Unbearable: There’s No Silver Lining To Infertility

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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

My life is a little bit hectic right now. I’m working two jobs, my husband has crazy hours and we’re trying to raise a toddler. We’re buying a new house and our little girl is starting pre-school. There’s just a lot going on. So if I got pregnant right now, things would get even more stressful. I know that having another baby would make my already-crazy life a little more loco. That does not mean that I enjoy hearing people tell me, “Well I guess it’s a blessing that you haven’t gotten pregnant yet.”

Let me be extremely clear, for someone who is struggling to have a baby, it is never a blessing that you aren’t pregnant. I don’t care what is going on in their personal life. You should never tell someone that they should be thankful it just hasn’t happened yet. Even if you think that’s true, it’s a horrible thing to say.

When I’m going through a monthly cycle of determination and hope followed by extreme depression and disappointment, nothing about it feels like a blessing to me. It doesn’t seem like part of God’s plan. It feels horrible and unfair. Maybe a decade from now, when I finally have my beautiful little baby I’ve been longing for, you can say that it was meant to happen this way all along. Maybe then the heartache will have dissipated enough that I can understand how it all needed to work out. But not now.

I try to be optimistic. I try not to let the infertility take over my life. I work pretty hard to go about my normal day-to-day existence, going to work, having dinner with my family and reading a book or two to my daughter at bedtime. Those things don’t have to be ruined simply because my reproductive system isn’t exactly cooperating with my life plan. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t wish for things to be different, that I can’t wish to be pregnant.

 In the mornings on our way to daycare, my daughter and I regularly share our dreams with each other from the previous night. This morning, my daughter told me that she dreamt of running through our neighborhood by herself to go feed the fish (we have a lake behind us). She thought it was exciting to get to go do something all by herself. After a long talk about how long until she would be allowed outside without an adult, she asked about my dream. And as much as I would like to share the truth with her, there’s simply no way that I can tell her that I dream about babies. All the time, I dream about pregnancy. I dream about coming home from the hospital with a new precious member of our family and laying them down in their own immaculate nursery. Instead, I tell my little one that I see pink elephants and purple tigers. Or maybe that I dreamt of flying through the air like a plane. Each day, I feel a little guilty for lying to her, but I don’t want her to know my obsession with having another child.

Please understand that after having that conversation every morning, if you tell me that there’s a silver lining to this rain cloud or that it’s all happening for a reason or that I’m lucky I didn’t get pregnant while such-and-such was going on, I simply can’t listen to you. I can’t respond and I can’t laugh it off or even manage to smile and nod. I just can’t. My life has lots of positives and it even has lots of stress, but if there’s an upside to infertility, I’m not prepared to acknowledge it yet.


  1. Shawna D

    September 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    You are right, there is no silver lining. Both of my children were conceived using IVF and there were many roadblocks to get to where I am today. I wish you the best of luck, not only in trying for another baby, but for dealing with the many insensitive people in our world…who all seem to be able to reproduce at the drop of a hat!

  2. Tracy Morris

    September 30, 2011 at 9:47 am

    How ironic — the name of my first personal website (one of those freebie versions we used to get with our Internet service, in the mid-90’s) was “Silver Linings”. We’d gone through 5 years of infertility, including 4 miscarriages, before finally having a son. He’s now a tall pre-teen. Sometimes the most we can wish for anyone is, simply, peace.

  3. Sophie Manus

    October 6, 2011 at 7:42 am

    How sad that your preoccupation with infertility seems to be stopping you from enjoying your life. You have been blessed with a child. So many people are not as lucky. There is no silver lining to infertility, I agree, but there is also something to be said for focusing on your blessings.

  4. elyse

    November 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I don’t understand you’re frustrated about what? First off you have a toddler there are a constant job in it self with that said why the rush to get pregnant again then wouldn’t the focus be taken off your current child and on to the new one? I’m just saying its a little unnerving to hear your frustrated that you currently can’t conceive another just yet…what about those who never got the excitement of ever seeing those two lines at all? And for those other women that are hurting so much because they waited too long…?…well here’s a twist what about the women who found out about their IF when they had no plans of making one any time soon (16 y.o.). What about those who long for it but cant dish out $10000 for IVF or any other medical support?Some women find it hard but know they have other options, what happens to those without options what category do we fit in?Hows that for frustrating depressing agonizing pain.

  5. Pingback: Unbearable: Inching Towards Infertility Acceptance

  6. Not So Blessed

    May 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I am shocked. You have 2 kids. How can you take THAT for granted and moan you can’t get more? My marriage is falling apart because after multiple psychologically ruining IVF cycles, devastating miscarriages we have 0 children. Shame on you!

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