Emotional Limbo: Redux

Your responses to my previous post gave me a lot to think about.  I so much appreciate how many of you who didn’t struggle with miscarriage or infertility reached out and confessed your fears and anxieties.  I think that so often, women are just expected to be bubbly and excited about their pregnancies.  If you visit pregnancy sites or chat rooms, the biggest concern seems to be what color to paint the nursery.  Some fears are addressed, but a lot aren’t even mentioned.  Pregnancy is a miraculous thing, and no matter how you came to be pregnant, every pregnancy comes with it’s own set of fears and anxieties.  As an infertile, are some of my fears different or more intense than someone who didn’t struggle?  Probably.  At the same time, do I have any idea about the kinds of anxiety that comes with an unexpected pregnancy?  Nope.  I feel so lucky though to know so many of you, both those who have struggled and who haven’t, to support me through this amazingly crazy time in my life.

So often, baby talk in our society revolves around cute baby outfits and baby names.  We don’t talk about the down and dirty of it all, and I think that we should.  How else as women are we supposed to know what’s “normal” and what’s not?  How else are we supposed to adjust to what is probably the most life-changing thing to happen to us?  It’s not that I don’t think that picking out baby names or nursery colors is fun, but there is so much more to being pregnant that than.  I would imagine that to be especially true with a first pregnancy.

We can talk about sex, war, famine, and environmental disaster, but we can’t seem to muster up the courage to talk about the horror of infertility and miscarriage.  It’s just not deemed polite conversation despite the fact that millions of women are dealing with this every day.  We also can’t seem to find a way to talk about the completely normal anxiety that comes with bringing a child into the world.  No one who asks about your pregnancy wants to hear that you were up at 3 a.m. freaking out about getting things done, or that you’ve had nightmares c-sections.  They just want to know how far along you are, what you’re having, and if you have names picked out…and to give you well-meant, but often nonsensical advice.

As a community, I think that bloggers do a far better job about talking about these things than others do.  I certainly don’t shy away from sharing my scary thoughts with you.  Now, we just need to work on spreading that conversation around.  Becoming a parent, however it happens, is something that affects most people who want it (and plenty who don’t) at some point in their lives.  We should be able to talk about it.


  1. I totally agree. We definitely need more people to speak up and feel confident expressing the doubts and the scares.

    And random, but since your last post I’ve experienced the kick in the gut syndrome after about FOUR facebook friends posted about pregnancies. Seriously. FOUR IN A WEEK? Killer.
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..Whatever Will Be, Will Be =-.

  2. It’s a shame, isn’t it? How, as a society, we’ve been able to open up about so many things, but not about so many others. I wish people would have the confidence to stand up and discuss these topics. It’s difficult, but it’s the only way to get it out there. I think we make progress every day by blogging and connecting with others who are going through similar situations. We just have to keep at it. Sooner or later, our voices will be heard.

  3. I’ve always been surprised as I’ve gotten older how many “dirty little secrets” about pregnancy that I’ve heard. Most of the time, I don’t really ever have an opportunity to find out if they’re true, and I always reconciled myself to the fact that I’d one day just have to find out for myself. But I appreciate your courage in trying to open up a discussion about your experience, even though it may not be the experience of every woman out there, I am sure there are plenty of people who can relate to what you’re going through. Even for those of us who can’t, there is still a great deal of comfort in knowing that if and when the time comes, there is someone we can talk to about it.

  4. Since we are being open here, can I just say that I’m totally terrified about my future when it comes to babies/fertility and etc? Watching/reading you go through all you’ve gone through, a wonderful, beautiful, successful, intelligent, happily-married woman who is more than deserving having a child makes me nervous for what challenges may face me if/when I get to the point where I’m ready to have a baby.

    I feel awkward writing this since it hasn’t happened to me but I’m so afraid that I will have reproductive challenges as well. (I already have some challenges and I’m not even in the baby ballpark which is why I bring this up.)

    BUT what makes it a little less scary is knowing that there is a community there who will support people who struggle, that there are people who have (sadly) gone before me and can help, advise, be a shoulder to lean on.

    And let’s not even get started on the anxieties I have about having a baby fully depend on me.

    So thank you for being a pioneer for the women out there who haven’t/can’t raised a voice yet, and for those of us who have yet to walk in your shoes. You do it beautifully, you’re a pillar of strength and I am continually amazed by you.
    .-= Nora´s last blog ..Summer… =-.

  5. I agree! I think, at least for me, that I worry about bringing up those kinds of fears (of which I’ve had a LOT over the past week) is taboo because I don’t want to then freak out other women who are pregnant to then freak out, if that makes sense. So instead, all those fears just kind of roll around in my head and keep me awake at night and I ask about nursery designs instead. I’m really sorry if at any point I’ve brushed off concerns you’ve had or made them any worse. I keep thinking about last night’s conversation and worrying I said something wrong. So, if I did please forgive me, and if you ever need to vent worries feel free to email me and I’ll engage in a REAL conversation about them. It’s nice to know that there are other people worrying about things and wanting to talk about them.

