What No One Tells You About Trying to Have A Baby

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby.

You’re not supposed to tell people you’re trying to have a baby while you’re trying to have a baby. In part, I’m sure, because of the awkwardness that sinks in when then they realize they are picturing you trying to make a baby, and in part because, as it turns out, baby-making is not nearly as easy as they make it seem in high school health class.

But whatever. There it is for a bunch of people I’ve never met. We’re trying to have a baby.

And of all the things in life that make you realize you don’t have total control over your life—making a baby is up there with the best of them.

I’ve run a business, been to graduate school, taught middle school kids, traveled to foreign countries where I didn’t speak the language, and none of those things have made me feel as out-of-control as this does. Trying to conceive. Or “TTC” as they say in the forums, which I compulsively read, to my great detriment.

trying-to-have-a-baby

But the whole thing has me thinking about what happens when we really want something in life and can’t get it, or can’t get it right away, or when it seems like we may never get it. Whether it’s a different job or a way out of a toxic relationship, or to get married or have a baby.

How much control do we actually have in life?

This is the question that keeps running through my mind. Because there is certainly a part of me that wants to believe we have much more control than we think we have—that we can make positive decisions and have a positive attitude and that, eventually, we’ll see positive results.

But then there is another part of me who lays awake at night googling, “does a sore left pinky toe mean I’m pregnant?” and reading the dozens of articles that confirm, yes, a sore left pinky toe does in fact possibly mean you could definitely be pregnant, and that part of me is the same part of me who feels so sad and hopeless each time my cycle ends and the inevitable strip comes back blank.

And let me just stop and say for a minute that I wish I was one of those people who just naturally felt really optimistic about life.

I have a friend like this. She’s so great to be around. I think I’ve only seen her cry once, and even then it was for like five minutes after someone close to her had died. And every time I cry like someone died because of some imaginary worst case scenario I have totally imagined in my head, I think of her and only wish I could be so collected and composed.

I’d probably have more friends.

But instead I’m the girl who bypasses all logical sources that say it can take a year for even totally healthy couples to conceive, and instead I stay up late at night searching Pinterest for articles titled “why can’t I get pregnant?” ordering supplements on Amazon and pondering how one might go about eating a pineapple core.

Still, I try to remind myself of a couple of things while I’m waiting.

I think of what I would tell myself if I were not myself, because that always makes it easier to give myself advice, and to actually take it. And surprisingly quite a bit of clarity actually comes to me in those moments.

I can’t say it always keeps me from my late night google searches, but in a season of wanting something I don’t have, here’s what I try to remind myself.

There is still time. It’s not too late.

One of the most stressful parts about trying to get something you want but don’t have is suddenly, out of nowhere, it makes you begin to question absolutely everything about your life. Like what have I been doing all this time and where did I get all this grey hair and wasn’t I just 21 yesterday?

And why did I waste all my peak years watching reality TV?

And when we’re in this place, it seems like if I don’t get the thing we are trying to get by, like, TOMORROW, we’re going to miss our window.

So when this feeling creeps up on me, I try to remind myself there is no such thing as a “window,” that I probably haven’t wasted as much time as I think I have, and that it really is never too late to start moving toward what you want.

Wanting is a good thing.

Wanting things we don’t have—or can’t get right away—is uncomfortable. So our tendency is to move through the wanting as fast as possible, or to numb our way through, or to just go ahead and pretend like we don’t want anything anyway (“Baby? What baby? I’m too busy to think about that…”)

But wanting something is actually a sign of a healthy person.

We would never look at someone who never ate food and call them healthy, so why are so many of us walking through life, trying to pretend we aren’t hungry? Wanting is a good thing. And admitting what we want is often the first step to getting it.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

It’s easy to look at the people around you, and think about how they’ve achieved the things you want in life. They have the marriage, or the family, or the career, or the attention, or the wardrobe, or whatever. But there’s a reason they say comparison is the thief of joy.

Because the minute I start to let myself go here, I get this sinking feeling there must be something wrong with me—with the direction I’ve chosen for my life, or the decisions I’ve made, or the fact that a 16-year-old girl can accidentally get pregnant but I can’t even do it on purpose.

I lose sight of the beautiful things I’ve made in my life, just because none of them look like babies.

Here’s what I want to tell myself, and you, if you happen to need it: There is nothing wrong with you. Getting what you want just takes time.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

I had a friend say this to me a few weeks ago and it stuck with me. What she meant was, while there are a lot of things you can’t control in your life, there are some things you can control. So why not focus on those things?

We can’t change where we start from, but we can decide to get started. We can’t invent resources out of thin air, but we can use what we have toward what we want. We can’t do everything there is to do but we can do something. And something is better than nothing.

In fact, something might just be enough.

Don’t want alone.

Honestly, I had planned to keep this whole thing to myself until I had good news to share. That just seemed like the logical, mature, “I’ve got this covered” thing to do. And besides, that what everyone else was doing…

But then a few weeks ago I started thinking how much it would help to have just a few people I loved know what I was going through. So I went totally outside my comfort zone and sent a message. It was a small group of women, most of who are moms, and all of whom I knew would get it.

