The Worst Part of Infertility Isn't What You Think

The other day, in the grocery store, looking at all of the food I had just put on the belt for the cashier to ring up, I smiled to myself. Fruit roll-ups, juice boxes and individually-sized bags of popcorn were things that I never thought I’d get the chance to buy. Because for a long time, it looked like I was incapable of getting pregnant. Little did I know that the worst part of infertility wasn’t even the waiting, the stress, the tests, the not-knowing: The worst part of infertility is social media. Here’s why.  

Yes, during my infertility journey I definitely stressed about the crazy procedures I had to endure to try to conceive, starting with one where they shoot dye into your uterus to make sure everything is all clear and, about two years later, ending with a round of IVF that amazingly, resulted in twins. The expense of all of this, coupled with the need to give myself shots, get blood draws and never-ending doctor visits all took a toll. And that’s in addition to how for me and my husband, baby-making went from a happy expression of our love into a clinical, fraught procedure.  

All of that was hard, but what really sucked was having to see everyone else’s constant social media posts about their pregnancies and babies. While I was struggling, babies seemed to be everywhere – there were videos on Facebook of them getting messy eating ice cream, professional pictures of them sprouting out of flower pots and candid shots of them looking adorable in diapers. All of that sounds cute, but when you’ve seen one too many negative pregnancy tests, all of it can make you want to quit social media by destroying your laptop Office Space-style.  

Seeing pictures of pregnant women was even more triggering of my desire to commit acts of violence against electronics. There should be a disclaimer that precedes any picture of a woman draped in a gauzy shawl, cradling her naked baby bump. Woman, we get it – you’ve got life inside you. Congratulations. Now for the love of god, please put that thing away. 

Don’t get me wrong – once I was actually pregnant and later, as new mom I did all of these things on social media, and more. From their first baths to Halloween pics, I relished the chance to post cute pictures of my twins for all to see. I even did a pregnancy photo shoot. But I did try to intersperse these baby-centric posts with other things about my life, knowing that for friends who are still trying, that seemingly innocuous pic of your baby with yogurt on his face can be hard for a woman who can’t realize her dream to be a mom to take.  

Let’s face it, social media without adorable baby pics would be like the Internet without cat memes – it’s just unthinkable. But if you’re a mom with a trigger-happy posting finger, just remember that some of your friends and followers may be wishing for what you’re gloating about. So do them a solid and throw a couple of pictures of your lunch or your new amazing shoes in there for variety. Somewhere, there’s an infertile wannabe mama who’ll be thanking you.  


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