humour throughout?
I have a great husband who has a wonderful sense of humor and he helped me while I was going through infertility treatments. My personality is just that funny, awkward, going-to-say-what-it-really-is type of person. This is just me.
Related Article – Dealing with Anxiety and Uncertainty on your Fertility Journey
What do you like doing when you’re not writing about trans-vaginal monitoring?
Ha! Teaching and being a mom doesn’t leave much time for anything else, but I love pilates and riding horses on the weekends. I love doing handyman (handy-lady) projects around the house. When I have time, I like vegging out and watching TV, but that doesn’t happen very often anymore.
What advice would you give to people finding themselves struggling to conceive?
I would tell them that they are not alone and that it is okay to need medical assistance to try to have a family. I would tell them to be their own self-advocate, whilst also not googling too much to make them crazy. I would tell them to read my book and come to my social media pages, because the infertility community is strong, powerful and helpful.
Related Article – How Inspirational Quotes for (In)Fertility Can Motivate You
Hopefully this fertility blog has provided you with a much needed light-hearted break in the midst of your fertility journey. If you are struggling with TTC (trying to conceive) and want to find more real-life stories, expert fertility and people experiencing the same thing, then join our Fertility Squad today.