It was hard to send that message. I’ll be honest. It takes guts to talk about what we really want.

But you know what? Their response was overwhelming. I never knew how much I needed people to know what I was going through until they knew. And I never realized what a difference it would make to stop wanting things alone and let other people want them with me.

87 comments on “What No One Tells You About Trying to Have A Baby

    • Thanks Taline! Lots of butterflies in my stomach before this post, but I truly hope it encourages many who are waiting. Appreciate your comment.

  1. Having been there, I commend you for reaching out in the middle of it all. I wish I had done that. I kept it inside til later, when I needed others so much.
    I am now in the category of childless not-by-choice, and realize very much how much of life we don’t control. Here’s to working with what we can.

    • Lois, I’m so sorry to hear that your season of waiting continues. I hope there are people in your life who can help you see all the beautiful things you’ve created and nurtured and grown, even if none of them are babies. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s so nice when people are real. I just had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago, and I want to hurry up and try again so I don’t have to wait. I want to hurry up and numb the pain so I don’t feel the crushing feeling of my friends being pregnant..so I can start following my friends who have any trace of a baby on their Facebook. I want to be a mommy, but this place with God that I find myself in is going to make me an even better mommy. I understand loss and I understand I don’t have control. Thank you again. There’s so much comfort in knowing I’m just human for being hungry.

    Nicole

    • Nicole, I’m so so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I can only imagine the pain you must be feeling now as the waiting continues… but yes, it is human to be hungry. Glad we can connect over our humanity. Thank you for reading and for sharing your story. I’m sure it will encourage many to know they are not alone.

  3. Allison, your words about waiting and wanting brought so much comfort to me this morning. Isn’t it amazing how we feel bad for wanting something or we fear that the waiting somehow means we aren’t worthy of having it? Wanting is good. We don’t have to wait alone. So glad you shared your story!

    • Julie-Anne, I’m so glad these words could bring comfort to you! It comforts me to know that’s true. And what you said about wanting something but feeling unworthy of having it is so poignant. I think that is one of the greatest lessons I’m learning in this season. Just because I don’t have something doesn’t mean I don’t deserve it. The journey looks different for everyone.

      • Julie-Ann, your statement “we fear that the waiting somehow means we aren’t worthy of having it” struck me so much. I didn’t realize until I read that that that’s how I felt, subconsciously. I thought I must be doing something wrong, or must have messed up somewhere along the way to deserve to have to wait when nearly everyone around me basically just decided they wanted a baby and got pregnant within a month or two. It can feel maddening at times. But waiting is not a punishment, and I needed to be reminded of that.

        Allison, I feel like I could have written nearly every word of your blog post. It really resonates with me. I had no idea what kind of feelings would rise up in me while once we started “trying.” It really can feel so lonely. I’m thankful to have a few close friends to talk with about this. I can’t imagine walking through this alone and keeping it bottled up inside. Here’s to hoping that the waiting doesn’t carry on much longer for us. Thank you again for your transparency. Not enough people are talking about this.

    • Jackie—that’s wonderful. I’m so glad. I hope your season of waiting is full of love and grace and learning, as mine has been. Thanks for reading.

  4. I needed this TODAY, NOW, in this MOMENT – more than ever before! Thank you for writing this, a friend shared and I have shared with others that are going through the same. I probably have thought and said everything…and totally feel the same way. I’m with you on the journey and thankful that I’m not alone. Thank you for taking the time out to share and today…I will do the same, as you reminded me that I don’t have to do it alone. I have shared with a few people in the last few months and just the relief of them knowing has really helped me…

    • Ebony—I’m so thankful my words could come at the right time in your journey. It’s the greatest motivation I have to share them. I’m thankful for you friend who shared this post with you, and thankful for you for reading and sharing, too. Many blessings to you in your waiting!

  5. I read your book in the fall of 2013 and am a fan of your writing. My wife and I tried for 2 years and finally got pregnant and conceived. I get your world. Hang in there! We now have a 5 year girl and 2 year old boy. Blessings to you!

  6. A brilliant piece of advice I was given is don’t let not having what you want quite yet stop you enjoying life right now. So put it in perspective and don’t go down the conditional happiness route – “when X happens, THEN I’ll be happy”. Or don’t let a yet to happen thing in one area of your life stop you enjoying the amazing things in other areas. You don’t seem to be doing this but your article reminded me of this and thought it was a useful reminder! There’s also a great saying in Scotland that “whit’s fir ye won’t go by ye”…so if something is meant to happen then know that it will! 🙂

    • Jillian—that’s such great advice. I’m grateful you shared. So easy to forget and yet the only route to happiness is to be happy right where you are, right now.

  7. “There is nothing wrong with you.” That is exactly what I needed to hear today. As of two weeks ago, both my older brothers are married. One married years ago and has a second kid on the way. The other married two weeks ago. I’m 30. Before this year my family said nothing. Now at every event, conversation, and even with some married friends I am hearing “When are you getting married?” or “Why haven’t you settled down?”. Some days it doesn’t bother me, but if I’m being honest – many days I do wonder “What’s wrong with me? Why haven’t settled down yet?”

