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21 Things No One Ever Tells You About Infertility

After 2 years of trying to get pregnant and seeing countless BuzzFeed articles about parenthood, maternity, kids, etc., and basically none on what happens when you can't get pregnant, I decided it's time to write about the thing no one wants to think could happen to them...infertility.

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1. It's super common

The moment you start telling people that you're having trouble conceiving, it feels like everyone is either going through it or once did. It's like, "Thanks, Aunt Erika. Why didn't you prepare me in some way by telling me how hard those years of infertility were for you instead of just pressuring me to have kids every time you saw me?"

2. But no one ever talks about it

I knew more about my friends' various boyfriends' penis sizes than about their struggles to conceive.

3. unless they're online...then they speak in some secret language

"We've been TTC for 2 years. Today my SO and I are taking a HPT and hoping for a BFP!" What the fuck bitch? Is this some kind of word puzzle? I'm just trying to figure out when to take a home pregnancy tes....oh, that's what that stands for.

4. every month is heartbreaking

No matter what, you get your hopes up every month, and think every little discomfort is a pregnancy symptom. And every month you dread that moment when you find out you're not pregnant. After a while, you make sure to take pregnancy tests or get results when you know you'll be home for a while so you can just cry.

5. you'll feel grief like you just lost a loved one

Because this child, though it's not real, is real to you. And it feels like they're always missing and you're always missing them.

6. and it will feel like no one who hasn't been through it can understand

7. instead they keep telling you to relax

which will make you feel more stressed and guilty about how your anxiety is keeping you from getting pregnant

8. or how it all worked out for them

That's f***ing nice for you!

9. the truth is no one knows what to say

It feels like it would be less awkward to just tell people that you joined some anti-child cult or that you don't know how sex works.

10. there is so much contradictory information out there

11. and it really feels like doctors don't know anything

"Well, after treating you for over a year, we can officially diagnose you with unexplained infertility." "Does that come with cake? Because I really need some cake right now."

12. but they will feel totally comfortable prescribing you every pill they can think of

"What's this for?" "In case your progesterone is low." "Shouldn't we test it first?" "Nah"

13. and they will try to explain literally everything by blaming stress

"This month blood literally came out of my ears." "It's probably stress."

14. it will cost you a fortune

"So you had IVF three times?" *doing math in her head* "HOLY SH**...where do you work, again?"

15. it will test your ability to schedule

Somewhere between planning when to have sex, when to take your vitamins, when to exercise and eat healthy, when to go get more blood tests, when to talk to your doctors, and when to take your dozens of pills, you might accidentally forget to relax.

16. and your relationship

17. and your sanity

18. and no matter what it will feel like your fault

19. you will need to take breaks

20. find people who understand

you need support, whether that means finding new groups of people to connect with or telling the people in your life what you need from them very explicitly

21. and be ready to rethink a lot of who you are and what you planned

because things don't always go as you imagined

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