The Loneliness in Trying

February 26, 2014

*I’d like to preface this by making sure to say that I in NO WAY want people to take this post as a pity party or me feeling as though Nate and I are infertile.  I have such a heart for women who are not able to give birth to their own babies and do not want this to appear as though I’m putting myself in their shoes.  Maybe that is what God has in store for my life but at this point that is unknown.  This post is written by and for women who are in the early stages of trying to get pregnant.  This is not intended for women who are struggling with infertility.  I pray that this post does not come across as insensitive to any of you wonderful, strong women.* babyboySource Trying to get pregnant is not fun at all.  There I said it.  I know, I know baby making time is supposed to be the best.  You and your hubby are supposed to just get to have sex all the time and it’s just grand.  (And if you believe that you probably should go read a book on fertility…) If you’ve been around my blog for more than 2.5 posts you’ve probably picked up on the fact that Nate and I would love to get our family started.  We’re pretty easy going about the whole thing at this point (except when I’m hormonal…) and not putting stress on ourselves about it.  We’ve only been working on it for a very few months so we’re not concerned at all (once again, unless I’m hormonal…). The thing is, I’ve been talking to many other bloggers recently who are in the same place in life Nate and I are.  We’ve all been trying less than a year (some a little more than a year) and it hasn’t happened yet.  Some are trying to get pregnant with their second baby and experiencing a wait time they didn’t have with their first.  Many of us have been having some similar frustrations and experiences and almost all of us say that we wish we would have been better prepared for many of the experiences that occur during the baby making season of life.  We’ve found that it’s something people just don’t talk about.  If you know me at all, I like talking about a lot of things others don’t want to talk about.  😉 I feel as though the blogosphere is full of women who get pregnant when they so much as look at their husbands and women who struggle with infertility.  Those in the middle ground don’t seem to have much of a voice.  If you’re in this stage of life, I’d love to encourage you and let you know that you’re not alone!  If you’re going to be in this stage of life soon, I’d love to give you a heads up so you know what you’re getting yourself into.  Silence on these issues is NOT the answer! (Of course, I’m definitely not an expert on any of this.  I’m just sharing from personal experience and the experiences of my friends) 1.  Others probably won’t understand or won’t know what’s going on.  I’m pretty vocal (obviously) about the fact that we’re trying to get pregnant.  All my close friends know, my mom and sisters-in-law know, many of Nate’s and my coworkers know – it’s not a big deal to us.  Even so, there’s a lot of loneliness that goes along with this season of life.  Every month that you don’t see those two lines on the pregnancy test or are visited by Aunt Flow is a let down.  Even if others know you’re trying, they probably won’t completely understand how you’re feeling.  On the other hand, if you’re not someone who is sharing that you’re trying, you don’t have anyone to turn to with your frustrations or questions.  They get all bottled up inside.  Seeing others announce pregnancies while you’re still not pregnant is a bummer (even if it’s only been a month).  Please don’t wallow in these feelings!  Open up to a close friend, talk to your mom, or share your thoughts with your husband.  Allow others to know what’s going on in your life and in your beautiful brain. 2.  Sex can become a means to an end, not something to just enjoy.  No, this isn’t something that has to happen but, if you’re actively trying, it can.  There may be a night that you’re tired and just want to go to bed but, since you’re ovulating, if you don’t have sex you’ll probably have to wait another whole month to get pregnant.  During this time, it can be so easy to separate the emotions that should go along with sex from the actions of sex during the fertile time of the month.  This can totally have a negative affect on your marriage if you let it.  Keep the lines of communication open and make sure you and your hubby are keeping your relationship strong! 3.  Your body can play tricks on you.  This may be a little TMI but, since we’ve been trying, I’ve had the most sporadic cycles EVER!  My body also has displayed some pretty significant pregnancy symptoms two months so far.  Fun fact – this is not abnormal!!!  Multiple girls I know have had similar situations when they’ve been trying and this article explains why.  Our brains do crazy things and apparently think it’s fun to try to convince us we’re pregnant!  If you feel like your body is going crazy, don’t stress over it.  (But if you feel like it’s REALLY going crazy obviously go see a doctor!) 4.  You may need to grieve a little.  Each month that you don’t get pregnant can be tough.  It really doesn’t help that you’re at your most hormonal time of the month when you find out you’re not pregnant.  It’s ok to cry a little.  Each month you have lost your dream of getting pregnant.  Yes, there’s next month, but don’t be afraid to admit you’re bummed.  And grab yourself a glass of wine or go out to sushi, babe.  You’re not pregnant so you have no baby that it’s affecting!  That’ll definitely help cheer you up. All in all, just know that you have a community out here.  We may be more silent than other communities but we’re here.  You’re not in this alone!  I love talking about this so feel free to email me at any time.  Fair warning, if I’m on my period you may get a very hormonal response.  😉

