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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman who desperately seeks her own slice of motherhood must be inexplicably surrounded by an anomalous number of pregnant friends, family members, neighbors, and complete strangers.

In the years we have been trying to conceive (TTC, as all the hip infertiles call it), numerous friends have had their first child. My own sister has conceived and birthed two. A cousin, who had no business adding to the brood for which he already could not care, had a third beautiful girl. A distant cousin and childhood friend each spontaneously conceived and birthed twins. Another childhood friend, who is two years younger than I, became a grandmother. (Yes, you read that correctly.) And don’t forget about the countless over-40 celebrities. Et tu, Kelly Preston? (At 48, are you f*#$@!& kidding me?)

In the past three years we have lived in our current home, the young woman who lives behind us has had two children. This is in addition to the approximate one-year-old she had when we first moved in. And call me Prometheus for I had the privilege of watching her smoke on her back deck throughout her last pregnancy. (I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but my cyber research confirmed she’s a bona fide ignoramus. I hate to be so severe on my own sex. But, there it is. She has no profession. She is unable to support herself, let alone her three children. And she has had as many children with as many men. All without apology. My research also confirmed people publicly post too much on their Facebook accounts.)

In truth, as much as we infertile women (and men) are happy for those deserving expectants, our hearts break a little every time we hear their happy news. This is the paradox in which we are imprisoned. We remain barren while everyone and their teen has a child.