Moving from Thinking to Trying

This entire transition from Thinking to trying to conceive (TTC) has been one of the most overwhelming things I’ve ever dealt with! I’m a fairly emotional person to begin with, but I’m also a pretty damn strong, intelligent woman. That said, I find myself constantly tearing up and I often wonder what the hell is wrong with me! I can’t imagine what it will be like once pregnancy hormones kick in! I swear, every sappy commercial related to kids/babies or every birth scene from 16 and Pregnant makes me cry. Every conversation I’ve had with my doctor has made me cry. When I told my parents, aunts, friends–anyone, really–that I was going to TTC, I find myself choking up.

I just don’t know why….I think there are several factors at play. One, I waited so many years to get to the point of trying that now that it’s here, I am beyond excited and full of anticipation that’s making me emotional. Two, I’m crying out of fear…fear of not getting pregnant, fear of people’s reactions, fear that I’m not as strong as I think I am, fear that I’m secretly a loser for not being able to land a man of my dreams and do this the way everyone else seems to have done it…. you name it, I’ve got fears right now! Third, I realized a while back that I am still grieving the loss of my chance at the “traditional” nuclear family–this one is so tough for me, and just going through all of this SMC process on my own has painfully illustrated how much I secretly wish I had a partner for this. There are other fears, too, but they seem too numerous to list!

Jennifer W, 38

25 thoughts on “Moving from Thinking to Trying”

  1. Gosh – I hear every woman on here loud and clear. I tried 5 IUI attempts when I was 39 to no avail. Then I decided to put myself in the dating scene once again as I too felt like “why the heck can’t I find a husband like everyone else out there? What is WRONG with me?”

    About one week after I turned 40 I started dating someone. To make a long story short we’ve been dating now for about 8 months. I have to say I’ve never fallen completely in love with this man. On paper he is exactly what I would ask for. He says he’ll have a child with me and he’s definitely financially stable. But I keep looking at him and feeling like something is missing. I don’t feel this longing to be with him. I really don’t think I’m in love. My gut is saying I should walk away and TTC once again ( I still have four vials stored away) but my intellect says “are you crazy?! This guy will take care of you and a child!” I’ve never been so torn about things in my life. And as my 41 birthday approaches I’m anxious on a daily basis – which I know isn’t good for my body.

    I practice remaining positive each day and believing I will make the best decision for myself. Maybe I need to hear more success stories of women who conceived on their own and still found a great guy after the child was born?

    Hang in there everyone. We’ll all get through this 🙂
    Jennifer

  2. Oh my goodness, I would so love to sit down with all of you! The past 6 months have been the most emotional, difficult and lonely of my life — reading this post has made me feel enormously better.

    6 months ago, after breaking up with a boyfriend I was sure I would marry, I decided I wanted to freeze my eggs to preserve my chances of having a traditional family, and learned a) that I had a massive cyst in my ovary requiring immediate emergency surgery, then b) that my FSH was super high at around 15 (I’m now 36 years old), and c) that if I want to have a baby who is biologically mine, I must start TTC immediately (according to 6 REs I’ve met with). Talk about a roller coaster ride! Walking this path can feel so agonizingly lonely, and I’m grateful to have found this blog.

    I had a known donor lined up who I thought would be perfect, but there’s already drama (long story…). That can’t be a good sign, can it? At every step of the way, with all these huge decisions I have to make on my own I feel simultaneously small and overwhelmed and then giddy with the knowledge that I really can take control of making my most important dream come true. Luckily I’ve been seeing a phenomenal therapist who specializes in fertility issues. She’s also helping me to grieve all of my ex-boyfriends.

    Anyhow, glad to have found all of you!

    1. Rachel, your story sounds like mine. I always wanted to be a mom but things just never worked out in the boyfriend department. I found a male friend that wanted to be a father and we went down that route for a while. I kept it clinical with him as I was not interested in him romantically at all. I got pregnant with him but had a miscarriage. We tried a few times after that and then there was drama (he had feelings for me and wanted more but since I wouldn’t, he started ignoring me…after 13 years of friendship). So I went forward with a donor and I thank the stars every day that I didn’t have a baby with him. Now I have a 15 month old son who is ALL mine. I don’t have to share him with someone who has his own ideas of how to raise him. I also odon’t have to bounce the poor child back and forth between us from day one. I am now friends with other women who used the same sperm donor and we look forward to having our children meet and become friends someday.

