If you are reading this because you are going through infertility, I am so sorry.

It’s one of the toughest things I have been through, and so many people just don’t understand how hard it is.

Since adopting my son and becoming a mom, my infertility no longer bothers me, but I remember the journey to become a mom well. It took 28 months for me to hear the words, “Congratulations, you’re a mom!” When I look back, I have no idea how I got through that time of waiting.

I don’t know how long you’ve been going through your struggle, but I ask you to give yourself a break.

Give yourself a break from the guilt.

Every month, you blame yourself for not getting pregnantsomething that isn’t your fault. 

It’s not something you ate or didn’t eat. 

It’s not an exercise you did or didn’t do.

It’s not because you didn’t sleep enough or too much. 

It’s not something you read about in your Googling of why you aren’t getting pregnant. 

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Give yourself a break from people who don’t understand.

There are a lot of people who just don’t understand what you are feeling because they’ve never gone through it. 

Maybe someone told you, “It’s not like you’re sick or dying.” No, you aren’t dying physically, but every month that passes crushes your hope, and it feels like your dream of becoming a mom is dying a slow and painful death. 

Maybe someone told you to be thankful for what you have. You know there are many ways you are blessed in life. It’s just you want to be a mom so badly, and you don’t understand why this good thing is being withheld from you.

You can be grateful for good things in life and still grieve things you don’t have.

Maybe someone who doesn’t know how badly you want to be a mom keeps telling you not to wait because you’re not getting any younger. You don’t feel comfortable telling this person all you are going through but wish they knew it wasn’t by choice that you are waiting for your baby.

It’s OK to take a break from people who make your pain worse.

Give yourself a break from painful events related to babies.

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You don’t have to go to every baby shower or baptism you are invited to. A lot of people won’t understand how hard these events are for you. They won’t know about the dread you feel in the weeks leading up to it, your stomach in knots and the tears coming down your face when you think about it. They won’t know you prepare an escape plan in your mind if it’s too painful to be there, so you can quietly slip away without ruining the celebration. There are some people, like family or a very dear friend, who it makes sense to go to these events for. But if you’re invited to one for someone you aren’t super close to, don’t feel guilty about turning down the invitation.

If it is someone you aren’t close enough to feel comfortable sharing your pain with, you don’t owe an explanation other than, “I can’t make it.”

Give yourself a break from shopping in the baby section.

Whether you have an event you are attending or you’re sending a gift in your absence, don’t force yourself to shop in the baby section. It can be unbearably painful to look at all those cute little outfits and cry in the middle of Target as you wonder if you’ll ever be shopping in that section for your own baby. A gift card to a store is just as thoughtful, so the parents can pick out something they still need for their little one.

Give yourself a break from social media.

It can be so hard to hear pregnancy announcements or adoption announcements while you’re wondering if your baby is ever coming. Nowadays with social media, we hear about far more babies on the way because typically we have more connections on social media than people we see in person. It’s OK to take days, weeks, or even months away from social media if it feels like every time you log on, you end up crying because you see it’s someone else’s turn to become a mom while you are still waiting. 

Give yourself a break from trying to put on a happy face all the time.

It can be mentally exhausting to try to get through day after day of pretending everything is OK around people who do not know the sadness you are experiencing. It’s OK to take a day for yourself to just relax at home or do something for yourself. 

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Give yourself a break from trying.

No, I’m not saying to give yourself a break from trying because all you need to do is relax to get pregnant as some people may have suggested to you.

I’m saying you deserve a break because it is exhausting to have your life revolve around trying to get pregnant.

Maybe you’ve had many months of blood tests. 

Maybe you are doing fertility charting and are tired of having to track fertility symptoms throughout the day. 

Maybe you are tired of starting your day with either ovulation predictor test strips or pregnancy tests depending on what part of your cycle you are in. 

Maybe you are tired of fertility medicines and their side effects. 

Yes, becoming a mom is so important to you, but you are also an important person who deserves to take care of herself, too. If you need a month (or a few) off from trying so hard, you deserve it.

Kimberly Keys

Kimberly is a stay-at-home Mom to her long-awaited precious son who joined our family through the miracle of adoption. She loves watching her toddler discover new things, especially when exploring the parks around her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. You can follow her writing on Facebook at Kimberly Keys, Writer