“When are you having kids?” The question itself is always well intended and for some, it may not cause any offense. However, for many, including myself, getting pregnant isn’t as easy as everyone thinks.
After adjusting to married life, my husband and I decided we wanted to try to grow our family. At first, it was fun but after trying for six months with only a miscarriage to show for it, I started to wonder “What is wrong?”
Month after month we were met with no luck.
We decided to seek advice from a fertility specialist. We learned that our situation was actually not as uncommon as we thought. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states 12% of women in the United States, regardless of marital status, age 15-44 have a difficult time conceiving.
I went through multiple exams and had several tubes of blood drawn. I learned I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and endometriosis. Fortunately, after one round of treatment, we were blessed with our first child. That is the end goal for every couple trying to conceive, right? However, some women try for years both with and without assistance only to experience one heartache after another.
Throughout this process, I became hard on myself and fell into an emotional downward spiral. For the most part, I felt alone. I did know some women who experienced infertility but I struggled to bring up the topic. I constantly wondered if it was OK to talk about or if they had moved on from that time in their lives.
This is why I share my story.
I understand at least an ounce of the pain that comes with disappointment and loss. I share my story with anyone who is interested.
Our stories can help us all feel less alone and know it’s OK to seek medical advice and support.
Keeping our stories hidden overshadows the fact that infertility is more common than we know. When I learn someone is having a difficult time conceiving, I try to be mindful of how they might be feeling. I find a way to briefly mention that I too was once in a similar situation. It is my hope they see this as an opportunity to ask me anything. They have the opportunity to release their emotions and find support in someone who has also experienced the struggle of infertility.
Wherever the journey may lead, I hope more women continue to share their stories in their own time. In turn, I hope more women question themselves less and seek support sooner.
This post was originally written in 2017 and updated in 2023.