A Pregnant Pause

Leandra Medine | November 10, 2015

“They” tell you everything you need to know, but what about what you need to hear?

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A funny thing: you spend the better half of young adulthood taking precaution against insemination — electively allowing foreign rubber into your most private orifice, consuming synthetic hormones to double up on that motivated measure or praying when you don’t — making deals with some deity about the outcome of your plan B. About a quarter of that time is spent celebrating the arrival of symptoms (fire-coming-out-of-your-ears frustration, chin pimples, tight pants) that confirm you’ve done it. You’ve succeeded to live another month without getting pregnant.

And then, one day, you decide you’re done with contraceptives. So you start “trying,” as they say. And you don’t quite understand what they mean by “trying” (high school effectively taught us that you can practically get pregnant from a member of the opposite sex so much as glaring at you, so be safe), but you do it anyway.

And then a year passes

And every time you have sex — which, when done deliberately, and particularly with a partner you care for, is supposed to feel like the physical manifestation of what motivates humanity: to love and to feel loved — you turn over after the fact and you ask yourself: did I fail again?

And then you get what they mean when they say, “We’re trying.”

But see, here’s the thing. No one ever talks about that part. It’s kind of like getting married; I remember so vividly in the six months that led up to my wedding feeling so profoundly afraid that I thought I was making the wrong decision. No one told me about the anxiety that invariably circumscribes matrimony, about the relinquishment of selfishness — a hard, hedonistic right to surrender — that is inferred by the union. No one talks about how challenging it is to consider the nuances of on-boarding a second set of parents. Yours are hard enough. No one tells you that in the first six months you’re married, some mornings you wake up and feel like you don’t know the person next to you — because you kind of don’t! Yeah, sure, you dated for however many years (or months, or days, or hours! Whatever, I’m not judging), but they weren’t family.

And then everything begins to fall into place and life seems better than it ever did and you realize that you were clutching the past — holding on to what you knew out of fear of swinging forward into the unfamiliar cleavage of the future. And no one talks about it because you forget. Things get great, so you tuck it away until ultimately that incipient feeling becomes a memory that dissipates and you can barely remember how visceral it was.

But see, now that I’m “trying” — that it’s been 17 months since I told my ovaries to stop dropping those fucking eggs and just let them stick — I remember that feeling again, and it’s reminded me of another reason we don’t talk about it: shame.

You start to feel shame.

And this shame is tricky, you know, because often it clouds vision and distorts goals and removes us from that backroad that we’ve discovered as a shortcut down Route Happiness.

What they also don’t tell you is that everyone deals with this. My own conversations have confirmed as much. And don’t get me wrong, I get the whole jinxing thing — this is private and sacred and between you and your person, but what if you want to talk about it? Why can’t you? So far silence hasn’t helped me get any more pregnant, or feel any less ashamed.

So I’m trying to beat shame by talking about it. By answering honestly when I’m asked how I’m doing. The truth is, I’m frustrated. Annoyed that I have to haul ass to a fertility specialist on the Up-up-upper West Side almost every week for hormone-level checks. I feel vaguely useless and sorry that my husband has to have blood drawn so often, and I feel like a huge asshole because every time I hear that someone else is pregnant, my heart kind of tenses up and I start to tear and I feel like Carrie Bradshaw in that episode of Sex and The City where she delivers a poem at a wedding and starts to cry because she’s upset about her relationship with Big, but writes the tears off as wet drops of joy.

Mostly, though, I feel scared. Because as much as I want children — and believe me when I say that no thought is so comforting as the one that finds me communicating with human appendages that are as weird as I am — I can’t picture being a mom. And I wonder if that’s because I’m starting to doubt that, logistically speaking, I can be a mom. I’m self-aware enough (or have been seeing a therapist long enough) to understand that I’m only in the opening credits of my movie, so I know that realistically, everything will be OK. But until I’m there, and until it is, I refuse to feel shame. Because that’s the whole thing, right? There’s no shame in trying.

So we’ll keep trying.

Illustration by Meghann Stephenson. You can also follow Meghann on Instagram and Tumblr.

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  • fluffinella

    Man Repeller! You’re not supposed to be a “whose-chopping-onions-in-my-office” kind of site!! What the heck!

    But for real, this was incredibly touching. I really adore your writing Leandra and I feel for you sister. Right in that thumping organ in my chest. oof.

  • Chetna Singh

    There is no shame, Leandra. You are such an honest and brave person, not afraid to put your feelings out in the open. I think talking about it will decrease the stress that you are putting on yourself. Sending you good vibes and when it does happen, you will make an amazing mom. xx

  • Dana Touchette

    YES! exactly. i’m with you. thank you for sharing.

  • Most important things in life aren’t really easy, but we all know bravery is all about the fearful, the careful, the insecure etc. finding their courage when needed … right? 🙂
    BTW, I read Hilary Clinton’s biography and it would seem all you need is to whisk away your husband on a nice holiday 🙂 – NO work or social media 🙂 (I am sure you probably get this cliche every day, still … And good luck)

  • estelaalb

    Hugs.

  • Jacqueline

    I am with you! I have felt the exact same way – especially the part about not imagining yourself as a mom. I think our fear manifests as a projected possible reality, our way of trying to prepare ourselves for what ‘could’ happen. And no one TALKS about it. No one talks about how long every month seems and how it seems to make you feel bad about you womanhood. It’s a little uterine mystery going on down there and it’s so frustrating. Especially when you’ve taken the time to be responsible and do it all ‘right’. I feel for you and I’m sure it will happen when you least expect it (although that’s always an annoying response I hear as well). Good luck and thanks for sharing!

    • Greg

      There’s no guarantee it will happen unfortunately

      • Jacqueline

        Thanks Greg – but I think that’s an obvious statement.

        • Greg

          Then why tell her it will happen when she least expects it?

          • Bedside

            You’re a monster.

          • Greg

            How am I a monster?

          • Arabrabra

            Wow you are a disgusting pig. Why are you only trolling boards about ADOPTION??? WHAT A FREAK YOU ARE! I wish I could block and report you. Disgusting FREAK

          • Greg

            The only thing that’s disgusting is someone telling others to do something that they are too gutless to do.

  • Caro

    Your feelings are so real. I admire you for honoring them by writing this. You are a pillar of strength in that you examine all the thoughts that enter your brain- and through that work, you continue on.
    I actually think about not talking about things a lot- but what if it’s in your personality, core, etc. to TALK? To hear? To engage. I think it’s how we move forward. It’s risky- but I think it’s so fucking important. You want to talk about this- your body wants to talk about this, again, I applaud you for listening to your feelings. Talk about this, woman. We will rise to your level. We love you.

  • Natalie

    Oh wow that was really touching! Don’t feel ashamed for things out of your control (probably also not for those IN your control btw…) sometimes things take their time and I am sure you’re going to be a GREAT mum! As I am still in the “uff there we go once a month”-phase of my live I can hardly imagine how hard it must be to wait for that one positive test which is going to change your future forever. But you are such a strong woman, also for sharing this story with your all of us… and hopefully in a few month you will be abel to read this story again with a little new nudist colony memeber in your tummy and lots of other women in the same situation as you are now, will gain hope and feel little bit support and understanding from your open words!

    • Julie (Barenholtz) Gross

      Leandra – thanks so much for that post!i don’t know if you’re going to see this comment, but I’m going through it too and I feel for you. Lots of luck to you and your husband!

  • Leesa

    What an incredible post! It’s good that finally someone speaks about it, really! It’s a topic so many couples are dealing with and no one dares to mention it. And I totally get this feeling of shame and frustration. It’s hard when something so nice as making love becomes fear and frustration…

    Keep “trying”, I wish you all the best!
    xx
    http://www.thefashionplaybook.de

  • Raquel Andrade

    Leandra, thank you for sharring your history with us, and I really think that this text is the most honest I have read in years. When the time comes, you’re gonna be the coolest mom in the inteire world!! Lov ya, and thanks again

  • Tori

    Such a touching post. As a graduate student in her mid-twenties, all of my family members are insisting that my biological clock is ticking and I have to marry asap/sire a child. This article reminds me that there are two sides to every human difficulty and to never take your side for granted. Love everything you do Leandra. Stay strong!

