From The Confessional: TTC Can Put Us Through The Wringer

Woman taking pregnancy test Zave Smith/Getty

For many of us, the dream of motherhood goes back to our earliest childhood days of playing dolls in our room. We rocked our babies, imagining they came out of our little tummies, even though we didn’t quite know how it all worked. Then, we started babysitting at 13—rocking real babies, changing real diapers—and the fantasy intensified. What would it be like when we had our own? When there were tiny humans toddling about, under our feet, that we made? That we grew inside our bodies and took home from the hospital and raised up to love musicals while we baked cookies and danced in the kitchen?

For many, that dream is realized with relative ease. They decide they want to start a family, and boom—within a few months, it’s happening. But for many others (more than we often realize) the experience of TTC (trying to conceive) isn’t a joyful one. It’s a long, heartbreaking experience full of disappointment and fear that the dream of motherhood may never actually be realized at all.

Confessional #25844605

“What would you like people to say when they are TTC? It can be a painful, long ordeal for some of us. Would you like us to say: I check my temp every day, put my legs in the air after sex, cry every month my period starts. Be kind when people say trying.”

Confessional #25814753

“TTC, tracking ovulation that I thought would be this week. H and I all ready for sex every night this week. My period started tonight. I am so sad and angry.”

Confessional #25357846

“Been ttc for over a year, had the checkups it’s just not happening.Everyone around me is getting pregnant by LOOKING at each other. I don’t know how much more I can take, I feel like one more announcement will push me over the edge. So sad.”

Confessional #24237595

“Two years of TTC-was incredibly hopeful this month and just got my period. Devastated. Does it ever get easier?”

The truth is, TTC can be full of emotional turmoil—from anger, to grief, to resentment of others who pop out babies every year with seemingly little effort. It’s just hard.

Confessional #25783212

“TTC this cycle didn’t work AGAIN. 37 years old and the clock is ticking…I waited until I was in a healthy relationship with a man who wanted kids and now I am being punished.”

Confessional #21345858

“Period is 4 days late but test is negative, this has never happen before. TTC at 45 pretty much a crap shoot…”

Confessional #20453736

“I started my period again, we are TTC; I’m sad. The odds are stacked against me due to my age; sadder. DS5 told me he’s been praying for a sister (he doesn’t know we are TTC); saddest.”

That old biological clock can really fuck things up sometimes. And it’s not fair because many of us weren’t ready or in the position to have kids earlier in life. Or, we just don’t want to be done yet.

Confessional #17283921

“For 4 yrs I’ve been TTC #2 and miscarried 2 years ago @ 13 wks. No one knows. Now a good friend conceived #2 a month BEFORE she was going to start trying. I can’t stand it when she calls to talk – I JUST WANT TO START SCREAMING AT HER!!!”

Confessional #24409564

“After almost 6 total years of TTC, 4 failed rounds of IUI, and a miscarriage, I’m blessed beyond measure to have my two beautiful boys and I don’t need to “try for a girl”. Even w/o all the difficulty, I would feel the same. Mind your own damn business.”

Confessional #21122708

“TTC # 2 after a miscarriage and is not happening. Im devastated. I wish I can just force myself to be happy with what I do have and not wanting anything else. That miscarriage really broke me”

Confessional #25773090

“BF just told me she stopped BC. I cried and binge-ate all day. TTC 5 years. I should be more happy than sad and feel terrible I’m not. At all. Sometimes we don’t get our rainbow babies.”

TTC after miscarriage is a special kind of hell. There’s the trauma and fear of losing another, and the painful grief that we are still working through. If you know someone in this position, please give her extra love, support, and grace.

Confessional #25772789

“This is our 6th month TTC. DH has low drive but promised me we would actually try. Sex for 5 days. I ovulate in 2 days and we did it once 2 days ago. He wouldn’t before work tonight. I can’t stop crying. I want a baby but he won’t have sex with me.”

Confessional #25814380

“TTC and just had 2nd myomectomy. DH is military on covid relief and only seen him since 4x May. Im scared I’ll never have a child at this rate.”

Confessional #25755382

“TTC while living apart sucks balls. Here I am, ovulating, feeling beautiful, wanting to get laid and have a baby. Nope, no luck with the dates this time. ARRRGH.”

And there’s another issue many of us have while TTC—not having enough sex (you know, that thing you need to do to make a baby). Whether it’s because our SO is away for work, or our marriage is on the fritz and sex just isn’t being had, this is another piece to the TTC puzzle that can be particularly frustrating.

Confessional #25814074

“Got pg by accident with twins while on the pill, now 5 years later we’ve been purposefully ttc for over a year with no luck. Starting to think I’m more fertile on the pill than off”

Confessional #21439362

“Crazy how as a teenager if I’d had unprotected sex even once I would have been 100% sure I’d get pregnant. Now here we are TTC had unprotected sex 20+ times this month and nothin. How the tables have turned.”

Confessional #25837038

“I thought marriage would make me feel safe & secure, like I would finally be home. Now I’m married I don’t feel safe at all,just trapped and I guess,lost? We are TTC. But now I don’t know if a baby will be the answer or will just make me feel more trapped”

The one thing the TTC experience teaches many of us is that life often doesn’t turn out how we thought it would. Maybe you had an unplanned pregnancy that terrified you at 20, and now you’re 40, TTC, and nothing’s happening. Or maybe you really want another baby, but you’re not sure you want to stay married, and you feel trapped. What if you make the wrong decision?

Adulting can be grueling and unpredictable and full of pain. It’s often not the fantasy we created in our imaginations when we were seven years old, cradling our baby dolls in our bedrooms. If you are living through a fearful, or heartbreaking, or particularly trying TTC experience, hopefully these confessions will help you feel surrounded by other women feeling the same things you’re feeling.

The path to motherhood isn’t often a smooth one, but no matter what happens, you’re stronger than you think.

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