I went into my doctor’s office more in January than I have in the past couple of years combined. Something shifted in me when I turned thirty last fall, and I began to really wonder if pregnancy was something that would be possible for me. I’ve never prevented it, but I’ve also never treated it as a pressing issue in my life. Occasionally I’ve done a round of ovulation kits, but I never felt sad or panicked when they didn’t yield any results. In my head, I thought when we chose to get serious about things, it would just happen for us. Naive.
Like any other girl, I’m annoyed at how unaware people can be when they make comments like, “Oh, do you not want children?” I get it. It’s traditional to get married and immediately start having babies. Honestly I may not have been as careful about making those sort of comments myself had I not heard them so often. But couples are waiting longer to have children. We live longer, and we want more as far as our education and career. The way we live our lives continues to evolve, and the typical timeline just doesn’t fit everyone’s plan.
I’m okay with responding to this comment and others like it, so please do not feel guilty for a second if you’re wondering if you’ve said anything like this to me. I do know many women who struggle in secrecy though, and questions like this can be really difficult for them. We’ve become this society where information and gossip is shared so easily, and I think we forget that not everyone wants to share every detail of their life publicly. There’s a fine line between caring and being invasive. I’m working on being better at reading others before I begin a line of questioning that makes them uncomfortable. I hope you will too.
If you are the girl suffering in silence though, I encourage you to stand up for your privacy. You do not have to talk about anything you wish to keep in your relationship. When we get down to it, it’s awkward that your aunt is asking about your sex life at Thanksgiving anyway. (or anytime)
Probably the most infuriating comment I get is, “You’re so lucky you don’t have kids.” This usually is said because I mention that I went to the movies or completed some other mediocre task that parents could definitely do as well. Parent shaming is so real, but I think there’s also something to be said about parents who shame people who don’t have children because they think we’re over here living an eternal frat party. Being childless doesn’t make us incapable of acknowledging how tough being a parent can be. If you’re a parent and you haven’t been told lately, I think you’re doing a lot. And I think you’re doing it well.
I know that parenting will be the most important and difficult job we will ever have in life. I also know that we will kick ass at it, and you won’t scare us away.
Several of my friends have gone through infertility (remember the statistics are around 1 in 10), and they chose to keep very quiet about it. I completely respect their decision in doing so, and I’m honored that they chose to confide in me when I had nothing more than listening to offer. It’s difficult enough to face the appointments, lab work, procedures, and everything else as a couple, so I can see how telling others about each of those steps almost feels like reliving it over and over.
The openness John and I have chosen to express on this journey is not meant to coerce others into being more vocal. We aren’t the first couple to struggle and no story is typical. We aren’t trying to be the face of a cause or present our story as more important than the thousands of others out there. We just find comfort in talking about it, and we hope it makes others feel less alone.
From this point forward, I’ll be updating as things unfold. The scary thing about this post and those that will follow it is how unwritten and unpredictable they are. We may be back in a month celebrating a positive pregnancy text, or we could be writing our final post at some point deciding to part ways with our specialist.
We are being introduced to new terms each day, so forgive us as we research and learn on the fly. I’ll do my best to be as informed and accurate as possible, but I can’t promise that I won’t stumble sometimes in that attempt.
All I ask is that you don’t rely on us to lead you through your own decision making process related to fertility. Couples should decide what’s best for them based on their own circumstances. We don’t have any secret answers or insight. We just have our own timeline which will be laid out in detail here.
Thanks for getting through all that. I’m usually more concise. (lie)