We thought getting pregnant would be easy - we were wrong

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

My husband and I have been trying for a baby since January 2017. Eighteen months. If we were cows on a farm I would have been culled by now.

It seems we are in a silent demographic. We pay our taxes, do our jobs and quietly get on with it, quietly hoping this monthly cycle will bring some joy.

We grew up believing 'use protection', 'don't get pregnant early - you have your whole life for that', 'have a glimpse at a career first', 'it'll happen when it's right'.

That time was January 2017. We gleefully started 'trying', believing we could choose exactly when to get pregnant. We had it planned out: we would get pregnant and I would be at my largest in winter, or spring for a timing buffer - perfect! It doesn't quite work that way.

Fast forward December 2017, after 11 months of trying. I was told about an ovulation stick; you pee on it and it tells you when you're ovulating. They're expensive - you can literally see yourself peeing on your hard earned cash - but the upside is we could really target timings.

Along this journey, we discovered my high-stress job was cancelling out our efforts. I didn't even ovulate two months in a row. Stress is a nasty thing. So I quit my job and have found something else. My cycle is still regular but ovulation days are irregular.

My husband and I had tests done and everything came back normal. Now, after more than a year of trying, we can obtain two rounds of funded fertility treatment, starting in June.

This year on Mother's Day I avoided family events, faking illness. I simply wasn't strong enough. I know I'm turning selfish, but it's my choice.

I'm in my mid-30s, so most of my friends are now mothers and moving in different circles. I am simply not invited to some events. I feel I am missing out. I can play the overbearing auntie, but I've never had that deeper connection. I'm not part of the groups of mums, sharing photos of their kids and cooing about their funny stories.

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For a few years, I had one relative who'd always ask us about kids. Now there's a pitying look in her eyes and baby topics are kept to a small quiet huddle.

I feel like there's support for parents, but nothing for people like us who are struggling to start a family and suffering in silence.

Maybe I simply need to change my thinking - after all, we can have sleep-ins, go out to dinner whenever we want, pay off the mortgage faster, be the cool aunt and uncle, feed the kids up on sugar and hand them back when they crash.

But I'm not getting any younger and my patience is becoming exasperation now. Wish us luck?

 - Stuff