    So thanks. I needed a reminder that there is nothing wrong with me and patience is a good lesson to be learning. Even (and maybe especially) when it comes to wanting to be married.

    • Yes, absolutely! Thanks for sharing that Courtney. I’m certain you’re not the only one feeling that way. In fact, I felt that way before I got married and I know several other friends who feel the same. So thank you for being brave enough to share here. Your words will encourage many.

      And I hope your season of waiting is full of love and grace and learning, as mine has been. Much love to you today.

  8. We struggled with this as well for a few years, multiple miscarriages and a lot of heartache. Until one day I was chatting with some friends during our church’s youth group meeting and somehow, somewhere in the midst of the message I heard how chose the parents each of the kids had…and it really resonated with me. God chooses us to manage his children for Him….and all of a sudden it was like a lightbulb went on for me. I was too busy being mad, hurt, impatient wanting what I wanted and not allowing God to pick the timing of what HE knew would be right to bless us and honor us with HIS child. I quit worrying so much about my wants and needs and obsessing about getting pregnant. About a month later I had a positive pregnancy test, an issue-less pregnancy and now we have a 2 year old son.

    • Jen—there is something so mystical and powerful about the whole “stop stressing about it and it will happen” advice. Easier to say than to do, but important just the same. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Yes yes yes and more yes! I feeeeellll you on this subject and thank you for reminding me to give myself the green light that it’s totally ok to want things for my life – especially having a baby. I’ve felt guilty about this and even ashamed of it because I don’t completely have “my shit together” or some bullshit story I’ve created in my head about why I should have to suffer and not have what other people have. Thank you thank you thank you. And, I’m in the same boat…sending you positive, baby-making magic! xo

  10. You are not alone. We went through a season of waiting after our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The waiting is HARD. And I’m just like you…I was searching the forums, trying to figure it all out, wondering about every possible sign and symptom. Looking back, I can see that God did a lot through that waiting season, but that doesn’t mean I liked it or would wish it on myself again. Praying you find peace in sharing your story and knowing you are not alone in this.

    • Thanks so much Alyssa. I can totally see how I’m being shaped though the waiting. Not to mention, all my friends who have gone through their own seasons of waiting are so much more mature than me, ha. So that gives me hope. Appreciate your words of encouragement and your prayers!

  11. We’ve been through it. It’s horrible really. Nothing prepares you for it but encouragement helps. You’ve got our number. We’re praying for you. Oh yeah, I hated 95{9ac618bfda39dd0c8c9a0232963cb9a2adfe54a7367c2d4954ad9e847b2e5305} of the advice people gave us. Be prepared for that.

  12. Dear Allison,
    Thank you so much for sharing, your words are very encouraging! Even though I don’t know what trying to have a baby is like this post really resonated with me. I struggle with several chronic illnessess and I often feel like I have no control at all and that life really is passing me by while I’m stuck in bed.
    I often feel guilty for wanting to not be sick anymore because others have it worse than me, but I shouldn’t, should I? Wanting to be healthy, be able to work, exercise, see friends or just leave the house more often than twice a week just makes me normal, not selfish.
    Also, I love “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” While I wait for healing or some new miracle treatment I can make sure I take care of my body the best way I can and take every chance I get to laugh and make the best of the situation!
    Thanks again and I pray that your wait will be over soon!

    • Rebecka, thank you! No matter what you’re waiting for, the wait can feel excruciating. Praying for health and healing for you, and for grace in the waiting. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  13. Dear Ally,

    Thank you for writing this, and for sharing it. So many people are waiting & wanting, alone. That is why it is so healing to share – both as the giver and receiver.

    It’s been over a year since we’ve been wanting to add to our family. Within that year there have been different seasons; nervousness, excitement, grief, numbness, hope…

    This waiting and wanting caught me by surprise, really, since we got pregnant with our first daughter pretty much the moment we stopped using contraception.

    When we started trying again a year ago I was confused when nothing happened.

    When we had a miscarriage 9 months ago, I was ruined.

    When I took a leap and wrote out my grief I was overwhelmed with love and support.

    Thank you for the reminder that we don’t have to do this alone.

    I know it really sucks sometimes, but hang in there, girl. I know you guys will be such good parents & Cooper will make a great big brother 🙂

    • Wow, Priscilla, thanks for your comment, and your story and your encouragement. I didn’t know about any of this, and I’m so sorry you had to endure a miscarriage. I can’t even imagine how much more devastating that would be than the waiting. Good to know we’re not waiting alone. Love you.

  14. I totally get it! When we were trying, I only told a few friends–but not even really close ones–because I couldn’t bear the idea of my sisters asking me each month, “So, are you…?” But that also made the experience quite lonely.

    While we were trying and waiting to get pregnant, and I was also waiting to hear whether I had gotten a dream job (spoiler: I didn’t), I wrote this blog post, and it might be an encouragement to you and to others reading/commenting in the same position: “Courage, Dear Heart: How to Keep Walking When You’re Waiting.”

    https://netanya.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/courage-dear-heart-how-to-keep-walking-when-youre-waiting/

  15. Thank you for your courage to write about this. I echo the same as many others in a season of waiting that it is incredibly difficult at times. What a beautiful and much needed reminder to so many that we are not alone. Thanks!

