Praying for strength

*Emotional post alert*

I’ve been mulling over this post for several months now, years even. It’s a topic that I struggle to talk about openly with anyone, even my husband.


There, I’ve said it. It’s something that is so common nowadays yet so many people shun away from discussing it openly, as if it’s some kind of disease you get if you’re ‘naughty’. Even I myself avoid using the word when people ask me when are we having kids. It’s tough trying to accept that we have a problem conceiving naturally. It’s even tougher when external factors like friends and family add on to the stress, knowingly or unknowingly.

Here’s what I hate to hear:

so how? any news?

I get that you’re concerned for us (or at least that’s what I hope why you’re asking, and not because you’re a bloody nosyparker) but please, there isn’t really any need to ask this question, is there?

If there’s good news and if we’d like to share it with you, you’ll hear from us naturally.
If there’s good news but we don’t want to let you know, we won’t tell you, no matter how many times you ask us.
If there’s no good news, you wouldn’t see me running down the street broadcasting it.

So really, there’s no need to ask if we have any updates every time you see us.

are you trying hard enough?

If I could have my way, I have one answer for people who ask such questions: none of your f-king business. Seriously, what do you mean by if we are trying hard enough? If you mean peeing on sticks daily trying to find out when I’m ovulating and then doing the deed like rabbits for 6 days, then yes, I’d say we are doing our darnest best. In fact, we would probably score A+ if this was a test.

But you know what, trying to conceive is not a test where you study the manual, follow instructions to a T, and you’ll be receiving positive test results. It doesn’t work that way. Maybe it did for you, but it’s not working for us.

you’re still young. relax and it will happen naturally

well, easy for you to say ‘relax’. Let’s see how you relax if you’re in the same situation as us (I hope not!). Month after month, you don’t get any good news and before you know it, it’s been years. Are you still going to ‘just relax and let nature takes its course’? I won’t judge you if you still want to ‘just relax’ but not me. I cannot be at peace with myself if I don’t give it my best shot and try all ways and methods within my means. So please, don’t tell me to ‘just relax’.

3 years ago, I hear the same thing “you’re still young”. Don’t tell me I’m still young now. The last I checked, fertility doesn’t improve with age. It decreases.

are you taking xyz supplements/chinese herbs?

you should stop eating this or that, I read in a study that it might affect fertility

These 2 statements often come from concerned friends and family and initially, I was really touched. But this interest in my infertile journey is stressing me out. Seriously. If I were to follow each and every advice given, I’ll be spending all my money on expensive herbs and supplements, and no real food because there are so many conflicting studies on what food actually affects fertility.

Also, just because we are on a journey that seems neverending, to deprive me of eating what I fancy just brings rage. There’s no guarantee if this journey will end (happily or not), so to tell me not to eat this or that, it might be 3 months or 3 years, or I could give up said food forever and still not have a baby to hold at the end. Of course, if said food is not good for fertility and general health (for instance, lard-laden fried kuay teow), then I’ll eat less but not to the extent of swearing it off.

we are/they are having a baby (‘we/they’ here refers to other couples, not us)

I’m sorry, but this is the hardest for me to hear. I know it’s not their fault that they’re expecting and we’re not. But it is also difficult for us to offer genuine heartfelt congratulatory reactions now. If you want to receive my ‘fake’ congratulatory message, then sure, go ahead and let me know you’re pregnant. I’ll put on my biggest fake smile for you and go home to weep when you’re done sharing your happy news.

Every day, we take our supplements and eat healthy, balanced meals.
Every week, we do what we are supposed to do.
Every month, we put on a brave front in front of each other, smile weakly and say “nevermind, it’s ok. We’ll try again next month”.

For the next few days and nights, we sob silently in the shower, hoping that the water from the showerhead will muffle our cries.

I’m slowly running out of breath, patience, tears and faith.

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