I was talking to a friend the other day about someone we know who may be “trying to get pregnant.” Her look of disappointment made me think she was hinting that they were struggling to conceive. I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I know one of her biggest fears in life is not being able to successfully carry a child. After I shared this with my friend, she answered, “Doesn’t every woman feel that way?”
Though there may be several valid reasons for a woman to be concerned or worried about being able to get pregnant, my friend was right—every single woman who dreams of having children and a family is terrified of having fertility problems.
It was March of 2011, and my husband and I decided we were going to “start trying” to get pregnant. I was twenty-six years old. I was aware my biological clock wasn’t “ticking,” which should have reassured me there wasn’t a physiological urgency. But it didn’t.
I knew my cycle… to the day. When the time came in April, I prayed that I wouldn’t see any signs of a menstrual cycle. For the days leading up to that day, I started envisioning what my family would look like, how it would change, and the excitement of adding a baby to our world. I was on pins and needles waiting for the time to come, and we would see the pregnancy test result show: positive.
But, there it came…on-time. I was crushed—disappointed, devastated, and then scared. Tears filled my eyes. I felt like I failed… myself and my husband. The feelings of anticipation and excitement to sadness and fear was far too much for me.
I panicked and immediately became hysterical. Was there something wrong with me? Maybe I don’t ovulate? Or have enough healthy eggs? I wanted it so badly, and we didn’t get it. Was it because I had an eating disorder years prior? Could it be my husband? Sitting there weeping, I looked at my husband, and he looked back at me like I was crazy. “Erin, it was one month. It takes time. Relax,” he said.
I’m so glad he was able to remain calm in the quest to get pregnant, but I.. I became frantic. I couldn’t imagine waiting anxiously for another month to go by again only to get crushed. Would we need IVF? How long is too long? Yes, it was only a month and one try, but to me it felt like eternity.
For someone who loves to have control, I had zero control of this—and that made me even crazier. Before this mission, every time I had set my mind to achieve something, I (for the most part) did. It’s my personality. I’m driven, determined, and strong-willed. But, what I learned quickly was that those things didn’t matter in the attempt of getting pregnant.
Clearly, I wasn’t emotionally prepared for what it would be like when trying to have a baby—the roller coaster of emotions, the stress of waiting for the result of the 2-minute test, the loneliness, the fear, the questions, and the unknown. I started becoming stressed that I was too stressed. Was my stress preventing me from being able to get pregnant? And, the worst part of it all was feeling this way while keeping it a secret.
As in every other area of life, getting pregnant took time and work to get the result I wanted. My wish is to let every single woman out there know she is not alone. She is not the only one having thoughts and fears about getting pregnant. In the scheme of life, several months, even years don’t make a difference. It’s just the final result—and the process is a journey. I wish I could’ve just relaxed and embraced the journey. Because, today, I am blessed to have three children. And, it was all worth it!