Fertility Blogger of the Month: Karen of Hilariously Infertile
Karen is helping other women laugh their way through fertility treatment.
This blogger and social media influencer needs no introduction. Heck, she's been in PEOPLE magazine. You've likely seen her on social media (she's definitely instafamous), but just who is she? Funny enough, we had the pleasure of running into Karen at a conference and are happy to inform you that she is every bit as funny, warm and smart as you have gathered from her online presence. We are big fans.
For those new to Hilariously Infertile, her goal is simple. She's out to "help other women laugh their way through their treatment, while their feet are in the stirrups and their vaginas are enjoying the fresh fertility clinic air."
Best news yet—If you can't get enough of her all-too-real funniness, check out her book Hilariously Infertile.
This is what Karen had to say about blogging and running a super successful fertility-focused social media presence.
Tell us about yourself
I am a fourth-grade dual language (Spanish/English) outside New York City. I am married with two kids, the best dog ever, and an amazing husband. On the weekends I love to go horseback riding and go to Pilates and spend time with my family.
How did your experience with infertility start and how has the story unfolded?
I had no idea that I was infertile. My husband and I started “trying," we were having unprotected sex and I wasn’t getting my periods for months at a time. So I went to my ob-gyn and she started me on Clomid. Nothing happened. Next month more Clomid. Nothing. She left me a voicemail on a Friday in December 2011, telling me that she thinks I have PCOS and that I should go to NYU Fertility.
At NYU they confirmed the PCOS diagnosis and we did our first IUI. Nothing. Negative. We did our second IUI and that was positive. Then when my first daughter was 18 months old we started trying for our second. I did five rounds of Clomid and four IUIs because nothing happened on our first round of Clomid. After the fourth failed IUI we decided to go forward with IVF. We were very lucky and became pregnant on our first round of IVF.
Why did you start blogging?
I was helping a friend and a family member both through their cycles (separately) and I was telling my husband about their cycles and he suggested that I write a book. I laughed him off and thought, “I don’t even read books, why would I write one?” Then one day I just started writing and everything poured out of me. I didn’t know what it was at first, a book, a blog, a silly diary? I kept writing and five weeks later I had a complete first draft of the book, which is very close to the final product today. I thought I would get picked up by a publisher easily and when that didn’t happen I started the website and social media accounts.
What's the story behind the name?
OK. Long story short, I was watching The Today Show on the day that Matt Laurer accidentally said Savanna Guthrie’s work email on camera. I jumped at the opportunity and immediately emailed her about my book called, at the time, “Let’s Talk Fertility, Shall We?” It was a lame title. Anyway, that night after two glasses of wine I confessed what a crazy stalker I am to my husband and he was like, “Wow. OK.” And I said, “Oh whatever I am hilarious and I am infertile.” And then it just hit me, “HILARIOUSLY INFERTILE.” I really liked that sound of it and the oxymoron.
What are three words that describe your blog /social spaces?
Funny. Inappropriate. Infertility.
What topic do you find yourself covering most often and why?
What not to say to someone struggling with infertility. How to handle all the birth announcements and baby showers, etc. How to handle/react to dumb unsolicited advice.
Who is your target reader/follower?
I think the one thing all of my followers have in common is they need a laugh to get them through and I try to help give them that.
What's unique about your blog/social spaces?
My mission is to help people laugh. If they are having a good day, laugh. If they are having a bad day, laugh. If they are at their lowest, laugh and know you are not alone. If they are on the “other side” of infertility, they can laugh looking back at what they went through.
What was your most popular post ever? Why do you think it was popular with readers?
As far as social media, popular topics are anything about unsolicited advice or going crazy on the hormones.
What is the best thing about writing about infertility?
I know that I am helping people. I know that every day I am waking up, going to work, teaching, and also helping women all over the world get through one of the toughest times in their lives. The is a very amazing and very humbling feeling.
What is the worst thing?
There are two difficult things, not worst things, just difficult. When my followers DM me (which I LOVE when they do!) and they share with me the hardest most unimaginable heart-wrenching stories. I love, love, love connecting with my followers, but those stories really weigh on me, which they should.
The second this that is difficult are the instances that people have been upset about me having children. I am a very honest person and I really don’t hide things, so that is difficult.
What's the best tip you have to offer someone struggling with fertility issues?
I have lots of small pieces of advice. But my biggest is that people, especially women, need to give themselves a break. What I mean by that is to set the bar low for yourself while going through fertility treatments. Maybe you order more takeout, maybe your hair and outfits aren’t amazing that month, let the “little” things go.