The Struggle

A friend of mine posted a link to this article on his Facebook a while ago, and I believe it really hits the nail on the head.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my husband and I have been trying to conceive, and it just isn't happening. Now, neither of us has been deemed infertile, and we are dealing with our doctors, but, we just can't seem to pinpoint why we're having trouble.

We tried for a little over a year before we went to see our doctors. Each month that went or goes by gets harder and harder. We both lurked through discussion boards. Felix even mentioned to me that he had a coworker at the time who had been trying with his wife for 12 years. 12 YEARS! The emotions you go through are so difficult - I couldn't image going through this for year upon year upon year.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking. Every test that comes back negative made me feel like less of a person. As much as I wanted to share my stories or feelings, I kept a lot under my hat. No one has the same infertility experience, just as no one has the same pregnancy experience." -- Melissa Rocha (above article).

At some times, it's extremely difficult to not explode at people on the days you are at a low. Some of the most common questions my husband and I get (and really couples in general after getting married) are:

1. When are you two going to have kids? It's only intended as an innocent inquiry (sometimes as a little elbow nudge so to speak). What people don't realize, is that it can be painful to those trying to conceive, but not getting pregnant. So, we smile. We deflect with our answer.

2. I have this friend/sister-in-law/cousin who got pregnant the minute she stopped trying. Just relax and let things happen! OK, this totally happens with a majority of people, I get that. It's also not uncommon for couples who choose to adopt or who have "given up" to suddenly become pregnant. However, this just doesn't happen for everyone. I'm not tensing up my lady parts, so please don't insinuate I am.

3. Do you (even) want kids? This is such a difficult question to answer. Part of me just wants to say, "YES!! We've been trying and trying with no success!" But, I really don't want to divulge that info to everyone I meet. So, like #1, we smile and answer politely that we plan on it and quickly deflect to another topic.

4. Is that you or the hormones talking? I think everyone woman has been asked this at some point in their lives - whether pregnant, trying to conceive or not. It's one of the most irritating questions ever as a woman.

No, they're not trying to be rude or inconsiderate. And I definitely don't want to have to tell every person who asks me one of those or a similar questions, that they "don't be a jerk" and "we're having trouble and it's none of your business." But each question is like ripping a band-aid off before counting to 3.

I had a blowup with my mom at one point. She, like any other mother with married children, is anxious to become a grandmother. Completely understandable. But, eventually, the emotions and the pressure that gets placed on you as a couple to "meet these expectations" gets to you. And I hit my boiling point and kind of lost it. I was completely and unbearably ridiculous about something unrelated to our difficulty we're facing. At some point in the argument, she realized I wasn't upset with her about what we were arguing about. So finally, she said, "I have a question to ask...you may not want to answer, but please be honest...Are you trying to get pregnant and it's not happening?" I stared at her for a bit...thinking over in my brain what to say. We didn't want anyone knowing we were trying, because we wanted it to be a surprise when we were finally able to tell everyone they'd be a grandmother, grandfather, uncle etc.

And it was at that point that I emotionally lost it. She admitted, she had been worried that her consistent questioning of when she was going to have a grandchild may have been getting to me. She promised she wouldn't ask anymore, she told my dad to not push the subject either without giving away specifics. It was when I was able to finally talk about what was going on and to share our burden with someone else.

"Don't comment about how much 'fun' trying must be (wink wink). Conception-focused sex is the worst kind. The worst." -- Rebecca Martin (also from the article)

And how true that is. Ovulation kits, apps, thermometers, calendars, timing and everything that goes with it. It really is kind of awful in a way. Making time to meet-up every other day for a week during prime time regardless of how busy or tired we might be is a quick way to turn what is usually passion into a functional act. 

Sometimes, you just don't want to anymore - even knowing that it reduces the chances of conceiving drastically that month.

We don't know what the future has in store for us...whether something will happen shortly or if it's going to be a long road ahead of us. But we're fighting and we'll get through it - people just need to realize it's not always sunshine and roses.

I'd love to hear from other mommies or those trying and what your experiences have been!

CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry that you've been struggling! I can't imagine how hard this is. I do understand the pressure to have kids. I'm 30 and my husband and I haven't even tried yet. In the back of my mind I always wonder if I'd even be able to...
    Thanks for sharing your story. I think it's really important to hear for women who are going through something similar and even for those who aren't.
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

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    1. Oh, the self-doubt is awful! I totally know how that is (and it's sad because this is something women face regularly, not just pregnancy/childbearing related). It's such a hard topic to talk about and definitely something a lot of people shy away from, but talking helps. Thank you!
      - Kelli

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