  16. Thanks so much for sharing your struggles with this. I’m going through the exact same thing right now, and sometimes I feel completely helpless in the situation. I’ve started to reach out and include others in my struggles and my wanting, and they have been amazing, especially my mommy friends who I assumed wouldn’t understand. Good luck to you. I hope we both look back on this time and realize the reason for it all someday.

    Also, I was at the Tribe Conference this weekend, and I wanted to say that I absolutely loved your talk. It inspired me to embrace the messiness of my life and the rawness of my experiences and emotions in my writing. It is so refreshing to see you doing that here on your blog too. You are an inspiration!
    Haley

    • Oh, thanks Haley! Glad you could be at the conference this weekend. It was such a fun time.

      And that moment of reaching out to people you love can feel so difficult (for some reason—even though you know they will be supportive!) but is one of the most important things you can do. So glad you’ve begun that process. May you find love and grace in your waiting 🙂

  17. Ally! You are SO brave to share. And I really mean that. (It’s not just a nice blog comment:))

    We tried for some time and I too felt so out of control, desperate at times, and crazy at others. It is so hard to want something and not know when it will happen.

    I’m sorry y’all are going through this. I really hate it.

    • Oh, thank you Ruthie! It’s encouraging to know that it doesn’t happen right away for many people and to see you now with your sweet baby girl. I bet it makes motherhood even that much more rewarding. Thanks for the encouragement. Appreciate you.

  18. I had my first child at 33. Thought we only needed the one. It wasn’t long before we began to think how sad that he wouldn’t have a sibling to share his wedding day. I turned 35, 36, 37, 38…. My doc said, “Relax. You’ll get pregnant if you just relax.” Hard to relax with that bio clock ticking louder and louder. I changed OBs and this one got us into a study. I was picked for the very component I prayed for, intrauterine artificial insemination no drugs. Four times we went in and four times it failed to take! The fourth time I found out I was NOT pregnant on one day, turned 39 the next. Devastated is an understatement. I took a week to feel very sad. It happened to be the week after Christmas. At the end of that week I said, “Hey, we have one handsome healthy little boy. Much to be thankful for. Get over yourself.” I relaxed. A month later I realized I was preggers! Thank you, God, for showing me my timing is not your timing. It is totally out of my control. God bless you, Allison! I hope and pray God gifts you with your little blessing when He knows it’s time!

  19. Keep praying. It took us 14 years. I got pregnant with my daughter at the age of 43. My little miracle is now 14 months old healthy and beautiful.

  20. Hey, Allison – did you just break into my brain and write down every. single. thing. I’ve been thinking and feeling??
    Wanting and trying and waiting is really hard. Harder than I ever thought. But posts like this, from people I don’t even know, on the other side of the world, make it that bit easier.
    Thanks for not waiting for “good news” to share – this post was just plain good for me to read, today of all days.

    • Holly—it’s crazy to me how many people have said something similar to me about feeling the same way, and yet we just don’t talk about it much. I get why we don’t. It’s tough to talk about. But I’m glad I shared and I’m glad it was helpful for you.

  21. Hi Allison, thanks so much for your post and your honesty, it’s not an easy subject to just start a conversation on but I am certain that your openness will have encouraged many people and helped them feel less alone in their experience of ‘ttc’. I love the way you’ve written about waiting and wanting and so much of your story resonates with me. A couple of years ago I started a blog with some friends here in the UK about childlessness and faith and the space in between in order to start a dialogue about childlessness and infertility in a healthy way and I’ve shared your blog on our Facebook page. My personal experience is different to yours but I know there can still be universal truths found in different journeys and I’ve just written a new blog post that you may find helpful (you may not and that’s fine), but I just wanted to encourage you. You’re right, you still have plenty of time, even though I know it can feel as though your world is going to end if you don’t get pregnant straight away. Here’s to trying to live a good story through all the craziness. http://saltwaterandhoney.org/blog/in-our-hearts-we-still-pray-for-sons-and-daughters

    • Lizzie, thank you so much for sharing. I had a chance to click over and read a little bit of what you wrote and, you’re right, our experiences are different, but there are universals between both. Here’s to more people sharing their stories and finding comfort in knowing we’re not alone in wanting.

  22. Thank you for this post, Allison. I can really relate to what you and your husband are going through right now.

    My wife and I tried to have a baby for almost 5 years. We went to several doctors and did all the uncomfortable and awkward things they ask you to do when you tell them your struggling to get pregnant.

    5 years ago we decided to adopt. We finalized the adoption of my daughter almost 3 years ago and are in the process of finalizing the adoption of my son this November.

    Our struggle with infertility and our journey of adoption is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There has been so much pain from wanting to have children and not being able to, people misunderstanding and insensitive remarks about our adoption, and the struggles we’ve had with not one, but 2 birth families.

    But is has also been the most rewarding experience of my life too. I love my 2 kiddos so much. I am convinced that God planned them for us and us for them.

    There are still days I wish my wife and I could conceive. It seems so much easier (and funner) than all the adoption classes, interviews, meetings, classes, paperwork, background checks, and social worker visits. And it’s still hard to hear about other couples who are pregnant without ever really trying. But seeing my kids now and getting to be there dad makes the pain so much more bearable.