  • Trying is crazy. Being pregnant is crazy. Being a parent is crazy. This is a theme. It’s all about good days and bad days as well. No black or white, no yes and no answers. It can be really frustrating if you’re the kind of person that likes to have answers in life. My experience with the specialists was that they told me I wasn’t ovulating at all and I got pregnant the next month. Keep trying. You have to tell yourself you’ll be fine either way!

    • Greg

      You got lucky. Not everyone ends up lucky.

      • Rosie

        Why are you trolling right now? This is an extremely sensitive topic for many women, and these women have been brave enough to share their stories with others. So please be respectful.

  • This was really moving, and I definitely don’t want to have kids right now. However, my brother and sister in law are trying and I can tell her anger and frustration when she announces “I’m not pregnant” (we have family breakfasts sometimes and that stuff gets announced). It’s disheartening to see, and definitely no one seems to talk about the process of getting pregnant.

    I don’t know much about “trying”, or those feelings you are having. But all I can say is that there is absolutely no reason why you should feel ashamed. Getting pregnant is a two person thing, and I don’t see why you should carry all the burden. Just keep doing what you’re doing and feel free to share in MR. Lots of really cool ladies here with really nice advice.

  • Eveline

    Dear Leandra. Reading this means so much to me. My situation is approximately the same as yours (we’ve been trying since june 2014) and it’s all very irritating. Why can’t my body just work like it’s supposed to, right? And then people living far less healty lifestyles are getting pregnant after zero time. And I’m happy for them, really I am, but it just difficult to stay positive and not to overthink it (’cause that’s what everybody says… but how the effing bleep does that even work?).

    One thing I have learned though, is that many couples experience issues. But feel the same shame. And don’t talk about it. Which is really rather sad. So kudos for you for putting this out there and making women all around feeling less like a failure.

    Just an FYI, At a certain point I hadn’t had my period for 3 months. Then I was diagnosed with something called PCO. Since then I’ve been seeing a accupuncturist and taking chinese herbs (how very SATC of me, I know) and they’ve kickstarted my cycle again. So here’s hoping.

    Cheers Leandra. And the best of luck! Eveline

  • Elise

    Very touching post, thank you for your honesty and sharing. Relatives and friends have been trying, and I can’t fathom the amount of pressure they, and you must deal with. You nailed what’s at heart here: everyone is trying, yet no one talks about it, because they feel ashamed. I admire you for speaking up and sharing, which I hope will help you. Take care of yourselves, you’ll be fine. xx

  • Chelsey

    Love this so much. Seriously.

  • You rock. I am sorry it has been such a struggle for you. What I’ve learned from being on the outside looking into my friends’ lives this past year who are dealing with the same thing is that there is ALWAYS something, and I have yet to see anyone face an easy road to having a child. I have heard dozens of times “no one ever mentions this! and apparently this is common! but it is still scary” referring to just about every stage of the process. I can’t imagine how frustrating and disappointing it must be. Posts like this not only help the woman who is “trying”, but also that woman’s friend who wants to be there for them even if they don’t fully want to discuss it yet. Thank you for using your internet home to talk about this. In 2045 if I find myself in a similar position, I will remember this. I have a feeling this kind of post will help all of us in the MR freaky family for many years to come. See? You’re already a great mom!! Thanks for always keeping it real over here… xoxoxoxoxoxo

  • Fernanda Vetromille

    Leandra! I already loved you, now I love you even more. Don’t be ashamed, we are always trying something. Just (try to) feel good about being trying something so beautiful and blessed. I am sure that when you get it you will be the most stylish and loving mother. Beijos do Brasil, Fernanda.

  • Stephanie

    Oh best of luck to you! I have sat in your chair (actually still sitting in your chair) and know the pain. I have cried as my sisters announced pregnancies, and secretly ducked into the bathroom at work to weep as coworkers announced. I have stopped watching TV series when accidental pregnancies were written into the story line (Mindy Project, here’s looking at you). I have had to block people from my facebook feed as they complained about their pregnancies. I have come so close to the family I want only to have it fall away multiple times. I have no advice, but know there are MANY like us. Many continue to fight with hormone shots or pursue adoption. Others have made the brave, brave choice to move forward and craft a life as an aunt/uncle/friend instead. Such a deeply personal decision and the right one is unique to each individual. I wish you all the best and I wish you peace.

  • Niki

    Leandra I am so proud of you I cant imagine the courage it takes to talk so openly about this but I am sure this amazing gesture of being humble and sincere will help lots of women going thru this same situation I am sure that you will be an amazing mom and before you know it you will be giving advice on what to wear when you are pregnant!!! I have you in my prayers.

  • DGM

    This is awesome. You just helped more women than you know for sharing this. Thank you!

  • Pam

    You must be a soul sister of mine.

    You eloquently summed up the last 10 months of my life. Our initial plan was for me to stop taking the pill and just see what happens which sounded like a great plan (because as you mention we’ve always been told getting pregnant is so easy so use birth control! Protection is key!) but this plan isn’t as easy as I thought. I am 32 years old and I sometimes wonder – can I even get pregnant? Am I too old? (which in the back of my mind I know is complete BS but sometimes I wonder if I missed some rare opportunity because I chose to put my career first before children). Month after month – ovulation test after ovulation test and tracking my cycle on a stupid app that I hate that I even need – my heart breaks a little every time I get my period.

    You are not alone.

    • Bibi

      You are not alone top,I live the same…and I am 32 as you…

      • juli

        35, and I had a baby on the first try when I was 27… I have been 3 years “trying” for the second…

        • Bibi

          Well, at least you have one and you are a mom… Maybe I will never be a mom, and this is killing me..,

  • Ayşe Betül Tekeli

    hugs Leandra, you’re really honest with yourself and a great person to follow

  • Mary

    I’m so stoked you want to be a mom, and a young mom. Thanks for changing millennial standards.

  • Maria B

    Leandra! This is so hard, and I’m sorry you’re going through it. I remember when we were trying as well, thinking the worst part was those two weeks or so in between ovulation and when you could actually find out whether you’re pregnant. The longest two weeks in the world, and happening every single month! That’s HARD.

    Sending love and prayers and encouragement your way. You can’t mess up your life; it will happen when it’s meant to.

  • mollie

    Hi! I am sophomore in college and even though this is something that is really far removed from me I commend you on how strong and brave your essay writes. Thank you for writing about something that has such a stigma around it and I know this will help many women struggling with the same issues. You are going to be a rad mom and I am wishing you and your husband all the best!!

  • Quinn Halman

    I can’t know at this point in my life exactly what you’re going through, but I know what it’s like for a doctor to say you’re going to have fertility struggles. That doesn’t cross my mind at 18 but I wonder if that’s why I convince myself I don’t want kids.
    And not to totally kiss your ass, but I do sense something maternal about you and in a way, I think of myself and other frequent readers, as your pseudo spawn

  • Brielle Saggese

    This is just another reason why MR is the most honest corner of the internet.

  • Mariana

    Leandra, you are going to be the most awesome mother. And if your first child is a girl I am going to be super jealous of her for having access to your closet (unless you are like my old sister that hid the key of her room lol)! Until that day keep faith, everything is going to work out. 🙂

  • Tara Jayne

    This is on my mind so often that I told my Barista the other day “I know you’re likely taking two birth control pills a day to make sure you don’t get pregnant, but now that I’m older my greatest worry is that I can’t, because now I’m in love, and I haven’t been the most responsible in my past and I’ve never had a ‘slip'”.

    She stared at me blankly and then said “yeah, I’m not at all ready to have kids”.

    I need to call my therapist.

    I wish you the absolute and very best possible outcome, whatever that may be, when you get there. For both of us. Let us know when you do, what you will find will be incredible, I know it, and I’m scared as fuck. <3

  • Lisaf

    Thanks for sharing. I had no problem getting pregnant but couldn’t stay pregnant. I had four losses in two years. I was very open about what was happening. Friends were such an important support. At the same time I had a superior at work who was younger and unmarried mark me down on an evaluation for not having an upbeat attitude, she was well aware of my struggles and hospital visits (they called it the spirit of the company). I was so shocked I started to cry. I think the more that is written about what people go through the more support, understanding and recognition women will have in general.

