From Our Readers
May 04, 2016 7:30 am
iStock / bruniewska

Have you ever had so much to say about a topic that when you attempt to convey your many thoughts and feelings, the only vibrations that leave your mouth are word vomit, not coherent sentences? Hi, yes, this is me right now. I have a lot to say and I hope you can make sense of it.

I’m not pregnant. Many, many tests have told me that. And for a good while I tried not to believe them. The problem is, that definitive single pink line is unrelenting. It returns again and again, bold and ruthless as ever: “I’m not going anywhere.”

As a result of all these disappointing tests, we now have a new rule in our household, or several, really: no pregnancy tests, no ovulation tests, and no planning. Recently, I spoke with a friend who is attempting to establish a similar set of rules. In the midst of so many women around me being pregnant, I’m thankful that I have someone who is right alongside me. During our conversation, we both realized something. Every time we take a pregnancy test, we feel worthless; sheer and utter heartbreak pervades us, and it’s crushing.

Because of this conversation and the several that followed, I realized that I wasn’t treating myself fairly or with the love or kindness I deserve. Neither of us were. And if you’re experiencing setbacks like we are, perhaps you aren’t either. While I’m speaking to my own hardships, I hope you can find comfort in what I have to say.

I’ve said a lot of hateful things to myself over the years in many circumstances. What I’ve noticed, though, is that I’m even more hateful and unforgiving towards myself after getting a negative result. I thought even I had limits, but after seeing that single pink line, I’ve often said things to myself like, “Is this some kind of punishment for having depression?” and “It’s probably for the best that I can’t get pregnant. I wouldn’t want to pass on all my issues to my kids.” and “I’m worthless. I can’t even do what I was created for.” The list goes on, really, and you may have a list, too. Here’s the thing, though: They’re lies. Every single one of them. It’s difficult to not to believe them, but we have to try.

I’m not worthless, and neither are you. I attribute some of the blame to my lack of sex-ed. My high school teacher was too embarrassed to talk about the *very important* issue of fertility, so he skipped over it. I was left to figure everything out on my own. So, when it came to getting pregnant, I genuinely thought I had it figured out. After several months went by and the tests were still negative, I began to worry — maybe I didn’t have it figured out after all. I thought, “There’s something wrong with my body. According to the movies, I should be pregnant by now.”

I still don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve learned some things along the road that I’d like to share. Be kind to your body. The movies are wrong; in fact, they’re wrong about a lot of things. If you’re like me and you were given little to no sex-ed, do your research. Visit a doctor, ask questions. Do not, I repeat, do not, be afraid to ask questions. Try not to obsess over getting pregnant. I need to have control, but when it comes to getting pregnant, I’ve learned to forfeit all of it. And in a way, there’s something kind of beautiful about that. Plus, trying to plan a pregnancy is just downright stressful and mentally exhausting. If scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed and seeing all the expecting mothers causes you heartache, take a social media break. It’ll do you some good to get away from all the triggers.

Okay, I know that was a lot, but I hope it helps. Don’t lose hope. Remember: you are not alone.

When Michal Walther isn’t taking selfies with her cats or binge watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she dedicates her time to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and reminding people that it’s okay to feel things. You can follow her on Instagram

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