    Thank you for sharing your struggle. Your courage has encouraged me.

    • This is so encouraging Jeff. We have a few friends who have adopted, too, and it’s very fun to hear how they don’t think of their families as a “plan b” type thing, but how the absolute best plan for them and for the kids. I’m so thankful our story has encouraged you. Your story has encouraged me, too. Appreciate you reading and commenting.

  23. This is so insightful: “I lose sight of the beautiful things I’ve made in my life, just because none of them look like babies.” Oh yes. So often I overlook the beauty that exists because I’m thinking forward to the thing that might one day come to be.

    Thank you for the reminder that desire is healthy, hunger is normal, and at the same time, our right-now-something is enough. May your deepest desires be fulfilled with an absolute minimum of waiting. 😉

  24. SO GOOD. I’m coming out of a season of infertility (3 years) and am pregnant after 3 in-vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts. Bless you for sharing your story and for helping other women to see they are not alone in their struggles, nor in the complexities of the struggle. I pray the Lord would answer your prayer for a baby soon.

  25. Oh, this was me 16 years ago. We tried nearly two years before I had my daughter. Seems like when we began “TTC” every week a new friend was suddenly pregnant. While that is no longer my desire, I still have no shortage of “Why Can’t I….” moments. Thank you for sharing your human-ness. You are not alone. And thank you for my new positive thought for today….Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

    • Janie—I have been trying to decide if everyone I know is suddenly getting pregnant, or if I’ve just suddenly started to pay attention to all the women around me getting pregnant. It can make you feel crazy! Glad you liked the post, though. Thanks for reading.

  26. I also just wanted to say Thank you for writing this. I was TTC for five years with no real support and now…looking back, I should have opened my mouth and talked to someone because it ended up hurting myself and my marriage. It takes such a super toll on you when you want so badly and can’t do anything to help yourself. And then to see others have what you want…it is just awful. So, thank you for being brave enough to share. Keep talking…if no one else, I’m definitely listening because I’ve been there, too!

  27. Allison…your words pentetrate to that unseen place between soul and marrow. Thank you for these words. I have learned something new about the heart of those who are left wanting. And how to be a better friend and support to those in your shoes. I’m a mom of 8 adults and 12 grands…and so I will never quite know the pain of wanting like you and others do. But I have a son and daughter in law smack dab in the middle of wanting and I stand and kneel with them in their wanting of a child of their own as they watch sibling after sibling take on the title of parent, mommy, and daddy. The human journey is so unpredictable for us all though isn’t it. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. It rains on the just and the unjust. And yet over all of us is a loving God who understands our longings and grieves with us in our losses like any loving parent would…and even moreso. I actually believe our longings are there to point us toward our need and longing for more of God as we learn to trust and yield to his grander purpose – to know him and to be known. May he continue to use your wanting for his purposes and his glory …that others may look at you and see a loving God who is good and that He is in control of every detail of our lives…and so we wait and long not as one without hope. It’s a privilege to stand and kneel with you too in your wanting. May you be filled with peace joy and contentment in Jesus IN your wanting my friend and not be robbed of all Christ has given you as you wait on his perfect plan to unfold in your life.
    Betsy

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Betsy. I’m so sorry to hear about your son and daughter in law. It is very hard to watch all of your siblings (and friends) seem to be able to get the thing you want. Yet I’m confident there is purpose in the waiting. I hope your son and daughter in law are able to get what they want with a minimum amount of waiting 🙂

      All the best to you and your family.

  28. Allison,
    Thanks so much for sharing. My husband and I have been trying for a year, oddly enough, we chose the year that everything with my cycle fell apart. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one frustrated. It’s also really nice to know I’m not the only one looking at other people’s ease in producing children and wonder ‘why not me too?’.
    This post is EXACTLY what I needed right now. 🙂 I’ve been clinging to the verse my grandparents are constantly sharing from Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
    Thanks Allison!

  29. Thanks for writing this Allison. I’ve struggled with a lot of similar issues as you—infertility, health issues, people pleasing issues, and writing has helped me navigate them. Thanks for your authenticity. I know it’s not easy being vulnerable! I’ve been on a 4 year journey with the whole baby thing and have had 2 losses and it does make you realize how little control you have, but how you can live a good life anyway, a life full of gratitude and friends. I have started recently seeing a doctor who is helping me and because some of your symptoms seemed similar to mine just wanted to mention him. Do with it what you want–but he is helping me see the linkages between auto immune issues and infertility. I know God will fulfill the desires of your heart. Hang in there! 🙂 http://www.preventmiscarriage.com/

  30. Allison,

    Love your words. I read this yesterday and today I needed to put it to use in regards to wanting a child and having it feel so out of reach. Grateful to be reminded that wanting is a good thing. And so is waiting. Thanks. -m

  31. I’ve been thinking of this post since I read it. I’ve been thinking of commenting it on that long, too, but figured my comment would get lost in the long, long list of comments you have here.