  3. I am so touched that my words resonated with all of you! Even more, I am so thankful that I have a found a community of smart, caring women who understand what I’m going through and who can truly relate to me right now in a way my friends and family cannot.
    I went for my very first IUI on Friday and it was undeniably exciting and nerve-wracking. I’m not crying anymore, though as I prepare to hear in a week or so that it didn’t work the first time around, I think I’ll probably have a long cry then. I truly feel for all the women who have been at this for a while–I now understand how this journey is going to keep throwing emotional zingers at me, like it or not. I just keep telling myself that life is about the journey and not the end point! 🙂

  4. I am in a somewhat similar position. I am ‘thisclose’ to my 30th b’day. I had always wanted to be a “young” mom, and at one point hoped to have 6-8 kids, yet I now realize that won’t happen. For a while, I was engaged to a man who ended up dying (suicide-which I would rather not discuss)-several years ago. I have tried dating, but just haven’t met anyone that I really connect with.

    I feel like I have been in the “thinking” stage for a while now, and would very much like to move forward. I own a home, have a stable job, and am doing alright, nothing is overly fancy, but I know, for sure, I could afford a child, and all its expenses, without undue monetary strain. It is tough, as a part of me does wonder if I should wait; however, most of me believes I should just focus on ‘reality’ and move forward.

    In the past few months, I mentioned (considering trying on my own) to my family, and that is where the ‘snag’ occurred as I have found I have ZERO support from them. Apparently, they feel I should be still waiting for ‘Mr. Wonderful’-(forget that he may never come). The really sad thing to me is that, if I called them Monday and said I met “some dude” on Friday/eloped Sat/and were now hoping for kids—they would be all for it. However, alone, it is a big mistake-well, geez.

    It is a little difficult, as part of me thinks “you do still have a few years”, yet the other side of me thinks: my own mother died at 50, so I have always wondered if the same fate was in store for me, which has always made me think ‘time-lines’ for everything should be a bit sped up.

    I know opinions on single-parenthood certainly vary, and my families’ opinions will not be determinate (I will do this on my own w, or w/o support), I just can’t help but feel quite a bit alone in the process, and a part of my will likely always wonder if I should be waiting (just in case). Yet, I am still willing to deal with it, since I assume, in the end it will likely be the best thing I ever do for my life.

    1. Anne – You’re the same age as I am, so I can totally relate to your feelings about wanting to have kids while your still young, but wondering if you should wait around a little longer, etc.

      Here’s my thing: At the present, I have no desire to be man-searching. I am VERY independent, and I don’t particularly want a boyfriend/husband. Maybe that will change later in life, but for now it’s not something I am looking for. People can get married at literally any age, but you can only have kids for so long. And I don’t want to wait around – I don’t see the point. Why postpone it until it becomes difficult (and even risky) to become pregnant when I can do it now?

      Luckily, I do have the support of my parents – even though I think they still hold out hope I’ll get married someday, even if it is post-kids. And that’s fine with me. I am really looking forward to being a young SMC.

      1. Jessica,
        Everything you said describes me. Almost 30, support of parents, and yet they hope i will just find a man to have a baby with instead of doing it on my own. My mom suggested i do online dating again. I really have no desire but can’t wait to have children.

  5. I had my twins three years ago and can still remember the anxieties and doubts that I allowed to plague me- and this is coming from someone who was (and still is) positive that I was doing the right thing. One of the hardest things to do is re-programming our thinking and letting go of all that we thought we knew about what it means to be a parent/mother/father and what it means to be a “family”. Undoubtedly raising children alone has been the single most hardest thing I’ve done but I AM doing it. When it comes down to it, there is always someone there to lend a hand, I just have to get out of my own way in order to see that hand. You will be able to do this. Focus your energies on doing it as opposed to sapping your energy by focusing on the doubts and fears. If being a mother is what your soul desires, then it is the right thing for you. Everything will fall into place. Sending you many blessings.

    1. Janine, thank you for what you said. In particular, thank you for saying, “If being a mother is what your soul desires, then it is the right thing for you. Everything will fall into place.” It was exactly what I needed to hear.

