“Everyone’s Getting Pregnant But Me!”


My husband and I have been married for almost six years, and together for 10. We are in our early 30s and have started trying to have a baby. We stopped using birth control in January and now we are in July and still don’t have that positive test. The tension in our relationship is getting so tough. I got my period two days ago and my husband acted like I miscarried. I was disappointed, too, but I guess I don’t show it as much. He said it was like I didn’t want kids, and I said I didn’t feel like mourning every period.

We have a doctor’s appointment in September and we are trying until then. However, the sex is very results-driven. And it seems like everyone around us is getting pregnant. We have two close friends who got ladies pregnant on accident. We have three first birthday parties and two baby showers to attend next month alone. Everyone has comments about us not having kids yet, but they don’t know that we are trying but failing. The reason everyone has comments is because we spent the last few years traveling the world and living the dream. We had such a great relationship before this happened, and now we are just so focused on babies.

I only go and drink when I know I couldn’t be pregnant. My husband bugs me about coffee and what I eat. He brings up what we could do in the “nursery” and when it is acceptable for boys to start playing football. We moved to a house with a great school district and own a big house that should have kids in it. But I don’t want to talk about kids we don’t have or their hypothetical post-college football careers until we are pregnant. So then my husband thinks that I am not as invested as he is. But it makes me want to cry to talk about it. We are well-educated, upwardly mobile, well-traveled, loving, organic-food-buying people. We are just so sad. What can we do? — Wishing for a Baby

First of all, people are not making comments about your lack of babies because you’ve been “living the dream”; they are making comments because they are thoughtless. And this is a good time to remind readers who may be tempted to ask their childfree friends — especially the married ones — when they’re going to have children, that it’s none of your business! Don’t ask that question. For all you know, your friends have been trying and trying with no success yet. Maybe there have even been miscarriages, and imagine how much it stings every time some well-meaning, but thoughtless, person asks why they don’t have children yet.

Now, back to you, LW. First of all, I’m glad you have an appointment with your doctor in September. I know he or she will give you the kind of advice I can’t. She will probably tell you that eight months isn’t that long to be trying to get pregnant and not succeed yet, though I’m sure it feels like it’s taking forever. I think for women under 35 in good health who have been off birth control for a while, six months is about average (don’t quote me on that; I’m going from what I remember reading when Drew and I decided to start trying to conceive). Depending on what kind of birth control you were on and how long you took it, it may take several months for it to even totally clear your system. Again, these are all things a medical professional will be able to talk with you about, along with tests you might take to rule out any issues, and alternative therapies you might consider (I have friends who have had success with acupuncture, for example). My point is that what you’re going through is normal. And your reaction, as well as your husband’s, is also normal.

It’s a stressful thing to want something like a successful pregnancy and have little control over when — or even IF — it will happen. When it’s your own body that seems to be betraying you each month, that makes things even harder. And when it seems like everyone around you is making and having babies — even people who aren’t trying to; even people who maybe shouldn’t be — it’s like the world is mocking you. And when that mocking and the monthly disappointment and just the overall stress of wanting something you can’t make happen on your preferred timetable — especially when you’re used to things in your life going pretty smoothly, as you probably are as a “well-educated, upwardly mobile, well-traveled, loving” couple — then the letdown is especially severe and can quickly become a wedge between you are your partner. I’ve seen it happen to friends of mine — people who bought big homes to fill with kids, only to sit in the empty space and be reminded every day of the space in their wombs they were having trouble filling. It sucks.

I’ll tell you what I told one friend in particular after over a year of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts: Enjoy this bonus time you have, just you and your husband. Sooner or later, whether it happens the old-fashioned way or not, you’re going to be parents and your life will be forever changed. It will be a very long time before it’s just the two of you again. Gone will be the days you could travel with such freedom, or even just leave the house spontaneously. Once you have kids, every move must be planned. Bags must be packed with a million essentials — even for a quick neighborhood outing. Suddenly, your vacation time is filled with visits to and from family members who want to see your offspring, rather than whatever glamorous trips around the world you’ve been used to. For better or worse, it isn’t the same. It will never be the same again. So, as much as you can, try to enjoy the remaining time you have with your husband before life as you know it sort of explodes in a confetti of wonderful but crazy chaos.

What may help, of course, is communicating to your husband how you’re feeling. If telling him yourself that you feel disappointed every month when your period comes but that it doesn’t help to have him questioning how you process and express that disappointment, questioning whether you’re as committed to having a baby as he is, you may want to consider meeting with counselor a few times to help you through what is, easily, one of the most challenging situations in a couple’s life. An unbiased, neutral party can help you communicate with each other about these feelings that are raw and loaded.

For your own sanity, it might help to go to that place you don’t want to go — to talk with your husband about your thoughts on parenthood, understanding that talking does not equal jinxing. It’s healthy to communicate your hopes and fears. It’s OK to discuss what you want to do with the “nursery” even though there isn’t a baby-to-be yet. It’s ridiculous to think you somehow aren’t entitled to make plans or have dreams simply because you haven’t gotten pregnant yet, or that as soon as there’s a second line on that pregnancy test or the minute you’ve safely reached your 13th week of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically, then — and only then — can you finally embrace the idea of motherhood and let the realization that you’re going to have a baby fully sink in.

When you live like that, what you’re telling yourself, essentially, is that it isn’t OK to plan for something — or to even believe it could happen to you — until you know 100% that it will. And when you do that, you’re letting fear be your guiding force. You’re so afraid to fully desire what you already desire because the pain of not getting it is unbearable to think about. But you already do desire what you desire. You already feel pain when you realize each month that you aren’t pregnant. You can’t really protect yourself from that. And you can’t protect your husband from it either. What you can do is change your attitude. Instead of tiptoeing around the idea of a baby for fear of jinxing your chances, you can accept that you ARE going to have a baby, one way or another — you just don’t know when or how just yet. But you’re going to have one. So go ahead and think about that nursery. Think about names. Take notes at baby showers about what kind of gear you should put on your wish list. All of these things will put you in a maternal mindset and when your mind starts thinking like a mom, it will communicate that message to your body. I’m not saying it’s magic and that you’ll immediately become pregnant, but I don’t think it hurts to start thinking like a mother and doing what you can to shift some of your internal makeup. It doesn’t hurt to replace fear with excitement. And it doesn’t hurt to send a message to your hormones that you are ready to make this happen.

I’m going to end here and let readers who have traveled this particular course weigh in now. I know there are readers out there who have been where you are, know what you’re going through, and have words of wisdom for you to consider. Sometimes, just hearing some success stories can help change your attitude. So, readers, what have you got?

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.


  1. kerrycontrary says:

    I don’t have experience with this, but I do wish people would stop inquiring “when are you going to have kids” or “when are you getting married.” Why are such questions acceptable in society? That’s so personal! And please remember that your sole purpose in life is not to be a vessel to grow a baby. You are a person all on your own, and I think your husband needs to remember that. You are not a window box to grow little baby beans.

    1. Can you tell my mother this? She gives me shit for not giving her grandchildren yet (she thinks jokingly) in front of company that I’ve never even met and I really want to tell her to eff off.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        My sister was given a baby book for christmas by her MIL. Her and her husband don’t have kids. They may be trying for all I know, but she’s 35 so I don’t ask.

      2. OMG, that is um…. ballsy.

      3. My aunt gave my cousin a baby outfit for Christmas “as a joke” even though she knows full well that she and her husband don’t want kids anytime soon. I felt so bad for her.

    2. I don’t exactly believe that people who ask when people are going to have kids or even get married are thoughtless. My husband and I are in almost exactly the place of the LW, but we aren’t trying to have kids. I get asked all the time when we’re going to have kids and I don’t get offended. I just say that I don’t know when we’ll have kids and that we are happy with the way things are now. People may think it’s weird that I don’t want to have kids right now, but they seem to accept it. I think it’s just something to talk about, like the weather. However, I can imagine that people who are actually trying and failing getting tired of being asked.

      1. Right — you don’t get offended because you’re choosing to be childless right now. It’s a rude question. When you’re going through fertility treatments, desperately trying to have a baby…that question stings. It shouldn’t be asked.

      2. it also stings for people who don’t want children and there are follow up questions that make you feel like an awful person for not wanting them. either way it’s rude. i’ve found most people who ask pass silent judgement whether it be hinting at the fact that they think you’re selfish for not having kids or giving you a pat on the knee and telling you it will happen in time when you let them know you’re trying with no luck (i’ve seen this happen to other friends). both end up making people feel bad.

      3. When people give me crap about not wanting kids yet, my response is “I think there’s nothing worse than bringing a child into the world when you really don’t want it”. That seems to shut people up pretty quickly!!

      4. painted_lady says:

        Yeah, there’s my favorite follow-up question, “Why not?” I’m never going to ask someone who desperately wants a baby, “But why?” These are not questions with especially rational answers, and the reasons that approach rationality are usually deeply personal.

      5. Temperance says:

        I’m always tempted to say “because he likes aiming it in my ass more” or something equally nasty. I haven’t, but I haven’t ruled it out.

      6. I think it’s rude when people ask WHEN you are going to have kids, vs If you’d LIKE to have kids… They’re similar questions, but I think the later is a lot more reasonable.

