• Waiting to Have a Baby: How to Cope with the Emotional and Social Pressures

    Moms share their personal experiences and tips on how to deal with other people’s expectations of when it’s time to have a baby.
    by Samantha Catabas Manuel .
  • woman waiting

    Photo from framepool.com

    For some couples, getting pregnant may seem so natural and easy. But there are those who struggle to conceive and have to deal with the pressures of waiting and wanting to have a baby.    

    There are quite a number of factors which may affect conception such as infertility, hormonal imbalance, ovulation problems, health complications, age, lifestyle, stress, poor diet, and weight-gain or loss. Experiencing any of these will definitely add to that pressure.  However, coping with not being able to conceive go beyond just the physical aspects.    

    There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with the emotional and social pressures of waiting to have a baby, and often, these affect women more than men because while most women grow up thinking that they will become mothers someday, men don’t have the same pressure from society. 

    Women go through a lot of emotional stress as they deal with their desire to have a baby, most especially if the waiting is taking longer than expected. Many women who struggle to get pregnant experience the following:

    1. SELF-PITY – feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling guilty of not being able to conceive a child, and feeling that you are deprived of something you want so much, to the point that you begin to think that life is unfair. 

    2. ENVY – This is when you find yourself comparing your situation with other women who have children. Feeling bitter whenever female friends or relatives get pregnant. Being stubborn and refusing to accept the reality of your situation. 

    3. ISOLATION – Avoiding social functions or situations which will put you on the spot where you will have to respond to other people’s questions as to why you don’t have a baby yet, such as family reunions, or occasions such as baptisms and baby showers. 

    4. INSECURITY – Feeling unfulfilled as a woman and as a wife. Thinking that not being able to bear a child will later on cause problems in your marriage. Convinced that there may be something wrong with you.  

    5. ANXIETY – Always worrying about everything. Anticipating that things could end up bad. Giving in to the emotional stress and social pressures.  

    Personally, I went through this kind of emotional roller-coaster during those moments my husband and I were struggling to conceive. In fact, I must have experienced all five kinds of emotional stress.

    Sometimes, I still cannot believe how I survived 4 years of waiting, of dealing with pressures, of being asked, of the never-ending frustrations whenever I would get my period and of dreaming of becoming of mother… but I did, and holding on to hope never failed me up to that very moment I finally gave birth to our son.

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    Below, three couples share their inspiring stories:

    jocelyn jarabelo

     Jocelyn Del Carmen Jarabelo, a dental nurse, and Mike, a civil engineer, got married in April 2007. Initially, they preferred not to have a baby just yet in order to enjoy the early stages of their married life, but when they finally planned to have a baby after 2 years, it became very difficult for them. “We sort of regretted delaying for 2 years.”, according to Jo.

    They resorted to various ways to help them conceive, like seeking medical help from an OB-GYNE, monitoring Jo’s menstrual cycle, and even trying out treatments such as injecting hormones.  
    Jo was starting to get pressured most especially whenever she thought of her age, since both she and her husband were already in their 30s. It didn’t help either whenever she would encounter relatives asking her and Mike if they were ever going to have a baby.  

    However, what saw her through amidst the pressures she was facing was her husband. “My husband was very supportive. It (struggling to get pregnant) did not affect our relationship at all.”

    Another source which she feels gave her the strength to cope was her faith in God. “I believe in this saying that, ‘The best time is His time’.”

    True enough, when that perfect time came for Jo and Mike, “We were so happy. We cried.”  This was how Jo would describe how she felt the moment she discovered she was pregnant.      

    After 4 years of waiting, they finally experienced the joy of becoming parents to a baby boy, John Zachary. “The feeling was truly unexplainable,” says Jo.

     

    Lyn Nulud

    Sales administrator Lyn Hicban Nulud shares her experience too by saying that “From the start of our marriage my husband and I really tried to have a baby but it didn't turn out that way.” She and her husband Philip, a civil engineer, got married in December of 2007.   

    They were not disturbed that Lyn did not get pregnant immediately.  Instead, they took this opportunity to enjoy their time together as husband and wife. However, when their married friends got pregnant one by one and eventually gave birth, Lyn got seriously alarmed and worried. There were times when she was already getting impatient.  

    Then she had to deal with the pressures from others. It didn’t help that family, friends, and even acquiantances would persistently ask them when they were going to have a baby. This would often make Lyn very upset to the point of sometimes not wanting to go out and socialize anymore just to avoid the frustration of getting asked.  

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    Amidst these pressures however, their relationship as husband and wife grew even stronger. “In our case I believe it had a beautiful effect, as we were given time to deeply know each other.”, says Lyn. “We had some fights and misunderstandings that made us realize a lot of things particularly in our relationship as husband and wife. In this way, our connection as a married couple became more intact before we were blessed with this wonderful gift of a baby.” 

    Three and a half years into their marriage, they finally received the good news they longed for when Lyn discovered she was pregnant. “I actually cried when the doctor said I was pregnant, I was not really expecting it that time as I always have delayed periods.”

    The couple’s joy was indeed incomparable. Every time Lyn would feel worn-out and exhausted as a result of her new role as a mother, she would always look back to that day she found out about her pregnancy and everything would be fine. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Larayne Elizabeth.

    Lyn offers some words of encouragement to other couples who are still waiting: “Enjoy all the time you have with your husband. Hold on to your faith. Prepare your heart and soul to receive that wonderful blessing.”

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