Family

Things We Don’t Talk About.

This is our 15th month trying to conceive, and this month I am more discouraged than usual but I don’t know why.

I’m in the middle of what is termed the “Two Week Wait” (the waiting period between the time a woman ovulates and the time she begins her menstrual cycle or receives a positive pregnancy test), and although my husband and I timed everything perfectly this month (I mean, could not have been more perfect!) I don’t feel like this month is going to result in a “Big Fat Positive.”

I was reading an article that a friend linked on her Facebook page about why women shouldn’t have to wait three months to reveal that they are pregnant (if they don’t want to). Normally, a pregnant woman might wait to announce her good news because she wants to make sure that her baby makes it through the first trimester in good health. Since the chances of miscarriage decrease with time, a woman who reveals her pregnancy too soon might have to face the agony of announcing her miscarriage only a few weeks later. The author of the article described how she’d waited to reveal her pregnancy, and unfortunately she miscarried while still in the first trimester. Since no one knew that she was pregnant in the first place, she had to go on with life as though nothing had gone wrong. She had lost a child, and kept it to herself. The experience was emotionally draining for her, and once she finally opened up about her miscarriage she realized that there were so many other women who’d gone through the same thing. It’s a good article.

I feel like the situation is somewhat similar (though perhaps less devastating?) for people who struggle with infertility. Usually, you don’t announce that you are trying to get pregnant. If no one knows that you are trying to get pregnant, you can avoid all the unwarranted advice, the people continuously asking you if you have any “good news,” and the embarrassment you might feel if it happens to take longer than expected (or if you happen to discover some medical problem that you didn’t know you’d had). But trying to conceive when no one knows you’re trying (and even if they do know!) is also very lonely.

My family is extremely fertile. My maternal great-grandmother had fifteen children and my paternal great-grandmother had eleven. My maternal grandmother had five children and my paternal grandmother had four. My aunts and uncles have all had multiple children as well, and my cousins with children had no problems with getting pregnant once they started trying. So, I have to admit that I don’t think anyone in my family would really be able to understand the insanity/emotional roller coaster/obsession/absolute craziness that is trying to conceive. As for my friends? Most of them already have children. The ones that don’t are not interested in having children at this point (to my knowledge), but I’m not close enough with any of them to really discuss this sort of thing, anyway. It would be nice if I could make friends with people who have been trying to conceive for a long time. But where do you find them? These aren’t exactly the things people talk about in polite conversation. And that’s my point. Trying to conceive is a lonely road. Meanwhile, people get pregnant all around you, and you are invited to baby showers, and you go out shopping with friends for baby clothes and baby items for their bun in the oven. All the while, you’re wondering why you can’t get pregnant yourself. But you don’t want to rain on someone else’s parade by mentioning your infertility struggles. And if you’re like me – you certainly will do whatever it takes to avoid becoming that bitter, jealous person!

I wish that I could say that I am going to give up on trying to conceive for awhile, but I can’t. I’ve tried to give up so many times and I never can. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything as much as I want to be able to have children and have a large family of biological and adopted kids. I mentioned in another blog post how I’ve dreamed of becoming a mom since I was 5 or 6, even before I desired marriage! Hopefully, whether I have my own children or not, I can be an encouragement one day to someone else who is going through their extended TTC journey!

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2 thoughts on “Things We Don’t Talk About.”

  1. I hope you dream comes true soon! I remember wishing really hard as a little girl that my dolls would come to life so I could play mommy with “real babies”. The struggle to conceive is so much worse because it is usually a secret struggle. In the mean time, I hope you find people with whom you can share your anxieties and pain.

  2. In the same boat, realization of infertility in a family full of ‘Fertile Myrtles’. Praying for you! I’m also keeping in the quiet about our struggle. Most of my friends have kids and I don’t feel like having a pity party with them when I am the only one being pitied. I’m with you.

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