      7. I do that. I ask people if they’d like to have kids. I’m pretty sure I never assume they want to and ask “when”. Also when people start telling me about their baby at home or whatever, I often ask if they think they’d like more kids someday. It’s just something to talk about. I hope I haven’t offended anyone.

      8. i do that too, and i hope i havent offended anyone!

    3. Totally. I don’t plan on having kids, and I don’t really want to spend 15 years listening to people ask when they’re coming.

    4. For a long time, it actually WAS women’s sole purpose in life to be a vessel to grow a baby. And then of course to raise those babies. I think that’s probably why the question has been acceptable in the past. Hopefully it’s changing now, as our generation and the ones after us pursue lives outside of baby-making.

    5. Megan_A_Mess says:

      To @kerrycontrary:

      “And please remember that your sole purpose in life is not to be a vessel to grow a baby. You are a person all on your own, and I think your husband needs to remember that. You are not a window box to grow little baby beans.”

      This times a FREAKING BILLION. I wish I could have quoted this to my ex-fiances parents, and all of our friends and family when they’d ask about our plans for kids, before asking about our wedding. We eventually ended up separated because people couldn’t understand that I actually had a say in whether or not I was having kids, and that say was no.

  2. Michelle.Lea says:

    that’s not long to have been trying. with several friends who had issues conceiving, that’s nothing. your doctor may tell you to wait until a year has passed.

    and your husband needs to realize your eggs are not remote control, you cant do anything about them. what about him? can’t he just *will* the sperm to connect with an egg? :p (dont say that of course, but you know where i’m going with this..)

  3. SweetPeaG says:

    Thank you Wendy for posting this question and answer. Your readership is heavily made up of women in their 20s and 30s… women who are or will be dealing with this very issue. I’ll be getting married in less than a year and would like to start trying shortly after that. I have that fear… those questions… what if I can’t get pregnant?

    This was beautiful advice. It made me feel good- so I hope it makes the LW feel good too. It honestly warmed my heart. No matter how far women have come in the world, many of us still feel that responsibility to give their significant other a child. It’s biological, yes. But, it is also socially ingrained that having a baby is a sort of gift to your husband. And when it doesn’t happen easily, we feel like crap about it. It really is the weight of the world on your shoulders.

    I don’t think I have much more advice than what Wendy already said. But, I do have a song recommendation. “So Hard” by the Dixie Chicks. Don’t judge because they’re a country band, LOL. Just go look up the lyrics, seriously. I feel like this song really sums up many of the emotions a woman going through the process of trying to get pregnant can feel. The LW said “We had such a great relationship before this happened, and now we are just so focused on babies.” In the song, she’s trying to find that happiness and peace she used to have with her husband before all their struggles with fertility. Keep trying for that baby; keeping making plans and dreaming. But, try to find ways to be the two of you again. I doubt the only reason you married your husband was to reproduce. You married him because you love him- because he’s your friend. Don’t forget that.

    1. camorzilla says:

      I totally agree with everything you’ve said here. I’m about to turn 29, getting married in a few months, and though we plan on being married for at least a year before we start trying, we’re already getting bombarded. Our parents would love nothing more than for us to have kids immediately and we both have friends and family with babies and small children. We both have health issues that may make it difficult for us to conceive naturally (we won’t really know until we start trying) and it’s SCARY to even think about. Right not I’m struggling with wanting to try to have a baby right away after the wedding and knowing that waiting a year will really be a better choice both financially and for our relationship.

      Anyway, this article was very timely for me and LW, just take a deep breathe and have good talk with your husband.

      1. SweetPeaG says:

        I have told my fiance a few times “I want to have a baby with you, but that is not the reason I am marrying you. I don’t want us to ever forget about US”.

        I know that is easier said than done when you are in the midst of caring for an infant or a small child. Or when you are trying to get pregnant. But, I hate the fact that so many look at marriage as just a means to have a baby. Yuck! So, enjoy the time with your soon to be husband. It is about the two of you 🙂

        And, I have had the pressure of not having children for years. It sucks. When I was about 25 my Mom shamed me by saying I should really get off the pill because it will screw up my fertility. That was great advice… being that I was in the world’s most awful relationship. Thanks, Mom. Babies are wonderful. But, I am not a baby factory.

      2. camorzilla says:

        Part of why we want to wait a year before we even start trying is because we want to have some time to enjoy just “us”. One of my bff’s found out she was pregnant less than a month after her wedding and while they’re a great, happy family, I just can’t imagine that being at my 1 year anniversary and having a 3 month old.

        The idea of getting married freaked me out for MONTHS before he even proposed- which he knew and by the time he did propose I was totally ready. Now that my wedding is less than 90 days away I’m getting a little freaked out but mostly I think I’m just anxious- I want it to be our wedding day already. I feel like it will be the same with kids. While I have serious baby fever right now (I even dream about them) the idea of actually being pregnant and giving up my body and cocktails for 9 months still seriously freaks me out. I know my fiance will be an amazing father and will totally support me but I’m not 100% there yet. But I have time :).

      3. EscapeHatches says:

        I’m a married 27 year old with a 36 year old husband who has a 10 year old from his previous marriage, we got married about a year ago. We get pressured a lot, and it’s frustrating, because we have to balance so many things others don’t consider.

        How is my stepson (we have joint custody with the tyrannosaurus-ex) going to handle not being an only child anymore? Not only is he an only child, he’s an only grandchild – he’s always been the focus of attention.

        My husband is a fair bit older and worries about still having enough energy to run after a little one(s) if kids don’t happen by 40-45.

        I’m still in wait and see for cervical cancer- 2 years of colposcopies and increasingly worried looks on a doctor’s face. We agree (husband and I) that my health must be resolved before worrying about kids.

        I’m usually patient – the average person asking means well, it’s an easy way to make conversation. Depending on the day, it’s no big deal – but sometimes it stings.

        I am pretty positive about wanting children, but it is fucking heartbreaking to have someone tell you or your husband, “you look so good with a baby in your arms,” when you’re waiting to see if your body is going to betray you.

    2. lemongrass says:

      Love this! But I have to add: I love country! I find when people say they hate it what they really mean is that they hate bad country. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t liked Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy- Big and Rich.

      1. evanscr05 says:

        Ugh – I HATE that song. But then again, I hate country music in general.

      2. camorzilla says:

        Yeah I don’t like that song either….I don’t like any contemporary country. Pre-1970? All about it.

      3. lemongrass says:

        *Hands over ears* Lah Lah Lah Lah

      4. SweetPeaG says:

        I love country as well… I put the disclaimer out there because I know it’s horrid to many people. There are awful songs, just like any genre. But, there are some amazing songs. Miranda Lambert’s “House that built me”… changed my life. It seriously gave me some of the courage I needed to leave a bad situation.

        So, yea… love country. But, also love indie rock, stupid pop songs, and everything else in between.

      5. Lol, sorry lemongrass, I like some country alright, but I would put that song in the BAD country category.

      6. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I love country music, and I despise that song. I group almost all recent country into “bad country music.” Good stuff for me is more like George Strait, George Jones, or Randy Travis.

      7. Temperance says:

        I love that song! Then again, it reminds me of college. I similarly have excellent memories of Goodbye, Earl.

  4. Your husband sounds like he needs to chill out…I’m sure that isn’t making the process anymore enjoyable…

    1. Definitely. How showing remorse for having her period is going to accomplish anything, is beyond me.

      1. It’s like “Could we have a moment of silence for my semen?” “And this unfertilized egg…” …I don’t get it, haha.

      2. i know it would not be productive for them, or even kind to say, but i just wish she would be like, well if your idiot sperms could figure out where my egg is maybe it wouldnt have died! or something.

        i dont get it either.

      3. painted_lady says:

        That should be a thing that should happen. A moment of silence for semen. Brilliant.

      4. seriously. I hope he’s taken to mourn all of his unused semen.

    2. He seems to think you can actually control/choose when to get pregnant and that somehow she is trying to not get pregnant.

      1. He seems to be under the delusion that he can control a lot of things… already primed for his boy to play football? How about waiting to see if you have a boy, and then seeing if the boy likes sports, and then if the boy likes football!?!

        AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE MONITORING WHAT’S GOING INTO HER BODY (COFFEE) WHEN SHE ISN’T EVEN PREGNANT YET!!! Sheesh – someone needs to tell the DH to take a chill pill and perhaps get some counseling to deal with control issues because he seems to think he can check a few boxes, force his wife to check a few boxes, and then he gets to live out his gridiron dream. Grow up 😉

      2. Something tells me that both of them may be a little Type A and aren’t accustomed confronting situations that they can’t strive their way out of. I have friends like this, who’d nearly ended up divorced because they got so crazy trying to have a baby – and it took them all of a year or so. There was no ‘problem’ except that they couldn’t push a button button and make a baby appear. They’d have pointed to their upward mobility and fashionable tastes as justification as well.