    I’m in the same spot as you, and it’s just not something I ever thought would happen to me. My husband and I are 28! We’re both really, really healthy (except for some weird reproductive things that you don’t find out are wrong with you until you start “TTC”). And can we just talk about those forums for a second? I can’t tell you how many blog posts I could have written in the time I’ve spent poring over them or crying because yet ANOTHER person in my life has gotten pregnant, seemingly without trying, in the time I’ve been trying.

    Next up, considering fertility interventions. I have no idea who to talk to about this decision. Everyone just wants a happy accident, you know? It feels weird to be so clinical about it, but it seems like that’s what’s ahead.

    I’ve never uttered a word of this on the internet before. Thanks for sharing. If you ever want someone to obsess about your luteal phase with, I’m your girl.

  32. Thank you for this post, Allison! My husband and I are going to start trying to conceive, and I am freaking out already because I’m already imagine everything that could go wrong, envisioning the worst-case scenario, and afraid that I want it *too* much. Your post was so good for my heart.

  33. Hi Alison, I know this is an older post, but I found it after reading your body image post (spot-on, as always). I wanted to tell you that my husband and I had trouble getting pregnant. Then, after what seemed an eon, I got pregnant and I had an early miscarriage. It was the same sort of thing, you think you should keep that pain to yourself, but it happened on the day of my husband’s 4oth birthday party, and it was amazing, having all these friends there, supporting us in our grief, but also celebrating with us.

    I digress. So, I was told to wait a year after the miscarriage to try to conceive again. To heck with that, I told myself, and it turns out that I was right.

    I had just read a tiny article about babies putting out a pheromone that helps you ovulate, so when I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with my new nephew, I spent as much time as I could without looking like a weirdo sniffing the top of his head. I was pregnant within a month. My baby is now fifteen. Heck, it’s worth a try! 🙂

    Finally, thanks for your wonderful words in response to my sending “What If You Saw Yourself as a Wise Woman”. I cherish them and have archived them.

    All the best,
    Sarah

  34. Me, too. <– That is how I feel after reading this (found it through your Christmas gift posts–because let's be real- I was hoping for a baby this Christmas). My husband and I did the whole "let's not tell anyone when we try to get pregnant because we don't want them thinking about what that means" thing….but I am at my bursting point so we finally agreed we would not keep it private anymore. Plus, I just started Author Launch and I have really felt God calling me to share about my struggles in this area–because as you said, it is way too common but never talked about. Haven't taken the leap yet, but your post gives me courage!

    I am working on reframing my thoughts/words this next year–instead of complaining about why 16 year olds can accidentally get pregnant and I can't (totally thought I was the only one who thought about things like that) or how one of my friends announces a pregnancy each week (totally not our imaginations), I'm going to thank God for his timing and look for other productive ways to use this time/grow in this season of waiting. Instead of being frustrated about my body's reactions to certain foods or recent health diagnoses, I am going to be thankful that my body is smart enough to tell me what it needs and what it can't handle (even if that is a pregnancy), so that I can heal and hopefully get to a point where I am healthy enough to carry a baby.

    Thanks for always speaking boldly right into my heart!

  35. Hi Allison…thanks for this post. I struggled with infertility and never wound up conceiving. I thought I had made peace with that over the years, but now that I’m 49 and in menopause, it is hitting me very hard again. I will never be someone’s mother, and that is a hard reality to face. I wish we had adopted, I wish we had tried other avenues. So here I am. However, being childless not by choice has allowed me a certain freedom to do things like animal rescue and to embrace children who needed a “motherly figure” in their lives. Let’s face it…just because you can biologically conceive doesn’t automatically make you a great mother. I’m hoping my childless state allowed me to fill some gaps for some kids who needed that. God is good Allison…you will find your way. Praying for you. Xoxo

  36. Hi Allison. I found myself stumbling through the Internet and came upon this article. I just want to say that I know EXACTLY how you feel. I just had another negative test this morning am feeling quite heart broken in all honesty.
    You said that you had been trying to take things to help you conceive and I was wondering if you have tried conceive easy? Or at least Googled it. It has a lot of really good reviews and I just got my shipment of it last month. Obviously it hasn’t worked for me yet but that dosnt mean it wouldn’t work for you. Thank you for sharing this. Something so personal. It helped in a way. And I hope that I can do the same for you. All my luck and all the positive vibes that I could send too you**

  37. We’ve been trying for 2.5 years. I am 30 with the HCG of a 35 year old, and the only one in my family without children. I wanted my children to grow up with their cousins but they are all growing so fast. I try not to talk about it for so many reasons:
    1. People sometimes ask what we’ll do if we can’t- I’m afraid to think about the possibility that it will never happen because the grief overwhelms me.
    2. People don’t understand what it’s like to have to schedule sex, see doctor after doctor, get blood tests every other month, take hormones, chart everything, take your temperature every morning, be on special diets, google search for reassurance and understanding often, etc. It takes an emotional toll… people seem to think my life is so easy because I DON’T have kids!
    3. People say incredibly rude, dismissive, cliche, hurtful and stupid things, or they ask you if you’ve tried the most obvious and basic of things, as if you’ve spent this whole time just winging it – unaware of how reproduction works.
    4. People tell you to enjoy your child-free days while it lasts and I just feel completely misunderstood because I’m already a mother in my heart and I wish instead of washing the dishes that I were giving my baby a bath and that instead of going to a Halloween party that I were trick-or-treating with my baby.
    5. I try really hard to stay positive and there is a lot of sad and anxious energy going around those forums – the only place I can find anyone who understands.

