Infertility affects roughly 12 percent of people of reproductive age in the united states. 7.3 million in one area of the globe struggle to have a baby. The burden of infertility is regional, national and global. Both male and female factors can complicate conception. Infertility or loss can bring up emotions of profound grief.
the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The three steps in conception are ovulation, fertilization and implantation. I was only focused on those three steps, I didn’t know I was headed to those five stages. Grief is a noun that can be defined as deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. Nobody died, but it felt like it. I was overwhelmed with anguish that I couldn’t get pregnant.
I was in denial for a long time, it took me 3 years to see a doctor who specialized in fertility. I was a young woman, I didn’t believe I would have problems getting pregnant. I had high hopes that I would get my two pink lines. The anger started when I was on fertility medication. I was so incredibly frustrated. I did everything I was supposed to do, I did it all right, and I would still fail. I guess I could compare it to studying your ass off for a final exam and getting every single question wrong. I am a woman who cannot reproduce. I was created and given a reproductive system to have children, and I couldn’t do it. what is there to be happy about?
The last three stages were not in the correct order. I was depressed from start to finish. I tried to stay positive and happy, but when your period comes, or you get that negative test every single month, it’s like someone dies every single month. You start to heal your wounds and then they are cut open again. When I would cry in my failure, I would tell my husband it feels like someone has died a tragic death every 3-4 weeks. Who can live like that? After I had my first surgery and was diagnosed with endometriosis, uterine fibroids and I already was treating my low progesterone levels, I started to bargain. I kept begging god to help me. I knew deep down that it wasn’t going to happen, but I had to try to beg and plead. I started to beg even more when I had a date for my hysterectomy. I cannot tell you when the acceptance part happens. It may still be happening. How do you accept this? How does a woman accept childlessness?
I look back on it now, and I am not even sure how I have survived. I know one thing for sure, I was never alone. I had amazing support from my husband and good friends, I have an amazing support group, I have a therapist, I have five dogs, and I have a motherly role in helping raise my stepdaughter. I was once told by a therapist that I had all the correct outlets and interventions to cope with my grief. Did she not see how tired I looked? Did she not see my eyes filling up with tears? Did she not see my heart breaking? I am a smart woman, but I am barely holding it together.
Your heart cannot physically break. I would need at least 10 new ones by now. Infertility and loss can feel like you are drowning and nobody will save you. You are tired, weak, and feel like you can’t breathe. Here is one secret to this healing process, you’re not alone. Find your support system and use it. Your support system is there for you in all your success and all your failures.
” I am half agony, half hope.” ~ Jane Austen