      3. I went back a re-read and I wonder if either have ever had a serious setback in their life to this point.

      4. I had the same thought below Leroy!

        LW, if this is you I offer myself as an example of why this usually wonderful and effective Type A personality can betray you. I am less than 2 months away from getting married, there’s long-distance issues and job pressures and where am I going to be living in a year worries… blah blah blah being an adult is hard. My point is that I pride myself on multitasking like a champ and getting things done. I’m so Type A in ways there should be pictures of me in a book next to the definition… but about a year ago (i’ve been engaged for almost 18 months) balls that I so expertly kept in the air started dropping. And it started being much harder to control my emotions. And my fiance and I started not really getting along. And I was kinda a big bitch around the office. It was terribly stressful, and when I get stressed out I try to control things more, grab the reins even harder… and the cycle continued because I couldn’t handle things out of my control (my future in-laws being a prime example) until I found myself crying almost weekly – if not more often.

        Why? Because a Type A person usually doesn’t have to experience failure, or deal with unforeseen consequences… because they have foreseen everything and planned ahead 😉 so the first really serious time that it happens in your life – whether it be an illness or medical condition, or wedding/building a new household, or career curveball – it can kinda suck in ways you never even imagined. And then there is another person involved, your husband, who sounds kinda the same way – so there’s no way to escape the feeling of doubt and failure.

        Somehow LW, you have to let go. I have the serenity prayer taped up in my office, I’ve copied it here below. I think it applies to many situations, not just trying to have a baby but any outcomes involving another human being. FWIW I’m doing much better now, having realized that failure didn’t actually result in the world swallowing me whole and that my perfectionist standards are just that… self-imposed. And while I don’t have any specific experience with TTC yet, I already have a window of just 4 years until I plan to give up, and have established with my fiance to what extent we would or wouldn’t want to go with treatments until turning to fostering/adopting. Basically I’ve been planning ahead for the last 5 years of my relationship the entire parameters of my attempts to conceive after 35. Totally Type A. I’ll either fail or have twins naturally… either way I will still have my husband and the ability to have a family and so will you 🙂

      5. God grant me the serenity
        to accept the things I cannot change;
        courage to change the things I can;
        and wisdom to know the difference.

  5. I think the LW and her husband need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about this process and their relationship. I don’t think the pressure the husband is putting on the LW is appropriate or helpful.

    1. I think they need to have a very serious heart to heart in terms of conceiving, carrying the baby, and parenting in general. We learned this week that it is ok for pregnant ladies to have a drink ever do often- how is the husband going to react if she wants to do that during pregnancy of he is questioning drinking before they are even pregnant! It seems to me that they are definitely not on the same page in regards to this whole process, and also in regards to expressing their feelings surrounding it.

  6. I haven’t had direct experience with this but I think having your husband constantly telling you how disappointed he is with the situation and you for not having the same reactions as he does creates stress and when a person is under the constant stress you and him are putting yourself under your body reacts, most often negatively. I agree with Wendy, you need to talk to him and maybe a counselor so that you both understand each others feelings, because the disappointment hurts each month hurts you just as much as it does him.

  7. i kind of react to thing the same way you do LW i worry that if i get to excited and think about things before hand i will somehow stop it from happening. i have to remind myself that’s not true. although, it’s something i have to work on a lot.

    you need to talk to your husband and explain to him that you two have different coping mechanisms. he feels the need to mourn every period where you’ve found that you can’t do that in order to stay happy. and honestly i completely understand that.

    and like Wendy said 6 months is not that long. sure you hear about the people who get pregnant after month but they are not the typical examples. most of my friends who have babies tried for a long time. some longer than you have, one of them tried to get pregnant for well over a year before finally getting pregnant with the help of a doctor. i also have friends who are now working on either going the route of adopting and foster care. i would suggest also maybe looking in to finding an online community of women who are having a hard time conceiving. just having someone who is going through the same thing you are to talk to can make a world of difference. it’s nice not having to explain what you’re feeling, they just get it.

    and i think like katie touched on above you need to learn to bring some more relaxation and calm in to this process. not that you don’t have a right to be stressed or upset over it. but, if you focus only on the fact that you can’t get pregnant and make sex nothing but a job that has to get done, you will lose one of the best things you have to offer your future children. which is your strong marriage. when you talk to the doctor in september maybe she can refer you to a therapist who works with parents trying to get pregnant.

    also another smart thing may be to put all social media on hold. get rid of facebook for awhile and don’t read every pregnancy announcement you see. enjoy your husband and this season of your life.

    1. This is excellent advice.

      1. thanks, kristen 🙂 i have so many friends who struggled to get pregnant and my heart just hurts so bad for them.

    2. Skyblossom says:

      This exactly! You and your husband are handling the stress in different ways. It’s okay to turn to your husband when he wants to talk about the nursery or football and tell him that you know it helps him to talk about it but it stresses you more to talk about it. Then tell him how you feel. Explain yourself in the moment. If he wants to mourn your period tell him you know that helps him and he should go ahead and mourn but it stresses you even more than you are already stressed and that you are sad and mourning won’t help you. Encourage him to handle the stress in the way that helps him but also explain that you need to handle it a different way. If it appears to him that you don’t seem to care that you aren’t pregnant he can wonder if you are trying to get pregnant.

  8. First of all: it’s not nerves. Stress doesn’t cause infertility. Sometimes there are unidentifiable problems, but it’s not stress. So don’t run around thinking about how you need to relax 🙂

    Second: You don’t need to wait a year. If you think there’s something wrong and you want to investigate further (after you see your regular doctor), go see a reproductive endocrinologist. (Not the kind that just make petri-dish embryos, but the kind who can do tests and all kinds of stuff to see what’s going on hormonally.)

    Third: I am sorry. This must suck so hard, especially when you see everyone else just easily turning up pregnant. I am the kind of person who worries prematurely, and I am pretty sure I’m not going to be able to get pregnant easily, so I’m already thinking about the days when my period comes and I’m going to feel disappointed. (Yes, I am in therapy.)

    Anyway, if you want biological children you are living in a time when that’s more possible than ever and there are so many options. And if you don’t want to do all the intervention stuff? Adoption, while full of its own challenges, is also an option.

    If you want to be a mom, you will be a mom. Because you’re committed to it, you and your husband will find a way to make it happen, whether it’s the traditional route or not. You might just have to adjust your expectations. And who knows? You might find yourself pregnant next month!

    1. “doctors are once more looking to the idea that stress — and sometimes “trying too hard” — may actually play a role in up to 30% of all infertility problems.”

      That’s from WebMD.

      Stress, and the hormones it produces, can and does effect everything in our lives.

      1. Yeah, but there’s nothing more annoying than hearing “Oh, just relax, it’ll happen!” from well-meaning friends. You can’t relax your way into pregnancy. I’m sure stress doesn’t help, but you’re not going to healthily combat stress by telling yourself “Stop stressing or you won’t get pregnant!” because that will just cause the stress to escalate (OMG I’m not relaxing! Now it’s not going to work!)

      2. She can’t force herself to relax. But I do think getting her husband to give her some breathing room would naturally reduce her stress level pretty quickly.

      3. Telling someone to “relax and get pregnant” is not constructive advice, I agree with that, but to tell a lady trying to conceive that stress doesn’t affect conception, which you did, is bad advice and completely incorrect information.

      4. And also, the dynamics at work in her relationship ARE stressful and would be no matter the focus (baby, buying a house, getting a job, ect) and so for this particular situation, a reduction of stress is very much needed.

      5. Totally agree. The husband needs to back WAY off.

      6. It’s not bad advice or completely incorrect. That WebMD quote says that doctors are investigating the stress factor and think it might play a role in a percentage of problems, so they’re looking into it. That’s not the same as a scientific study with clear proof.

      7. if you do a quick google search, you will find that is not true. fertility centers use anti-stress therapies (group therapy, yoga, ect) now, there is hard science that even low levels of stress affect fertility – you know how if your stressing really bad sometimes you just miss a period completely? well, even low level stress can affect the reproductive system.

        stress is related to so many things in life- sleep cycles, stomach problems, headaches, blood pressure, heart problems, immune system problems, and even blood sugar. it literally effects all systems that the body relies on, so even if the stress itself doesnt directly affect fertility, it most certainly will affect a system that controls fertility (like hormones/endocrine system).

      8. You can’t force yourself to stop worrying, but you can reduce stress in your life in general, and that can’t hurt.

      9. rangerchic says:

        I agree. I was going to mention below but it was already mentioned here – stress does make a difference. But sometimes relaxing is really hard when you feel so much is at stake. And her husband needs to relax too. If everytime they have sex they are thinking “this is it – she needs to get pregnant this time” it is not enjoyable (i’m sure) and probably her body is responding with stress though she maynot be aware of it.

        LW I’m sorry you are going through this. Maybe, if you can, try taking a vacation, even a four day weekend vacation and take baby talk off the table and just enjoy your time. Say no baby talk and focus on relaxing and being yourselves again. This will hopefully help you reconnect and maybe things will move more smoothly along. Good luck at the doctors too!

  9. I second the advice on Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Many women do not know the signs of fertility or the methods of monitoring their bodies or charting. Most women do not ovulate a strict 14 days before they get their period (versus 14 days after you get your period, which is even more mythological). You don’t have to temp every day to chart well, simply monitoring your cervical mucus can be enough. Since you already have a doctor’s appointment, however, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go ahead and temp as well as chart your CM and other parts of your cycle. You can find tons of info on the internet, but basically temping involves taking your temperature each morning at the same time before you get out of bed. Added to the information with your CM you can start to determine if and when you ovulate, the length of your luteal phase, etc. Every woman should know their own bodies and the amazing things that it does each month!

