We found this essay on the pain of infertility and miscarriage so beautiful that we had to share it. Certainly, it’s a hard read, and yes, longer than some of our typical pieces. But the poignancy of her words makes it worth your time.

A classics professor who took time to build her career and find her stride in academics, the author laments the many things that “they” didn’t tell her along the way.

They don’t tell you how you’ll feel when you finally sit down with a fertility specialist to review the single-digit success rates for couples your age, the four- and five-figure costs (not covered by your insurance) for each escalating artifice in this business that profits from hope and fear. How you’ll reel when you learn your ovaries have been shutting down — treacherously, inexorably — all this time you were hitting your scholarly stride, running and biking five times a week, feeling in your prime.

and the agony of enduring all of it only to have the chances of conceiving continue to dwindle:

They can’t tell you why you had to go through so much for so little; how the world carries on untroubled as you and your husband age a decade in two weeks. They can’t tell you how it feels to be back to square one, but with every month that’s passed, more prone to miscarriage and genetic aberration, even shorter on eggs and time. They can’t guess your chances of ever conceiving again, of next time ending differently than this.

It’s a bittersweet and very intimate view on the author’s choice to delay family-building in favor of career-building. You can read the whole essay here.