You’ve dreamed and planned for it for years. Maybe even discussed and picked out baby names. You’re finally in a place where you want to be a mom and dad. 6 months goes by, then a year. All around, friends are getting pregnant. Except you. The ovulating kits keep showing you’re ready. Time continues to race by with every month telling you that you aren’t pregnant. You and your partner go to the doctor for some tests. The phone rings. Life stands still. In one brief moment, your dreams are dashed and you and your partner have now just become a statistic. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. 1 in 8.This week is Infertility Awareness Week. For some, this is not just one week of an awareness. For some, it’s living, breathing, and facing every single day that your body isn’t doing what it’s ‘supposed’ to do. There is so much ambiguity wrapped around infertility: A disappointing hope. The anxiety of longing to prepare for a birthday, not knowing if a funeral service for broken dreams will need to be attended. Will IVF work? Wrestling with questions of faith, God, morality, and endless emotions.What do you do if you or a loved one faces infertility, miscarriage, or a still-birth?
- Reach out for support via an infertility support group or a compassionate listening friend. Remember that you are not alone. 1 in 8 struggles with infertility.
- Give yourself permission to grieve and wrestle with your emotions. If going to a child’s birthday party, attending church on Mother’s Day, or being at a baby’s baptism is too much and too hard, give yourself permission to stay home. Nurture your soul. Allow your heart the space it needs.
- Seek a therapist who will provide you with the safe space you need to grieve, work through questions, be okay and honest with your desires, and/or help you create a next-step plan for your journey.
*A great book about one woman’s journey through her infertility is: “Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility” by Elizabeth Hagan.