    Good luck and, if there is a problem, it doesn’t mean that its your fault (or even your body’s issue… it could well be a male factor issue just as much as a female factor). There are tons of available treatments for infertility, ranging from simple to advanced. Eight months is still within the normal range. Give yourself a break, get your body in good condition, eat well, and learn all that you can. And talk to your husband. Trying to get pregnant is stressful enough without failing to communicate about your own fears and desires.

  10. ” I got my period two days ago and my husband acted like I miscarried. I was disappointed, too, but I guess I don’t show it as much. He said it was like I didn’t want kids,” “My husband bugs me about coffee and what I eat.”
    There is a difference between collective supportive behavior and policing your wife’s body so she’s the perfect incubator. He’s not there yet but I would nip any of those inclinations in the bud otherwise the pessimist in me worries about infertility or miscarriage blame directed to the LW. The process of creating life is stressful enough without those judgments.

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I agree that him policing her behavior (which is what I would call it), is a little worrisome. She’s his wife first, potential mother second. She doesn’t exist just to grow a baby.

    2. THIS.

      I was going to say it-what stuck out most to me in this letter is the husbands reaction! he’s treating her like a human incubator as opposed to a person who i struggling with getting pregnant. Obvs they need to have a heart to heart, but comments like that, and “mourning my period” are, in my opinion, very rude and childish. I understand hes dissapointed, and upset, but don’t blame it on her! It’s not like she’s purposely getting her period!

      My SIL and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years, when they finally came out to the family and admitted to it. (none of us asked because we agree its rude, it’s their bodies and they will tell us what we need to know. we are here to support them) they went for testing and found out that it was all the husband, he had low/no sperm count. I thought of that when reading this letter–I wonder how the husband would feel if he found out it was “his fault” that they werent concieving! I think he’d expect a bit more understanding. He needs to see her has his wife, a human with feelings and dreams. Also, she needs to step up and be more honest with him. If she can write it here, she can talk to him.

      Good luck to them.

      1. Oh and I totally forgot about the “result oriented sex”. I feel like wendy didnt touch on that enough, imo.

        Her husband doesnt even seem like hes treating her like a wife he loves! result oriented sex is NEVER a good thing.

      2. I found the husband’s reactions very upsetting in this letter, even disturbing. Perhaps something in this whole process has brought out a negative side to her husband that he needs some counseling to address. Controlling is not healthy at all.

    3. “There is a difference between collective supportive behavior and policing your wife’s body so she’s the perfect incubator. ”

      HEARTED x1000

      My concern is almost more for what happens after there is a child… if they can’t agree upon healthy eating choices now, what happens during the breast vs bottle debate? Or if mom wants to wean sooner, or anything?? As I wrote above the husband seems to have the mentality of deciding to have a baby = check the box you’re having a baby, and didn’t really consider any other alternatives or complications… he also sounds like he would be really shitty giving support in general medical situations if this is his attitude.

  11. Iwannatalktosampson says:

    I have a story about one of my greatest friends. She is everything you described – well off, pretty, well traveled, owns the 5 bedroom house with the picket fence, has a loving and hilarious husband, and is a great friend and person. Around 29 she was finishing up her last year of law school and they started trying. At first she did the “don’t try don’t prevent” for 6 months while she got the birth control out of her system. But that got old so then she got the shots (after lying to her doctor about trying for a year, not 6 months). Around the year mark she graduated law school and the next step according to her doctor was the expensive $20,000 procedure. They were seriously considering it. But that was a huge decision and she had to study for the bar so she was like “fuck it”. She quit trying. She accidentally got a job when she had been planning on becoming a stay at home mom. So she spent two months studying for the bar. About three days before the test when we were pretty much over studying, she called her fertility doctor to schedule the $20,000 procedure. It had to be scheduled two months out so they told her before she came in to take a pregnancy test. She had two left so she figured she’d take one now (when she wasn’t late or anything) and one right before it. Well it came up positive. She was shocked considering she couldn’t even remember if they’d had sex since she was so busy and stressed about the bar. So in total it took her about 14 months. They did everything – all the shots – all the nesting – she slowed down drinking and caffeine – and then it just happened on its own.

    I know what you’re going through. I was there at the 6 months mark when she was already annoyed. I get it. But honestly doctors normally say not to even worry until a year. She couldn’t wait so she went at 6 months to discuss her options. She is kind of a control freak in her life so this was so hard for her. She was a planner and put her hard work into everything. I can honestly say it was the only thing I have ever seen not come easy to her. It was heartbreaking to watch.

    As for you and your husband. You have to learn to communicate your emotions. I think it was hard on them because they were just used to hard work paying off. They did everything they could – got tested for abnormalities with either of them, pee’d on the ovulation sticks, sex the perfect amount of time apart so they were playing with a full gun (sorry for the gross description), everything. And it took 14 months. But the fear, the shame, the guilt, the sadness, was theirs to share. Two of her good friends announced their pregnancies within that 14 months. Then she felt guilty for being jealous. It’s a hard time.

    It’s hard and I wish your husband knew everything you wrote to us about how heartbreaking it is – but he doesn’t because you don’t share your disappointment. And you don’t have to – but you should let him know that you are devastated as well – you’re just handling it in the only way you know how.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      I think it’s the not knowing whether it will happen that is the hardest. You try and nothing happens and you try and nothing happens and you try and nothing happens and you wonder if it will happen next month or if it will never happen. The not knowing is stressful.

    2. “don’t try don’t prevent” … in my world we call this “pulling the goaltender” 🙂

      Also, I really don’t like the phrase “we’re trying” because my gut response is – do you want a gold star or cookie for having sex with purpose now!?! Not that I am not sympathetic to fertility issues, and would happily discuss them as needed with close friends, but the announcement at Thanksgiving or over FB is just TMI!!

  12. feelingroovy says:

    Wendy, I think this was the most beautiful, heartfelt advice you’ve given yet.

    1. SweetPeaG says:

      I felt the same way.

  13. Let me say that 6 months is really not a long time to try and conceive. Even when you go to see a doctor, chances are, you and your husband will do some tests, and unless something obvious comes up that prevents you from getting pregnant, he/she will tell you to keep trying, maybe get an ovulation kit, and come back in two or three years. At least that is what my friends have been told (both couples are in their late 20s/early 30s). They were and are very frustrated. But one thing you absolutely cannot do, is force your body to conceive, or carry a child to term. You can get angry as much as you want, you can scream and punch walls every time you get your period, you can cry, your husband can try and control EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE, it will not help you conceive. Once you research fertility, you will learn that all those things you were told in high school, like, it only takes one time, or a woman can become pregnant at any point of her cycle, are not exactly true. The egg is only ”open for business” for about 12-24 hour per cycle. Your body chemistry has to be compatible with your husband’s. So many things have to be ”just right” for you to get pregnant.
    The good news are that the regular periods that you are getting are generally a sign of healthy reproductive system.
    So, basically, what I am trying to say, give yourself time. And do what Wendy said in the meantime. Enjoy the dream life you have. Once that bundle of joy is here, no matter how wanted and loved, things will not be the same. And dare I say, there will be moments you will miss what you have now.

    1. Also, I used the ovulation tracking apps the second time… Got pregnant on the third or fourth cycle, don’t remember exactly. I found it really helpful. They reduce the number of ”goal-oriented sex” 🙂

  14. LW, i dont have any experience in this, but i would just say that in general -it didnt matter if this problem was about a baby, a house, getting married, ect- an attitude adjustment is necessary. your husband needs not to be “mourning” your period, and he definitely needs to stop questioning whether you are committed to having a kid! are you serious? your having sex with him, right? im pretty sure thats committed. barring going and getting the various types of fertility treatments that are out there, as of right now, thats all youve got! youve got sex. i just imagine what kind of terrible things you could be questioning him about regarding his sperm. i wonder how he would feel about that.

    and along that same token, i agree with wendy about letting your fear get in the way. sometimes having a baby will take a little long! sometimes you will have to get treatments. but i can guarantee that the stress you are putting on yourself is not helping. stress does not help with anything period or baby related.

    i dont want to say that you guys should just throw away all your emotions and “let it happen” or whatever people usually say- because its not that easy, and i understand that. but, the stress needs to be reduced. it just has to! just for your own life, your own sanity, not to mention for any unborn baby you are trying to create.

    also, please visit:
    offbeatmama is a great resource. they have all types of stories from all different kinds of people, and they even feature things from childfree couples. you might find some sanity there, if nothing else.

  15. lemongrass says:

    I know how you feel. It took me a few months to conceive, not as many as you, but at 23 I figured it should happen right away. I started to freak out when it didn’t. I couldn’t live my life like that and you can’t either. Here’s what I did: I stopped thinking about it. I know, I know “yeah right, that’s impossible.” It’s not. Every time a thought about it popped up in my head, which was a lot! I thought to myself “I trust that my body knows how to get pregnant. This is not something I control and it will do it in it’s own time.” I must have said that to myself a hundred times a day some days. I also didn’t go on the internet and I tried not to talk about it to others. I also made a plan B for my period. If I didn’t get it, yay! If I did, fuck it, I’m going to disneyland and going on all the rides you can’t when your pregnant.
    I didn’t make it to disneyland.
    I would talk to your husband first about all of this. Let him know exactly how you are feeling. Show him this DW post! Include him in your “get it out of my head” plan. TBH sex when you are trying isn’t as good. Once we stopped acting like we were trying (even though we were still doing it every other day) the sex was so much better. That may be good incentive to get your husband on calming down.