    On a positive note the fifth try (and the last one I think I had in me) was the success and I now have an amazing three year old. People used to ask if I was ready to “try” again. I was not excited to go through another 10 weeks of sickness, fear, potential devastation and physical trauma again. What I would tell people was I wasn’t ready to surrender my desire to be a mom yet. That was what got me through. Life will be what you make it no matter the outcome. Thanks again for being open and spreading understanding about a mentally, physically and emotionally turbulent time in many womens lives. Cyber hugs to you Leandra.

  • Natty

    this is beautiful. there are so many aspects of women’s lives that aren’t discussed. thank you for opening up and making it OK to be honest.

  • leyaedelstein

    this is just beautiful…thank you for – as always – sharing with us <3

  • WestSideMom

    It took me 15 months to get pregnant. And then I had the worst time being pregnant. I was sick with morning sickness and food aversions. I got edema. I got preeclampsia. I went on bedrest. I was induced. I had a wonderful healthy baby. And then I got postpartum depression.
    I doubted myself for ever wanting to be a mom. I was sure I was failing. I couldn’t believe that the baby wasn’t going to die as soon as I walked out of the room or took a nap. I was a mess.
    It took my family, my husband, a therapist and a postpartum doula to bring me back to myself. But it finally happened. I learned how to be a mom and still be me. As I got to know my infant son I felt guilty, because I knew I didn’t have the strength to go through all of that again. I felt guilty that he would grow up with no siblings.

    And then… I was pregnant. And it just happened. It was too easy. I felt like a pro. I had it all under control. I worked and did my thing and was pregnant.

    Until I wasn’t. Until that day in November when the OB said, “hmmm… that’s unusual.” Those words bashed inside my head while her internal ultrasound probe bashed around inside me, looking for my baby. or rather looking for its heartbeat. “I’m so sorry” was the only other thing I remember her saying. and then its a fog of sitting in her office and going to the hospital for a D&C, and going home and being numb. And again it took my family and husband and therapist to put me back together again.

    I really thought I could never go through that again. It was too hard and too scary. And WHAT IF?

    But year later, it all happened again. Same morning sickness, new food aversions, more edema, more preeclampsia, longer bedrest, another induction and a longer more exhausting labor. but this time, no PPD. Instead a colicky baby and no sleep for 6 months. That was 6 years ago. Both my son and daughter survived. I did not inadvertently kill them by taking a nap or leaving the room to take a shower. In fact they are awesome!

    We are all fighting our own fights, and when you open up and start sharing your struggle, you will find that there are SO MANY people who are on your team because they have lived it and were helped through it by the women and families that came through it before them.

    Good luck and stay strong.

  • Leonie

    This is the best article so far, and I have been reading manrepeller for five years. THANK YOU, I love your honesty, and your attitude. You’re amazing, and this is inspiring, and also calming. Open the conversation, use your voice. Thank you so much Leandra.

  • Jeanne Zamansky

    Well, hang in there ! And as far as seeing yourself as a mother goes, I can tell you something. I have 2 kids and I sometimes still have to pinch myself to believe I’ a mother. The thing is : I’m not a mother in general but only the mother of my kids so it all figured out by itself, day by day…

  • Dominica C

    there’s a lot of taboo going round. But hey, I’m done with taboo. Let’s just simply say how we feel, grief for a thousand years, get happy and melancholic at the same time when a befriended couple celebrates once again they ‘are pregnant’. Nothing wrong with having mixed feelings, we are human after all. Never forget.

    hugs x

  • Anna

    This really touched me, Leandra. I seem to be walking a very similar path to you, in more ways than one. Really admire your honesty and willingness to grapple with the real stuff. It’s far from cut and dried for some of us, both in terms of eventualities and attendant emotions. I got married a year ago and found out a month later that I have severe DOR, despite still being young. We started “trying,” failed, then did a (failed) round of IVF. That week, I got an amazing job out of nowhere, whose demands may ultimately preclude having children. Life is strange. I’m learning more and more to approach it with palms open, accepting what is and what will be. There are many paths to motherhood, and many conceptions of what it means to “mother.” Wishing you the best through it all.

  • Amy Vercher

    I completely understand where you are coming from, harboring the same shame for nearly a year. People say it’s common, but no one talks about it! Or, they talk about it with their happy ending, which isn’t as helpful as one would think. (Albeit, better than, “just relax and it will happen.) My husband and I started “trying” casually, but with every failed month, we became more regimented with the tracking, ovulation kits, and everything else. Then I just bought all the books to fuel some positive vibes – still nothing. So, I researched online, read the success stories and bought all the vitamins tagged to help fertility. (Royal Jelly is the most disgusting thing I have yet to consume. Jelly should be insulted.) I’m in the middle of this, right there in the middle of another 2 week waiting period, refusing to use any of the ridiculous abrevs that classify the pregnant community. Good luck to you and good luck to all of us!

  • Aydan

    Leandra, you are amazing! You are a strong woman and guess what children or no, trying or not, you are and will always be a woman!! We are all here for you and all are here behind you to push you back up on your feet!!! 🙂

  • Shauntae

    Love this!! Thank you for sharing–I feel you 100%. My husband and I have been trying for over 2 years. It’s mentally draining and exhausting, but I have found comfort in talking about it with others. I’m usually a super private person, but for some reason have no shame in telling people about our struggle–you get over your pride real quick when you know that you have zero control over this process. At the end of the day I trust my relationship and that I’m not ready to give up yet! You will be an amazing parent.

  • Laura De Valencia Kirk

    So many things about motherhood are not explained or talked about. When you have your child you will feel ashamed to talk about how it’s nothing like you expected it. you see those new moms posting those baby pics on facebook talking about how their life changed and how “blessed” they are and how all of a sudden they found an imposible to describe happiness. It doesn’t happen that way for everybody and you wonder what’s wrong with you. In reality , after you deliver there’s baby blues. There’s pain. There’s confusion. There’s fear. There’s guilt. And you feel so ashamed to talk about it. shame shame shame and more shame.

    • Laura De Valencia Kirk

      Lunch break is over. I can elaborate more on this idea later.

    • nygirltrappedinfl

      I’m so thankful FB wasn’t a thing when I was a young new mom…it’s just one more thing to make us feel horrible when we are already exhausted and just struggling to get by each day.

  • Bibi

    I am living the dame situation, and now I finally found someone who can understand me. You gave me strength,I really thankyou – especially for the part of your feeling when you hear someone else is pregnant, worst feeling ever

  • Kristen Portney

    Shame thrives in silence.
    I’m certain by you sharing your story that someone else will feel seen, heard, touched, and moved to share their own experience around pregnancy/parenthood/non-parenthood. I hope you and other folks get all the support and love you deserve!

  • Storm

    Ah this made me really kinda sad but glad cause I’m not alone. I’m not trying but at 26 got told I won’t be having any cause I can’t. It’s a tough situation cause I’m not sure if I want kids but in my opinion it’s Damn rude to tell me before I had the chance of even thinking about it. Or maybe it’s better. Who knows maybe like Carrie said you can miss your fate?? Anyway I look forward to your next post of telling us how you became a mum x lots of love

  • Abigail

    this is so touching and honest and even as somebody who feels like this stage in my life is super far away, still so relatable.. thanks for sharing

  • laura

    Hi Leandra, I am so thankful when public figures come out and describe their experiences. Thank you for your bravery and honesty. My husband and I tried for 2 years and I finally got knocked up this past September during our second round of IVF. I feel like if I can get pregnant, anyone can.

    We had some very dark and sad moments in those 2 years and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I started seeing a therapist, quit my PR job, and started my own company all within those 2 years… I grew closer to my husband and we took a trip to Europe and moved to Brooklyn.

    Meanwhile, many close friends of mine had — not just one — but TWO children within those 2 years while we were “trying”.

    What is ironic, is that while my 2 years sound so exciting, I would trade all of that in if it meant getting pregnant right away.