    This is the first time I’ve posted online about it.

    Most of the time I can’t cry, even when I want to… I read through every simgle comment here, and I finally cried. Thank you.

  38. Thank you for your story Allison.
    My husband and I have been trying for 2 years now and been through numerous tests and told there is nothing wrong with either of us.
    We have been categorized as “unexplained infertility” now.
    We are just waiting to go back to our doctor to try IUI, and then if that doesn’t work IVF.
    I have tried weekly massages, acupuncture, natruopaths, fertility pills and nothing. I am so confused and I believe I was put on this earth to be a mother and the fact I cannot give my husband a child just breaks my heart. My husband does not fault me for it, but I cannot help but feel so guilty myself. It is such a hard process and just so much emotion, it is not fun at all.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Wow this is exactly how I feel. I am really struggling. After two years it all just feels too much. But yet the wait continues.

  39. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You just summed up all of my feelings and wrote them down so eloquently. Thank you for sharing real solutions. You are appreciated.

  40. Thank you for sharing. I feel the same way and can relate. I told my husband’s friend’s wife, who is a good friend of mine that we are trying to conceive and he is now upset with me. I just needed someone to talk to. I just found out that she is pregnant and am very happy for her. Was it wrong of me to share this with her?

  41. I really wish this would bring me more comfort, but after months of reading articles just like this it’s not about hearing it from others anymore and I don’t know how to sincerely tell this to myself. For years my family and friends have been asking when we were going to have a baby. It happened for so long and got so annoying that when we finally decided to start trying I told them all immediately, to shut them up. Big mistake.

    It’s been 10 months now of trying to conceive and nothing has happened. Oh, except the 10 months of, “Are you pregnant yet?”, “What’s taking so long?”, “You need to start doing [X] to help with that”. And then when I mentioned that all of the questions were making me feel pressured and uncomfortable I started getting, “How’s the baby stuff going? Oh I can’t ask because you feel pressured, right?” In addition to announcement after announcement of pregnancies by seemingly everyone I know. One of my best friends, who swore almost her entire life she’d never have children, mentioned this summer that they might start trying. She’s in her second trimester now. Another friend just told me today that she’s pregnant with her second child and they were shocked how fast they conceived. A new girl started at my office and within a month announced her pregnancy with her second kid. My best friend, who thankfully is not pregnant, conceived her one and only child by accident while drunk, a heavy smoker, overweight, experiencing irregular periods, and not even trying at all. My mom even told me right before we started trying that we should be ready because all three of her pregnancies happened on the first try. But here I am, taking my temperature every morning, tracking my vaginal excretions, having sex with my husband at all the recommended times and then some and standing on my head afterward, and still nothing for 10 months.

    And now that I feel bad about it I feel like there’s nothing that will turn this around. All my friends now give me the pity talks, “Oh it will happen eventually”, “It’s different for everyone”, etc. But they don’t know any more than I do and they already have what they wanted so their words are just another way of saying, “sorry you’re body is broken and not suitable for bearing children but maybe it’ll happen”. They say stress is a big factor and being positive helps. Well how do you relieve stress so you can conceive when you’re stressed about trying to conceive? How do you stay positive when the “don’t worry until you’ve been trying for a year” window is almost up? If it’s longer than a year I must be defective, right? At least that’s how they make it sound. And the fact that I’m 32 and no spring chicken anymore doesn’t help. If you make it to 35 you get to hear the lovely term “geriatric pregnancy”, like it wasn’t bad enough. Now I torture myself with, “Did I wait too long?”, “Was waiting to be done with college and be married for a year a mistake?”, “If I never do end up getting pregnant am I going to lose all my friends because not having children will make me the odd man out?”, “Am I going to lose my husband if I can’t give him a biological child?”

    The whole experience so far has been awful. I feel a million times worse about myself and my place in the world and with my friends and family than I did before we started trying. And worst of all is, of course, not having a baby to be a mother to. Having another Christmas pass in a house with no children wondering if they will ever come. Starting to think about my life as it would be without having children. All of the plans and expectations I had that will change if they never come. I know you don’t need all this info, and it’s not a happy story. But hopefully you’ll understand where I’m coming from and that I just needed all of this out of me without having anyone try and convince me it’ll get better. Sometimes it doesn’t get better, and for those that it doesn’t we still need support and a place to vent. Thank you for your words. I hope I can read then another day and they will lift my heart the way they were intended to and have for many others.

    • Totally can relate to you… At one point I decided to unfollow my pregnant friends, and those who just have a baby on my social medias. The ‘envy’ feeling is just too much. How can people get pregnant that easily, even when they are not even trying. And here we are waiting and waiting and still waiting, and yet there’s no sign of a baby yet.

      Oh well, my husband keeps saying that people may have different purposes and roles in life. Having a baby may not be our only role in life. There’s so many babies without parents out there. Our role maybe to foster one of them into our care… why don’t you consider adopting? I am always open to this choice… when I think my wait is enough.