    Good luck. I feel for you. Remember- it is your body getting pregnant, not you. It’s out of your control, which although scary, is the way it has to be.

  16. I don’t have personal experience with this, but I do know that 8 months is not a very long time at all (even though it might feel that way!) You’re only fertile during a small window of time each month– when you’re ovulating– & remember that your body might still be out-of-whack with adjusting to being off BC. Make sure your husband fully understands this as well.

    I agree with everyone else who’s saying he needs to lay off the pressure. Seriously. Have a talk with him like Wendy said, because I’m concerned what his behavior will be once you’re actually pregnant, & then even later when you’re raising a child together. Tell him that just because you two are reacting differently this situation, it doesn’t mean you’re not feeling the same way inside (double negative, ahhh, but you get my point)

    Also, someone mentioned the book Taking Charge of your Fertility, & I just want to say that book is definitely awesome. My mom got it for me when I was a teenager– it covers EVERYTHING about the female reproductive system.

  17. I love Wendy’s advice all the time, but especially with this letter. I haven’t been where you are, but the pain you and your husband are feeling shines very clearly through your writing. It seems like you’re both feeling the same way and want the same things; you’re just expressing it differently. Where you want to not get your hopes up and kind of hide the pain within yourself, he wants to talk about it constantly and tell you he’s feeling disappointed. And I think one of the reasons that’s particularly hard to hear is because a small part of you might be feeling like he’s disappointed in *you.* You’re the one who will be carrying the baby, and you’re the one who gets the news every month. But, of course, this is not your fault. It’s not your fault! His fertility affects it just as much as yours. And so do a million other factors.

    I hope you can have an honest conversation with him and let him know that you feel just as anxious and upset as he does, and you want it to happen just as badly. But he needs to step back a little and not put so much pressure on the situation. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, you should be able to without him questioning if it’s a wise decision. He needs to trust you, and you both have to make a commitment to facing this as a team. I love Wendy’s suggestion about not feeling like you’re going to jinx it. Go ahead and get excited! You know you want to be parents, you’re just not sure when or how. But you will be! So get in that mental place. It’s a lot happier to wait in anticipation versus waiting for disappointment.

    Finally, if you haven’t already, please read this book:

    It is an amazing resource for people who want to get pregnant (or even avoid pregnancy, depending on your situation). A lot of people have had success by charting their temperatures and realizing they weren’t even trying to conceive on the right days. It might make a big difference for you.

    Lots of hugs, and I wish you so much luck.

    1. Seconding the recommendation for Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I read that book back in my early 20s and it was crazy illuminating. You’ll learn all about ovulation and stuff.

      (Yay for stringy cervical mucus! Feel free to drop that knowledge on your husband when he’s being all concerned that you don’t care enough.)

      1. Hahaha. Love it!

    2. +1 for fertitily charting – it’s probably the 1st thing your doctor will tell you to do, so you may as well start now and get a head start. There are also apps online and for your phone to help you get started.

      Second, you need to talk to your husband about him questioning what you are eating or drinking, because it’s only going to get worse once you are pregnant. I would suggest 1 of 2 options: 1) He gives up coffee, alcohol, sushi, soft cheeses, lunchmeat etc WITH you (and you agree only to have these things the during your periods until you conceive) or 2) He shuts up and trusts your judgement. There is nothing more annoying when pregnant or TTC than someone saying “are you sure you should eat that?”

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        You can’t eat soft cheese when you are pregnant!?!? I’m never getting pregnant then.

      2. camorzilla says:

        I think you’re not supposed to because it’s unpasteurized (I’m not 100% about that). I don’t know how I’m going to stay away from shellfish- goodbye sushi!

      3. lemongrass says:

        Most people go way overboard on those things. It’s just another way to shame women. I really hate the black and white way people look at these things. I’ve done the research:
        Lunchmeat- heat it first. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t
        Coffee- you can have 1-1.5 cups a day. And the research is still murky on above that
        Sushi- you can have raw fish, it just has to be frozen first. At least in Canada, that is the law for all raw fish to be eaten so any sushi restaurant is all good.
        Soft cheese- don’t eat unpasteurized milk and cheeses. These are really rare in US & Canada. Anything you get in a store is fine.
        Alcohol- a little bit of wine/beer here and there after the first trimester is not a big deal. Before you know you are pregnant- don’t worry! The baby doesn’t share your blood stream until that pregnancy test shows positive so it won’t affect the baby whatsoever.

        If anyone asks you “are you sure you should be eating that?” tell them that stress for the mother is way worse for the baby than worrying about every little thing she puts in her mouth.

      4. I love your outlook. It’s really refreshing.

      5. lemongrass says:

        Why, thank you!

      6. Oh, I wasn’t saying she HAD to give those things up (I personally take the all things in moderation approach during pregnancy) but that if her husband is already worried about coffee and wine, the rest of the list is sure to worry him too, so the only way he can give her grief about it is if he gives it up as well.

      7. lemongrass says:

        I wasn’t singling you out! I meant in general there is so much of this attitude. In pregnant women as well! I don’t want other pregnant women to deprive themselves of all these things needlessly. Although a few of them like the pedestal the think it puts them on, methinks.

      8. Skyblossom says:

        I was very careful about what I ate and drank while pregnant and it had absolutely nothing to do with putting myself on a pedastal. It took me six months to become pregnant with my son and we wanted a baby badly and then not far into the pregnancy I had a threatened miscarriage. I had bleeding for six weeks and was on bedrest for the entire time. I wasn’t going to do anything that might tip the pregnancy to miscarriage. I wanted my baby to have everything, including a healthy body and a healthy life. It then took five years of trying to get pregnant with my daughter. In fact, we gave up trying for a second baby and just accepted that we would have only one child. When I found myself pregnant we were delighted to get what we thought we would never have. Again, I was extremely careful about what I ate and drank. I knew that this was probably the only chance we had for a second child and I would do nothing to risk that child. I turned down the amniocentesis because I wasn’t going to risk my child for a test. I knew that I wouldn’t have an abortion even if there was a birth defect and I knew that there was a risk of miscarriage if I did the test and the odds were very good that our baby was healthy. So please, don’t be so condescending to women who make different choices than you would make. I have never told a pregnant woman what she should eat or drink but you are feeling free to put down women who choose to be more cautious than you would be. I personally found that being cautious reduced the stress for me. I knew that I wouldn’t second guess myself if something do go wrong. I would know that I had done everything I could for my baby. I did what worked best for me and my husband and our children.

      9. camorzilla says:

        Um how is she being condescending? Or putting anyone down? Some WOMEN do like the pedestal or sense of superiority that allows them to talk down to other pregnant women who didn’t make the same choices they do/did. She’s saying there’s no need for that ESPECIALLY among women. Get a grip.

      10. camorzilla says:

        And maybe my saying “get a grip” will be interpreted as hateful. Whatever. You’re doing exactly what you accuse her of doing by being judgy.

      11. Skyblossom says:

        When she is saying that some pregnant women like to put themselves on a pedastal because they eat a strict diet she is putting down those women who eat a strict diet as if she knows better than them what they should or shouldn’t do. If they make a different choice then they must be doing it for their own sense of superiority. Most of my friends have had babies and none of them had a sense of superiority or of being on a pedastel because of their decisions. They worried about having a healthy baby and about doing the best that they could for that baby. The women I know didn’t mind or resent or care that they gave up things during a pregnancy for their baby. Their focus was on the baby, not on what they weren’t eating or drinking.

      12. lemongrass says:

        Not at all my intention. Please read my response below.

      13. “When she is saying that some pregnant women like to put themselves on a pedastal because they eat a strict diet she is putting down those women who eat a strict diet as if she knows better than them what they should or shouldn’t do.”

        No she isn’t… you are reading into it that she is putting down women when she’s doing the exact opposite. The pedestal comment doesn’t even have to relate to eating at all… just a general high and mighty I’m better than you because my fallopian tubes can scoot an egg to my uterus attitude that some women give to others.

        “The women I know didn’t mind or resent or care that they gave up things during a pregnancy for their baby. Their focus was on the baby, not on what they weren’t eating or drinking.”

        And those women should get a cookie for being better moms than others? For someone trying to call out others for being judgy, that is one sanctimonious statement.

      14. I didn’t see an ounce of condesension in what was written above… there are most definitely pregnant women who will act like they are on a pedestal – doing something magical as if it isn’t a biological process that has existed for millions of years of human evolution…

        perhaps given your situation you took things more personally than was intended?

      15. lemongrass says:

        I wasn’t trying to put down women who make other choices than I do. I chose not to get down’s testing for the same reasons as you. I said “a few of them” so that it would be clear that I by no means, mean all women who make different choices. There are women who have said to me “you drink coffee? I would never do something so careless as you!” as a means to make me feel bad for my own choices and to feel superior. There are women who will do that on just about ANY parenting choice be it breastfeeding, cosleeping, whatever.

