Hello lovelies,

This one is harder for me to write than some of the others. I really struggle with this concept…How do you handle the expectations of others while you try to get pregnant? How do you effectively, and consistently, manage your own expectations on this tumultuous journey?! Never mind, the expectations of others!

It’s a crap shoot ladies.

The “others” I am referring to are a wide and varied bunch: your parents, other relatives, your spouse, your friends, practically any stranger on the street… the list is potentially endless. Like it or not you are not the only person who is anxious for you to become pregnant. Many other individuals are excited and anxious as well.

And I hate that.

It’s not because I don’t want them to be excited for our transition to parenthood. I do! I am thrilled that they are excited. But I hate that they are so invested in it. Not because it is nosy and awkward. Which it can be, of course!But that’s not it. I hate it, because it makes me feel like shit.

Every month that I don’t get to announce that we are expecting I have to look into everyone’s hopeful faces and reply that “No, I am not pregnant, yet.” I have to crush their dreams while I simultaneously crush my own. It breaks my heart. And I really, really hate that. I hate that I have to break my heart for them. It is hard enough to have to break it over my own dreams each month. And so I ask you, unpregnant chicks, how do you cope? It seems that infertile birds fall into two camps: Those that share and those that don’t. I share but I have a hard time setting limitations on what other people know or can ask me about.So I have questions for the two camps…

1. If you hide your journey away from prying eyes I want to know if by doing this you avoid having to manage feelings other than your own? I am amazed at your resolve. I cannot imagine the pain of going through infertility without being able to gain support from those around me. But I am a sharer, an over-sharer really, I need to vent this shit out. I need to open myself to others expectations in order to also get their support. But I respect that not everyone is willing or able to do this.

2. If you are someone like me who has told others but, unlike me, you’ve had the strength to set hard limits on questions related to trying I want to know if people respect your limits? I envy your ability to draw that line. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the little bit of happiness that our trying gives them and be allowed to express that as they wish. But then I have to hear about it when I am unprepared or even, god forbid, on my period.

3. If you are like me and you share and let it be a free for all do you ever get overwhelmed by the sadness other people feel for you? Don’t you ever find it just unbearable?

It hurts my heart to not be pregnant after two years of really giving it our all. But it hurts my heart even more that others close to us have to suffer at our expense. It’s a slippery slope, ladies. You can let others in. But then you risk having to look into their wide open faces; loving, expectant, so ready for joy and then rob them of that happiness. You have to watch their faces become guarded and sad at your news. Blah! It’s awful! There are many things that I wasn’t aware of when we started this journey. That bitterness and heartache can be shared was one of them. Tell me how you fair in this aspect? What do you do?

Love,
Unpregnant Chicken

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9 thoughts on “Expectations of Others

  • September 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm
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    As a friend (whom you don’t have to see face to face) – I can say that I myself don’t get disappointed when you have bad news. I do feel intense empathy and sadness for you, and when we get done talking I do take a few minutes to grieve. However, as rude as it may sound – my whole week is not ruined.

    I don’t want to sound crass or unloving, I just want to make it clear to you that there are some friends who love you dearly but take your loss as their own. Therefore, these type of friends are safe places to vent to. We love you. We know that feelings are temporary, though albeit sometimes repetitive.

    And, the friends and family that is invested to the point where you catch yourself concerned with their emotions – only talk to them when you’re up for it. You have enough on your plate and enough of your own emotional roller coaster, you don’t need to worry about how others will react to YOUR life.

    I am also an out loud processor. I have learned to process with people that I know can handle it in the ways that work for them and for me. People that I know will honor my losses but not take them on. People that will not judge me no matter what I say, understanding my out loud process is exactly that, a process – not an ending or a statement. And, people that love me unconditionally.

    Hope this helps. Love you. Very vey much.

