The career? Check. The partner? Check. So, now that you’ve got the life you want — and you are able to have children — congratulations, you’re ready to make a baby. But wait: It’s actually not that simple.
Making the decision to start a family is a beautiful thing, but what you might not be prepared for is how long (and emotionally complex) the ride ahead could be. At least, that was the recurring theme of the responses Refinery29 got when we asked women to answer the question: What do you wish you knew before you started trying to conceive?
Over and over again, women told us that they were blindsided by the fact that baby-making isn’t always a one-and-done project. In fact, more often than not, it isn't like that at all.
Perhaps because so many women today spend years of their lives actively trying to avoid pregnancy, it can come as a shock that a healthy 30-year-old woman has only a 20% chance of getting pregnant in a given menstrual cycle, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. This means that of 100 women trying to conceive during one cycle, 80 of those women will be trying again next month.
And that’s just for heterosexual couples — these odds mean little to those among us who have same-sex partners or who choose single parenthood. It also doesn’t take into account the one in seven couples in the UK who will have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term because of infertility.
In spite of this complexity, the one thing women told us would make things easier is if we simply had more open and honest conversations about what the experience is really like. So, let’s talk about it. Ahead, 11 women share the tips, stories, and advice they wish they’d heard before they started trying.