April 12, 2019 | By Catherine McNulty | General
At Empty Cradle, we support all women who long to have a cradle that holds a child of their very own.
Some people ask if there is grief associated with infertility. I say YES! The grief experience is about the expectations we have for our lives that never come. Struggling to become pregnant is devastating and heartbreaking. We should all recognize that the grief infertility brings is just as valid as losing a child.
“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.” - David Platt
For those of us who have experienced difficulties getting pregnant, infertility can be life altering. As many of us age, the biological urge to have our very own baby can be overwhelming. Evolutionarily, that is the way we are designed and when it doesn’t happen, we can become desperate. Wanting to be pregnant, and create a life with our bodies, one that belongs solely to us, controls our thoughts and emotions, and interferes with our daily lives.
At 38, I was desperate for a child, unaware that infertility would be a struggle for me, and fearful that because of my age, I never would have a child of my own. Once we hit 35, doctors call us high risk, and tell us that we are less likely to be successful.
The stress of it all sends us searching for options online, with our OBGYN’s and fertility doctors, as that frantic need for success sets in.
The process of mitigating infertility and carrying our own child begins to rule our lives. We seek out pills to increase our chances of a natural pregnancy, we learn to inject ourselves daily with a variety of hormones and spend an inordinate amount of time with our backs flat on the exam table and our legs in the air.
Infertility affects 10% of couples trying to get pregnant. It’s the price we pay for the biological urge given to us by our human experience. The lack of control was overwhelming for me and taught me quite a bit about what anxiety feels like.
What I find most troubling is that as a culture, we don’t talk about it and keep our struggle, pain, and ongoing disappoint as each month passes to ourselves. I’m writing this post to help encourage conversation, so that we can lift each other up, and support each other.
When experiencing infertility, we feel cheated, betrayed, jealous, depressed and hopeless. We hurt. We grieve.
Being open and listening to others’ experiences will create a space for knowledge and empathy for those who suffer. Let’s continue the conversation so that none of us have to grieve alone.