Infertility is a deeply personal and difficult journey for many couples. It can be an isolating experience that leaves you feeling alone in the world, knowing there’s no one to turn to when things get tough. Even guidance from their own doctors simply isn’t enough.
People experience both hope and loss in the process of being infertile.
This leads many couples to feel a sense of grief and those losses are compounding.
Grief is an emotional and physical journey that never follows a linear path. The grief you feel after infertility can be especially difficult to navigate because it’s so personal. There are no rules or guidelines for how long it should take- just your own feelings on what works best with YOU.
How to Notice the Grieving Stages of Infertility
It can be very difficult to notice that you’re in a grieving stage when you’re focused on a specific outcome. But couples who are struggling with infertility do experience several stages of grief.
Denial-When you first receive the diagnosis sometimes you might wonder “that can’t be right” or maybe you keep powering through with a “I’m fine, everything is fine” stance. Often this stage tends to move quickly as you progress with the treatment cycles.
Anger-Sometimes you can feel a little resentment and wonder “Why me? It’s just not fair”. A person feels this when they have moved out of the denial stage. they may feel anger towards other people who have children or pregnant women.
Bargaining-Reading up on ways to get pregnant, changing your diet, thinking and process with the hopes that it will affect your pregnancy outcome, is part of the bargaining stage….“If I do this, then this will happen”.
Depression-You figure “if you can’t have a baby what’s the point?” You become withdrawn, spend a lot of time crying and grieving and isolate yourself. During this stage it’s time to speak with a professional who can help.
Acceptance-Is coming to terms with the way things are. You realize it’s all going to be okay and things will happen when the moment is right.
How Can You Manage Your Grief
We must always remember that there is no right or wrong way to process your grief. There is no time frame, magic button or easy fix.
You must find the best way that allows you to process, make peace and heal from it.
Keep in mind, what works for one may not work for another.
Although you may be going through the same storm as someone else, the journey will be different. But that doesn’t mean you cannot grow and move forward.
Here are some suggestions that may help you along the way:
- Writing letters to your future baby
- Create an altar
- Plant a Garden
- Create a Ritual or Healing Circle
- Access your own creative outlets.
Remember to be kind and gentle to yourself during this time. Things always have a way of working themselves out when the time is right.