This Runner's Trials

The other side

Yesterday, we toured the maternity center where we'll deliver.


It was a surreal experience. I'm not going to lie; sometimes it's hard for me to go into the nursery to see the baby's crib. And I've been extra careful to keep track of the receipts to all of our baby purchases. A huge part of me still believes I won't get to take home a healthy baby in a few months. But touring the maternity center yesterday made this all finally seem real.

I loved the center. The rooms felt more like a hotel than a hospital. Thus, I kept thinking of the experience as a vacation my husband will take in December. It will be like a destination race; I'll work really hard but then I'll get the most awesome souvenir ever :)

Needless to say, I left the maternity center on a high. 


Then I went to the grocery store where I noticed a woman staring me down with the dirtiest look. I didn't recognize her from my neighborhood or the gym, so I was fairly certain I'd never met her before. Did I grab the last package of yummy looking strawberries? Did I remind her of someone she disliked? Is she a blog reader who hates me?

I couldn't figure it out, so I tried to forget about it. Then the light bulb went off.

She was giving my belly a dirty look because it's something she wants, but can't have. At least, that's my best guess. Seeing how I used to do that to others.

I hate that something that I love- my pregnant body- reminds other women of their failures. Seriously, I hate this. Looking pregnant makes me feel reassured and confident, but it likely does the opposite to so many people.

Obviously, I can't fix this conundrum. I'm going to get bigger, and there's no way for me to hide it.


Situations like this remind me that even if I get my miracle in 15 weeks, I'll never forget the pain of infertility. Likewise, I'll never stop thinking about and praying for my infertile friends.

Once I got pregnant, some people told me I could leave infertility behind now. (Which was very premature since you don't become an infertility success story until you give birth to a healthy baby.)

I don't know how I could ever forget what I went through. The inability to get my period even with fertility drugs, the awkwardness of waiting in the dark for the fertility clinic to open with a dozen other women, the dwindling bank account, the jealously, guilt, and the fear that I'd never be a mom.

Infertility will always be a part of me no matter how many children I have. I know my growing belly and things I say will continue to hurt people, even though that's not my intention. The bottom line is, infertility sucks and I hate that anyone has to go through this.

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  1. On the other side, if people know about your struggles with infertility, seeing your belly can pass on some much needed hope. :)

    I still can’t bring myself to buy any baby stuff, even though I SO want to. It’s hard to get used to the idea that a baby may actually happen at the end of all this!

    • I agree! Too bad you can’t wear a badge that says that so you won’t get dirty looks. Perhaps also, it is a good reminder for us who are struggling with infertility to not look at pregnant women with anger or jealousy. After all, they could have been just like us before and they are finally getting their miracle :)

      • Yes! I had two miscarriages before getting pregnant this time (and am still really early … eek) – reminding myself that I don’t know what other women have been through has helped me get over my resentment at seeing pregnant women everywhere.

  2. I think it’s so beneficial for you to be able to experience both sides of infertility because it will allow you to connect to so many people and help them. I also think it’s wonderful that you can see that both sides have struggles.
    I’ve read some infertility blogs (I don’t know why, it makes my heart bleed because I want it so badly for them), and have been hurt by some of their words as well. As someone who wasn’t ‘trying’ to get pregnant, I hate to listen to some of the harsh words infertility bloggers will write about those that came upon pregnancy ‘easily’. I still have doubts and fears and worries about carrying a healthy child and my changing body. I have struggles, too, but never say much about it because I feel like I’m not ‘allowed’.
    I am incredibly grateful for the miracle growing in my belly and wish all women could band together to support each other with whatever struggles we face, rather than making it another divided issues to pick sides on (breast feeding vs non breast feeding, public school vs private, scheduled bedtimes vs not, there are a million of them I’m finding out!)

    PS-I didn’t mean to sound like the crazy girl from Mean Girls (‘I wish I could just make a cake full of rainbows and butterflies…’)

  3. i absolutely love your blog–your honesty, your excitement, your inspiration. so i just had to tell you–you look SO cute in front of that maternity center!!! if i saw you in the grocery store, i’d just be jealous cause you’re so stinkin’ cute. :)

  4. I love this post. As a fellow runner who also struggled to get pregnant, I can totally relate to all of the feelings you went through…anger with your own body, confusion, frustration, jealousy, and guilt. We tried for 2 years to get pregnant and when we finally decided to go down the road of adoption…lo and behold, here I am 30 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

    You just have to have faith that what is happening for you right now is meant for YOU. This is YOUR plan in life. I really appreciate your big heart and caring so much for others and the way your joy could potentially be affecting others. That speaks volumes for the amount of compassion you have in your heart and to the kind of loving mother you will be. You will be a wonderful example for your sweet bebe.