    Now that I am pregnant, it is a bit scary and I wonder/worry everyday if the baby is still growing in there. It doesn’t seem to get any “easier”!!! I am happy and fulfilled now, but have a different set of worries. My advice is to relax, enjoy the fertility doctor visits and positive updates along the way, bond with your husband, and know that once you get pregnant — which you will — life will change yet again. But this time, for the best.

    • Greg

      This is dangerous giving people a false sense of hope. Not everyone gets lucky like you did. Fertility is not an exact science what works for one couple doesn’t necessarily work for others. You got your happy ending there are many who don’t.

  • l:ly

    I am so proud of you Leandra and this made me tear up at work. You are so good and so strong and I am so proud of you for trying even though everything is so hard. You are going to do this! You are going to get through this! We all know you can. Sending you so much love and light.

  • Marianne Zouary

    Bam right in the feelings! I was browsing happily for my fashion and futility fix and then I land on this. And god how good it is, how true, how moving. How hilarious also, because you do that : making me laugh when it’s no laughing matter. Thank you from the bottom of my heart (and stubborn/rebellious ovaries) !

  • Carla

    Beautiful, thank you !
    Fingers crossed

  • Fiftytwothursdays

    Right there with you lady! Really love that you put this out there when so many of us feel this way, at least I know I do. I hate hearing people’s judgy remarks about how quickly they got pregnant after they went off the pill, insinuating that there is something wrong with me. But I refuse to feel shame about it and believe it will happen with the time is right. Sending positive vibes your way!

    xo
    Sarah

    http://www.fiftytwothursdays.us

  • Dr Lobel in UWS is amazing.. give her a try! I know what youre going through.. Ive had 5 miscarriages and counting.. it’s very frustrating.

    • Leandra Medine

      she’s my doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • charlotte stern

      She is NOT amazing by any means. There are way better RE’s in NYC. Lobel is run of the mill and nothing special.

  • Vandya Sarma

    This is so personal but it’s also amazing that you are sharing this! I haven’t been through this personally but I can’t imagine what it feels like to want a baby and face hurdles which you would never have even imagined existed… I hope you achieve your goals! I love you! <3!

  • Megan Woods

    Wow! Though I can see you wrote this from a place of doubt, what came across to me is how you are in a wonderfully exciting time of possibility! You just rekindled all those bubbly emotional feelings I had before having my first child, and again with my second.

    Whether or not this ‘trying’ leads to a baby in the end- please just enjoy this longing and excitement for life! It really is part of the journey of parenthood and an important transition in your life! Celebrate this and know that whatever happens will be just fine.

    I am selfishly eager for you to become a mom so I can watch you evolve. As a mom it can be a little depressing to see only super stylish women with no kids…. But either way I will follow your journey as your passion will inevitably lead somewhere worth tagging along.

  • julie

    darling girl, just know that the rest of us are also hoping for a small weird mini-Leandra right along with you. An embarrassment of riches. Breathe.
    You’re very thin, gain a few pounds–there’s estrogen in them there female curves.
    Your life seems really stressful, all those New York and Paris fashion shows. Can you ease back a little?
    It’ll happen. Or not. If not, adopt a ready-made small person to love.
    Try to stop yourself before you go too far down the ‘I’ve failed’ path. You haven’t. These things just sometimes need a little help. It’s going to be ok.

    • Dawn

      People must clamor to be vulnerable with you and get your guidance.

      • julie

        Thank you for your kind words- not sure about the clamoring for guidance, but again, very good of you to say so. all the best, Julie

  • erin

    This is beautiful Leandra. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. I am glad you know at least on an intellectual level, even if you can’t totally feel it, that your struggle does not make you a failure, or less of a woman. Thank you for your openness and for helping to make us all feel safer to talk about things. I so hope that you and Abie find your breakthrough soon <3

  • MMR

    This really touched me, Leandra… It was just so… real. No one talks about the reality of sleeping next to someone you feel you don’t know because that would make us crazy, we married him without knowing him and that’s a scary thought… but a true one. Thank you for sharing your experiences, so inspiring and refreshing to read.

  • Vanessa

    Be strong! Everything will be ok 🙂

  • Rachel Coleman

    Beautifully written. x

  • Aubrey Green

    Thanks for sharing. Sending hugs and love. – you should read the blog, http://www.ablogaboutlove.com

  • Pati Galvan

    I’m in the same boat and I all can do is think, if it’s meant to happen it will happen.

  • Michelle

    Leandra thank you for being open about something so many of us are also going through. I hope you wrap yourself in the knowledge that you are not alone in this experience and that all of us are sending you love on the days when the shame is overwhelming. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you will get through this. Sending love and luck downtown to you from the UES

  • tonisai

    I am right here with you!”unexplained infertility” I just turned 35 and going thru the same exact thing and emotions. I thought timing for us was everything we needed. fall in love, get married, wait a few months and start “trying.” We have been trying the same amount of time too.done all the tests and just started IUI. trying to remain positive but, not too positive to a point when I get my period I devastated again for the next 2 weeks. everyone keeps telling me to “relax”… that word was banned recently from my husbands dictionary and my Mom is next! I can go on and on. even spoke to a psychic! best wishes for all of us out there!

  • xtyb

    Thank you for such a touching story. I am so sorry that you are feeling it but happy that you realize there is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I wish I knew what else to tell you other than I wish I could give you a hug (even though that would be weird since we don’t know each other) and also for what it’s worth, I can TOTALLY imagine you being a mom. I will keep that thought burning for you sister.

  • Hannah Cole

    That was incredible.
    I’m going to bookmark this with a massive note to read when I get to that point in life. Realness always wins.

  • Greer Clarke

    This was really beautiful. I’m still taking every precaution on the face of the earth against insemination, but this made my heart break at something I could never have yet known without you articulating it so perfectly. And that is what only the best writing can, and should, do.

  • Johanna

    No shaming allowed….. It’s thrilling that you are trying! Try not to worry-18 months isn’t that long- my mother in law waited 4 years and her sister 8. And that was before all the medical miracles available now. As a way-past-fertile person, my suggestion would be to work less, relax more and minimize stress. Along with any medical interventions, this often does the trick.

  • Gillian

    Thank you for sharing this with us all and for opening up the discussion. You had me in tears, Leandra! I love how you’re all developing and building the MR community, thank you!

  • Caro

    Appreciated this so much!! Thanks for writing it. You’ll be such a good mom.

  • Louise Dart

    I’ve been reading Man Repeller for quite a while now, but have never commented on a post. This was really touching, and honest, and brave, and even though I’m in such a different part of my life, I can completely relate. Wishing you lots of sex-sess (hah!) and happiness, regardless of the outcome X

  • Katharina

    thank you.

  • i’m attached to this story for the honesty and the submission to honesty. i love this so so much. i just recently had a conversation with a friend about the ability to say “i’m not okay” and how i thought that be more cathartic than it was and ultimately being at a loss as to whether to smile through the sh*t or expose. somehow my mangled explanation made sense through reading this piece. sending you all the positive vibes and energy available.

  • Margaret Boykin

    This is incredible

  • Elizabeth Savetsky

    WOW. You have so much courage for sharing this part of your journey. You are helping so many people who feel the same way. I was so private with my own fertility struggles and it was the darkest, most shameful place. As I am slowly opening up to people, I find out that I really wasn’t alone–so many people shared the same issues. I wish I could’ve read something like this from someone like you 4 years ago. I’m sending you all of my love. You WILL BE an AMAZING mom. There is no doubt. Thank you for this. You are a true hero.

  • Dawn

    I can’t believe your honesty–what a brave response to your shame. In doing so I feel you’re normalizing the hidden “secret.” It’s so unhealthy the way we equate fertility=woman, cancer=bad choices, mental illness=weak. You have every right to feel frustrated, and as my therapist tells me, “You have to be gentle with you.” ? I know you know to try to stay in the present, and don’t look too far down the road. I had a tough time getting pregnant. When we started looking at adoption, then yep, here it comes….boom…pregnant…twins…they’re now 19. Hang in there and I’m sorry that you’re struggling with this.

  • Luce

    I’m sat reading this whilst listening to the first episode of your podcast which features you. Thank you for sharing this because not enough people speak about it and they should. So many women experience it, feel the need to speak to someone like minded yet feels ashamed about it. So thank you on behalf of many women for opening a discussion that so many people are scared to do so.