  6. I definitely think it’s hard to discuss such highly emotional topics in a large group setting. I have had lots of conversations with close friends or small groups about all the not-so-glamorous aspects of pregnancy. It’s way easier to open up over a computer than in real life sometimes, too.

    I see where you are coming from as far as opening up about infertility and miscarriages, but in my perspective, I think it’s hard to talk about because I, personally, don’t want to make someone feel bad or put someone on the spot and it’s hard to know what it going to make someone else feel uncomfortable. When I got pregnant with my first, I had a friend who could barely be in the same room as me because she had been trying and hadn’t gotten pregnant. It was impossible for me to understand what she was going through, and she never really opened up to me, so I didn’t even know she was having a hard time getting pregnant. I just had no idea what I had done wrong and no way of knowing how to make it better.

    I feel like you are not the norm when it comes to people out there discussing infertility-at least in real life-I’m not sure what’s really going on on the web just because I don’t seek it out. I love that you are discussing it though because it is helping to make people aware of what it might be like and to give people an idea of how to help and have conversations. Now you just need to get on Oprah and the whole world will be infertility-sensitive and infertility-educated. 🙂

    I’m commenting in total respect to your post…I still feel like I’m going to say something wrong…but I want to represent someone who hasn’t had to deal with infertility of miscarriages.

  7. Hurrah!

    Thanks for sharing with us. I appreciate knowing the down and dirty before I get there!
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..I’m such a sucker… =-.

  8. I meant to comment on your last post but I obviously got distracted by something. Because we DO need to talk about this stuff. But it’s hard. It’s hard, when people ask you if you’re just THRILLED? To say anything other than “of course!” When you might want to say, “um, yes, but terrified as well.” It’s hard to say that you don’t feel the joys of pregnancy. It’s hard to say that you have moments of doubt about how hard this all is/is going to be. It’s hard to not just feel like you have to be happy and cheerful and grateful all the time. Our society doesn’t like THAT view of pregnancy. That one that acknowledges that there are fears and hard moments and omg the weird crap that happens to your body.
    I didn’t struggle with miscarriage or infertility, but I struggled with all those sentiments. For my very wanted, totally wished for, and loved more than I can even explain baby–I still had those feelings. But we’re not allowed to say that, lest we be judged by someone for not being enough. And we should be talking about it all. It’s hard. It’s weird. It’s normal to feel that stuff. Why do we have to bottle it up?
    .-= Ginger´s last blog ..Do you need free marketing? =-.

  9. We haven’t officially started trying yet, but I have definitely had conversations with girlfriends centered around miscarriages and infertility. Because we are all in our 30s and had never been pregnant before, who knows if we will even be able to get pregnant. I think back when my mom had a miscarriage before me, I was a hush-hush thing that people didn’t talk about. Hopefully that has changed with the times….
    .-= Kt´s last blog ..Taking the plunge (again) =-.

  10. I’m freaking out! You know one of the 1st things my mom brought up when I called her to tell we got pregnant again? How she had 2 miscarriages, one at 13 weeks, the other at 14. You know how far along I found out I was on Saturday?
    13 weeks & 4 days
    F me
    I went to work and had to hide in a corner because I thought I was cramping or something. You want to know what was actually wrong?
    My pants were too tight
    F me again
    I’m never talking to my mom again.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Whoa =-.

  11. Maybe if we talked more about the down and dirty of it? We’d have less teens getting pregnant…on accident or on purpose (gotta love the story of the pregnancy pact). These young girls think that pregnancy is cool and that babies are just live baby dolls. They have no clue what-so-ever.

    Infertility should no longer be a taboo. Absolutely not. It’s SO common now because we’re having kids later and later in life. It’s not like we’re in the 50s here, you know!?
    .-= Mel´s last blog ..So…welcome… =-.

  12. Here here, Erin. Not only should we be open to talking about pregnancy, fertility and miscarriages, but I’d also like to make a motion to stop the general public from airing doubts about women over 30 having kids. As if we don’t already know the challenges. As if it’s impossible or something.
    .-= Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks´s last blog ..Chesty =-.

  13. Shannon says:

    If you’d like to talk about pregnancy/having a child guilt, I’m your woman! Here’s my story in a nutshell: I am 40 year-old single mom with a beautiful (if I may say so) 16-month old daughter. I felt the emotional pain of my childlessness from age 25 to 35. At age 35, I accepted that as a (happily) never married woman, I was never going to have a biological child (huge fibroids & PCOD.) In February 2008, I began casually dating a very nice man. We only dated 4 months before he announced he and his ex-wife were reuniting. Well…then, at age 39, my miracle child was born in February 2009.

    I had a very close female friend for several years who has been married for over 20 years. She and her husband never had children. She helped me through my pregnancy and wanted to be an “Auntie” to my child. After a few months, what she called “Auntie” felt more like “Mommy”, and it frightened me. Unfortunately, our friendship did not survive this confusion. I can see in her heart how much she has wanted her own child. This has been plaguing my mind for several months now. Even though this is a slightly different take on your journey, I want to let you know that you are not alone on the guilt front!

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