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My Silent Struggle

Each day for me is a struggle. There. I said it. Each month, each time I see people’s posts online, each time I start over-thinking things. I know I’ve mentioned this before and it may be “tmi”, but I have PCOS. In other words, it’s very difficult for me to get pregnant.
I struggle silently. I try to hide the pain, but it's there and I know others feel it too...the pains of infertility, shame in struggling to conceive, and always seeing things that remind you of this.

This isn’t something I usually talk to people about, besides a few confidants, because it is a very personal struggle for me. I know, I know. I have two kids already. I should be thankful. And I am. I know there are others who have gone even longer unable to get pregnant, those who can’t ever get pregnant, those who have lost babies…but I’m still sad. And I want to be sad. Yes, I want another baby.

My first boy was a surprise. My second we tried for two years and it took a few months on medication to get my body on the right path. Well, it’s been a while again and we’ve gone through several different types of treatments…still nothing. I’ve tried changing my diet, taking prenatal vitamins, multiple medications, natural medications, essential oils (my current regimen), even giving up. Nothing.

Each month I am filled with so much hope and so much surety. Each month I am met with pain and emptiness. I know…I know it will happen some day in God’s will, but each day I am reminded of this struggle. Each time I see those pregnancy announcements, which seems like a daily occurrence. Each time I see birth announcements and pictures of friends’ precious newborns. Each time I see big families and parents with children so close in age. I always wanted my children close in age so they would have that very special bond.

Really, I am so incredibly happy for all of those blessed to bring new life into the world. I celebrate with my friends and family and love seeing the pictures of their newborns. At the same time, though, my heart breaks into a million pieces. I try to focus my energy on the two amazing blessings that I have who keep me on my toes daily, but I just can’t get those precious baby smiles and coos and snuggles out of my head.

Sometimes I feel bad having these feelings. I know I shouldn’t, but I always feel people will judge me for not being thankful (I am) or for being greedy (but God said “be fruitful and multiply” so I am just trying to do that.) Should I care that much about other people’s opinions of me? No, but it still goes through my brain whether I like it or not.

Monthly I question, “Why me? Am I a bad mom? Do I not deserve more kids? Am I not responsible enough?” I know that’s not necessarily the truth. I’m not a perfect mom, but I am the mom my children need and I love them endlessly. I do everything I can for them. I may get stressed and overwhelmed and blow up, but I set an example for my kids by sucking up my pride and apologizing to them. After all, no one is perfect, but being honest and humble speaks volumes.

Monthly I am so hopeful and sure it will happen. I have the faith that will move mountains. Or at least I think I do, until about a week before “that time.” I can usually tell when it’s coming and I try to tell myself that it’s still possible and not to lose hope. But I feel like somehow my faith is slipping away, that if I just had a little more faith I’d be pregnant this month. Sure, I know that isn’t true, because it’s not about anything I do, but about God’s will, but I can’t help feeling that way. Like somehow I am doing something wrong.

Lately I have been confused. I cannot seem to tell if what I am feeling is loss of hope, lack of faith, or just natural signs God is allowing me to see to show me it is not in His perfect timing yet. I know in my head it is the last, but in my heart I feel it is His timing. I guess that’s why each month I am 100% convinced it will happen this month. Then it doesn’t. No, I will not lose faith. I know it will happen. I guess I am just being impatient. I’ve tried not to think about it, but all the reminders are constantly flooding my brain. I can’t be online without seeing an announcement or newborn picture. I can’t walk around or even look out my window without seeing someone pregnant or with a newborn going for a walk. I can’t stop my brain from thinking; seriously, I even dream about it. I’ve dreamed about it so vividly, I’ve woken up convinced I was pregnant and pretty far along.

I just want the pain to end.

I feel like a failure.

God wants me to be fruitful and multiply, but it’s not that easy for me. Maybe that’s my problem. For me. After all, with God, ALL things are possible. I know in my head and I feel in my heart, but ultimately I know it’s in His timing. I know I’m still young, but sometimes I feel I’m getting too old. Ha, I guess I should remind myself of all the times someone “stricken in years” has gotten pregnant in the Bible. I know, it should encourage me, and it does, but I still want to be pregnant, like now.