  • I was one of those middle-grounders. I also had two miscarriages before having our first son. I didn't get pregnant again until our first son was three. People kept saying 'did you mean to have a big age gap?' Firstly, four years isn't that big of a gap, and secondly, I got pregnant when I got pregnant, couldn't do anything about it. Some people mean well, but don't think. I think it must be awful for anyone unable to have children to put up with such insensitiveness on a daily basis.

  • I've been a middle grounder and I've also been a 'he just looks at me and I get pregnant' kind of gal. I know how delicate these situations are and I'm sorry you're in that middle ground. We tried for months and months to get pregnant with my first. I kept seeing people get pregnant who weren't necessarily trying and it all just felt so unfair and I started questioning whether God wanted me to be a mom. These thoughts are normal but no less difficult. I just wanted to share with you because after we got pregnant the first time…it became a little too easy after that. Here's to hoping you will be the same way if you wish to be. I'll say a prayer for you 🙂

  • this is an amazing post!! we aren't at the stage where we're trying to get pregnant, but it's definitely great to know all of this beforehand! 🙂 so maybe i will be a little more prepared! 🙂

  • I actually am scared to start trying. Iz and I are not the safest because honestly, I'm 30 and if it happened then I'd be thrilled. Sometimes I think "okay if we're not being totally safe and nothing's happened, maybe something's wrong?" Once we actually start TRYING I worry I will find out for sure something's wrong.

    Anyway. I thinking of you guys (which sounds weird, because it sounds like I'm saying I'm thinking of you doing the deed, lol). I truly think you'd be great parents, you deserve to have a sweet little baby.

  • I can only imagine what this stage of life will be life for us. I'm glad you wrote this because I agree, there is much in blog world on infertility or actually announcing pregnancy but not this in-between phase which is huge! Praying you and Nate receive clarity and continued joy and peace through the process. 🙂

  • Great post, Susannah! I am not trying to get pregnant but I hope things will work out fine for you guys. I know that there can be lots of struggles. Friends of mine tried for a very long time and they were very sad sometimes but it worked out in the end! Good luck! I am thinking of you guys! You will be perfect parents!

  • You are not alone!!! Believing for you that you will be a joyful mother of children!

  • great post girlie! I'm believing that you will be making that announcement soon!

    waitingforbabybird.com

  • waiting is SO hard. sorry you guys are in that place. and the unknown is so hard too. when we were trying to get pregnant I just wished I could know when it would happen and then it'd be so much easier when it didn't. But then I wouldn't have to trust in God in his timing – and so many lessons came from that. praying that it happens for you guys soon.

  • Aww it's a hard season to be in. I am in agreement that a beautiful baby will be coming your way soon. I won't tell you to relax or have more sex because I hated hearing that. The perfect time is coming soon.

  • Jen

    Oh how I love this post!!!! Thank you for sharing sweet friend. For me this journey of trying to start a family for the last 5 1/2 years has been the most difficult thing we have ever been through. Hugs!

  • The trying can be hard for sure. It seems like as soon as we decide we are going to try for a baby the whole process immediately becomes 10x more stressful! You are still at the beginning so you might not be ready to jump into this yet, but Taking Charge Of Your Fertility is a book that has a ton of good info on identifying your fertile window, especially if your cycles are being sporadic – if your cycle length is varying, your fertile window is changing month to month as well. Just FYI. 🙂

    • That book is very helpful! We used the information as an alternative to hormonal birth control. The knowledge I gleaned has been helpful as we try to conceive and even as we walk through the infertility process.

  • This can be such a trying stage for sure. I remember those days as being very lonely ones. We didn't tell anyone we were trying to have a baby, but we found encouragement in each other while we were waiting to see the positive on that little stick. We didn't spend forever waiting and trying, but the months that went by seemed so lonely and long. We made the most of it and went on a little adventure to your neck of the woods and when we finally found out we were pregnant we were so happy – and everyone else was shocked and surprised 🙂 I'll be saying a prayer for you guys!

  • Thanks for being so open and sharing your struggles… I hope all this blog comments make it feel a bit less lonely! hang in there, dearie…

  • Beautifully written and articulately spoken. Thanks for sharing your heart. 🙂 Love you lots!

