The Mental Phases Of Accepting Fertility Issues
Sometimes when a woman discovers she’s infertile, she wasn’t even trying to have children—or even certain she ever wanted to have children, as it’s common for this information to come up during totally routine exams. There are, of course, other women who unfortunately discover fertility issues after years of trying to conceive with their partner. Receiving this information, whether you want children or not, is complicated and painful in different ways. In a way, learning you can’t have children is a loss. You didn’t lose a child, but you lost possibilities—you lost an option that, until then, you always thought would at least be on the table. Nobody likes to have their options taken away before they even had a chance to think about them. Here are the mental stages of realizing you’re infertile.
If you wanted children…
It can be a bit hard to believe. You’ll think most the world can get pregnant every day! How am I not like them? And since there are often no physical symptoms of infertility it can be very difficult to comprehend that something inside your body is not as it should be.
You’ll wonder if you did this
Is this because of all your drinking in college? Is this from that infection you let go untreated for too long? From that sport, you were really into? You’ll pick apart every choice you ever made in your life and wonder if that was the cause.
You’re angry at accidental pregnancies
You will likely think of all of the people you know who have become accidentally pregnant, and you’ll feel a little angry at them. They weren’t sure if they were happy or terrified at the news; you wish you could take that moment from them because you know you would have been ecstatic.
A bit of guilt
If your partner very much wants children too, there is some amount of guilt that comes with discovering that you’re infertile. You feel like you are taking your partner’s dream away from him.
You’ll wonder if he wants someone else
It’s a ridiculous thought, but a common one to have during such an emotional time; I bet my partner wishes he were with someone else—someone fertile. Your partner will, of course, assure you that he wants a life with just you, kids or no kids.
You’ll look into your family history
It’s normal to become curious about your family history now. Did your mother or grandmother ever have miscarriages? Was anyone else infertile?
You may find some upsetting news
If your mother ever did have a miscarriage, there is very little reason she would have told you…until now. She might, out of a sense of obligation to give you all the facts you need, tell you now. That can be a shocking and upsetting conversation.
Also, you’ll dread telling your parents
They won’t be able to hide their disappointment because they always wanted grandchildren. And you are in no place to handle the disappointment of others, on top of your own, right now.
You’ll jump into other options
You might go into action mode researching fertility treatments, surrogates, adoption, and the like. This may become your obsession for weeks.
You’ll realize it was too soon
Just like you can’t begin dating right away to get over a heartbreak, you can’t just let go of your dream of having your own children in a matter of weeks. If you get close to filling out an adoption application, you may get a knot in your stomach and stop; you aren’t done grieving yet, and this isn’t the right way to do this.
You won’t want to be around babies
You might ghost your friend who is pregnant or has a baby right now because being around her is too painful.
You’ll want to be around all the babies
You will end up feeling bad—it isn’t your friend’s fault. Also, you love children—that’s why you want them! So you will miss them and want to be around them again.
Fertility treatment costs will shock you
Like, truly shock you. You’ll feel a bit outraged that your insurance doesn’t just pay for these treatments 100 percent—isn’t your choice to have your own child your God-given right, you think. And shouldn’t insurance cover my rights?
You’ll fall more in love with your partner
Why? Because he’ll be tremendously supportive throughout this. He’ll offer to take on extra work to help pay for the treatments or to sell his car that he loves.
You’ll be ready to try other options
This experience will show you what a wonderful team you and your partner make, and you’ll realize you should give your gift of parenting to a child, whether that child comes from an orphanage or surrogate.