Uh oh. My period came again. It’s been four months and I’m getting worried.
The beginning of the emotional aspects of infertility usually happens a few months after you’ve decided it’s time to get pregnant and you’re not. The decision to try is a happy one. Most of the people I see in my office have worked hard and accomplished a lot before they decide to take the leap into parenthood. In fact, they have usually been unbelievably responsible about getting their lives organized before undertaking becoming parents.
There are aspects to pre-parenthood most of us would like to achieve; finding the right partner, establishing financial stability, getting the big jobs off the list and accomplishing the things we feel are necessary before we settle into a life with children. Most people I’ve talked with have been diligent users of birth control, worried that an unplanned pregnancy might interfere with their ability to provide for their children in the emotional and practical ways they deserve,
Pregnancy is often and rightfully viewed as a big next step and something the people I work with have delayed until they feel confident they can do a good job of it. Most people assume it will happen and happen quickly and that makes getting ready for pregnancy all that more important. We believe we’re in control of timing pregnancy and, after years of being careful, we believe it will happen as soon as we let go of preventing it. Our proof? We are surrounded by people who get pregnant and our first family role models, our parents, have obviously had it happen unless they have experienced infertility. The notion of birth control is a paradox of sorts. It turns out what we are in control of is the prevention of pregnancy and there are no guarantees about when or even if it will occur when the timing is finally right and we give ourselves permission to go ahead.
The joyful act of abandoning birth control in the first months is replaced by nagging worry. Why isn’t it happening? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with us? People who had already planned the nursery in their minds stop talking about it out loud. There is usually an increased awareness of just how many other people are pregnant, on maternity leave, or simply walking down the street with babies and it seems like just about everyone gets pregnant when they want and sometimes when they do not. “Except maybe me”, says your inside voice.
The very best thing you can do is go to your physician and get information. Human reproduction is complex. The more basic information you have, the better. I know that isn’t a psychological ‘solution’ but in the early days of trying without success, it’s a good course of action. You may not have a problem at all. However,if you do, you will be able to access the health care professionals who can help you without time spent waiting and worrying.
Ah yes, time. Waiting. The frustration of waiting. More about that and how to deal with it coming up.