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I get multiple messages a day asking me if I’m pregnant or why I am not pregnant yet. I get comments saying I look like I’ve gained weight, so I must be pregnant. After one said that I looked “thick in the waist” I finally responded that it’s not ok to comment on a woman’s body and you never know what someone is going through. There is so much pressure on women to look a certain way and while most mean well with baby questions, it can be hurtful. Many of you sent me messages sharing your personal stories of fertility issues. You helped me, so now I want to share my story with you. When Ryan and I got married, our plan was to start a family right away. I couldn’t wait to get pregnant! I naively thought it would be easy. I’m a healthy woman, I eat a balanced diet, exercise, I don’t smoke. Ryan is the same. But reproductive health is an entirely different ballgame. We were trying, I had to have surgery to correct a problem, got an infection, then I was so run down I got shingles. My doctor advised us to try iVF. We just finished the intense process only to get zero healthy embryos. Not only is iVF physically exhausting, the emotional toll is unparalleled. We were filled with hope and excitement only to be crushed. It is really hard to put on a happy face. Fertility issues are supposed to be private so many of us are silently in pain. I hesitated to share this but I feel comfort when I hear others’ stories and I hope any of you in a similar situation know you are not alone. When people ask me when I’m getting pregnant, it hurts. It’s just a reminder that I’m not. When they say I look like I’ve gained weight, I have. I can’t exercise as much and the hormones have made me bloated. At church on Easter, the priest started his sermon with a story about a family struggling to have a baby and the happiness they are now experiencing that their prayers have been answered. He said it is a time of new beginnings. Tears streamed down my face. I know a family will happen for us, it is just going to be a different journey than we imagined. We will keep working towards it. Someday we will have our happy new beginning and I pray any of you experiencing the same will have yours too.