My husband wants more kids. He is so kind and compassionate and totally understands what I am going through and has only been encouraging, but I feel like I’ve failed him too. Seriously, somehow I feel like giving birth is my only job…you know, the whole “you only had one job” memes would totally fit here right now. I’m frustrated. I’m upset. I’m sad. I sometimes get upset with my husband for being so cool about it when I know he’s just as disappointed.

Every night, every meal, even randomly throughout the day, my boys will pray for another baby brother and sister. My oldest is so sure it’s going to happen. I love his complete faith. I wish I had it. I feel like I’ve failed him because I know how much he wants us to have more babies. Even my youngest now is starting to point out all the babies he sees to me.

Why do I have to feel like a failure? Why is this so difficult for me? Why can’t I just stop thinking about it for a while and be grateful for what I have? Why am I so guarded with this that I cannot ask people for help or comfort or prayers? I’ve shared my PCOS dilemma, but very rarely in a way that people truly understand what I am going through, the sorrow, the embarrassment, the shame. Getting pregnant seems so easy for most everyone I know. There are a few I know struggle like me and have for even longer, but I feel the pain on my own level. 

You know what? I’m feeling that pain and despair this month and I don’t even know for sure what’s up. I don’t want to give up; no, I will not give up. It will happen in time. I’m just sad. And a bit discouraged. I know there are so many of you out there feeling this same thing. I know one friend who has felt this just as I have and to the same extent as me and I am so happy to hear that she is expecting. Really, I started crying tears of joy for her. I even wanted her to get pregnant before me. Now I want to be next. Boy, do I want to be next.

For some reason I feel too ashamed to post this. Am I selfish? Am I greedy? Am I a negative person? Am I not exhibiting faith? Am I impatient? Am I crazy for wanting more kids this badly? Am I showing that somehow I am a bad mom unable to have more children? Am I a coward? Am I giving too much information or have I been giving too little? I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to do. What I do know is that we want more children and I will not give in to this struggle, but I am sad and discouraged and it’s difficult to keep pushing on. I often want to give up, but I just can’t. I can’t. I don’t have it in me, but the pushing on is exhausting. It mentally wears me out.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of trying, tired of caring, tired of thinking about what others might think, tired of being met with daily reminders that I’m not pregnant.I’m just so tired. I need to vent. I don’t know who to talk to anymore.

I can vent to some friends, but I don’t want to overwhelm them. I seem to talk with others going through the struggle until they get pregnant, then they drop me (besides my wonderful friend who is always there for me.) Somehow I feel alone in this, but I am not alone. I know I have God, my spouse, my friend…I have a hard time telling family about this because I feel I will fall short of their expectations somehow, but I am sure I have some of them, and I even have some of you. I know I am not the only one feeling this exact way. If you feel this way, please don’t bottle it up inside like I do. Find support. Pray. Be patient. Seriously, I say all this to you, but it is really a reminder to myself to keep my chin up, because I am really feeling down right now. Everything will be okay. Everything goes to God’s plan. Yes, I will look back and see that the timing just wouldn’t have been the best. God knows our current shortcomings that we are presently blinded to. He knows what the future holds for us. He will allow this in His perfect timing, so…

don’t give up.

Look up.

Each day, each month, I want my goal to be to cry out in prayer and to work on making my body healthier and my mind stronger so that when God sees it is time for a little baby to grow inside of me again, I will be prepared (and oh so grateful) for the challenges and the incomprehensible joys that little blessing will bring.

I realize this post is probably loaded with grammatical errors, spelling errors, and parts that don’t make complete sense. My heart was overwhelmed, so I just sat and wrote. I cannot bring myself to proofread it, but my husband read it and would like me to share. I am really having a difficult time hitting the post button, but I will and my hope in doing so is that I will be able to reach out to someone else hurting for the same reasons. Now, this isn’t my only silent struggle, but it’s the one I’ve been moved the most to share right now. Thank you for reading.