      I’m young still myself (28) but I’ve wanted a child for years. I’ve known for some time that the most important thing I’d do with my life is be a mother. So, despite being a successful, independent woman, I feel like there’s something missing in my life so far. I’ve been waiting for Mr. Right (and finding way too many Mr. Oh-So-Very-Wrongs) and thinking, while I wait for him, about becoming a single mother. I recently found out that infertility issues are very common in my family and I don’t want to run out of time to have a child of my own because I was waiting for a man. I’ve been having doubts about the timing, about starting now to get the process going. Your comment helped me remember that I need to do what is right for me and that everything else will fall into place. Thank you so much.

  6. hello Jennifer,
    WOW, reading your post was like I was reading my own story! I too have felt so overwhelmed with the entire process, I am 38 and have been in the thinking stage from about 35, although I have felt my whole life that I wanted to be a mother. I have all the same fears as you, can I even get pregnant, am I being selfish choosing to do this on my own, and what is wrong with me that I couldn’t find a husband to do this with….. So about a year and a half ago, I started the process and about 9 months ago i went for my first IUI procedure. After my initial meeting with the doctor my momentum seem to be stalled, I was very overwhelmed with fear, and all the uncertainty that I thought I had worked through came flooding back. I decided to start seeing a family counselor (I went to the one that the fertility clinic that I went to requires that we see at least once before starting the process.) She is amazing, and in fact she has gone through infertility herself so really understands were we are coming from. She not only help me to identify that I was grieving the idea of having a “traditional family” , but she helped me to understand that it was necessary for me to go through the grieving in order to accept the revised concept of what my family will look like as a single mother. She also encouraged me not to give up on finding a man to share my life with and I encourage you to do the same. If a man is going to be understanding of the choice that strong, independent women like you and I have made, then he will have to be a pretty special guy!
    I too have felt at times that the process has been painfully lonely, and even though I have wonderfully supportive friends and family, I still wish I was going through all this with a partner. What makes me feel confident in my decision to continue is that deep down I know that I cannot give up the opportunity to be a mother just because I haven’t found the right guy for me yet.
    Here is where I am at now, I have done 5 IUI procedures over the last 9 months, 2 of those procedures were successful and resulted in pregnancies, unfortunately both ended in miscarriage. I am trying to think positively since it is good news that I can get pregnant, but I am still fearful about whether I will be able to carry a baby to term. My journey continues; as difficult as it has been I am finding out that I am even stronger than I thought. Hang in there, and trust your desire to be a mother, and be proud of the fact that you have been and continue to be so thoughtful of the decision you are making, the same can’t be said for many people that bring children into the world. I wish you luck!!!

    Tara

    1. Thank you for this post. It was one of those mornings when I felt sorry for myself but your words helped me change my attitude. One day at a time….

  7. Thank you for posting this. You took the words write out of my mouth (keyboard?), even the 16 and Pregnant tearfulness…

  8. This whirlwind of emotions is normal. I went in circles, too, and, honestly, you still do after they are here — it’s another factor in the “Mothers question everything they do” scenario. There’s so much pressure to be the perfect Mom in this world that when you start picking your battles, you wonder whether a married woman would have to make a choice BETWEEN your options. The answer, of course, is, “YES,” but it’s another excuse to blame yourself when you figure out that you are a human being and have limits that even your child must respect. Giving up on the dream in our judgmental society (like we don’t have a large percentage of children being bounced back and forth like ping-pong balls between bitter parents who don’t get along) with all of its single MOTHER prejudices is a VERY big step to make. Moreover, having CHILDREN is a huge decision, ANYWAY, and with the aforementioned pressure to be perfect, a lot of your fear may simply come from a healthy awareness of how much of a commitment being a parent is (which is a GOOD sign of your intentions and attitude, IMHO). However, I’d say that giving your all to be the best parent that you can while remembering to take DECENT care of yourself, you will be doing as well as anyone, I suspect. I try to hold onto that, myself.

