‘Will this be the month?’: The Secret Life Of The Infertile Woman

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“When you have a baby, life is full of ‘so manys.’ When you can’t have a baby, it’s full of ‘so many nots.’

So many friends have conceived.

So many ‘baby on board’ and ‘promoted to big brother’ announcements. While scrolling on social, you see another birth announcement. It doesn’t matter what social platform you choose, it’s going to be on all of them: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. The couple should expect a lot of likes and comments, maybe close to 300. The post will gain a lot of support, a lot more support than your sad infertility or miscarriage post. New life is exciting. Babies are exciting; infertility is not…so here we are, still trying.

So many baby showers.

More tiny socks and adorable little clothes. More cake and veggies with ranch dip. Baby showers are a celebration of what’s to come, of the beauty that keeps our world moving forward. They are a happy time — unless they hurt. They hurt because they aren’t for your baby. Once again, you’ve spent money on someone else’s baby. It’s not that you aren’t happy for them, you are just sad for yourself…because here we are, still trying.

So many ultrasounds.

That dreaded first ultrasound is here — the one when you hope to hear the heartbeat; so many of these come and go. The appointment ends with, ‘Congrats, everything looks great.’ It doesn’t end with tears of sadness (like yours), it ends with tears of joy. Then it’s time to move on to the next, the trimester we all look forward to — the second trimester. This week, they get to find out the gender. They get to decide on a name, and pick out nursery colors; they get to move forward to the next phase. And then finally, they make it to the final trimester and get that special 3D ultrasound. The ultrasound when they get see the shape of the infant’s little face. They get to pretend like they know who he/she looks like. They get to move forward…only here we are, still trying.

So many gender reveals.

Saddle up, it’s time for another gender reveal. These days, people don’t do cakes or cupcakes. They don’t release balloons. Instead, they shoot off cannons and fireworks. Ones filled with blue or pink confetti. Ones that reveal the sex of the future member of their family…yet here we are, still trying.

So many baby introduction posts.

Now the baby is here. The mom had a C-section, a natural birth, a water birth. The baby was born healthy and the mom is doing great. You see the announcement online. You smile with joy for the family, but your heart aches. It aches because you wish that mom was you. Maybe your birth didn’t go as well. Maybe your baby didn’t survive. Maybe you didn’t even make it to the positive pregnancy test. Another baby has been born…and here we are, still trying.

So many photo sessions.

Maternity photo shoots come first. The expectant mother holds her belly, and maybe even her other child on her hip. She is radiant, she is glowing, she is with child. Infant photoshoots come next. The 8-pound newborn rests inside a fluffy white pillow. He’s beautiful and looks like a doll. He looks like he could fit into the palm of your hands. Family photoshoots are last. It’s time to celebrate our family of three or four. Everyone is sitting in front of a tree or the ocean, looking beautiful. The baby stops crying long enough to get a good shot, one that makes life look perfect. How could life not be perfect? They have added another family member…while here we are, still trying.

So many tears.

Tears of joy over baby laughs. He giggles at a rattle or a funny-looking toy. She smiles for the first time and mommy cries. Tears of sorrow over baby fevers and earaches. Mom and dad worry about their baby’s health. Is it just her teeth? Or is it something worse? Mom and dad call the nurse or the Pediatrician. They call with tears in their eyes because they are scared. Tears of exhaustion over sleepless nights and restless days. Two hours of sleep wasn’t quite enough and mommy is tired. She cries in the shower as she breathes through the exhaustion. She loves her baby, but she also needs sleep. She does everything she can to get through the day, but her baby still cries. She nurses her until she bleeds. She changes so many diapers she forgets to eat. She is happy, but she is also exhausted…yet here we are, still trying.

So many hours of worry.

Is the baby getting enough sleep? They cried for like 3 hours straight last night. Are they breathing okay? Their breathing seems a little lighter than normal. Are they growing right? The doctor says they are measuring okay, but they are 8 months old and still wearing small diapers. Mom and dad wonder, are we doing a good job? Should we be bathing her more? Maybe we should be massaging her before bed. Are we spending enough time with their sibling? Since she’s been born, it’s hard to divide our time. They feel guilty if they don’t spend equal time with them both…yet here we are, still trying.

So many firsts.

Baby’s first taste of real food. He didn’t like the peaches, so next time mom is trying pears. Baby’s first steps. He never crawled, he went straight to walking. How cool is that? Baby’s first tooth. The tooth came in rather quickly. It seems like he was just born yesterday. Baby’s first Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines Day, and Easter…but here we are, still trying.

So many months and years.

We thought six months was a long time. To us, it felt like 12. It felt like 12 until we were still trying after 13. Then, we thought one year was a long time; it felt like two. It felt like two until we were still trying after two and a half. Again, we thought two-and-a-half years was a long time. We thought it was a long time until we were still trying after three…yet once again, here we are, still trying.

So many emotions.

Hope: will this be the month? Excitement: maybe I’m pregnant… Grief: I can’t do this anymore. Regret: I wish I had started trying sooner. Envy: It’s everyone else’s turn, when will it be mine? Sorrow: this never gets any easier…yet here we are, still trying.

So many still trying.

Trying is supposed to be fun, but for some of us, it’s downright hard. If you are still trying, hoping, and waiting — welcome to the club. It’s not a club anyone wants to join, but I do welcome you with open arms. Infertility is real, it’s hard, and it’s isolating, but there are a lot of us. Our battle is making us stronger. It’s preparing us for something much bigger in life. And it doesn’t mean we will never win the fight.

For some of us the ‘soon’ will turn into ‘so many.’ And I sure hope you’re next.”

Courtesy of Jessica Ayers

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Ayers of Florida. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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