      Hope it helps!

  42. For so many years I could not and did not want a child. Could not even bring myself to thinking that I would want any children ever.
    Then i met someone who was already a Dad…and i started to look at the world through my step sons eyes. He has opened my eyes, my heart and my life to see things that were long gone.
    Now, i am desperate. Desperate for my own child.
    I didnt want to share my desperation with anyone. I wanted to suffer in silence.
    I finally spoke to my mother and my sister about how i was feeling and if i felt as though i was suffering before than i don’t know what i feel.
    My mother especially, saying maybe im not meant to be a mum, crushed me.
    And to be honest, i do not think my partner really completely understands how emotional this is for me.
    I read your blog and you put into words what i struggled to do…you gave what i was feeling words, so that i can show him and maybe an understanding of what having a child is for me.
    Thank you

  43. Are we the same person? Your words brought me so much comfort. Thank you for sharing. Love & light to you and to all of the women who have posted. I hope 2017 brings happiness to all of us in the form of the child we want and take comfort in the fact that our children will be so loved and never taken for granted..

  44. This has got to be one of the best things I have read about TTC. Just got done crying my eyes out over another negative test, and then crying some more reading this article knowing how much I can relate to it. I work at a OB/GYNE office and it makes the whole TTC journey a whole lot harder. Seeing all the pregnant happy couples (and the teens who accidently get pregnant) is the hardest. I am trying to stay as positive as I can. I’m trying not to read online if this and that “symptom” could mean I’m pregnant. I know though that I can always fall back on this article if I’m feeling down. And that someday I will finally get to be one of those OB patients in my office. I wish good luck to all those trying each and every month like my husband and I have been. And I hope that others find this article as comforting as I did.

  45. I’m so glad I came across this post. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant and after 4 months of trying I am starting to feel a little defeated. Who knew it would be so hard. We are aways told as teenagers, don’t have inprotected sex, it only takes one time. Who knew you actually only had this tiny small window of time to actually conceive. I have those friends that say, “Oh, I never tracked my ovulation. I had sex one time and oops I got pregnant”. I think we all know someone like that. It’s extremely frustrating. After reading this post I am a little more at peace. Thank you for making my day.

  46. Just what I needed to read today, thanks for this beautiful write-up. Your words are very encouraging and enlightening. I know now that I’m not alone, that many women out there feel what I feel. I may not yet wait that long compared to all of you. I know I should be more patient and not stress out of it. But yeah like all of you know, not stressing out is easier said than done, especially if you really really want it.

    Disappointment is inevitable when you keep a high hope. Even when my period is late, I have never had the courage to take a pee test. The fear of disappointment… I have never been pregnant at all. Can’t imagine how people deal with miscarriages, it must have been terribly sad.

    Thanks again for sharing. Let us be strong ladies! And finally to never let the things you want make you forget the things you already have 🙂

  47. Thank you for sharing this. I have read some of your other posts and find them such a comfort. Not being able to conceive and experiencing miscarriage is a topic most men and women do not talk about. Due to surgeries as a child and in my early thirties, I was told that it would be unlikely for me to become pregnant. In 2015 I had my first ectopic pregnancy and it was the most heartbreaking experience for my husband and I. In 2016 I had another ectopic pregnancy and another surgery and now hoping that IVF will be successful. I do truly believe that my children are waiting to be part of our lives, and its all about timing with the higher power and the wonderful mystery of life. I struggle with my biological clock but through other strong women (and men) I am finding more peace and balance in my life despite insensitive comments mostly from women who 100{9ac618bfda39dd0c8c9a0232963cb9a2adfe54a7367c2d4954ad9e847b2e5305} identify with their role as a parent, rather than than who they are. Children are a blessing, however, nurturing children and losing a sense of personhood and identity with this is tragic. Women and men are so much more than just parents. Whatever happens, I know that God/Creator/universe has something for my husband and I that will bless our lives with happiness.

  48. What a beautiful article. Having a tough childhood I never had too much hope about kids. But, God blessed me with an Angel like husband. I’ve been married to him for 7 years and we have been trying to have a kid for 5 years now. We are still young, travelling, partying enjoying our lives. We have soo much love in our marriage. He loves kids and I know he will be the best Dad to my kids I never had. I have PCOS and I have to lose a lot of weight to minimize the symptoms and conceive. However, because of all the stress I keep gaining a lot of weight every year. Even though having kids is not my life long dream I want to have a kid to make my Husband happy. I know it will add more love into our little family.
    Thank you for speaking to me and putting some sense into my head through this article. It is a very frustrating place to be. I have struggled my entire life to get where I am now. I don’t even know if a kid is in store for me. (Doctors confirms I surely can have kids) I just have to start thinking positive.
    Thanks again Allison.

  49. I’m glad I stumbled across this post. I have had two miscarriages in a row and it’s so easy to just want to hurry life up and numb the pain. I have to take some vitamins and such before we can try again and it hurts so much I want to pretend it didn’t happen. But reading this I realize it is okay to want something, and in a world of instant gratification there are things I need to wait for. And to be thankful for what I have right now. My husband,my amazing 4 year old my friends, my family.

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