    While it is hard to make sense of it, we also have to realize that some people are bestowed with certain gifts while others are not. I know that sounds blunt, and I don’t mean for it to be harsh, but it is true. It’s the same reason why I don’t have the amazingly long, lean figure of Heidi Klum, or the millions of dollars like Bill Gates. I think it is wonderful that you remain humble in never wanting to forget your struggles, but please don’t let that take away too much from this wonderful experience you have now. You deserve this. Its okay to be excited about it. :)

  5. Oh love. I’m sorry she did that to you. And I’m sorry for that woman, because chances are, if she’s infertile, she’s going it alone. I haven’t been the same infertile woman since I joined this community of women.

    Your belly brings me such joy. I remember back in the day when we were both infertile together. We fought the good fight, and both of us won. I remember you checking on me after the first miscarriage. We got pregnant again about the same time, after countless doctors told us both it wasn’t possible. Here’s the thing: your belly full of baby boy reminds me that ANYTHING is possible still, and gives me hope.

    Also, I love CMC Pineville’s Maternity Center. Love.

  6. “The bottom line is, infertility sucks and I hate that anyone has to go through this. ”


    Even though I managed to get pregnant a 2nd time without fertility problems – it still hung (and still hangs) over my head. We want to have a third and it haunts me and makes me afraid to try. Could I be that “lucky” again? I guess we’ll find out! I do believe I went through my fertility struggles for a reason – a lot came out during that time of my life and I have the sweetest miracle reminding me why I fought and how I defied the odds.

    Don’t let dirty looks get the best of you. You know what YOU went through to have this baby! It would be nice if we were all a little more open minded and less judgemental – but I guess that’s what makes us human. I don’t think you will ever forget – but it does heal over time. And you’re definitely at the point were you can start celebrating!

  7. I am really sorry that someone gave you a dirty look in the store. That isn’t fair to you at all.

    For what it’s worth, your blog is a definite source of inspiration and hope to me and I have always appreciated the sensitivity you have displayed towards us infertile myrtles. And I agree with Katie: you deserve to be happy and it’s more than OK to be excited!! You can bet that when my day comes, I will be over the moon with happiness, and I hope you are too! :)

  8. I liked the suggestion they made on stirrup queens (I think?) about an infertility ribbon around your wrist. A tiny way of saying to those ladies in the supermarket “I feel your pain”.

  9. thats so cool you got to visit! I didn’t know people did that, well, maybe I did but never really thought about it. I can’t believe it’s close enough for you to even be doing that!

  10. Touring the maternity ward is good to do and Pineville is great, the nicest in the area. Enjoy all of the experiences of having YOUR baby and don’t let anyone take that away from you.

    Failure is only when you stop trying!

  11. I think this is a beautiful and sensitive post – and I can completely understand where you are coming from xx

  12. you are still more than entitled to feel all you do, but you’re also entitled to that excitement. I’m sure it’s a strange pulling of emotions and i’m sorry you feel tugged in two directions. Hugs!

  13. Jen you’re so thoughtful and empathetic, particularly towards women who struggle in a way you can relate to so well, but try not to forget that you’re still allowed to be incredibly joyful for how it’s ended up for you. And I think deep down every woman who cares about you is still very happy for you.

  14. You are such a beautiful person for sharing both your experience with infertility and now with your pregnancy. I don’t know how you can possibly forget those struggles. It is so much a part of you and I pray for you every day that your little boy comes out healthy and happy. My mom found your blog through your comments on mine and she said your infertility story had her sobbing. With my sister-in-law going through her own infertility, I can’t help but feel guilty about my blessing. I want nothing more than her to be pregnant and I know how hard it is for her to watch me go through my pregnancy, but I know I can’t possibly understand what she is going through.

    Keep your head up + smile Jen. I can’t wait to see your little baby boy come December!

  15. I’m on my second pregnancy using fertility treatments…everyone told me after baby #1 that ” oh it will be so easy with #2 that you won’t even need fertility meds now that the pipes are cleaned”– was hurtful considering we had to go through it again to get #2.  I love my baby I have and the one soon coming but the sting never goes away…the emotions of “we weren’t even trying!!” announcements still are numbing…they always will be.  It is part of who I am now and really the mom I have become…I take nothing for granted with my girl and I know I won’t once little boy is here too.

  16. thanks for this post. It’s a great reminder that we usually have no idea what it took someone to get pregnant. As someone struggling with TTC, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. But I need to remember that just b/c they are pregnant, it doesn’t mean it was easy. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  17. You are amazing.. you run faster at 25 weeks pregnant than I ever have.. and I’ve never been pregnant! And you look wonderful! I hope those headaches go away soon though!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

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