Unbearable: I Apologize, But I Simply Can’t Feel Sorry For Your Pregnancy Pains

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 Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

Listen, I can shop for baby clothes. I can help decorate a nursery. I’ll attend every shower your aunts, in-laws and best friends from college want to throw. I’ll talk about names and pre-schools. I’ll even tell you all about droopy vaginas, if you really want to know.

I’ve been pregnant before. I know all about the heartburn, nausea and achy boobs. I’ve completely been there on the swollen ankles. I remember sleepless nights because, “I JUST CAN’T GET COMFORTABLE!” I’m familiar with all of it, so you would think that I could discuss the pains of pregnancy like a normal human being. But I can’t. I’m really, really sorry. I just can’t.

I would pay thousands of dollars to feel like that special type of pregnant crap. In fact, I’m facing that very situation. I literally burst in to tears at the thought of only being able to sleep on my left side. Every month, when my boobs start to get a little tender, I think maybe, just maybe, this is my month. I keep that hope alive, until the truth comes out and it isn’t my month. I can’t tell you the insane number of times that I thought indigestion was a sign of upcoming bliss. I have phantom butterflies in my stomach. Really, I’m kind of a mess.

So every time I hear you complain about all those delightful pregnancy symptoms, I start to twitch a little. For some reason, those little miseries fill me with more jealousy than any adorable, hand-sewn baby blanket ever could.

It’s not your fault. I realize that it really sucks to get sick whenever you smell gasoline, causing lots of roadside puke stops. I know that I’m being unfair and self-centered. But really, I”m begging you to stop complaining to me for both of our sakes. It’ll save my sanity a little. And, it will keep me from bursting out into uncontrollable sobbing in your presence, which I assume would make you uncomfortable.

I don’t want to make you feel guilty. If you happen to let it slide that you can’t even look at a pizza delivery guy without your esophagus bursting into flames, I’m not going to get sanctimonious and tell you that you should be happy and thankful. I promise not to stare longingly at the bit of elastic band holding up your pants that your shirt doesn’t quite cover. I’m trying here. Really, I am.

But I would give almost anything to feel the way you preggos do right now, nausea and all. So I can celebrate and be happy with you. I can plan and coo and “Awwwwwww.” I can’t feel sorry for you. I just don’t have it in me. So please understand, no more whining in front of the infertile one.


  1. Jenn

    September 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I can understand this (or try to). I am loathe to complain about pregnancy aches, pains, and uncomforts to anyone but my husband. I know that I am surrounded by friends who want to get pregnant and for one reason or another are not at this given moment in time. I am grateful for those aches and pains, so I keep my mouth shut. And I think you are perfectly valid in feeling the way that you do.

  2. Traci

    September 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    so which is it – can we talk to you about our pregnancy or not? because you posted an article in this series saying “i promise you can talk to me about your pregnancy” and now you say you don’t want to hear about the aches and pains that go along with it because you will sob uncontrollably. your dear sweet friend louise might read this now and think “well, i guess i was right to feel bad about discussing my pregnancy with her.”

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  4. PGA

    June 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    I undesrtad exactly what you are saying! I feel the exact same way! I can hold a new born and be happy for pregnant women! But the minute they start complaining I just loose it!

  5. Natalie Fanelle-thompson

    August 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Wow, didn’t know that anyone could hit the nail on the head, especially the keep hope alive part, it’s pure evil that as I get older PMS feels more like pregnancy symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, sore breasts, hard bloated belly, exhaustion…I’m ecstatic util it actually shows it’s self.

  6. Jen Clark

    March 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Why not do good for someone and adopt a needy child? I don’t understand why people including infertile women always tell others that adoption is the best choice because “someone that can’t have a baby would give their arm and leg for one”, but the more and more I hear from women that cant have one, the more I realize that they would rather give away their entire bank account for IVFs and doctors visits instead of giving a home to an unwanted child.

  7. aoaoi

    June 24, 2014 at 7:15 am

    thanks for sharing this post.. i thought i’m alone about this feeling..

    “I would pay thousands of dollars to feel like that special type of pregnant crap, no more whining in front of the infertile one”

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