Courtesy of Monkey Business/Fotolia

Dear Women Who Are TTC: I See You

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Dear women who are trying to conceive,

I see you in the aisle at Target, tossing ovulation kits and pregnancy tests into your cart, hoping this will be the last time you have to shell out money on these pee sticks. I know how frustrating it is to buy test after test, because every new pack signifies that you have yet to see the elusive plus sign on the end of your stick. I see you stopping by the kids' aisle because you just have to check out the tiny dresses and onesies that your future child will wear. You are struggling, but you cover it up with a smile. You are hopeful, but you're also breaking inside. That's why I wanted to write you this letter: to let you know that I see you, because I was you once.  

I remember feeling like I was the only woman on earth who couldn't get pregnant. I felt like it was my fault that I was unable to have a baby, and I eventually stopped telling my husband about every negative pregnancy test because it made me feel like a failure. I peed on ovulation sticks, tracked my menstrual and ovulation cycle, stopped drinking wine, and stopped working out every day. I took folic acid and prenatal vitamins in the hopes of helping the process along. But nothing worked, and I knew it was because of me. It had to be because of me. I felt like my body, my ovaries, and my eggs were making TTC so damn difficult.

Ad failed to load

So I secretly shouldered the blame. I became a pro at hiding my insecurities by acting indifferent when people asked if I had gotten pregnant yet. It was so hard to pretend to be happy. It was so hard to act like trying to conceive was not taking up all of the space in my mind. I was moody and sad. I was incredibly hard on myself.

Courtesy of Ambrosia Brody

That's why I want to tell the women out there who are also TTC: please be kind to yourselves. Whatever the reason behind your struggles to conceive, you have no control over your own anatomy, and you didn't do anything to make your body not perform the way you want it to. Society has always taught us that women's bodies are inherently designed to make procreation simple and easy, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Getting pregnant can be incredibly difficult for lots of people, and that’s what I need you to know: You are not alone.

Ad failed to load
It's frustrating as hell when something that seems so easy for so many women is much harder than anticipated.

I need you to know that there are many of us out there just like you, who are TTC for months or years before we finally get that positive sign. Others (like myself) required infertility treatments to get pregnant. TTC is a tough process, and it's frustrating as hell when something that seems so easy for so many women is much harder than anticipated.

Courtesy of Ambrosia Brody
Ad failed to load

You might not be able to articulate everything that you’re experiencing. Maybe you're tired of talking about it, or maybe you just don't want to talk about it all. That's fine. This is an incredibly personal process, and it's your right not to answer other people's nosy questions about your body.

That's why I want you to know that I see you. I see how your body tenses up when someone asks if you’re pregnant "yet." I see you offer the same rehearsed response, time and again: "Not yet, but we're hopeful this is the month," or "No, but it's OK, we aren't worried." Maybe some people will believe you, but I know the truth: that these questions are hurtful and annoying, because you're tired of having to explain your situation, over and over again.

You cry quietly when you get your period at work, wiping your eyes and reapplying your makeup so no one will know.
Ad failed to load

Don't these people understand that asking you if you’re pregnant only reinforces the reality that you are not pregnant? Don't they understand how truly exhausting trying to conceive is? How can you put into words those feelings of frustration, disappointment, and concern in a way that won't make people feel awkward or, even worse, pity you?

So you keep all of your feelings inside. You hide the fertility apps on your phone, and you don’t tell anyone how many times you’ve Googled "trying to conceive", "tips on trying to conceive"," or variations on the question "what if something is wrong with me?" You refuse to cry when friends announce their pregnancies on Facebook, even when that one person shares that annoying "It only took one try!" post. When you see babies at the store, you tell the mom how adorable her baby is, even though it makes your heart hurt because you want a baby of your own. You cry quietly when you get your period at work, wiping your eyes and reapplying your makeup so no one will know.

Courtesy of Ambrosia Brody
Ad failed to load

I won’t give you unsolicited advice, because I don’t believe what other people say about how it will happen when you stop thinking about it. I won’t give you a pep talk or tell you to keep trying. And I won't tell you that it's all in your mind, and that you're putting too much pressure on yourself. I think all of that's bullsh*t. I know I only managed to get pregnant with my two girls when I finally admitted to myself that we needed to see an infertility specialist.

But what I will give you is my attention. I will listen to you if you want to vent, or scream, or cuss, or cry.  I need you to know that those of us in the midst of this TTC journey, and those who have been there, see you and understand what you’re going through.

TTC is so lonely. But you’re not alone. We are right beside you.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack