Seriously, you probably do not really want to ask if we’re trying to get pregnant.
Before we started trying to get pregnant, I would get annoyed when people asked if my husband and I were trying. However, after we started trying, the question became an interesting exercise in emotional self control. The truthful answer would have been to say that yes, yes we are trying and we obviously have not been successful yet so I am also trying to to do everything in my power to forget that we are trying so that I can somehow continue to live my life like normal despite feeling like my entire future is stuck in limbo as we just wait and wait and wait and your question, you question was meant to be casual and maybe a bit nosey but having to think about this all while pretending like it’s not a big deal takes so much emotional control that I think I might explode. Obviously, I never gave the truthful answer.
Sometimes I could feel the tears welling up as I processed the question. I would instantly relive the disappointment that came when my last period arrived, the moment of sharp clarity as I processed that we were still trying. Still. I’ll smile, a subconscious attempt to keep the tears hidden away, struggling to find the correct words. I knew that there is a right answer to this question, but I always found myself at a loss in these moments.
Sometimes the initial burst of sadness would be replaced with a sudden flood of primal anger, as if I was punched. The initial sting of the words wearing off as I pulled back, instinctively, ready to throw my own defensive right hook. I have to catch myself from saying something insulting in response, a primal attempt to hit the other person back with words of my own. To make them feel the rush of emotions that they just pushed on me.
Other times, I catch myself right before I spill out too much information, about to casually share that my period was a few days late or dive into how we missed the fertile window this month because of my husband’s travel. TMI.
In my best moments, I’ll just smile, wink and change the subject. Can you believe this weather? However, most of my social interactions are a bit more awkward. I’m awful at casually winking and knowing this makes me flustered at the very idea of trying to casually wink. Instead I usually just stumble through some awkward lie. Soonish?
It’s bullshit, really. In some ways I am desperate to talk about it. Desperate to share that yes, I am living in a world that revolves around 28 to 31 day cycles. And no, we haven’t been successful yet but yes, I am refusing to drink more than one glass of wine tonight just in case, not because I’m cautious but because I am hopeful and being hopeful is exhausting and stressful and my husband is so calm, as he should be and I’d be upset if he wasn’t but I’m also upset that he is somehow calm and it’s all making me crazy because this emotional roller coaster makes me just want to curl up into a ball for three days and that emotional depression is exhausting but it also makes me scared that I’m inadequate to handle the emotions of being a parent in the first place and that reminds me, why does my body seem to be so inadequate to physically complete this process? How am I supposed to feel hopeful and inadequate and sexy all at the same time, and all while pretending that nothing is going on? I just, desperately, want someone to chime in and tell me that this is normal and that I’m not alone.
The problem is that, despite asking the question, very few people really want to deal with the honest answer. They’re just curious, and they like the idea of babies and baby showers and all the fun things that come with a pregnancy. The thing is, there is so much more to it all than the fun things. It can be an emotionally charged experience and that makes for uncomfortable conversations and people actually hate uncomfortable conversations. They’re the opposite of the fun things.
Here is my advice. It’s probably best not to ask. If you do think that a friend or family member might be going through this process and might be dying to talk about it, still do not ask. Instead, make sure you simply are a good friend and that they know they can come to you with problems and that you’re comfortable having difficult conversations. Be supportive instead of nosey. Actually, wouldn’t the world be such a better place if we all were supportive instead of nosey?