Unbearable: Me And My Still-Empty Uterus Are Capable Of Having Good News

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

There comes a point in an infertile couple’s journey where absolutely every aspect of their lives seems to be superseded by their struggles to get pregnant. After you’ve told everyone that you’re trying to conceieve, after a couple tragic endings, you’re suddenly known as “the people who want a baby.” From that point on, any time you try to share information with people, they’re going to assume that you’re talking about your uterus first.

This past spring I posted that I had good news I would reveal shortly on my writing Facebook page. (Yes, I’m obnoxious and keep separate work and personal pages.) I was talking about the opportunity I got to appear on Good Morning America with my daughter. I had to make sure I was allowed to announce it before I talked about what show I was on, but I was so excited that I had to post a little cliffhanger. Immediately, I had at least five people texting me “Congratulations.” Everyone just assumed that my good news meant a bun in the oven. Sorry guys.

A month ago I asked my parents to have dinner with my husband and me. I wanted to share some good news with them and I thought that it would be nice to do so at my favorite sushi restaurant. When I went to order a glass of plum wine, my mom was completely taken aback. “You can’t have a drink,” she yelped! For a split second, I was really confused. Then I explained, “Mom, I’m not pregnant! I got a promotion at work.”

I think it’s a sign of optimism that so many people assume all my good news is baby-related. It means that we’re all still positive that I’m finally going to get pregnant one day. The smallest thing will lead friends and family to assume that I must be with child, finally. If I mention feeling a little under the weather, I swear they’re ready to throw a baby shower. If I say I can smell something no one else can, they’re ready to bust out champagne. For everyone but me, of course.

In a way, it’s really nice to know that I’m not the only one with all these false starts. Everyone else assumes pregnancy first and checks later, as well. That’s what I’ve been doing for months now, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

That being said, I feel like I no longer have any good news. Even if something terrific has happened, it’s not really what people want to hear. They would be much happier if I was pregnant. And really, it’s hard to blame them. I would probably be happier as well.

If I actually do get pregnant, I have no idea how I’ll manage to keep the whole business a secret for the first 12 weeks. Considering that my last pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I’m sure that I’ll want to be secretive. I’m just not sure that I’ll have enough self-control.

I mean, after two years of trying to conceive, being pregnant would be the news. It would be the news that we’re all waiting for! Who can keep that type of business to themselves? I guess what I’m saying is that I promise I’ll tell everyone right away. And I won’t make a cliffhanger out of it. So if I ever say, “Guess what?” or “Something great just happened,” you don’t have to assume I’m pregnant. When that moment comes, I promise not to wait to set up the surprise. I’ll be too busy dancing around like a maniac to make everyone guess my good news. Until I start dancing, all “good news” will be of the non-uterus variety, so try not to be too disappointed.

(Photo: AXL/Shutterstock)


  1. ipsedixit010

    September 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    We had to put up with this our first 5 years of marriage. Everyone assumed that “good news” meant a baby. It kind of took the wind out of other important news and accomplishments.

    • LiteBrite

      September 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Us too.

      Well-Meaning Person: “So, what’s new?”
      Me: “Well, I do have some good news.”
      Well-Meaning Person (looking at us with hopeful, expectant face): “You’re pregnant?”
      Me: “Er no. I just got promoted.”

      I felt like tacking on “Sorry to disappoint you” after each conversation. I recently told a newly married co-worker who was complaining about all of the “when are you going to have a baby” questions that it’s standard. When you’re dating, everyone asks when you’re going to get married. When you get married, everyone asks when you’re going to have a baby. Then, when you finally do have a baby, everyone asks when you’re going to have your next baby.

    • Eileen

      September 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      I remember being fifteen or sixteen, when my whole family was trying to find out if I had a boyfriend, and realizing no one would be happy ’til I was married with four kids. (Four seemed like the number, since my mom still got asked about another, and she had three!)

  2. lyzl

    September 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I know it’s not the same, but this happened when we weren’t trying to conceive. I felt like everything was eclipsed by my uterus. It was awful. Same with marriage. Everyone assumed that my wedding was the biggest news of my life, not my promotions or publications. Keep up the hope and the sexing!

  3. Fran

    September 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    At least they wait for you to say you have news. I tried to conceive for 2 years and people who hadn’t talked to me in a while would come right out and ask “are you pregnant yet?”

    Not only is that rude, but it was incredibly painful for me to have to keep saying no. Eventually I just started lying and saying we were no longer trying, and they stopped asking. When I finally did get pregnant it was only hard to keep it a secret because I was so excited-but nobody suspected a thing before I shared the news.

  4. EnderChicken

    September 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I like kids, but I don’t want any of my own. I have been married for two years now and my brother had just gotten married a few months ago. His gift from our parents was a quilt that my mother handmade, very beautiful one. My gift from her? Quilted baby blanket >.>

  5. Lori B.

    September 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I know this is a serious topic for your Lindsay, but just to add some humor… you invited your parents for SUSHI and they still thought you were pregnant?! Seriously?!? Ok, congratualtions on your promotion!! You know I love your work:)

    • Lindsay Cross

      September 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Hehe! Thanks:) To be fair, the place has lots of great Korean and Thai food as well. I just can’t help but order sushi when I’m there.

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