  • kellymcd

    This was so well written! I have to point that out, first and foremost. I’ve always been a fan of your writing on the site, but this one really knocked it out of the park. Secondly, while I cannot relate to the struggles of trying to become pregnant (not close to having babies just yet), what really struck me was the part about only being in the opening credits of your own movie. THIS. So much. Every time I feel like I’m not far enough ahead or doing everything at a pace I believe is realistic (newsflash: I’m really wrong about this all of the times), I have to remember this. It’s too easy to succumb to self-doubt when comparing yourself to others. Thank you for summing up that feeling so well.

    And also, sending good vibes your way. The world needs a mini Man Repeller 😉

  • Christina Johnson

    Such truth. Thank you for being brave enough to write about what so many of us are going through.

  • BK

    LEANDRA. Don’t feel compelled into silence! Silence is the aural equivalent of darkness, as in, it’s terrifying and full of bigots, disappointment, witches, and serial killers. This website is, in your own words, meant to be a safe space and microphone for women, and you’re a part of that target demographic, you big bonehead.
    I’m sorry you’ve been going through all of this, it must be so tough for you do go through all of the ‘trying’ and I agree, it’s a strange term. Mostly because of the binary of implied results at the end of the ‘trying’ period – success or failure, which is reductive language to use when referring to matters of conception because not conceiving a child does not mean you’ve ‘failed’ in any way (you haven’t, remember that whenever your shame thoughts try to creep in). Likewise when you do conceive a child, you don’t immediately get awarded a Nobel Peace Prize because it’s not some groundbreaking, heroic action – it’s just the perpetuation of the remarkable success rate of the reproduction of the human race on an individual level. You’ll get there, eventually, surely, and perpetuate humanity just a bit further with a little Leandra-Abie collaboration (I wanted to amalgamate a mixture of both your names, ‘Labie’, but that is dangerously close to the word ‘labia’ and I didn’t want to inflict that upon even a hypothetical child).

    Also, I cried a little on the bus when I read this story. You write like a hot potato.

  • meme

    Leandra, you are so brave for sharing this which I am sure will help so many people. And so eloquent yet honest, as always. Many women I love dearly have gone through this process and the only thing I can say is that what you are feeling is normal and that they eventually overcame it. Lots of love and positive thoughts (I know that’s very hippie of me but hey, whatever works).

    • meme

      Oh and my sister was about 8 and a half months pregnant and she still said that she didn’t “feel like a mum”, so I think that’s just because the “mum” idea is one big concept to incorporate.

  • sev2108

    Thank you for sharing. Your voice validates and supports so many other mothers-to-be. Please don’t feel shame. It’s tragic that we spend so long trying not to get pregnant and then struggle to do just that. We’re all rooting for a baby Man Repeller!

  • Jen

    I will always remember that SATC episode when Charlotte is having a hard time conceiving and she talks about how mad she is that she wasted so much time worrying if she was pregnant when she was younger. Like if she knew it was going to be so hard, she could have relaxed a little more. That was so me. I was always convinced I was pregnant when I wasn’t and even though I was so young when I saw it, I can still remember feeling affected by it because it never dawns on you that it’s going to be hard to get pregnant. It’s literally what we have avoided for so long! And, isn’t it hard enough to even make the conscious decision to go off birth control and commit to changing your life forever by having a baby? I mean that’s the hard part for me. But you’re already doing so much! You’ve taken the leap and you’re on your way. Just remember that it’s hard for a lot of people, and some people have it even harder (which is insane to imagine). I always try to tell myself that when someone announces their pregnant, I never know what they’ve been through to get there. I think that’s why everything about getting pregnant is such a secret. Because there is so much emotion and worry involved. It can be hard to talk about it and hard not to talk about it, but just know you are not alone and most people do try! Just secretly.

  • Lucero

    Leandra, you’re simply the best. However, and whenever, it is meant to happen, you and Abie will be fantastic parents. In the meantime, don’t you dare suffer in silence. <3

  • Natalie

    Leandra (and everyone else struggling with infertility) – I’m sorry. It sucks and it isn’t fair.

  • 1) totally weird but you were in my dream last night. You too, Amelia.
    2) Thank you for sharing such a private struggle
    3) Look at the amount of comments below – you’ve achieved your goal with this post. People are sharing. Tears are shedding. Emotions are releasing. These are all brilliant things.

    Still in my first year of marriage (coming up to our anniversary next month) and have desperately wanted to start trying for a baby, but had to sort out a few health scares first. Today was my last doctors appointment that completed everything I needed to do to get rid of the hindrance that was forcing us to wait before we could even think about giving it a go. Now we can start trying and I am so scared that after a year of my body being a total bitch about it, I still won’t be able to conceive, despite my clear bill of health.

    I am sick of people asking when we’re going to have a baby or saying “hurry up and get pregnant.” We’ve been forced to wait. And soon we’ll be trying. And then, who knows.

    Last night I prayed in the mikvah that I, and everyone else who is struggling, would fall pregnant this month. Can’t hurt to ask, right? I hope that prayer reaches you. B’sha Tova x.

  • TN

    This post came up on my Facebook feed, and I immediately thought back to our brief conversation about life and babies at the Simone Rocha show in London. A beautifully written piece and I applaud your decision to share such a personal story here. Good luck with everything and keep “trying.”

  • G1

    I’m really glad you wrote this Leandra – it’s a really important article. It was also really moving – thank you for being so open.

  • Anna

    it takes some people five minutes and other people years to get pregnant. and it doesn’t mean anything. it doesn’t mean anything about you. it doesn’t mean anything about him. it doesn’t mean anything about you and him. it just plain doesn’t mean anything.

    it also doesn’t mean anything that you have emotions about it. that’s a human being thing. i get those too. i’m having one now! i feel happy that you’re planning to reproduce! more little weirdos!!

  • This is amazing. Thank you for writing, Leandra!

  • Clotilde

    I come here once in a while but I never post. Your problem is very very common, it’s just that most people are too ashamed to talk about it. Ashamed because of these damned kings from the old ages who simply took another wife when the previous one was “not able” to give them a son. We women have this bad tendency to feel responsible for everything that goes wrong, even if it’s simple biology matter. This is WRONG behavior.
    So Leandra, don’t be ashamed, you are a feminist, don’t forget that, it’s another opportunity to show it, HA !
    It took me 5 years (don’t mean to discourage you…) to be pregnant from my son, but I never experienced any shame or guilt or whatever, maybe because I work in biological science, I just considered that as a technical problem to be solved. I was however a bit younger than you so I did not see any doctor before the end of these 5 years, feeling no real urge, but once we had a few appointments with them, together with my husband, baaaaaang, I got pregnant “naturally”. Funny in a way. So it’s good you see a doctor.

    The only annoying part of all this time was people who were constantly preaching me that I should hurry to be pregnant, or that my one and only child would grow up sad, spoiled or whatever, for not having a brother or sister (because it worked once, but not twice…). Incredible how people can be rude and stupid sometimes. I must say I often answered very…abruptly! My “baby” is 16 now and he is just fine, beautiful, a very responsible young person, funny and certainly not selfish.
    You will succeed eventually, I have no doubt about that !

  • Casey Mclerran

    You know what no one told me… That after almost a decade on the pill it takes a long time for the forced cycle to end and the real cycle to start. What was good advice… Stop worrying about the baby and enjoy the wild magical sexual moments. When you have a cycle that feels like the first time your normal cycle has begun again… Your welcome.

  • Casey Mclerran

    The fear about being a good parent never ends… Ask your mom about that one.

  • NS

    Not sure if this will help, but the best advice I was given when we started thinking of starting a family was to think of it very practically and rationally. Keep a plan B in mind. It could be – no children, adoption or other medical possibilities. Thankfully, everything went well and naturally for me and so, we never did have to explore plan Bs, but me and my husband did have a very rational conversation about this and also agreed on what our plan B would be in case we ran into troubles. As for the part about being a mum – as many have already said, every woman is a wonderful mum in their own way and none of us really get it – when looked at from someone else’s perspective. I am a fairly new mum still and I question a lot if not all of the decisions I take for my daughter and I dont think that ever ends. But, what I have made peace with is the fact that as long as me and my husband are happy with the way our daughter is turning out, we should be fine…. so, hang in there, it will happen and you will make a good mum no matter what…

  • Charlotte Dallin

    I’ve read this twice now – what a touching and honest piece of writing about such an important issue. I think a lot of people feel jinxed into facing their hardships in silence (proof enough that you should always be kind to others, as you never know what battles they are fighting) and I hope you felt some sense of relief as you clicked ‘post’ to share this story. I’m convinced your life movie is going to pan out just the way it should – look at all these comments – we’re all rooting for you.