        I’m sorry if you were offended by what I said but again I was in no way saying every woman in that category is self-righteous. My motto is “live and let live.”

      16. Skyblossom says:

        Thanks Lemongrass.

      17. For what it’s worth, I agree with you… I also used to be very carefree with the first pregnancy. As in, I can have everything in moderation. I did not smoke or drink though, but I generally do not do those things. I ate sushi and cold cuts. When I got pregnant the second time, I had the same attitude. That is until a test for toxoplasmosis came back positive.. Let me just say that the week it took to confirm the result (it turned out to be a false positive, thank god) I blamed myself quite a lot for being so negligent. And I definitely should not have read about the consequences that can have on an unborn child.
        The warnings doctors give are there for a reason. Yes, majority of pregnancies turn out well.. But if I had gone through fertility treatments, or if that was my first child, I would have never forgiven myself over something so trivial. It is only nine months. You should be able to restrict yourself for that short a period in order to give your baby the best start possible.

      18. It’s also very beneficial to learn WHY these things are dangerous… With the cheese, for instance, it’s because of un-pasteurized milk. If you understand that, understand laws surrounding cheese in the us, understand how cheese is made, ect, it is very easy o understand what cheese you can and can’t have, which are more dangerous, ect. A blanket “no cheese” rule isn’t needed, women just have to be informed about things in general

      19. As a pregnant woman, I want to bow down in gratitude for this post. YES!

    3. I JUST ordered this book. I’m hating my hormonal birth control for a couple of reasons and want to do something different. The reviews on Amazon for it are pretty much all 5 stars. I’m scared that I might not do it right and end up with a baby I don’t want though…. D:

      By the way, when you order the book, make sure to use Wendy’s affiliate link!!! I did. 🙂

  18. I would also recommend taking a breather from all the baby showers and other relevant events. It’s not really helping you; it’s only making you feel worse. It doesn’t have to be permanent.

    When all my friends were getting married, I quit going to weddings, showers, engagement parties, etc., instead choosing to enjoy my friends on an individual basis. Once I got into a relationship two years later, I was in a better position to enjoy these events again.

  19. Sue Jones says:

    I am sorry that you guys are having trouble getting pregnant. It can be hard when you want to have a baby when your friends do so that your kids can grow up together and all you see is babies, babies, babies! Get checked by the doctor, and if everything is “fine” , then I would recommend that you see an acupuncturist and Chinese Herbal medicine practitioner to tune you up before going for the “big guns” as far as fertility treatment goes. You can also decide how far down that rabbit hole that you want to go because virtually anyone can get a baby these days with all the fertility treatment options around, from clomid to donor egg, to full on surragacy to adoption if you have the means…. Heck you can start seeing the acupuncturist now! My husband and I finally decided at age 39 (me) that we would start trying to get pregnant (we took a non linear path). It took me 9 months to get pregnant naturally and then I had a miscarriage June of that year at 8 weeks. At that point I decided to try Chinese Medicine and I was pregnant by October and had a beautiful baby boy in July. I was 41 and did a home waterbirth that went perfectly. We also made a decision beforehand that we did not want to do a lot of more invasive fertility treatments and that if I was not pregnant by age 42 that we would pursue foreign adoption, but there was no need. But seriously, check out Chinese Medicine because it is amazing for fertility, AND get checked by the fertility doc just to make sure there is nothing else going on. My SIL has 2 babies that she had via donor egg because she had premature ovarian failure. But many times it is just a matter of your hormones being a little out of balance.

  20. My husband and I are trying to conceive right now. We saw the OB-GYN in January and she said we need to try for a full year- we are both under 35 years of age. If you are 35 and up, the recommended period is 6 months. She also told us that we BOTH need to take care of ourselves- get enough sleep, do not stress, exercise, and eat right.

    Is the September appointment your first appointment with the OB-GYN? If it is, see if you can move it up. We saw the dr before we started to try to conceive so both my husband and I could ask questions about medications, food, etc. . . I also made sure all my vaccinations were up to date, including whooping cough.

    Otherwise, both you and your husband need to relax and understand that this takes time. Stress and pressure to conceive won’t help either one of you.

  21. If it helps, I am in the same boat as you, only I’ve been trying for a year with no success. After testing, we have determined that the problem lies with me.

    I have one kid, but we have told the family members that inquire about whether we are going to have more kids that we likely will not. So whether we do or not, they won’t be expecting it at least. And I have to come to accept it & stop mourning, and so have they. Meanwhile, I may take fertility drugs, but only when/if I’m good & ready.

    Bottom line–there’s more to life than having kids, and one’s ability to do so does not determine one’s self-worth.

    Hang in there….

    1. Bottom line–there’s more to life than having kids, and one’s ability to do so does not determine one’s self-worth

      AMEN. If the ability to have children had a direct relationship to making you a better more valubale person Teen Moms wouldn’t exist.

  22. As much as getting pregnant is a process, involving doctors and tests and “trying,” it’s still one of those things you can’t fully control. I have a friend who got married straight out of college to a guy she barely knew because her No. 1 goal in life is to get married and have a family. Well, turned out he was sort of a loser, and now she’s divorced and dating like crazy to find someone to have a family with. Now, I obviously am not comparing you to my friend. However, watching her made me remember that as much as we can apply for the jobs we want and earn degrees and buy houses in our dream cities, you can’t force meeting someone and you can’t force having a family. These are things that, despite being in 2012, cannot just be willed to happen.

    So, my point is, the months are going to pass whether you’re pregnant or not. This is the only life you’ll get (theoretically), so don’t waste it or time with your husband by wishing for the future to come faster. Once you actually do have children, you’re not really going to care that it happened in 2013 versus 2012, or whatever. You’ll just be happy to have a healthy, happy baby.

  23. parton_doll says:

    LW – I have completely been where you are. Hell, I am where you are. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 2 years. In my case, I had some health problems that made it more difficult but it is the constant waiting on pins and needles to see that positive mark on the pregnancy test or not even getting that far because you get your period is a crushing feeling. For me, I felt (and occassionally feel) like less of a woman. We even started the whole fertility process but I couldn’t handle the stress of it so we stopped. It has really helped me to not put so much pressure on myself about pregnancy. Sometimes I have to tune out everyone else’s expectations, even my husband’s, so that I can find some kind of peace. Actually, my husband and I had to have a real heart to heart about his expectations and how we had to be a team in this process. A baby is about two people and it can’t always fall on me that I am not pregnant. When sex becomes a job and you hold in stress because you HAVE to get pregnant, I believe that pressure does affect your body. Not to mention your relationship. He didn’t realize that it was affecting me so badly and we have both just settled down. I mean, after two years, what else can you do?

    It is hard for me now to be around people my age who have kids. I personally have minimized the parties and showers. No offense to Wendy, but I don’t read her columns about Jackson or any other articles here about children because that keeps me sane. It’s not that I am not happy for other people. It is that I am not at a place right now where I can handle those things. I can only focus on me. I have had to tell myself and I am starting to believe that if I don’t have kids it’s okay. Maybe it’s not for me. That doesn’t in any way reflect on my worth as a woman (although my mind will tell me that sometimes it does). As for what other people say to you … it has no bearing on you. I flat out told my mother that she may never be a grandmother and had to stop bringing it up all the time and she finally saw that all her comments were just chipping away at me. Now she is supportive of whatever we do. As for strangers or acquaintances who say that I’m too old and made my career a priority over a family, I am not going to lie to you and tell you this doesn’t still hurt. But it only hurts because I secretly believe it may be true. So I am working on not letting these things get under my skin. I just have to move on with my life and do the best that I can.

    You are in a good place LW. 6 months isn’t a long time in the grand scheme. Stay forward thinking and relaxed. Be okay with you. Take a break from other people’s babies and baby stories and nursery plans or whatever you need to do to stay sane. And from one person who is struggling to another, I will send prayers your way for a “positive” result 🙂

    1. It was kind of you to share this with everyone. I am sorry for your troubles but I admire your outlook. It seems like this journey has taught you a lot. Sending hopeful vibes your way.

  24. Oh LW, I know where you’re coming from. It sounds like your husband has this timetable and expectation on when and how things fall into place. I know I operate like that, so I can definitely relate to how every period you experience is like a little death of the future unborn child for him. There are things that occur in life, no matter how hard you plan, that prevent your ideal timetables to go off on schedule – you have to just work around the disappointment and try what you can to be flexible.

    LW, I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Thanks to my wacky hormones, my chances of fertility are even more out-of-whack and less than likely than average. Along with my feelings of sadness regarding my struggles to get pregnant, I’ve also had feelings of inadequacy and anger over how my body has betrayed me with something that is seemingly so natural to others. Besides talking with my doctor, I know I have dealt with my growing infertilty like how your husband is currently doing – I have experienced the range of planning everything that I can so that should it happen I have agendas in place to submitting myself to absolute grief when the period does come and curse my body accordingly.

