Unbearable: Talking About Infertility Creates More Pressure

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

Infertility is normally a very private struggle. Most couples don’t broadcast the fact that they’re trying to have a child. Admittedly, it’s awkward to tell people that you’re trying to get pregnant. There’s that explicit inclusion of sex in the whole process. By telling people you’re trying, you’re really giving out bedroom details that plenty of partners choose to keep private. So yea, the majority of those dealing with infertility keep it to themselves.

Obviously, I’ve taken a different route. It’s one that I’m proud of, because I think discussing infertility openly helps disspell myths and encourage reflection. I think that when we speak up about our problems, we help those who are dealing with similar struggles.

I have been lucky enough to share my journey with a very supportive group of readers. You all commiserate with me, share your stories and offer hope. I feel blessed that I have so many people who feel invested in my personal journey to have another child. But it’s funny that along with all that support, I also feel like I now have a whole new group of people that I don’t want to let down. I don’t want to be in the same position four years from now, writing about my frustration and barrenness.

At some point, I want to be able to tell everyone that I’m having a child and that it feels like all is right in the world. I want my story to have an ending, and I feel like it never will unless I have another baby.

It’s not just myself and my husband that I want to get pregnant for anymore. I want to get pregnant and share that joy with all the people who have spent time reading my struggles and offering advice. I feel like we all deserve a pay-off for the hard work we’ve put in, right?

Recently, my daughter’s pre-school teacher who I simply adore, wrote me a note to say that she had started a St. Gianna novena for me. For those who aren’t familiar with the Catholic practice, a novena is a request for the Church’s prayers. St. Gianna is the patron Saint of fertility. This wonderful woman who I see a couple times a week and share small talk with asked her Church to pray for my family as we keep trying to conceive.

I was so honored. I feel so blessed. I really didn’t know how to put my gratitude into words. Having my struggles shared with a congregation of people who are praying for your success and happiness , it was so humbling to see my difficulties become something that the whole Church lifted up into God’s hands.

Shortly after that note, I found out, courtesy of nature, that I’m not pregnant. Again. It’s really not shocking at this point. And there was moment when I thought, “I should just take the whole month off. I shouldn’t think about having a baby. I should drink as much wine as I want to and get Starbucks every morning. I shouldn’t pee on a single stick until July rolls around.” Then I thought about the kindness of a woman who sought her Church’s prayer to help me. I thought about all the well-wishes in the comments and emails. I thought about the friends and family who get a little excited when I turn down an invitation for sushi because they think that it just might be the month. I didn’t want to let all those people down. I had to do my part and keep trying if all these people were going to put thought into my situation.

I’ve realized that talking about infertility is a little like talking about your diet. Suddenly you feel like you have a bunch of people holding you accountable. There’s a little more pressure there, but at the same time, there’s also more support, more help, more encouragement. I feel very blessed. And I hope that everyone struggling out there finds a group of people to pray for them, to keep them positive and just to talk with them.