  • muiringue

    This struggle is so lonely for so many. Thank you for shining
    your light through the chink of this frustrating, isolating, heartbreaking
    experience.

    It is sad.

    It is infuriating.

    It is unfair.

    You are so brave. I hope that the outpouring of support here gives you strength.

  • Gintė

    No shame! Keep on trying, and stay strong. Sending lots of love and good vibes. And thank you for talking about it. x

  • SJ

    100%…I get it, and sadly too few people really “talk about it”. For instance, how come no one tells you that when you are ready to have a baby, it might take years? That might have been useful info I think;) Also, I personally don’t find dr’s that informative in the process and the time commitment for a woman with more of a demanding job…yikes. Lastly, because I feel uninformed I google, the result – acronyms I don’t understand. TTC, FET, etc, I have to google what I’m googling?

    I’m lucky in that I haven’t had the emotional roller coaster effect of the IVF drugs, but I’m getting nervous because suddenly after round 1, I’m feeling like the dr’s treated like some trial run and it is $$$$. To me it was the real deal…you (doc) are the expert, tell me everything I can eat, drink, do, take Eric for best odds. Don’t make me google all night and draw conclusions online.

    Like anything, it’s a process, and one that heightens sensitivity of others joy of pregnancy and motherhood. But the best thing you can do is talk to people going through it, people who have succeeded with ivf and to try (it’s hard) not to stress.

    I wish you well, and hope this journey ends with beautiful babes! xo

  • Elizabeth Pullan

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this! Thank you for making space on this site for such an important topic. As a pregnant-repeller I look to your site, and more recently I have felt a lack of something- and this is it, the conversation that we’re having among friends. You’ll get there don’t worry, time is on your side… the only thing to worry about it maternity fashion because.. yuck.

  • juli

    I hear you sister! Know excatly what you´re talking about… Thanks for sharing

  • Luxe Lis

    Not trying to convince you of anything…these are my 2 cents: Lay off the birth control pill and give yourself a year or 2 off of the pill to start to really “try”. Those chemicals need to be flushed out of your body. In the mean time; try gettng your body healthy ( vitamins/rest), try babysitting, volunteer at a daycare with babies,toddlers and kids to climatize your brain/body to parenthood, learn about how to raise a child ( Montessori, Waldorf, Forest Kindergarten…Etc.), scope dozens of playgrounds for the future, enjoy getting to know your partner….when the baby arrives your time/energy level will die down and there will be no more time for the two of you alone for the next 7 years or more( unless you have lots of help…it takes a village to raise a child), start saving money…kids are expensive, but wonderful treasures. SLEEP…you don’t know what sleep deprivation is until you have a kid….you won’t be sleeping until they get out of the house ( 18 years from now). Just try to be realistic, strong, patient and openminded with yourself/partner/and child…Best of luck and remember don’t give your child some ‘weird’ celebrity name…. 😉

  • Ristina

    Leandra, thanks for sharing this. I’ve been trying for the past 15months and I’m always surrounded with babies and pregnant moms. This week has been the hardest so far with yet another pregnancy news. I’m glad you shared this and yeah, there’s no shame in trying.

  • Celeste

    This was super beautiful, thanks so much for sharing <3

  • Butterlings

    Once again saying what needs to be said. Thanks Leandra for being braver than most and an example to all. <3

  • Sarah P.

    Thank you for writing this article. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s very lonely when you are struggling with having a kid and you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about it. Thank you for sharing! It truly made me feel a lot better about my own struggles with conceiving a child.

  • Mjx

    Leandra, you’ll be a great mother for your kids: you’re a sane, decent human being, and since the kids will, in fact be the offspring of you and your husband, you’ll ‘get’ each other, you’ll sympathise.

    Also, all your worries will be flung out the window by overwhelming physical exhaustion, at some point between the end of your pregnancy and the delivery. By the time the kid is sort-of sleeping through the night and you begin to recover form the exhaustion, you’ll have been doing this for a while, and [most of] your doubts about being a good mom will have been dispersed for good.

    Most (all?) of the women I know had their first child at several years older than you are now. Some tried for a while, others became pregnant with no effort at all, but they’d reached a point where they felt able to manage the pressures and demands in their lives, their stress was manageable; not gone, they just accepted the possibility of dropping a ball or two as not being the end of the world.

    You do not have to manage everything perfectly.

    Take it easy on yourself, let yourself accept that it may be a bit longer before the demands in your life don’t stress the hell out of you, and you feel in control. When you feel stressed, your body responds as though it’s under attack. That’s completely normal, but not particularly conducive to conceiving a baby. It sure as hell doesn’t mean you’re defective or a failure, or that this will go on forever.

    Give yourself time and care, and do not let anyone (yourself included) judge you, with regard to the time it takes for you to get pregnant.

  • mollie blackwood

    You’ve already inspired me in many ways. You’ll be the most fun/bad ass mom and inspire me again. I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing.

  • We are the same age, and this meant everything to me today.

  • Every time I turn around, there is another facet to you that blows my mind. You’re too strong to ever need to feel shame. Keep your chin up and best of luck!

  • Amy

    Amen. I never thought that every month for the past two years I would go through yet another cycle of the five stages of grief in an infertile (and less funny) version of Groundhog Day. I keep thinking that one month the stars will align (read: the drugs, countless doctor visits, and crying jags will pay off) and deliver that thing that we are not quite sure we want, but think we want, but can’t tell we want until we have it.

    You’re not alone. And your sharing this, (to be honest, in a place I least expected to read it, but whole heartedly appreciate and embrace) has been therapeutic to me. Thanks for sharing what must be painful and for reminding me and countless women that we are not alone and it is not shameful.

  • Marta Millere

    I’m sending you a big big virtual hug, Leandra. You’ll be an amazing & stylish mom!!!

  • Anna Jane Parrill

    This was really, really, really well-written and amazing to read. I’m not trying to have a kid but i feel you on the shame thing in any aspect of failure. Thank you for baring a piece of you.

  • Everyone has said everything already, so I will just say LOVE YA enough though I don’t technically know ya, and you’re so young and there’s so much time, and what will be will be, which is a disgusting thing to say to someone who (maybe) knows what they want and is aiming for it with all their might, but I really believe that. It’s so important to nurture and love yourself, at all times and not just in this sort of sitch, and also so special to nurture others – I think there’s a cycle in there somewhere which will return to you when the time is right. My glory that sounds incredibly and unintentionally new agey, OK yes, sozzles for that. Sending happy thoughts, as always xxxxxx

  • Leandra, while I know nothing about experiencing infertility first-hand, I am inadvertently a product of infertility as an adopted child. My parents struggled for many years before branding this Colombian bean and FedEx-ing me over with a Christmas bow.

    I jest; they came to pick me up. But they did place me under a tree…

    Any who—I apparently bring them joy even though I am not a product of their loins. Besides all this, my mom unexpectedly became pregnant three years after giving up on ‘trying’ and had no idea until about 6 months in. She thought she was just getting fat from stress eating, but boy oh BOY was she in for a surprise.

    Thank you for sharing, as always. I hope all these of these comments are evidence enough of *our* support!

    • Leandra Medine

      If I could secure my very own Mia LArdiere, that would be aWeSoMe. what lucky parents! #roomtour

  • Dani Heifetz

    Leandra, you are going to be an awesome mom. I’m a teenager and I turn to Man Repeller every day and read your amazing, honest, and empowering advice. You know exactly what to say in any situation 🙂

  • Susy

    Try to visualize it.. Daydream about it.