    LW, you’ve only been planning for six months. That’s MORE than enough time to see your doctor and check your hormones and also have your husband check his sperm count too. Do whatever you can medically to explore why you haven’t been getting pregnant. As you attempt to try and expand your family, the best thing I can say is to remember that you and your husband ARE a family already – you became one the second you guys committed to one another. If you discover you cannot have children through traditional conception, remember that there is also adoption, foster care, and sponsorship opportunities to help support a child that is already here. Also, look to your friends and their children – my husband and I love being the favorite aunt and uncle for our friends’ kids.

    As to how things are now, it’s SO understandable to be sad. However, don’t let the sadness overtake what is sounding like the kick-ass life you and your husband have built together. As the friends start asking about when are your kids coming or touching your belly and congratulating you on your pregnancy (by far LW, THE worst feeling, when you know that you aren’t), there are different ways to cope with how to deal with your personal infertility with the rest of the rudely inquiring world who really just CARE. I know that my husband likes the whole private matter-private business approach with his colleagues. Yet for women, it’s a little different since you are speculated as the walking evidence of the couple’s infertility. I know that I personally become Ms. Overshare with those rudely inquiring people – to the point that they get uncomfortable about the subject matter and apologize for asking.

    Remember LW, you are not alone in dealing with infertility and there is no right way with dealing with how you struggle. I don’t know about where you live, but I know that my doctor has pointed me in the direction of a group of women who struggle with PCOS. I know that online groups who specialize in the struggle has helped me get information and also let me accept my struggle. I know I phased myself off the pill over a year ago and my chances of getting pregnant are no better now, even though I am on medication and changed my diet to address my PCOS. Even though I’ve done what I think I can to increase my chances for fertility, please remember LW your struggles with infertility does not equate to an inability for you and your husband to be parents. It is neither you or his fault if you cannot get pregnant. The two of you are already a family, no matter how many children you may have.

    I hope this helps LW. Good luck to you and your husband.

    1. Another really heartfelt share. Great outlook SGMcG. Wishing you luck and strength.

    2. “The two of you are already a family, no matter how many children you may have”
      Yes!!! It always seems weird to me when married couples talk about “starting a family”. I started my family the day I got married. And we make a pretty awesome 2-person family!

  25. Medically, fertility isn’t a concern until a couple has been trying for a year without birth control and without results. That’s not a year since you stopped taking your pill, either, because it can take some women several months for their hormones to regulate and start ovulating, so in reality, you and your husband has only had a few months of fertility, which isn’t much time at all. It’s recommended that women see a fertility expert in six months if they are older than 35 since time can be an issue, but otherwise, there’s nothing to suggest that you guys are abnormal in any way, medically speaking. However, your husband putting this kind of emotional pressure on you is unreasonable, and slightly troubling. It’s something worth investigating, maybe with a counselor. It makes me worried because what happens if the baby is born with some kind of health condition or, if god forbids, you have a miscarriage during your pregnancy. If he going to put the blame on you for something you can’t control?

    1. “It makes me worried because what happens if the baby is born with some kind of health condition or, if god forbids, you have a miscarriage during your pregnancy. If he going to put the blame on you for something you can’t control?’

      That’s a major red flag for me as well… It seems to be all on her like his body and ‘contribution’ have nothing to do with it (is it bad that I’m hoping that it’s him… nothing serious but like in She’s Having a Baby where it was boxers over briefs??). He’s responsible for 50% of the DNA that goes into that kid… maybe he should get in better shape and watch his diet!

      I think it would be very worthwhile for the LW and her husband to take in some books, counseling, whatever works during this time. Take advantage of not being pregnant but getting yourself better prepared and on the same page with your DH in terms of what ifs and supportive coping strategies… because it seems as though y’all may be used to controlling your fate and destiny (work hard = success and big house; starting a family = 2.5 kids and picket fence) and kids/life don’t work that way.

  26. llclarityll says:

    Sorry if this is what others have said (didn’t read through all of the comments) but it can take 3+ months for your cycle to regulate after being on birth control. And you may not be ovulating when you think, which makes it really hard to know when to do the bedroom dance.

    Do something proactive, like charting, to see when you ovulate and to see what your cycles are like. At the very least, it can give you insight into what your body is doing.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself — every woman’s body is different.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      And since charting is what the doctors will have them do they will have a headstart and it might help her husband to see that she very much wants to be pregnant and is doing everything she can to get pregnant.

  27. Your husband needs to chill out and stop blaming you, he is acting like a jerk -_-. And you haven’t even been trying for that long anyway. Like everyone said it takes time to get pregnant after using bc.

    1. What Caris said!
      The man needs a reality check cause he is so far gone into fantasy-land about what his (male) child will do that he is hurting you and that’s got to stop right now!

      1. yea. i originally didnt want to say it, but i would absolutely reconsider having a kid with this guy if he really does say all that stuff. its really, really terrible.

  28. I have experience with trying to get pregnant, but I do have experience with someone monitoring my diet and criticizing me every time I took a bite. My boyfriend went on a diet to lose wieght and because he had some health issues. Well, it worked great for him. The problem was he decided I should be on the diet, too. So every time I ate something that he didn’t approve of, he would say, “Oh, look at all that fat/salt/sugar”, whatever it was. It got tiring very quickly. I bring it up because I know the kind of stress this can put on you. Hubby really needs to back off. He is not helping. And the comment about “result-oriented” sex reminds of something I read regarding orgasms: if you make sex all about the orgasm, you can lose focus on the enjoyment part of it and this makes the orgasm harder to achieve. In other words, just enjoy yourselves. Don’t worry about conceiving. It’s not a marathon. Take the pressure off. When the baby does come along, you won’t have as much time for intimacy. Enjoy the journey, not just the result.

  29. SiSisodaPop says:

    WWS. All I have to add is that patience is required for these things. Try your best to work on that, for now. Every morning when you wake up, make it a goal to be patient; not necessarily patient about this pregnancy, but patient with other things in your life. Traffic Jam got you running late? Focus on patience. Long line at the grocery store, or check in at the airport on your next vacation 🙂 . Patience. It’s the same patience that will be needed after you get pregnant – I mean you are going to be pregnant for longer than you have currently been trying to get pregnant. And you will definitely need tremendous amounts of patience after the baby is born.

    A friend of mine and her husband tried for 3 years before finally getting pregnant. They knew ahead of time that they wanted 2 children, so they starting trying again right away after the first was born – assuming it would take a long time again. They now have 2 babies – 14 months apart. Keep faith, have hope, and know that just talking about how you want to raise your children, etc. will not “jinx” you.

  30. I just got married 2 months ago and people have already started asking when we are going to start having babies. When they ask I really want to tell them to mind their business!
    About 2 weeks before my wedding I was shopping and an older man was working as a greeter at the store. He wanted to give me a flyer that was geared towards a children’s event. He told me to come back and bring my kids. When I told him that I didn’t have any children he had the audacity to actually say the words “shame on you for not having kids”!!!! I could not believe that he said that to me. I was so appalled and distracted that I needed to immediately leave the store but before I did I went and told a woman working at the customer service counter so that she could tell him that was not ok to say. I know he didn’t mean any harm with his words but I know those words would have put quite a few of my friends in tears when they were having trouble conceiving. There are just certain things people should NEVER say to a woman!
    Whoa I just got all worked up about that again 😉

    1. ugh- my coworker told me once that it was “a terrible thing to say” that i wasnt sure if i ever wanted kids… i hate that. people are so judgey.

    2. Temperance says:

      My jerkass FFIL has called us “selfish” for “depriving” him of his wish to be a grandfather, and has told FH that he’s going to die alone because he isn’t having kids. He has also asked me whether I have problems with “that stuff”. I have endometriosis and adenomyosis, and I only talk about it online. FH obviously knows, but I refuse to share information about my reproductive health with anyone who will ask hurtful, prying questions …. which is the rest of our families.

      FFIL is horrible human being though, so if we have kids, he doesn’t get to have a relationship with them anyway because we can’t trust him to be normal and appropriate. (He gave FH and his brother “lessons” on how bad women are when they were like 5-8 years old, and how women just steal from men, women leave you for younger men, women are worthless and conniving, etc. FH has memories of being like 7 and being told a girl wanted to date him and trying to make a counteroffer to the go-between to get some money instead. Sad, right?)

      1. Yikes! I’m sorry you have someone like that in your life. It’s the FFIL’s fault though – if he would have just had like 20 kids, he’d be much more likely to get some grandkids.

  31. KattyMari says:

    Here is the question that drives me NUTS! My husband and I have 3 beautiful daughters, and it still doesnt seem enough to others. When are your having a boy? or Don’t you want a baby boy? I mean who wouldn’t want a little boy BUT I’m perfectly fine with my 3 girls.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      When my son was still an infant I kept having women ask me if the next baby would be a girl. They didn’t ask if we wanted a second baby and how they thought I could make the second be a girl I have no idea. Then when I was finally pregnant with a second baby my mom insisted it had to be a girl because she had no granddaughters and my sister was insisting we had to have a boy because she thought my mom would favor a girl over her boys and I wished they could just be happy we were lucky enough to have a second baby. My husband and I just felt incredibly lucky to have a second baby, we didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. We were happy.

      1. SiSisodaPop says:

        so….was the second a boy or a girl? Curiosity killed the cat, I know.

