When we polled Ava users about the most annoying advice they got from friends and family who knew they were trying to conceive, the most common admonition by far was, “just relax and it’ll happen.” One woman even heard it from her doctor, who helpfully suggested that she get drunk, too. Here were a few other comments:
“You’re thinking about it too much.”
“Take a vacation and you’ll come back pregnant—that’s what happened to me!”
“It will happen in god’s timing.”
“You just need to stop obsessing.”
It would be nice if all it took to get pregnant was a shot of tequila and passionate lovemaking session. And for some women, that is all it takes. But for others, getting pregnant takes work. It takes waking up early to take your temperature, peeing on countless sticks, examining your cervical mucus daily, and planning your sex life around your ovulation schedule.
Some women get pregnant quickly, and some women don’t. If you’re in the latter group, it doesn’t mean that you’re less of a woman, or obsessed, or broken. All it means is that you have a harder time getting pregnant, so you’re more likely to do something about it. And guess what: the girl who got pregnant on her first try would act the same way as you if she found herself starting cycle four and still no BFP.
It is almost impossible to be casual about getting pregnant if it doesn’t happen right away. And when someone tells you to stop trying so hard, they’re implying that you are a baby-obsessed loser who simply enjoys obsessing over classifying her cervical mucus and scrutinizing her temperature chart. That if you really deserved to get pregnant, it would just happen naturally, without even trying. When someone tells you to stop trying so hard, what they’re really asking is why you can’t be the carefree girl who throws off her high heels and rolls into bed on her wedding night and wakes up oops-pregnant.
Who knows why you can’t be her—it doesn’t matter. You’re not her, you’re you. Some people get pregnant quickly, and some people take a little more time. The difference has nothing to do with your value as a person. But one thing is certain. There is no shame in yearning to be a parent. It takes bravery, it takes vulnerability, and yes, it takes effort. Most worthwhile things in life do.
There’s a lot of pressure on women to pretend that we don’t have desires, that we are not ambitious, that we are laid back and chill. That’s a trap. Truly living involves admitting that you want something and trying hard to get it, even when there is no guarantee of success. Falling in love is like that, excelling in your career is like that, and having a baby is like that.