  • Carlotta

    Leandra, you’re so hard on yourself.
    Why are you so hard on yourself, with everything?
    Let yourself be happy!
    You must try that first, you owe it to yourself.

    Cxo

  • Greg

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. Infertility sucks. What you are feeling is normal. That doesn’t make it any easier.

    I’m unable to have kids due to a condition I was born with. It’s been life altering for my wife and I. It’s been a process with peaks and deep valleys.

    The advice I would give you is be your own advocate, go easy on yourself and recognize that infertility is not an exact science. People will tell you stories of worked for them or someone they know. The reality is every couple is different because our bodies are different. It’s something you have no control over. You may end up a parent you may not. Either way you can make it through this.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

  • Kelly Blanco

    Many women mirror on what you have brilliantly put down here. I have a girl and still after giving up trying I constantly felt guilty for being jealous of people having 2 kids. For so long it was just so weird and sad because I am really thankful for having one. Often when I saw a pair of kids, I couldn’t help but just sink into my thickest emotions of self-pity and remorse and hate. Have you ever heard of Bach Flowers Therapy? This could help you to deal with the emotional burden that comes with trying unsuccessfully for too long. I am not saying this treats fertility issues though. On my experience the Flowers can really help people to balance their emotions so it is easier for them to find the best own resources to create the best environment for whatever you are looking for. It helped me to dilute the constant feeling of failure for not being able to have another baby. There is a medical part to look up but I believe we forget to care about our emotional landscape as much. Take care

  • Emily

    Thank you for sharing this Leandra.
    I am six months away from my wedding and have certainly felt the wave of anxiety and doubt, and then, shame for feeling doubtful because “we are in the best stage of our life, we should be so happy and perfect!”
    I applaud you for sharing such an intimate part of your life and helping people to talk about shame and what effects it can have on someone’s life.

  • Jordana

    My husband and I have been trying for six years now. Several failed hormone treatments and two failed IVFs and here we are … The most important thing to remember in this struggle is communication. There are so many of us women and men (lets not forget them) going through the same thing and yet we often feel so alone. There is no shame at all. It’s our journey. Ours is longer and tougher one but imagine the joy when we finally get to hold our little loved ones in our arms. Good luck Leandra. And yes you will be a mother one day.

  • When I was in preschool they asked us all to draw what we wanted to be
    when we grew up. I don’t personally remember much before third grade but my
    mom still has the picture so I know this to be true: I drew myself
    SURROUNDED by babies. Of course my teachers were flattered said
    “Oh, how sweet! You want to be a teacher like us!” To which I replied
    “Uhm.. no? I want to be a MOM.”
    I’m in my early twenties now and
    this is still true; I’m a bit more metropolitan and feministy these days so I no longer look at it as a career goal
    but it continues to be my dearest ambition. And as you say, now that I’m
    older I realize that babies do not, in fact, come from boys glaring at
    you or dancing too closely or sneezing within 30ft but it’s so true that
    no one has ever mentioned I might not get pregnant right away.
    Every
    decision I’ve made concerning my sexual health has carried great weight for
    me because I’ve always been conscious that each choice could be the
    difference between having or not having a baby some day. I assume “normal” 24
    year-olds probably stay up late at night worrying about their job or what will happen to Liv when Fitz inevitably finds out what she and Mellie have done (yes, I do have SOME normal concerns) but when I’m in my can’t-sleep-thought-spiral I face fears that I may never have the
    experience of carrying and delivering a healthy, happy baby. What if they
    find out the Nuva Ring makes you sterile? What if a solid decade of
    birth control totally shuts down my baby maker? What if it’s not me but
    my boyfriend, who I love dearly and can’t wait to make a daddy out of,
    is the one who has trouble? What if the hippies are right and GMO’s
    really do turn your ovaries into useless rocks?
    In the grand scheme of my
    life plan I’m quite some time away from “trying” but it means so much
    that you are paving the way for discussions like this. Hopefully, by the
    time I get to that stage of my life I’ll be able to express my fears and
    feelings without that shame you so bravely brought to light.
    You’ve always written about things that matter to me (yes, even ugly pants and especially that very helpful “Should You Go Home?” chart) but this post really hit home. I’m sure you’ll make an amazing mom and I wish you the best of luck in trying. 🙂

  • NicoleED

    Trying. It is a word that, when dealing with infertility, encompasses so very much. Trying to get pregnant. Trying to stay hopeful. Trying not to cry at work. Trying to not let the sadness take over your life or relationship. Trying to not snap at people when they make insensitive comments. Trying to not over analyze every little symptom your body is giving you. Trying to hold it together when yet another friend or family member announces pregnancy. Trying to stop yourself from googling ever. little. thing. Trying to remember to breath when the pain from realizing you are not pregnant this month hits you like a sledgehammer. Trying to feel happy. Trying not to feel like a science experiment. TRYING TRYING TRYING. it is all so very hard. Trying is so very very hard.

    • Bibi

      This is so true. My mother just told me my brother will be father of a little girl, and I wanted to die. How will I be able to stand with this inside my family? It really sucks. I am with you and wish you all the best.

      • NicoleED

        same to you- and remember, it is ok to feel so so sad.

  • Celina Buss

    This is a perfect piece

  • Orlanda

    This was beautiful.

  • Thanks for sharing!

  • Federica

    Thank you Leandra, beautifully touching xx

  • Meena

    This is a beautiful post and it resonates with so many women who have had had struggles either trying to get pregnant or staying pregnant. I have one son, it was a very difficult pregnancy, had a miscarriage in 2012 and just a few weeks ago a chemical pregnancy. I do have some suggestions for you. Try the https://herblore.com/products/pre-conception-tea -This has really good reviews and I have started drinking this as well. I recently bought “It Starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett. This book has some valuable tips. I have also started to see an acupuncturist that specializes in fertility issues. Of course , consult with your OB/GYN .I hope this helps. Sending you love !

  • Katie

    I’m not trying to get pregnant, but I learned a couple years ago that it will be hard, if not impossible, for me to conceive. For some reason I have absolutely no problem discussing this with people. I tell anyone who cares to listen about my bum ovaries. Their reaction usually begins with a look of sadness/confusion (because why am I sharing such *personal* info), but once they see how matter of fact I am about it, they loosen up and all the awkwardness disappears. Don’t be ashamed, it’s not your fault and people aren’t judging you nearly as hard as you’re judging yourself. Keep sharing your story!

  • Nura Yunus

    Thank you Leandra for sharing your highs and lows with us, its how humanity connects and I appreciate your openness. Please dont ever feel shame! We are taught as women, that giving birth is one of those uniquely female experiences and as great as it is, too often do we put a value on that. In my culture, its very important for a woman to have children and we are valued based on how much we adhere to this ideal of feminitiy. its wrong and lessens the value we have as individuals for the myriad of other characteristics we own. You are more than someone who can give birth. You are a strong and intelligent individual who can still be a mother despite not having given birth. You are more than your maternal womb. Keep trying, good luck on your journey and dont forget that there is no shame in failing to get pregnant one way.

  • Tamar Yaniv Klorman

    We feel shame because there is a whole culture of shame around infertility. After being through every part of the ringer for years, I had enough of being quiet about it too: http://the5percent.club/on-fertility-or-the-lack-thereof/

  • Jane Strachan

    Thanks for sharing Leandra. It is a big scary unknown. Hugs for you and your lovely husband x

  • So vulnerable and beautiful. So many woman go through this, so thank you for sharing

    P.S have you heard of Alisa Vitti at Flo Living?

  • Lady Grinning Soul

    Dear Leandra,
    I’ve been there. 28 months trying, crying every single month when I got my period. Two years of unbelievable pain, of frustration, just trying to imagine the possibility of that never happening to me.
    I remember going to my doctor one day and her saying that we should consider some kind of artificial insemination and myself crying for a whole night. I remember avoiding children’s birthday parties and acting exactly as you did whenever someone told me they were pregnant.
    Well, it happened. On the first try, at my OBGYN’s office, we got pregnant. And a little over one year later, I got pregnant again, totally unexpected, whilst not even considering having another baby in the next two years (maybe because somehow I was scarred from the first time and didn’t want to go through all that agony again, so I didn’t care about getting pregnant again).
    I chose not to tell anyone because somehow it felt really personal and I didn’t want more pressure. Sometimes I look back and think that it would have been nice to have my friends and family going down that road by my side, but at the same time, the fact that only my husband and I knew what we were going through brought us a lot closer. It was my choice. But I wanted to share my story with you. I felt like I should.
    I just wanted to give you a big warm hug, and tell you that it happens a lot more often than we imagine, as my doctor said: most of her patients today get pregnant with help from medicine.
    Your baby will come, and it will be amazing. I can’t wait.
    Love,

  • Marion A.

