Shop the fall collection ➔

Another month has come and gone without getting those two pink lines on that stick. Even though you did everything humanly possible to try to get the perfect chance of a positive.

You tracked your basal temperature and used an ovulation stick every single day, waiting for that line to darken for your best chances of conceiving.

You and your husband tried every other day, for five days, right in the middle of that “perfect fertility window”.

You bought conception friendly lubricant and you sat with your legs in the air to try to let gravity help things along.

You took the expensive prenatal vitamins, fish oil, and every other supplement you’ve read about daily.

You drank fertility tea and haven’t had a glass of wine in MONTHS just in case you were to conceive.

You cut out soy and anything processed that could interfere with healthy hormones.

You tracked every symptom and mood change in your fertility app.

You maybe even went to the doctor for blood work to make sure your hormones weren’t needing any extra help.

You sat anxiously through the “two week wait” overthinking anything that could possibly be a sign.

You scrolled past daily pregnancy announcements, bump updates, and precious baby milestone pictures on Facebook just hoping this time you’d get to join in on it.

You’re happy for your friends but also so disappointed that you haven’t had your own announcement yet.

You Googled “early signs of pregnancy” and tried to find any of them.

Your breasts are bruised from trying to determine if they were getting sore or not.

You prayed for some nausea every morning before you got out of bed.

You tried to tell yourself that even though mood swings are also a symptom of PMS . . . that this time it was because of pregnancy.

You maybe even gave in and took a pregnancy test a few days early and when it was negative, you gave yourself the “well it hasn’t been two full weeks yet” pep talk.

You did it all. Everything the blogs and all of your well-meaning friends suggested you try.

Then on test day you did it. You peed on the stick and then you sat on the ground with your phone timer set for three minutes and you prayed.

Please, PLEASE, let it be this month.

Your timer went off and you took a deep breath . . . 

And there was still only one line on that test.

And whether it’s your first month of trying or your fortieth . . . you’re deflated.

Another month of nothing.

Another month of waiting for your period to come and go, then waiting for the two weeks to pass until you ovulate, and then again another two-week wait to take a pregnancy test . . . and that’s IF you have a regular cycle.

If you’ve been trying awhile, you will call your doctor and cry and maybe it’s time for blood work and an ultrasound to see what’s going on in your body. Maybe it’s time for your partner to get checked out, too.

You might be battling PCOS, endometriosis, side effects from chemotherapy or other medications you’ve taken. You could be against fibroids, cysts, limited eggs, low sperm motility, and a whole host of other obstacles. Your age may even be a factor by now.

You’re so discouraged, maybe even over it. You’ve made the decision to start or further your family and once that desire is inside of you, it’s so hard to deal with not getting it right away. It’s even harder when you’ve experienced loss along the way. Miscarriages, chemical pregnancies, giving birth to a sleeping baby, losing your baby after birth, or even losing a child that you had years with . . . all loss makes that desire to be someone’s mom burn inside of you like a furnace.

Even if you have other children, it’s OK to want more and be sad when it’s just not happening. People will say “Why don’t you just be done? Be happy with the kids you have.” Or, “There are so many kids who need adopting, why don’t you spend your money there.” There’s truth in that but, you’re just not there yet for whatever reason and that’s OK. You want to carry life inside of you. You want the experience and the bonding. You want the kicks and even the labor. And that’s OK. But it’s also OK to be done. Whatever you and your family and doctors decide . . . is OK. 

And it’s OK to keep trying. Because maybe, next month, you’ll see those two pink lines. 

You may also like:

This is Infertility

5 Things I Wish People Knew About Infertility 

Infertility Wrecked Me and Made Me Stronger

Shelby Skiles

Shelby Skiles is a wife, teacher, and mom to her two-year-old angel, Sophie. Sophie passed away in January 2018 from Lymphoma. Shelby chronicled Sophie’s entire battle through her blog Sophie The Brave and hopes that transparently sharing her journey through, motherhood, cancer, and now grief will inspire others to look passed their circumstances and see that God is bigger than all of it. She’s deeply committed to honoring Sophie’s memory by sharing her story and I spring others to ‘Do More’ and make a difference. 

No One Will Ever Call Me Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Negative result digital pregnancy test

This is going to be a tough one. Another seemingly innocuous situation that should be easy, but for me is anything but. It comes in different forms—a conversation, a moment in a TV show, a scene in a book—but it always has the same effect. Some reference to motherhood makes me flinch.  Today, it’s in an English lesson I’m teaching online to a 7-year-old boy in China. I’m supposed to be teaching him to say, “This is my mom.” Slide after slide in the lesson shows a happy mom cuddled next to her child. Mom and daughter hugging. A toddler...

