If you are a woman who has spent your life imagining what it would be like to have a child, then you know how exciting it is when you finally decide that you are ready to make that leap. You are finally prepared to put yourself second. You are willing to make a child the number one priority in life. You are ready to get pregnant.
If you are a woman who has tried and tried and who has been unable to conceive, then you also know the veritable barrage of emotions that you encounter — grief, embarrassment, uselessness.
As a 27 year-old woman I have been married for almost three years and have been with the same man since I was a junior in high school. I can hardly remember a time when I didn’t want to have children with him. I cannot remember a time at all, for that matter, when I didn’t daydream about being a mother. I feel very strongly that we are all on this planet for a very specific reason and I have always thought that my reason was being a mother.
Every woman in my family is like a fertility machine. They get pregnant the first time they try. They get pregnant every time they try. Imagine my surprise when after a year of trying I still wasn’t pregnant.
You might not think about it often, but it’s a relative shot in the dark. It is amazing how many people get pregnant unexpectedly, actually. It has to happen one of three or four specific days which are often hard to pinpoint for many women.
Frustration sets in. Why me? Why can so many people get pregnant the one time they have unprotected sex while I’m doing everything ever suggested by doctors, old wives tales, myths, and the woman down the street who has eight kids?
When you spend a year trying to conceive and are unable, it is often considered an early sign of infertility. You (and your partner) are then subjected to every test under the sun, most of which involve full or partial nudity in front of one or more people, often with legs spread in a very compromising position.
For many, these tests reveal very little. Some slight hormonal imbalances, a “barely” low count here or there. These things all result in orders to eat better, lose weight, and are more likely than not accompanied by some sort of medication that will throw your body into complete turmoil — in my case, starvation tempered by the fact that the sight of food makes me sick. Exhausted but unable to sleep. Oh, and did I mention the hot flashes?