  • Well said! Trying is hard, especially once you pass that magic three-month mark. Great list for others in the midst of TTC!

  • Susannah, this is such a beautiful, honest post that is so helpful for many women 🙂 I'm not trying to have a baby yet, but I often feel like an "in betweener". I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years and am headed toward my 29th birthday this summer. We haven't been able to get engaged yet due to finances, but we have been living together and planning our marriage from the early days of our relationship. Because of this, sometimes women who are married (even if they've known their spouse less years than us) "look down" or overlook my relationship. It makes me feel so lonely because without the "Mrs" attached to my name, I'm suddenly in a different category.

    Even though it's a different boat, it must be hard being a mom-to-be, but not being pregnant yet. No matter how you cut it, it's not easy and it definitely can lead to some hard times for the heart. Thank you for being so strong and sharing that strength with all of us!

  • This is such a great post. I really appreciate you writing this and being so honest.

  • I think it's great that you are being so open and honest about this, because I know a lot of women will relate! We are not trying to have a baby right now, but around Christmas time I was hit with a bad case of baby fever. And I had symptoms of being pregnant! Nothing too crazy, but just abnormal enough that I thought I actually might have been pregnant. I was not, but now I know how powerful the mind-body connection is!

  • This was a great message. Parker and I aren't far from wanting to try to have our first, and I am so apprehensive about the process. Of course I would love to be one of those people that just gets pregnant by sneezing, but I know it can be so unpredictable. I am praying for yall and this journey and season of your lives 🙂

    XOXO
    Chelsea
    http://www.anchorsaweighblog.com/

  • I've definitely been there! I have to say, this third time was the most "laid-back" conception we've had so far. We were not really "trying" all too hard, just giving it a shot. The first time, it was hell. I was so hormonal (also due to thyroid issues that my general practitioner decided to ignore) and an emotional mess. We didn't share that we were trying back then, because I was already getting so much pressure from my MIL on finally getting pregnant, so I didn't want to add monthly check-ups on my cycles to that. Keeping my fingers crossed for a BFP soon!!!

  • So wonderful of you to open up and share this. We got pregnant so quickly with our first but it took almost nine months for our second pregnancy to happen. Those were the longest months of my life and I hated the fact that I wasn't enjoying life and that everything became about trying to conceive. We had a miscarriage in there too. Then when we got pregnant I ended up with antepartum depression (which I wrote about on my blog) and felt such guilt that now that I was pregnant, I was depressed!

    Praying that you have peace of mind during this time in your life and thank you once again for sharing.
    xoxo

  • I think it was very important for you to share this, and I don't think that it comes off insensitive at all. I'm sure at some point, women with infertility issues started out at this point. I'm also sure that women without infertility issues started out at the point, too! You're right! There's not usually a voice out there for people who have just started trying without instant results. It's nice of you to share your thoughts and feelings to remind people that this is normal, too!

  • This is so good sweet friend. We weren't actively trying with Jase, but we were hoping to get pregnant so we went off the pill and "left it in God's hands." My cycles were a mess after birth control, all over the place, which didn't help.

    • And even though we weren't actively trying, some months were really disappointing. I just wanted to be a mom, and I wanted to know everything was okay. Because it didn't happen right away did that mean something was wrong? But the norm is it takes time! It was eight months later that I found out I was pregnant with Jase. And it was when I didn't expect it at all!! Relax as much as you can, it helps. Even though it's hard to do! Praying friend, and it's so good you shared this. Even today I'm like, were we the only knew that took eight months!! Haha!!

  • Thanks for sharing!! Only my blog-world, my sister, and best friend know we're trying. I'm in that awkward middle ground. Others probably assume but no one has asked and I don't want to share so that we don't have to continuously answer the "no, I'm not pregnant yet" question each month. Love #3. I thought I was going crazy!! 🙂

    • And on a side note: three friends announced they were pregnant last week (all started trying at Christmas time…same as us) and two friends had babies both today. Definitely that time of life I'm in right now I guess.

  • I didn't experience this myself but a dear friend of mine did, and her daughter is 2 yrs old now. Take a vacation, do what you like, relax, enjoy life, and I'm sure the greatest gift will come to you! Big big hugs dear!
    Love,
    Coco
    Coco et La vie en rose
    Coco et La vie en rose on Bloglovin
    Coco et La vie en rose on Facebook

  • This makes me laugh a bit in an ironic way because we both totally expected that we'd get pregnant the minute we gave it a chance. Probably because of our family histories–both of us were non-intentional babies, so it kind of seems like the normal thing to happen. So when it didn't happen "in a minute" I was honestly surprised.
    I'm really not the type to talk about such things (victorian-esque tendencies, here….) but it's funny what can take you by surprise.

