When thinking about your fertility, control is not the word I’d use to describe how to have a baby. For those of us Type A women who like to plan and organize things, the process of trying to have a baby can be an eye-opener. I wasn’t in control of when this would all work out or even when I could start my treatments. I found that flexible and open were far better words to embrace!
It’s never what you thought it would be. Poor test results, diminished ovarian reserves, PCOS or any number of other things will change your perspective quickly. “I will never” and “I could never” will quickly shift in your mind to “what-ifs”. I found myself asking quite a few what-ifs around costs, procedures and even timing as the months went on.
Socially, Trying To Have A Baby Is Hard
It is perfectly fine to scale back on baby showers and baby birthday parties. Your hormones during treatments are tough on any given day but add a room full of excited, hopeful, pregnant pals and you may crumble. I found that sending a nice gift ahead of time was an easier path some days. I was truly happy for others having a baby but there were days that I couldn’t face the fact that it wasn’t my turn yet! The same holds true for girlfriends, coworkers and family members who announce that they are expecting. These announcements are often filled with great joy and heartache at the same time for those of us still trying. It’s ok to go home and cry some days.
You will notice every baby bump on the street and the maternity section of your favorite brands. You will inevitably be sat next to a child or pregnant person on every flight you take. Your maternal instincts and hormones are on high and even your favorite brands are in on it. Target (who I know and love) knew I bought prenatal vitamins and that put me into a whole new set of marketing emails for formula and diapers before I knew what to do with those. Stock up on some brownie mix, lavender oil, pilates classes or whatever can keep you centered.
Find Your Person(s) & Keep Them Close
Keep your journey details to a small circle initially. There are a lot of ups and downs and you may find yourself in tears or be altering your course as this journey progresses. You may not want everyone to call you up and ask daily how it’s going. Some days it will be refreshing to fly under the radar and simply have a “normal” day.
Don’t rule out men in this list. I found that some of my best sounding boards and most supportive voices were men who seemed to understand my desire to have kids and had the perspective to help craft my funniest response to inappropriate questions.
You will find out who your friends are in this process — the ones who hold your hand, give you shots every night and the ones who hold you together over margaritas the night after you find out you are not pregnant. These are true pals and will be there for you no matter the outcomes.
Here Come The Questions
When you go public with your desires to have a baby you will get questions. Lots of them and generally not the things you’d expect. While people mean well and they aren’t trying to hurt your feelings you will likely need to steal yourself from these possibilities. As a single person, I knew I’d have more scrutiny than most. The simple, “I/we are working through that right now and will let you know when there is news to share” should keep most of the crazy at bay.
Not everyone will understand your choices and you can lose some relationships on this journey. I found that good friends and family were supportive no matter my choices. This process of trying to have a baby is costly physically, financially and emotionally. Surround yourself with people who really listen and are slow to give advice. These sounding boards will be your greatest asset as your future and winding path unfold.