    Thank you for the honesty!! Especially about the anxiety you felt before getting married and your experience of “trying”. Sometimes it seems as though people just go through the life stages blindly because we are “supposed to”. Supposed to get married, get the house, and have the kids but it’s always been sort of a hard pill for me to swallow. Thanks again Leandra for the transparency it was refreshing!

  • Margot

    I feel same as you. We have been trying since 11 months. In a meanwhile I had to have operation done because of polips. Then my doctor told me it would be allright. You would be pregnant soon. After six months still red liquid disappointment. Sometimes I want to just crying and doing nothing. I feel worse than other women, I am afraid I won’t touch this wonderful feeling of being pregnant and having a baby. When I hear someone’else is pregnant my tension is going up. No one from our friends who have babies suppose we have a problem so when we meet with them they talk about children, pregnancy, delivering a baby etc. My heart cries. What s more I regret I spend the best time of my life for worries about having a baby. Even sex stopped to be a pleasure.

  • Sweet lovely lady, I am so sorry that you’re dealing with frustrations and anxiety and sadness around becoming pregnant, but when you DO (and you will, damn it!), you may be totally incredulous that THAT has actually happened, let alone the idea that you’ll be a mom. I’m lying here with my 9-day-old baby suckling at my breast and my brain still hasn’t caught up with the fact that I was even pregnant. I am STILL mind-blown that she was INSIDE me and is now OUT(?!?!?)…and ours…forever. I think that I had a hard time connecting that I was pregnant because at 29, I still feel quite young. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was blacking out and dancing on tables in college (and…after college…). I still called my mom mommy and my brain and body were trying to convince me that it was MY TURN??? Insane. In any case, who knows when it will set in–maybe years down the road–but when it happens for you, I wish you a happy, healthy, comfortable and incredible pregnancy. And hey–consider the home birth why don’tcha? It’s the greatest thing ever (if you can tolerate the pain of no drugs) and not as scary and crazy as everyone will try to make it seem 😉

  • velourisnot

    Leandra, you are so brave. You inspire me.

  • Savannah

    Such a good piece and bravo for talking about this topic. I’m still in the ‘please don’t get pregnant or the world will end’ phase, but I still catch myself thinking, what if? What if, in 5 years from now (when I finally find a decent enough guy, that is), it’s not even working properly down there? I feel stupid going to a doctor now just to check, but maybe it’s because of this that I really really feel for you and can imagine how frustrating it all is. All I can say is, I hope everything will work out for you guys in the end and that all the MR readers rooting for you will help! I wish you all the best, really. Big hug!

  • Micaela

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Alessandra

    Thank you for your bravery in writing about a different side of the path to pregnancy that oftentimes gets lost in the noise. Life is not a romantic comedy. I will admit to being terrified of the childbearing process but your honest words have reduced me to tears at my desk out of sympathy for you. Sending you love and light.

  • Stephany SR

    If someone had told me (or my ex) this six months ago I might not be divorced today. Talking specifically about the marriage part I always felt like I was some kind of martian for feeling the way you describe, because like you say no one talks about it, everyones ego is to big to recognize they are ashamed of how visceral and hard joining your life to someone really is.

    I didn’t have any experience yet with the getting pregnant part, I was not trying but also not being too careful and at some point you start wondering what is wrong with me? I knew something had to be wrong! And there we go, shame again!
    You try to convince yourself maybe you can’t be a mom or a wife and yoU were never meant to. We tell that to ourselves because we are ashamed to recognize we can fail.

    Shame, ego and compassion are concepts I never really cared of, but not until now I realize how basic they are.

    I have found a lot better of peace at compassion and forgiveness towards me, seeing myself in front of me and trying to be as compassionate to me as I would be towards someone I love.

    And then is easy to go all self therapist on me and remember this is just the beginning, that eventually all dots connect.
    Hands up for deciding not to be ashamed, I am right there with you, let’s keep on trying in every way!
    Big hug

  • I am going through the exact same thing!

  • Ashley Kordik

    This brought tears to my eyes with its beauty. Thank you!!! I want to send it to my boyfriend because he loves beautiful writing but maybe he won’t be interested because it’s about v girly things but I’m sending it ANYWAY and he’ll LOVE it THANK you

  • i must’ve missed this somehow. and now, i’m weeping over my salad.

    one day, doesn’t matter when, you’ll know that in talking about it, in taking it inside out, you made it real, released all the shame & guilt, and that maybe, in doing that – what you want to happen… just will. it may not happen in the way you thought it would, but in some way, it’ll be made into what it was meant to be. try, try again.

  • EmilyWilson

    I’ve been infertile for over a decade. I understand you when you say ‘shame.’ And I believe there’s no shame in feeling shame, if that makes sense. There are a lot of other emotions involved too; I’ve been through all of the stages of grief, but much, much more slowly than when I’ve grieved a person who has died. Because when someone dies, there’s no hope. With infertility, every month there’s a little hope (increasingly less as time goes on.) Also, you’re grieving without a funeral, missing someone you’ve never met, which is weird. But yeah. Shame. Denial. Anger. Fear.

  • Racquel Hamway

    Leandra I am so touched! It always is healthy to share feelings and b open. It will come when u least expect it. Every woman goes through it at some point in their lives. Just takes longer for some then others….And while each month feels like a year it will eventually all be a distant memory to look back on . May god bless you?

  • Made in Chicistan

    dr juergen eisermann – google him !!!

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  • Angela Gentile

    This is fucking awesome. I love that you guys get serious when it’s necessary. Go girl.

  • Tatiana

    Although I don’t personally know you, meaning being in your close friend circle (but if you are down, lets be best friends for life!), I believe that you are an incredible, courageous person that has proven to herself – more than once and you have your own book to read in case you forgotten- that you can do it! and you will do it! and you will be freaking awesome at it!

    You should not feel shame because you have nothing to be shameful about! I am sure you will be an amazing mother – in your own terms – and that everything is going to be OK. all my positive vibes to you and Mr. Cohen xx

  • This was so personable and beautiful. You’re supposed to make me laugh Leandra, not tear up! I wish you all the best. *hugs*

    http://www.adxmaiora.com/wrapped-up/

  • Gilcélia dos Santos

    i love you leandra. your kids will be oh so fucking cool. hang in there.

  • LG

    Yay! Someone is talking about this. It took my husband 2.5 years to conceive, and in the end we were successful through IVF (as I write this I have a gorgeous baby boy half asleep at my boob, trying to feed at the same time). It sucks, it really does. Month in and out of trying and failing, and then having to go through all the rigmarole of testing and fertility treatments, medications, injections and so on. I told very few people that we were going through this as it was so painful, but also because of (irrational) shame. I felt like such a failure, that I couldn’t do this thing that is so essential to being a woman, and that apparently any halfwit could do by accident. But – it’s not shameful. It’s very common (people just don’t talk about it) and it’s just one of those crappy things that happens in life. But – you’ll have such a great appreciation for that baby when it happens. Having a baby is tough and exhausting but even in the worst moments, I am forever grateful and just love him so much and I think having to struggle for him so hard makes me appreciate and value him

  • Shawnie

    I feel you boo..I had 2 miscarriages back to back..so i was pregnant 2 times within 3 month time frame..it was horrible..I literally have given up..felt shame..and while my Husband twin and his sister have/having kids..I feel his parents look at me like I’m broke..I decided not to feel anymore shame..I too felt this shame wash over me ..month after month..I too break down and cry when I see another pregnancy announcement on my fb feed…but you know what I decided I’m going to keep trying and if its meant to be it is..and if its not I will just be that crazy fabulous aunt that buys the toys that make the parents go ape shit..:)

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