It all starts with “there must be something in the water” and you know what comes after that? Cue instant suffering in silence. I know I can’t be the only one thinking to myself, can I get some of that water PLEASE?! As I sat at work today, surrounded by a group of strong women, I was again stuck in an uncomfortable conversation about how everyone is getting pregnant. These conversations always turn into listening to others speak about their children, their pregnancies, and everything in between. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that they are able to have children, but suffering in silence really sucks.
I always seem to resort to one of four things when I am in these conversations:
- Smile, nod and politely laugh.
- Throw out the “I’ve got a fur baby!”. Although she really is like my baby, is never as satisfying to say as I am hoping it will be.
- Talk about my four nephews and how adorably cute they are.
- Avoid the conversation and try to block it out.
If I’m being honest, I almost always resort to number four, because inside I am secretly dying in pain and heartbreak. I often ask myself, why those are my only options, why is it that I can’t bring up our struggles and feel supported? The answer, my fellow sufferers, is quite simple; I don’t bring it up because:
- It gets awkward as ______ (fill in the blank)
- I find myself having to explain, in great detail, why it is that the Hubs and I are unable to get it right just once. That leads into answering questions like “Can’t you just have sex every day?” or “Did you try _______? My best friend’s aunt’s friend of a friend went through the same thing and tried it, then boom they were pregnant.”
The list can go on and on. We have all heard statements like, “Just relax and it will happen” or (this is my personal favourite), “When you stop trying it will happen”.
No. No, it does not work like that.
Getting caught in these conversations is painful.
It makes you relive the pain that you are working so hard to stuff down, the pain that you are trying to keep at bay, the pain that you are trying not to let break you. This is one reason why speaking out and advocating is so important. We should be able to speak about our journeys with those who are not in or haven’t been in a situation like this.
I would love to be able to speak about our journey and have it welcomed in a conversation without everyone trying to solve our problem, like after 3 years of us trying they are going to give us the secret and get us pregnant. I would love to have other women and men be more conscious of what someone else might be going through. Really it comes down to everyone thinking before they speak, or before they tell that story about how Susie is pregnant again with her third “surprise” baby. I think we can all agree that these particular stories have a certain sting.
So, if you are reading this and you are also stuck in these extremely difficult situations, please know that you are in the same situation as 1 in 6 Canadians who are fighting the fight and often suffering in silence. Know that suffering in silence isn’t the only option because we are all working together to speak out in support of one another. Know that when you’ve had to hear what feels like more than 1000x in a day how everyone is getting pregnant or on mat leave, you are not alone.
When I think of all the other people who are struggling through this journey, it provides me some comfort to know that there is support out there. Most importantly, it lets me know that I am allowed to feel the way I feel with no shame or guilt and you are too (even though we all know those emotions trickle up anyway).