  9. I am at the cross-roads right now! This echos my thoughts exactly. Having just turned 38 has really turned up the heat to get this going otherwise I know I will be forever regretful if I never tried…

    1. I am going through this process too, and I too could have written exactly what you said. I’m not quite at the TTC stage, and seem to have buried the reality for ages, but have just turned 40, so although my thinking time about this process has been relatively short so far, I know that I have to move from thinking to trying soon if I’m ever going to do it. I know that I am going to regret not doing this as have always wanted children and don’t like the imagined future without them, but still grieving for what should have been, scared of giving up what is in lots of ways a happy, carefree life, and fearful of what might be either way… Having just entered into this world though I really appreciate hearing other’s experiences, so thanks for sharing and good luck.

      1. Anon,
        Happy 40th Birthday, mine was a week ago. I am exactly in the same boat. I also “lost” track of time and was hoping for the traditional family. I also always wanted children and I know that I very much will regret it, if I don’t try it. On the other hand, I wonder if this is too selfish of me. Is this fair to the child, since I know that it will not grow up in the traditional family? Then, I am also worried about not enough support. Not to include all the worries about the pregnancy and the health of the child. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and worries, so I know I am not totally off track. Good luck.

    2. Dont leave it a moment longer Mary. I am 50 in a weeks time and only have one chance – but that is better than living with regret and if I am not blessed then the feeling that I have had on this journey make me feel much more whole and content and I wouldnt have missed it for the world.

  10. I made the leap once and have been incredibly happy with my choice (and with the resulting daughter). Now I’m getting set to do it again and I’m back in the place that you are now. Somehow I thought it would be easier the second time around. I guess a big decision is just a big decision, no matter how much practice you get making it…

    1. Me too. I’m getting ready to try for a 2nd healthy child. I have an amazing 13 month old daughter, but also 2 premature boys who passed away). The pressure and potential judgement is scary, but I’m only getting more and more convinced and I’m going to start round 2(3) in the fall. Very exciting!

  11. That is exactly how I am feeling! I’ve been thinking about becoming a mom for a few years but was never ready to ‘give up’ and finding a husband to start a family with. This past Christmas I finally decided that I was going to go for it. My mother and sister are behind me 100% and are helping out in every way possible. Since my sister works for Yale, in the OB department, she has really made my life easier. I have already seen a high risk OB (I have a blood clotting disorder) and a fertility specialist. This Thursday I am going to see the head of Yale’s donor program, or as I like to call him, the sperm guy. I am hoping to start trying in the next few months.
    Everywhere I go I am seeing pregnant women or women with babies and all I can do is stare. I tell my sister that I want one! Now it feels like every book I read, or every tv show I watch, has someone who is pregnant! It’s driving me crazy! I am constantly in tears over something, seeing a baby, hearing a baby, reading about a baby… I even find myself rewinding diaper commercials on my DVR just to see the babies again! I was starting to think that I was going completely nuts!
    For me, it’s all about excitement and longing and anxiousness to get started. The fear is still there though. I’m thinking, what is so wrong with me that I have to do thins on my own? Am I completely crazy? How am I going to do this? can I even get pregnant? But the fear always takes a backseat to the confidence that I am making the right decision. Maybe the fear will take over more once I actually have that appointment made. But for now, I’m just happy knowing I’m not crazy 🙂

  12. I hear you! I am 43 and ttc with donor egg and sperm and have extreme resistance from parents and siblings. The family I grew up with is a big catholic one full of judgment and hysteria about anything outside the norm and I am continuously told to wait for a man and that I am not ready. I am ‘over-ripe’ and ready but it still does not mean I am not filled with fear and hope too. I was thinking for 10 years and only been in the real TTC stage for about a year and it can be very draining indeed.

    1. Thank you Jennifer, for sharing your thoughts. I have been on that journey and thought I was the only one with doubts and fears. I had waited for the ‘perfect’ couple situation and thought it selfish to bring a child up alone – now I know I can do it, jsut as I have done most other things alone and with success.

      Two weeks ago I was matched with an egg and sperm donor and still did not know whether to go ahead, but then a friend said something about being positive’ and for one whole day I did nothing but focus on the joy and positiveness that a child would bring to me and my family. Then the feelings went from being a mental process to being a whole body feeling of contentment and I felt my heart not my head take over. I rang the clinic to order my drugs. I am now 6 days into down regulating and have never felt happier – and next week it is my 50th birthday. I am single and hope to be a mother.
      God Bless all you courageous women and thank you for sharing your stories.

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