The never ending disappointment of getting your period by Hollie Shirley

So, my period came on Friday. No big deal you say, it happens once a month.

I was out with some friends and went to the bathroom, noticed it and I have been unable to contain my emotions since

Not because I’m a raging PMS Monster – I was 4 days late and thought,  maybe this is the month that we get pregnant and don’t have to stress about IVF any more.

Trying to explain to someone the way you feel in this situation is hard

We’ve been trying for almost a year now, well, you know, the whole “trying but not really trying because we know we’ll need IVF but we have to have been trying first” thing. So that’s 14 months, so that’s failing at something 14 times with no success. That’s 14 occasions where you know you can’t get your hopes up about something, because when you do, you know you are setting yourself up for a bitter disappointment. It’s like someone dangling the prize you want so badly in front of you every month and just when you think you might be able to get it, it slips away.

It’s maddening.

It’s lonely.

It’s frustrating.

And then you have to tell yourself you can’t be upset over something you’ve never had

You have to tell yourself it will be ok, you didn’t have it in the first place, and you’ve gotten on just fine without it, so you don’t need it anyway. You tell someone close to you how you are feeling and they tell you “you can’t think like that, you know the situation” and you just want to scream because you thought this might just be the one month you do get it – don’t they want the same things as you any more? All you want from them is comforting. Then you start to wonder if your relationship is strong enough to get through this. But you don’t confront it because it’s all you have right now and you don’t want to make things worse.

The worst part of all this? You have to pick yourself up, patch up that scar that opens up every month and carry on

You have to. Because if you don’t, you will end up spiralling into a darker space, neglecting friends, family, loved ones.

I know what you are thinking reading this. You’re thinking “Hollie, you are being ever so dramatic, it’s just a period

You know you’ll need to have fertility treatment, why are you getting so upset?” I guess it’s because I’m scared. Scared more than anything that it just won’t work. Scared that I won’t ever have that feeling of seeing a positive test, an ultrasound scan, holding our baby in our arms.  I’m scared that this will tear apart my relationship because we both want this, but he can always leave and meet someone who will not have this problem. Scared because I feel like I’m playing a broken record and eventually, it’ll be too much for him. I’m lonely because no one around me knows what it feels like to feel this obsessive, overwhelming pain and agony that I feel almost every month. I have friends that are great and who want this for us too, but I don’t want to burden them with my feelings.

Infertility is lonely. It’s a constant feeling in my stomach of not being good enough

My body to me, feels like a failure, because this is something that it is equipped to do so naturally, and it just doesn’t work. It feels like everyone around me right now is pregnant, and I just can’t, and I want to cry my eyes out every day.  My failure to conceive makes me feel like I’m less of a woman. It makes me feel like I’m a disappointment. It sends my anxiety haywire and my emotions are such a state. It’s exhausting and I’m tired. For now, I will continue to wear my mask and go about my day to day life. I will continue to hope that someday our dream of having a baby will come true for us.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want other women and couples to know that these feelings are normal, and are ok, and aren’t something to be ashamed of

You cannot and should not ever be ashamed of feeling sad or upset. But how can we help each other to get through these feelings of sadness and disappointment?

Feel the pain

Realize that it is quite natural for you to feel sad, unfair and hurt. For a short time, accept the pain and feel bad. While this might sound like a strange tip, accepting and feeling your hurt for a short time is much better than denying and bottling it up for a longer time.

Throw the guilt out of the window

There is no point blaming yourself or your partner. Do not think that you waited too long to try. Do not think that karma is catching up with you for taking contraceptive pills. Life doesn’t take revenge like that! You are just someone – like scores of others – who are all trying to be a mother. Blame game doesn’t help in the least. Refrain from it, and make it sure.

Be realistic

Do not expect to get pregnant in the first trial. Although that does happen, statistics show that only about 25% women get pregnant the first month of trying. Hey, this is not a movie! 60% women get pregnant in six months and about 90% in 18 months. So if age is on your side, you have nothing to worry for the first 1.5 years

Talk to your partner

Your partner’s physical and emotional well-being is as important as yours. Talk to each other about your disappointment and find ways to relax together. It is possible that your stress is building up on your spouse, after all you are so close to each other. Make sure that both of you are on the same page when trying for a baby. And are tuned in into each other’s feelings

Stop the obsession

Take a break. If you are getting obsessed with your ovulation cycle and planning scheduled sex, consider relaxing a bit. When you are too worried about getting pregnant, chances are you won’t. And when you stop trying so hard, sex becomes more about love and fun than getting pregnant, and your body might just surprise you by getting you pregnant! Never treat sex as a chore just to get pregnant. Shower some love, some romance and a bit of spice, and your hormones will respond positively.

Stay healthy

Exercise regularly, eat healthy on time and sleep enough. No point ruining your health worrying about not getting pregnant. In fact, that would just delay things further. Since you are trying to get pregnant, always keep yourself at your healthiest best, ready for the baby.

Find new things to do

This will keep your mind off things (as a further note to tip #5).

Engage yourself in a new hobby or find a new one

Read. Travel. Do some DIY home improvement projects. Bake. Anything that will help you to stay positive and happy

Feel happiness for others

It is but natural to feel a bit unfair when your friends and cousins talk about getting pregnant as if it was a walk in the park. If you want to avoid a baby shower or two, it is quite understandable. But do not garner negativity in your mind. Remember, it will be your turn to get pregnant soon


Laughter is the best medicine, and an even better healer. Go for a funny movie, read a humorous novel or just watch a comedy show. Keep the funny bone tickling

Get help

If you have been trying for over 2 years, then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor – both for yourself and your partner. If you are over 35 years of age, then it is wise to see a doctor sooner and not wait for 2 years.

I know all of this is easier said than done. But we need to support each other

We need to try our hardest to keep positive even when it doesn’t seem possible. If anything else just remember that you are still here. You wake up every day and keep going. Sometimes that in itself is an achievement enough.


You can follow Hollie on:

Instagram/twitter: @ohheyitshollie


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