Keep Reading

To the Nurses Who Loved My Baby In the NICU

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman smiling at newborn in hospital chair

I wish I could remember your face. Your name. Something. But I only had eyes for the tiny baby in front of me. My whole world was about to change and I think you understood that more than I did. He was so tiny. Impossibly small. I had never held a baby so little. He made up for his teeny size with an impressive mop of jet black hair that stood straight up on top of his head. He also had hair all over his body and you reassured me this was normal for a preemie. There was so much...

Keep Reading

My Last Baby Changed Me

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother and baby touching foreheads

I was already a mom of two teenagers. I thought I’d move to a city and join corporate America in a few years. But my last baby changed me. There would be no law school or big city living. Now, I write about life in my little country home. And I don’t see that changing. I thought I’d be that old lady with 10 cats. I already had three I snuggled and loved on. I never cared about the litter box, the clawed couches, or the meowing. But now I find myself disliking pets. I hope that might change. But...

Keep Reading

Real Life Maternity Photos Are Beautiful Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Pregnant women on floor next to toilet, black-and-white photo

As a maternity and newborn photographer, my feed is full of radiant moms and seemingly tidy spaces in the families’ homes we work in. We always want you looking and feeling your best in your photos, and to avoid clutter that can distract from the beautiful moments we’re capturing. An unfortunate side effect is that it creates the impression of perfection, which can be intimidating for anyone interested in booking a photography session. In our consultations, we frequently hear concerns from pregnant moms like, “I’ve gained so much weight,” “I have nothing to wear,” “My home is a mess,” or...

Keep Reading

Having Babies and Toddlers Is Exhausting—but So, So Sweet

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Family of four with baby and toddler on bed

I took the girls to one of our favorite coffee shops last week and all around me were parents of babies and toddlers. Their little ones ran about in the grassy area out back, toddling up and down the lawn, when it suddenly hit me with perfect clarity—the sun has nearly set on this season for me. It was a realization marked by internal tension, a mourning of the loss of one season contrasted by the joyful anticipation at the arrival of the next. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a tidal wave. Having five kids in...

Keep Reading

You Used To Fit In My Lap

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler lying on mom's lap in rocking chair, color photo

Hi Love, Remember when you could fit comfortably across my lap in this chair? I do. We’ve done a lot of sleeping and feeding and reading and rocking and laughing and crying (yes, both of us) here these last few years. We still manage to make it work for all of the above, but these days we most often sit side by side. When we don’t, I’m fairly certain we both wake up sore the next day from the necessary contortions. (OK, probably just me.) It’s true, there is a larger chair waiting for us in what will soon be...

Keep Reading

We Don’t Get To Know You, but We Will Always Love You

In: Baby, Loss, Motherhood
Couple holding baby announcement

Dear baby, There is still so much about your dad and me you don’t know, but that takes time. Parents aren’t the only ones watching loved ones evolve. Over time, kids meet new versions of their parents too—we change, we make mistakes, we grow. I often think about what an adult relationship with you would look like, how we might bond or argue, the inside jokes we might have, how we’d show each other love. I hope we’d be close. I don’t know if you’d be loud and goofy like your dad, an empath like me, or something else entirely....

Keep Reading

5 Ways Being a NICU Mom Changed Me for the Better

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding up smiling baby, color photo

When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was panicking inside. A multiples pregnancy would be anything but a breeze. At our 20-week scan, my husband and I were told that our baby girl had a life-threatening birth defect that could lead to serious complications like heart failure and even death if left untreated. In addition to interventions during the pregnancy, she would require lung surgery immediately after birth. This diagnosis coupled with the fact that our babies were born at 34-weeks earned us a NICU stay of nearly three months.   I could write a whole book...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Your Baby Starts Out Feeling Like a Stranger

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn feet

Rolling over in bed, lights off and covers pulled high, I whispered to my husband, “It finally happened. I feel bonded with Bubba.” Our sweet 3-month-old slept peacefully in the cradle beside us as I shared the happy news. I laid back on the pillow and smiled up at the ceiling in a silent prayer of thanksgiving and joy. Motherhood feels like the most instinctual journey I have ever walked, but bonding doesn’t come naturally to me, and it never has. When I pulled our firstborn onto my chest for the first time a few years ago, I expected the...

Keep Reading

Becoming Someone’s Mother Can Feel Foreign

In: Baby, Motherhood
New mom holding baby

For my little girl—I’m so blessed I get to be a part of her world. My life changed in a minute. She came into this world so perfect and innocent. I heard her cry and then they handed her over. I held her in my arms and thought I would know her. I longed for that feeling, like I finally felt whole. But the longer I held her, the bigger the hole grew in my soul. It wasn’t long after, in a room full of people, I felt so alone. Motherhood can be evil. I just wanted to go home....

Keep Reading