When Everyone’s Pregnant ... Except You
How to survive jealousy, frustration, and mixed feelings
Pick Your Social Situations
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me about the friend of their cousin’s back in Wichita who tried desperately to have a child, went on to adopt three children, then miraculously got pregnant on her own a few years later. Somehow this miracle baby myth was supposed to give me hope that it could happen for me, too. Well, it didn’t give me hope. It made me angry. And so did all the unsolicited medical advice. I was instructed by people with no medical training whatsoever to prop my legs up after intercourse or make sure my husband wore boxer shorts. But the best one by far … the one every childless woman hears is this, “Just relax!” Basically it’s implied that we’re sexually frigid and that loosening up a little will result in a positive pregnancy test.
“They’d never say something so crazy to a cancer patient!” Dr. Feingold says. She recommends either explaining to the pseudo-physician that you or your husband has a medical condition that no amount of prickly-pear juice or Pilates will cure. Or you can end the conversation on the spot with, “That’s fascinating, but I’m working with doctors and considering all the options available to me.”
What’s the one topic that dominates the conversations of all pregnant ladies and new mothers? Babies. Intelligent women with masters degrees, exciting careers, stimulating hobbies, and a passport full of stamps from around the world are suddenly unable to discuss anything except runny noses and car seats. It’s not their fault, of course. Nature gives relatively sane women a bad case of baby tunnel vision for the sole purpose of the perpetuation the human species. But all that baby talk can be total agony for someone who can’t participate.
Brandon says that it became increasingly difficult to attend her daughter’s weekly playgroup because all the other moms were getting pregnant with their second children and spent all their time comparing notes.
“I bowed out,” she says. “I did a lot more one-on-one stuff with other moms.” She even stopped going to her book club for the same reason. “I picked my social situations by what I could handle.”
Dr. Feingold recommends that women get back to the interests and activities that they enjoy. She says, “Our whole life can become our fertility treatments and women feel like their not doing anything useful when they’ll not in cycle.”
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