4 Things You’ll Hear When TTC

When you’re trying to conceive, and especially when you’ve been trying a while, you receive a handful of responses, most of which rarely make you feel any better. Everyone means well, but once you hear the response before it leaves their lips it’s hard not to feel annoyed at best, and resentful or angry at worst.

Here are the responses I heard the most, how they made me feel, and what I’d rather hear instead:

It’ll happen at the Right Time

I feel like this is a response when someone has zero inkling of what to say, but want to make you feel better. I wanted to scream “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT!” It felt offensive that an acquaintance seemed to A) deem us not ready at This Time, and that B) they somehow knew it would happen.

The scariest thing when you’re struggling is that you don’t know if it will happen, or what your timeline is. I always thought, if I could know that it will be 2.5 years until I had a baby, I could happily deal with it. Not knowing if it’s 5 months or 3 years from now, through surrogate, IVF, or adoption, is the toughest reality to face, so someone casually telling you it will happen at the elusive Right Time can feel like a brush off.

What I’d rather hear instead:

“I know you’re ready now, it must be hard to wait.” Simply recognizing that something I wanted right then and not having any control over it would feel thankfully validating.

Isn’t it funny how you spend so much time preventing it!

I agree, it is incredibly ironic that I spent years on the pill only to spend thousands of dollars trying to actually have a baby. This irony loses its appeal pretty quick, especially once you’ve taken to fertility treatments.

I didn’t find myself angry at people for saying this – I get where it’s coming from, and they had no idea how many times I had this conversation – but I was over it and found it hard to muster an enthusiastic giggle.

What I’d rather hear instead:

“Ugh, it sucks that it isn’t as easy as we think.” For some, it is as easy as we think, hint the years of birth control, but commiserating in the obvious irony would be a welcome change of conversation.

Don’t stress about it and it will happen.

Don’t. Just don’t say this. It’s an awful catch 22; struggling to get pregnant, much less going through IVF or any other fertility treatment, is inherently stressful, and the entire scientific community agrees that stress is terrible for fertility.

The only thing worse than knowing stress is bad, is being told not to stress. Trust me, anyone struggling is acutely aware that stress isn’t helping, but you can’t simply turn off stress. It took a total mindset shift for me to feel the stress lessen, and you can’t force it, you can only make space and welcome it.

What I’d rather hear instead:

Either say nothing, because advice is a touchy thing, or, “That must be so stressful”. Recognizing that this is a highly stressful situation, can actually take some of the stress out of it. If someone noted how stressful it was, I would probably have listed ways I wasn’t stressed, talking myself out of some of the stress I was feeling.

At least you don’t have to deal with…

“Temper tantrums”
“Poopy diapers”
“Never sleeping”

Honestly, I didn’t get this one a lot, but I’ve heard these statements before. This is highly offensive and I cannot wrap my head around why anyone would think this is a helpful statement.

Logically, kids are a terrible idea! They are a TON of work, a TON of money, and all of your time. Clearly, if someone is trying their damndest to get pregnant, they have already decided it’s worth it. Hearing someone with kids complain about theirs, is like salt in the wound.

When we were TTC, I would have traded your sleepless nights in an instant. Even now, when I’m changing a particularly bad diaper I’ve said, “I paid a lot of money to get to do this.”

Now, as a mom, I understand that you can love your kids with everything and be annoyed by them at the same time, but I don’t ever sell this as an upside to someone who doesn’t have what I am lucky enough to hold.

What I’d rather hear instead:

I can’t think of anything similar to this that I’d like to hear.

When you’re trying to get pregnant, it can be a weird time. It’s a big thing going on in your life, but when someone asks, “what’s new?”, you don’t always know what or how much to say.

This is why I created a Meetup here in Asheville called TTC Together!

TTC Together is a time to gather with others who understand the emotional rollercoaster that comes with expanding your family.

This monthly meetup welcomes women in all stages and circumstances of their fertility journey. We encourage honest discussion, and while we hope you are open to sharing your thoughts and feelings, how much you wish to divulge is entirely up to you. If you’re in the Asheville area, join the group and I hope to see you at our kickoff meetup on March 19th at 6:30PM! RSVP here.

Not in Asheville, but want to feel connected throughout your TTC journey? Preconception Coaching is perfect for you! I offer free 20 minute discovery calls to see if coaching is right for you. Email me at Samantha@simplywellcoaching.com and let’s talk.

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