Wake up? Pee on a stick. Afternoon time? Pee on a stick. Bedtime? Pee on a stick. Everyday moments in between? PEE. ON. A. STICK.
This is the obsessive life of women who are desperately trying to conceive. Why isn’t it discussed more amongst us? I’m honestly not sure. It’s weird that we don’t, because I’m almost 100% positive (no pun intended) that every struggling-to-conceive woman has taken more than one pregnancy test per day whilst trying to get pregnant.
Maybe the first test was squinted at with “line eyes,” and you swear there’s a second line somewhere on there if you squint long enough, tilt your head just right and rub your belly at the right speed (okay, I added that last one). Maybe you saw one of those super pesky and overly annoying evaporation lines leading you to question the validity. Or maybe, just maybe, you really, really want a baby, and you can’t wait until the next morning to pee on a stick again. Because, ya know… it didn’t show up two hours ago, but it just MIGHT now.
For many women, it’s exhausting and emotionally draining.
That’s why Amber Dalton, graphic designer at Mom After God’s Own Heart and mother of four, created this sticker to tear down the barriers associated with infertility. It reads: “This stick does not define your worth,” and we are so here for this positive affirmation.
In a recent Facebook post, Dalton wrote:
“I consider myself a fairly fertile person. God has blessed me with four beautiful children (and one beat me to heaven). However, I would be lying if I said there were not months when that one line on that stick did a number to me. So if you find yourself tonight anxiously awaiting the morning so you can pee on one of these sticks or maybe you already did multiple times today and continued to get the same result, know this: That stick does not define your worth.”
Dalton’s words sparked a movement with mothers trying to conceive, and you may be able to find some of her stickers stuck to the pregnancy test aisles in stores. These little reminders are a way for women to join together and say, Hey, I know you’re driving yourself to the brink of madness desperately trying to conceive a baby, but you are still you even with one line… and you are enough.
“That night before you go to bed, you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m going to wake up in the morning, and the first thing I’m going to do is pee on this stick,'” Dalton tells Scary Mommy. “Either I’m going to be so elated or I’m going to be so depressed.”
When Dalton’s photo of this sticker began circulating around social media, many women, including one of her acquaintances who had been trying to conceive for six years, reached out about the relatability of her words. With over 31,000 shares, it’s fair to say that Dalton’s long-time acquaintance wasn’t the only one who was touched and needed to hear this message.
“People need to remember that not everyone can have children. My husband and I tried for ten years and it became very expensive and very exhausting,” one commenter stated. “This [is] a good reminder for everyone to remember that just because you don’t have children doesn’t mean you don’t have a family to care for or you’re not a complete woman.”
We need to stop predicting future outcomes for those families who are struggling to conceive, and we need to just love on them during these brutally trying times instead. Because out of every eight women that we see in this world, there is one among them suffering (often times in silence) through the bitter monthly cycle of infertility.
When you wake up to get your kids out of bed in the morning, there are countless mothers all around the world frustrated with seeing yet another lone line on their pregnancy test. Instead of offering cliché phrases that really don’t soothe the soul, how much more empowering would it be for us to say to these hurting women, “This stick does not define your worth?”
Because it doesn’t, and it never will.
That doesn’t mean the crushing process isn’t painful, and it doesn’t mean it comes and goes without the most sorrow.
These women already know that there are “other ways to make a family,” so stop reminding them of that. Sadly, IVF, surrogacy and adoption aren’t viable options for everyone. Your reminder likely only enhances their soul-crushing disappointment. Don’t be that person.
Remind women who are struggling to conceive of their worth, not their options. Follow Dalton’s lead.