    Reply
    • September 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm
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      Amy,

      Thanks doll, you’re right of course. It’s a good thing to remember that some people can be caring and detached and to count on those individuals in times when I may not get what I need from others. Sometimes though its not so much me leaning as other people asking.. that’s harder to figure out how to handle. Perhaps I just need to be firmer. lol

      XOXXO
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • September 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm
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    I do not believe there is a way to avoid this. You could try to keep it a secret—but honestly it’s too late now, you can set some “don’t ask, we will tell” boundaries to attempt to ease the awkwardness I suppose? I have not struggled with getting pregnant, I struggled with staying pregnant. And as an over sharer as well- I was having to tell all of these people that I was no longer pregnant and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
    I would have forgot someone. This was followed by an awkward, heart stomping, soul tearing hand placed on my empty uterus….. Forcing a very painful rehash of what happened and watching the other person want to die of embarrassment and the unbelievable awkwardness –do you fucking talk about a sports team now!? That being said, it wasn’t the worst thing that has ever happend to me on my journey to motherhood, and honestly there is no lasting damage. I think you could be reading too much into it- this is your journey, you choose it. You’re just rocking a flat tire and hitting a few pot holes right now, the road is long and I’m sure it gets easier up ahead. (You are never too far from a Tire shop and a freeway in Cow Town)

    Xoxoxoxoxox

    Reply
    • September 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm
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      Kaylee,

      Absolutely. To all of it. It sucks but I do need to reclaim the journey a bit and just roll with it. Take the bumps and go with it. It’s hard and uncomfortable sometimes, but that’s life isn’t it? And at this point… it is DEFINITELY to late to take back the sharing now haha.

      XOXXO
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • September 20, 2014 at 9:41 am
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    Hun im loving your posts and the insight into the infertile world. I try very hard as a friend to sympathize and attempt to understand as I am your friend and want to be nothing but supportive and respectful. I find this posting to help explain the uncertainty I have as a friend, because I don’t want my infertile friend to be frustrated with me, or as you said “break their heart” as I try to understand. What stand do you want from friends and seeing the “camps” you have noted, it sounds like it can also be a crap shoot! It’s tough as a friend, and by no means not even close to being as tough as it is for you, but tough to know how to properly show respect, support, love and concern without making things more stressful. What tips do you have?

    Reply
    • September 20, 2014 at 10:47 am
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      Lisa!

      I am glad you are finding the blog interesting. I know that you have many friends going through this journey and it must help you to get the insider track! Haha. Ok, for advice, I think the best thing you can do is to realize what you have already realized. That infertile people are sensitive and it’s a fine balance. Sometimes we will want to chat about what is going on, often it helps a lot to be able to vent to friends who want to listen. Other times we will feel too volatile to talk about it, those are the times when I will change the subject or say that I don’t feel like talking about it, then it is best to just let the issue drop and move on to other non-baby related areas. You have always been very supportive and compassionate when dealing with my journey!! This post is not about all people I deal with, only some. While I have been blessed with a very supportive group of friends and family not every infertile couple is that lucky. I have had a few instances where I had to worry more about other peoples feelings than my own and it was hard enough, even with the support that I have! This post was an important one to tackle for other infertile people who have not been as lucky and have to deal with other peoples grief more often than I do.

      XOXXO
      Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • September 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm
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    I kind of just fell upon your blog and love it.

    I am one of those who hasn’t shared. And the hardest part is watching everyone around me, including my bestie, get pregnant and pop out babies. The worst is when people in our circle, whom are pregnant, assume we haven’t tried and thus open their floppy mouths with “well… now it’s time for you guys to have a little one…” or some of the closer ones say “oh… Jade needs a brother or sister…” (Jade being our adoptive daughter)

    I am lucky that I have an excellent hubby in my corner. Most times I want to blurt out “Listen! We haven’t conceived and are looking into infertility!” but I quickly bite my tongue because of the simple fact of, I am relatively quiet about very personal things, unless I am close to someone. I didn’t tell my best friend until recently, it’s been 5 years.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm
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      Hi Kit!
      I am so glad that you found me! It can be so hard to go through this with little support. I am glad you have an excellent husband who can be your rock during difficult times. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you are definitely not alone in this journey and that many people are out there who understand. If you are on Facebook like the Unpregnant Chicken page and you will find others who can help you in really difficult times. Also you will get the new posts each Monday and Thursday which may give you a little laugh!
      XOXXO Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
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