The Painful Process of Trying to Conceive

by admin
Sad man and woman standing together and looking at pregnancy test showing one line.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard any of the following:

How’s the baby-making going?
When do you think you guys will get pregnant?
When are you going to make me a grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle/great grandparent?
What’re you guys waiting for?
Your biological clock is ticking.
You won’t be young forever.

If you have been trying to conceive for a while and are struggling with fertility, I am willing to bet you’ve heard some variation of each of these questions and statements.

The process of making a baby and the prospect of starting a family is supposed to be beautiful and exciting. And it was. At first. Then a few months of trying turned into several. Several months turned into a year. One year turned into two. Two became almost three. And over that excruciating period of time, that beautiful process became depressing, incredibly lonely, and rich with pain and heartache. Suddenly the prospect of starting a family feels like less and less of a possibility.

You’re at that age where your friends and peers are churning out babies like their bodies are highly efficient factories. Your parents speak glowingly of their friend’s daughters’ news of pregnancy or birth. Your extended families and unknowing acquaintances start making side comments about how it’s about time you give your parents some grandbabies.  Your close friends – who suspect something is up – start tiptoeing around you in such a way that you know they want to ask, but they are trying to be sensitive to your feelings. You hear of people deciding to start trying and then just a few months later, they’re posting pregnancy announcements. 

Already? Wow, must be nice.

You want to be happy for them – you really do. But if you’re being 100% honest with yourself… you’re not really. It’s not that simple.

Not when you’ve been crossing all your fingers and toes, or praying to whatever God or higher power that you believe in that this month will be the month that you get that positive pregnancy test. Not when you’ve been late and symptom-spotted more times than you can count – convinced that this is finally your month – only to sit on the toilet crying after seeing that big fat negative. Not when you and your partner go from enthusiastically tracking ovulation and menstruation, to not really talking about it anymore – just quietly hoping that this time it’ll work.

So while you want to be happy for your peers as they begin their journey, it’s near impossible to hear their great news without feeling your deep-seeded emotions creeping up. Without giving yourself away. It’s not that you’re cold-hearted and care only for you and yours. It’s that you’ve been seeking that happiness for too long… and it hurts.

There is an incredibly painful side of trying to conceive for one in eight couples. It’s talked about, sometimes, but not in the way that you need while it’s happening to you. You grow up thinking that if you have unprotected sex, you WILL get pregnant by mistake. That you have to be super careful or you will flip your life upside down – all for one irresponsible night. What you don’t realize – not until you’re unsuccessfully trying to conceive – is that it isn’t that easy. Not for everyone, anyway.

Then, once you start to be a little more open about it, you start to hear…

Everything happens for a reason.
It’ll be worth the wait.
I figured you must be having a hard time…
There are so many ways you can have a family.

While the sentiment is good, these are not things you want to hear. What could possibly be the reason? Why us? I KNOW there are many ways to have a family, but I want our baby. After all, you spend years picturing your future family. Tiny humans that are half you and half him. Humans that you’ve envisioned being the perfect combination of his math smarts and your goofiness. His athleticism and your way with words. Maybe not his height, and maybe not your stubbornness. 

But then you finally get in with a fertility doctor to find out what’s wrong. You go through a series of urine samples, blood tests, and even the HSG (which, yikes). All clear, nothing to see here.

Time to get the husband in for a semen analysis. Feeling confident, no big deal. And then you get the call…

“Zero sperm in the semen sample.”

Come again? Did you say zero?

Yes, not a single one.

Your world comes crashing down. All worst-case scenarios are flying through your head. Your dreams are no longer easy to see. You try to smile and stay positive for him, but how?

Our Azoospermia Success Story

Our story of trying to conceive was nothing less than challenging. We’d already been through so much, so to find out that we were dealing with male factor infertility was a blow we weren’t prepared for.

Infertility affects one in eight couples. One in eight. This means that you more than likely know of someone or a couple who is or will struggle to get pregnant. Whether or not you end up knowing depends on privacy, of course. 

My point is, you should know you are not alone. By any stretch of the word. Infertility is not discussed enough, especially when it comes to male factor. I hear you, I see you, I’m with you.

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