  • That is exciting! Although Mike and I are waiting a bit longer to have kids, when you feel you are ready (like I do) it can be really hard to wait. I know you will make such a great mom. Maybe God is trying to teach us patience when making us wait for babies! LOL

  • I know some people have had good success with doing a "reset" on the whole thing. They'll take a month off. Just enjoy their relationship and get back to intimacy, instead of the just the mechanics of baby-making. So they come back to it feeling renewed and ready to try again the next month. I hope your wait isn't too much longer!

  • I wish I had some words of advice to give but I am no where near trying to start a family. I will keep you and Nate in my prayers.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  • Oh girl, as you know, you're preaching to the choir. Praying for you guys…the journey can be so frustrating!

  • Thank you for this honest post!

  • You are a very inspirational women. Many people try to hide their struggles and it often hurts them. Thank you for sharing.

  • ah, such a truthful and necessary post. as you know, jon and i are in the exact stage that you're writing about, and its.. well.. interesting how hopeful i am for 2 weeks of the month and how let down i am the other 2 weeks. i'm pretty open about it with my friends, and the ones that are going through similar things make me feel like we're in this together. you're right though about now really having anything to prepare us for the trials that come with this between stage. i'm crossing my fingers and saying a prayer for all of us 🙂

  • oh girl you are certainly not alone. We got pregnant relatively fast with our first, but this second time around it's been a little different. We are just trying to be confident in the fact that God's timing is what's perfect…not ours.

  • OH.MY. I agreed with every single thing you wrote. It is so tough because you aren't infertile, but you keep seeing negative results. You want to be happy for friends who are pregnant, but inside all you can see are that you are not. After trying for a couple years, I know it is easy to get defeated. I think it is a "taboo" thing because it is somewhat depressing, and people don't want to hear that. I wish more people would talk about it! It can be very lonely! I am praying and thinking about you, and I am always here for support! All I can say is, it is God's timing, not necessarily our timing.

  • Prayers and hugs to you sweet one!

  • Oh my goodness, what an amazing post! I wish this would have been around when I was trying to get pregnant, because you voiced perfectly a lot of the things that I went through. Granted it only took us about four months of trying, and one miscarriage, but still it was an incredibly emotional time and it's one that not many people talk about. Thanks so much for sharing and I wish you the best of luck in your journey to starting a family!! 🙂

  • I am sorry to hear you are struggling. Since Charles and I have been discussing when to start trying for a family, I can clearly put myself in your place. I hope to hear good news from you soon.

    p.s. I'm sure you've been reading a TON so I hate to be another person to recommend something, but just to start getting myself mentally ready for trying in a year or two, I've been readin this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1451620705/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Maybe you'll find it helpful.

    Lots of love to you both <3

  • Oh, Susannah, I can only imagine how frustrating this may be! I'm not at a point in my life where I'm trying to get pregnant, but I can imagine how difficult this must be for you! It seems you have an excellent support system, which is so important! Sending positive thoughts your way! Thank you for linking up for Tuesday Tea today! xo

  • What an amazing and courageous post girl! I will be sending you an email to talk on a more personal level but thanks for sharing. It has helped me on a few insights for our soon to be journey.

  • Kim

    I recently learned a friend found out she is pregnant only three weeks after she and her husband got re-married. Huge punch in the gut for me. For me, it's the women who are either in no position to have babies right now (based on my observations and yes I know that seems so judgmental) or suddenly decide they want kids after years of not wanting them who are announcing pregnancies.

    My husband and I have been trying on and off for 3.5 years and still nothing. Each month is a nightmare for us and each pregnancy that is announced just makes my blood boil. Just so darn hard to deal with most days and I hate it.

  • Oh I know that lane…
    I tried for 1and half years and then stupid doctors told me I'd never have kids of my own as I had a thyroid problem too. We got sick of all the stupid infertility treatments too. I hated hearing announcements too. Then we gave it all up, decided we were good on our own and we left for a two month vacation. I got back pregnant.. and we weren't even trying.
    I have had 4 kids in 6 years now.
    I know what you and a lot of my friends are going through. You hang in their girl… you be strong…

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