    2. Oh yea, cause you totally get to choose if they are going to be a boy or a girl.

  32. OneSpiritEternal says:

    Oh, letter writer, I do know what you’re going through. I cried every time I got my period. When I first got pregnant, I was over the moon excited, but that baby wasn’t meant to be, and I miscarried at 11 weeks – such an emotionally devestating time in my life. It took two years of trying after the miscarriage before I did get pregnant, and now I have an amazing 5 year old boy. So, as Wendy states, talk to hubby and let him know. It might not hurt to say how pressured you’re feeling, and even that you feel like a failure when you don’t conceive. I’ve heard of many couples adopting, and once they adopted, they got pregnant because the pressure was off. Take care of yourself. After you and hubby talk, take a romantic trip, just the two of you. I wish you all the best.

    1. I know of a woman that was told she could not conceive – this was in the 70s (the decade, not her age ;)) – adopted a child, waited a few years and was in the process of adopting #2 when she found out she was pregnant at 36… stranger things have happened.

      I think stress has a lot to do with it, keep calm and carry on!

      1. This seems to happen a lot – I know 3 women who were in pretty much the same situation. It would be fascinating to know if it’s just stress or something else.

  33. Avatar photo sobriquet says:

    Getting pregnant is the last thing on my mind these days (aside from freaking out when my period is a day late even if I’m on birth control and haven’t had sex), but I thought I’d chime in anyway! I think maybe stress is big factor here. Mental stress affects the body in so many ways. Just like physical stress can break your bones, emotional stress can make you ill. (Stress once caused my period to come 2 WEEKS LATE).

    I think y’all need to just RELAX which is probably infuriating to hear from someone who is not in your position. Tell your husband to back off. Try to actually enjoy all the sex you’re having. It doesn’t have to be mechanical. It can (and should!) still be hot and sexy. I’ve heard of friends playing out all kinds of sexual fantasies while trying to get pregnant. Take the pressure off your body and I think you’ll see some good results.

  34. I’m probably the oldest commenter here, hence, this happened with me a looooong time ago. We decided the time was right for us to have children. I stopped taking birth control and we tried, and tried, and tried to get pregnant. Each month it was, “Nope,” and we were getting really amped up about not conceiving. (Fertility drugs/treatments/procedures were just really coming to the forefront at that time and were EXTREMELY cost prohibitive; so that was totally out the window.) We had to sit down and discuss the situation, and came to the conclusion that if conception wasn’t in the cards then it wasn’t in the cards for us. So we stopped actively trying on the “target” dates…and guess what, we’re pregnant!! (In fact, we were both in costume at a Halloween party, pretty horned up from drinking, and had sex in our truck!) So to me, stress played a big factor. Also, your ovulation time might vary from the “norm.”

    I’m not saying that this is applicable to you and your situation. Just something to consider before other avenues are possibly pursued. But I do think you and your husband should sit down and discuss the pressure you’re each putting on each other.

    (Have a go at it in the backseat of your car or try it standing up—at least that’ll hopefully lighten the mood a little!) Best of luck.

  35. A few things I want to say…

    1. To LW, my heart aches for you and for your husband. I have had close friends go through this and my boyfriend and I spent a lot of time talking about “what ifs” when it came to infertility. We were quite worried we’d face it ourselves (we’re 35+) and wanted to avoid the pitfalls of letting it dominate (or ruin) your lives.

    I am SO glad you are going to see a specialist and I have a lot of faith that it will help you. I personally think that having an expert in your corner will give you some relief immediately. As Wendy said, you will get there one way or another. I know so many people who have had success with fertility and most of the time, with the least invasive/costly ones.

    2. Wendy’s advice about shifting perspective is SO poignant. Thank you Wendy! I needed to hear this. Although I didn’t have trouble conceiving, I have been guilty of letting fear rule my pregnancy. It gets better week by week but hearing Wendy’s “permission” to embrace what you desire –well that is very freeing. Because she’s right. You cannot control it either way. You cannot jinx it by wanting it. And the power of POSITIVE thinking sure can’t hurt.

  36. A good friend of mine and her husband decided to try to get pregnant one November. She got off her BC, and I’m pretty sure they tried a lot. In July, they went on a cruise in the Bahamas, and conceived their baby. She’s convinced that the relaxation that they experienced on that trip is what finally made it happen. So I know this would probably be tough to do, with all of the pressure you are putting on yourselves, but try to just let everything go, and relax. Your baby will come at the right time 🙂

  37. Temperance says:

    You need to bring your husband back to reality because he’s blaming the failure of the two of you to conceive a baby as of yet on you and your body, and that’s wholly unfair. I’m kind of an asshole, and you clearly are not – I would have reamed him out a long time ago over it, especially because the situation you are in could be nothing, or it could even be completely on his side.

    You’re both under a lot of stress, but as a woman, it’s going to be harder on you just because of biology.

    I also think you need to talk to your husband about his expectations. I’m a bit concerned that he’s already talking about playing football with his “boy” – what if your first is a girl? It’s something to talk about now.

  38. First, I am so sorry that you are your husband are going through this, I absolutely lived it for many many years and I know how hard it is for both of you. First step is the one you”re already taking, see the dr and have the tests and discover if there is anything going on with either one of you that could be contributing to not getting pregnant. If they find anything, celebrate dont grieve or blame each other, now you know more and can take the next steps. Support each other and try not to get too discouraged. Long story short, I’ve had 15 pregnancies and now have three beautiful kids after being told by 7 drs that I would never have any children of my own. I have endometriosis, PCOS, birth defect structural deformities, rare genetic blood clotting disorder that caused multiple miscarriages due to clots in the forming placenta. My body also doesnt produce progesterone well so I have to supplement that from the moment I get a positive pregnancy test. I’ve done every test, every surgery and every procedure except IVF. It took me 11 yrs to get my first, 4 yrs to get my second and ironically the third was a total surprise. My oldest was a result of a Follistim injection cycle with insemination, but oddly enough the other two came after I started taking an herbal remedy called fertility blend. I was pregnant with my second within 4 months and my third within 4 weeks. My best advice for you is to relax as much as you can (which probably wont be much, so dont stress more over not being able to limit stress 🙂 ) do your research on your own and dont rely on everything the dr tells you, see more than one dr to get as much information as possible (remember 7 of them told me it was impossible and yes I sent them all baby pictures to remind them that they are dealing with people with hopes and dreams, not just “another patient”. Be open not only to medical intervention but also herbal alternatives. You have to research it thoroughly tho, but I’ve had several friends who also had success with the fertility blend. Also, I was 33 when I had the first (after 11 yrs of trying), 37 for the second and 39 for the third so age is just a number, dont let the medical field freak you out. And if you find out in the long run that it just wont work out for you there are so many other options out there with fostering, adoption, surrogacy… just rely on each other, thats the most important key in this process. If you cant support each other and deal with the setbacks together it will just tear you apart. Best of luck to you, I really hope your baby dreams come true and if I can do anything to help just send me an email. Maybe more than one since I cant check email as often as I like these days!

    Always remember, drs are human too, they are not omnipotent, they have theories and ideas but they CAN be wrong and you can beat the odds. My kids are living proof, according to the medical field they never should have happened, especially with my “advanced maternal age” 🙂

  39. LW, I haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if everyone else brought this up, but I am surprised Wendy let your husband off so easily. IMO he’s acting like a controlling, obsessive dick. Policing your emotional response to your period? Badgering you about your diet and caffeine intake? Get thee to counseling stat, because if this how he’s acting now, can you even imagine what he’ll be like once you’re actually pregnant?

  40. LW, I didn’t read all the comments, so perhaps it’s already been said, and Wendy did kind of allude to it, but it normally takes six full months for the birth control to get out of your system, depending on the kind it is. So basically, you’ve really only been “trying” for a month or two. I don’t want to diminish your concerns, but I want to make sure that you’re not getting overly concerned about there being some medical issue.

  41. My husband and I tried for 8 months before getting pregnant and most of those 8 months sucked! You’re on this 2 week cycle that just won’t end and it put an such a strain on us that it was very scary at one point.So, we sat down and created some rules: Always have something distracting and fun planned for the day/weekend that a period is expected – that way you either have something else to focus on or a way to celebrate. Use the digital ovulation strips so that we knew when our most fertile time of the month was, then all other sexy times were fun and not so stressful. Always look at the situation from the other’s point of view and know that we are in this together. Reduce stress and get back to enjoying all of the things we used to do before being so baby-crazed – that meant going out to eat more often, exercising together, and taking more weekend trips even though we wanted to save our money for a baby (groupon and livingsocial deals were perfect for this!). Good luck!

  42. moshi moshi says:

    I am 29 years old and married for 1 year. We both are in difficult phases of our career now, all of our savings dried up because we both entered grad school after getting married, and I have PCOS so I was really split between “Get pregnant now or suffer later” and “We don’t have enough money to support a child.” We tried getting pregnant (unsuccessfullly) for 4 months though before taking the decision to enter grad school. But people around us are getting anxious, nobody has asked directly about us having a baby yet, but in family reunions I get nervous that I will be asked about this. I am not sure if I want a baby because I want to be a mother or because everyone else is getting pregnant.

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