My Silent StruggleIf you liked this post, you may also like When Everyone You Love Has the One Thing You Want Most.

Do you struggle with this? Share your stories in the comment section below. It feels great to get things out that have been bottled up inside.

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  1. Bravo for writing this! Just remember: some of the greatest people in the bible suffered from infertility. So it’s NOT a sign of the kind of parent you are! You are amazing for sharing your most raw feelings, and I hope this helps another mom. The suffering is not one that can be measured, and you know I’m a believer in every mother’s right to mourn – without guilt.

    • Thank you, Menucha. I agree! There are so many thoughts that go through my head or that people try to force on you in situations like this, but I know the truth of it. <3 It is my hope that this will help others too.

  2. Thank you for being honest and sharing what was on your heart. I’m sure this will help many other women know they’re not alone. It was probably just what someone needed to hear. I will keep you in my prayers. Please feel free to share with us anytime you need to. We’re here for you.

    • Thank you for the kind words and prayers, Brenda. I was very nervous writing this, as I don’t love being too transparent, but I know there are others who feel the same way and, well, hopefully they read this and were encouraged!

  3. Love you Alyssa!! I can understand some of the inner struggles you battle with hon because even though I have a daughter as well that surprised us after a couple years of not using any birth control…..no babies since then.

    So 13 years later I, as a woman, question my body and how I feel it has failed me or taken away my choice on whether to expand our family. I don’t know if the childhood illness I had is preventing it from happening – having Rose was a blessing in itself because my chances were already decreased to begin with based on that. I know my husband is sad that we didn’t have anymore children and I wish we could have had that experience again together, especially being more mature and wiser. Rose would have been an amazing older sister.

    But as much as it makes me feel like a failure at times and made me cry many times over the past 13 years – I have to remind myself that things happen for a reason. My husband and I love each other very much and have been through events and life lessons that have torn other couples apart and we have come out stronger. If we had another child in the midst of that or leading up to that……things might not have worked out as they have so as much as I long for having been able to add to our family…..I truly am blessed that my family is complete and my husband and I are stronger as a couple and as parents than we were when we got married.

    • Love you too! I know you struggle as well and know that I am here for you. God gives us just what we need, even if we don’t understand why things are how they are. Rose is an amazing girl and you all are doing such a great job! Thankful the Lord blessed you with her. I’m with you on the struggles too, as we’ve been through the same. You all are amazing <3

  4. I am so sorry Alyssa. I struggled with Infertility I finally was given Clomid to get pregnant for my second child after years of trying and going to many doctors I was also told I would never have children again after my second child. My ex and I tried for years to have a third. We finally became foster parents in hopes to adopt (another story for another time) I actually was told I needed a hysterectomy at one point . I told the doctors “No” I also got very ill at one point. Who would have guessed 14 years after I was told I would never have a baby again I gave birth to a healthy little boy now 5 years old. I will keep you in my prayers. Please don’t feel a shame it’s not your fault and you should never feel bad about wanting another baby! Sending you big hugs, Kim

  5. Thank you for sharing. I was fortunate to become pregnant about 6 months after we married and in spite having difficulty carrying her; your aunt was born healthy about 5 weeks early. After about 4 years, when I finally became pregnant again, I miscarried. Then I took medications for as long as I could tolerate them, (Back then they used birth control pills with many side effects. I think it was to build up hormones.), and eventually became pregnant with your mom who was born in 1968. I know your grandpa would have loved to have a son to carry on the family name, but that wasn’t meant to be. While I was never diagnosed with PCOS, I really think that is probably what I had. My doctor said I should let him know when I was ready for a hysterectomy and when the pain became intolerable; I caved. I was in my 30’s. I admit I am a bit jealous of my siblings with large families, but content with my two wonderful daughters who have each given me 3 grandchildren. And while it is probably better to have children close in age, once they grow up, age is irrelevant.

    • Thank you for sharing. It sounds like that’s the case and runs in the family. I am hoping once we get my health in order, things will start working as they should. I am not ready to give up on the pain yet.

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