Unwanted, unsolicited advice is something that we have all fallen victim to at some point in our lives. It is something that we all get from time to time, and it often comes during periods of time when we are experiencing life-changing events; a new relationship, moving, a new job, marriage or when we are trying to conceive.
Like everyone else, I have been on the receiving end of this advice. This unsolicited advice now comes at a time when my husband and I are trying to conceive. I, too, am over age 35 and on this journey of trying to create a family. My husband and I have been together for 4 and 1/2 years, but married for less than three months. So in the natural progression of things we are now trying to start a family. I never thought that friends, family, and total strangers would be so interested in our family making plans. Question(s) about our family planning became a hot topic the minute we got engaged. Soon questions like, “When’s the big day?” were replaced by, “Are you going to start trying for kids?”
Before marriage, my response was always that I had a wedding to plan first. However, that did not stop the questions from being asked. Even customers at my work, granted it is a baby boutique, chimed in on the game of “20 Questions”. They asked to see my engagement ring and then immediately asked if we were planning on having children. One customer even asked my ovulation date (she was very excited to find out it fell over my wedding night)! Honestly, though, I was too. But when the wedding night came, all I wanted was my Diet Coke, pajamas, and to snuggle with my new hubby! Don’t get me wrong, though, in the back of my mind the word “SEX” was flashing in big bright letters…I mean, this was prime baby-making time!
Nevertheless, my baby-making window for that month, and the next, passed with no pregnancy. Thankfully my many friends and family members knew what was needed for success! All I had to do was track my period and ovulation, but not with the old fashion way of calendars and counting days. Instead, I needed to buy a $200 ovulation kit that requires $50 test strips, check the color and consistency of my vaginal mucus, lay flat for 20 minutes after sex, put a pillow under my hips to help them swim, eat no soy, take vitamins and supplements, and avoid processed foods! Whew! Talk about exhausting! I was totally overwhelmed and that didn’t even include the challenges I already knew about (being over 35 and a plus-size mama wannabe). Now don’t get me wrong, some of this is valid advice, but some of it… it was just too much!
We are now completing two months of trying to conceive without success. Not a big deal. I knew it could take time, but I wonder why I still feel like a failure. I expressed my frustration with an acquaintance who has struggled with fertility for many years. When I stated that I felt like I was letting people down, I was attacked. How dare I compare two months of trying with ten years of infertility? I wanted to cry. I was in no way comparing our two situations. They were so different, yet so alike. I, too, have people ask me daily why we ‘still’ aren’t pregnant. I neurotically track my cycle and ovulation days, peeing on sticks a week before my period hoping for a positive reading only to be disappointed by my period appearing a couple days later. I, too, wonder if something is ‘wrong’ with me.
Looking back, I feel we should have tried earlier when I was in my early 30’s. I should also lose some weight, reduce my caffeine intake, and so on and so on. Each conceiving story will be different and unique. Each story has its own struggles and expectations. I encourage anyone who knows someone going through it to embrace the struggles and stories for they belong to those involved. Each struggle is hopefully the beginning of a new family story.
So in the end I do what is good for me while under the care of physician. The best thing I can do is listen to that unwanted, unsolicited advice, but filter out what is best for me!
After 35 Hopeful, Kristine Helle, is a 36 year-old newlywed and fur mommy to her 18 year-old cat, Liberty. She has 17 years of experience working with children from birth through pre-school and in child-care settings. She also has 6 years of private nannying under her belt. Kristine currently works in a baby boutique in Northwest Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, antiquing and spending time with her husband, family and friends.
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