How to Cope When You Can’t Have a Baby

Not being able to conceive a baby is one of the saddest, most heartbreaking things for a woman. I don’t have any easy answers or solutions coping when you can’t have a baby – but here are a few tips from women who know how you feel.

“My doctor told me I’ll never be able to have children,” writes Jessie on Do You Resent Your Pregnant Friends? “Just recently two of my friends have become pregnant, my partner’s 18 year old sister just had a baby, and most of my other friends already have children. Only my partner knows I can’t have a baby, as I’m not courageous enough to tell anyone else. A lot of his family expects me to get pregnant, which is really hard to cope with…I just wish I could become pregnant even just once.. I want to be a mother more than anything.. It’s so unfair how some people can have kids but others can’t.”

Dear Jessie,

I’m so sorry to hear how difficult it is for you, not to be able to get pregnant. I know how hard it is – all my friends seem to have kids, and four of my coworkers are pregnant! Tomorrow is yet another baby shower at work, and it is hard. I don’t resent them, but I wish I wasn’t missing out on such an exciting, natural, important part of life.

I’m 42 years old. I always believed we’d have a baby. I really thought that even though my husband doesn’t have any sperm, a miracle would happen. I don’t want to try in vitro fertilization, and we’re not keen on adopting. But now I’m just beginning to accept that we will never have children…and it’s difficult.

What helps is planning our future. My husband and I both love to travel, so we’ve decided to go on big vacations every year. He’s planning to retire at age 55, and we think we might move toHawaiior somewhere exotic! And I’m going to grad school in the fall, and love my Quips and Tips blogs. I work with Big Brothers as a Mentoring Coordinator, and I love my job. I love my husband very much, I love our house, and our dog.

I think the best “tip” for coping with depression when you can’t have a baby is to create a life that you love. You’ll always feel a bit sad that you can’t have kids, but at least you’ll have what you have.

You’re right that it’s not fair that most women can have kids, and some of us can’t. Life is unfair in so many ways – some people get cancer, others live in third world countries, others are refugees, others have to work in factories, others lose their children or families, others are abused…and some couples can’t have babies. Life is equally unfair to all of us, I believe. We all have bad, heartbreaking, or sad things we have to cope with.

It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in the unfairness of it all. And it’s not just women who feel the pain…

“Men get depressed about infertility, too,” says J. on Overcoming Infertility Depression When You Can’t Conceive. “My wife and I are having a devil of a time getting pregnant, and we’re not getting any younger. Both of us were in our 30′s when we married. So, the clock is ticking. My depression comes and goes in waves. I’m grieving the loss of never being able to participate in the creation of life that birthing a newborn would allow. I’m grieving the loss passing on the family name…I am the only son of six children. I’m grieving the loss of many, many things that comes with bringing your own biological children into this world.”

Jessie, my heart goes out to you. I wish you all the best, and hope you find ways to build a happy, content, and even joyful life despite the fact that you may never have a baby.



Coping When You Can’t Have a Baby – Tips From Women

Realize you’re not alone – spend time with women who haven’t had babies

“If you’ve spent any extended amount of time in ‘trying to conceive’ limbo, you know that it’s not easy to move away from the overpowering biological urge to conceive a baby,” writes Pamela Tsigdinos in Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found. “It becomes all but a second job what with monitoring, doctor appointments, more monitoring and still more doctor appointments. As I moved forward in my 30s, I found myself working my way through a slow but progressive set of steps. I started at acknowledgement and ended in my early 40s with acceptance.”

One of the best ways to cope when you can’t have babies is to connect with women who know how you feel – and who emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy.

Talk about infertility – it is nothing to be ashamed of

One of the reasons Tsigdinos called her book SILENT Sorority was because women don’t talk about their infertility. Jessie is not alone in her reluctance to tell her family that she can’t have a baby! But, the more you talk about it, the better you’ll feel. Trust me, it gets easier with time.

Reading books written by women who have coped with infertility will help. Here’s a full list of books to help women cope with not having babies on Amazon.

Stay away from pregnant women

“It might sound a bit cruel but my strategy is to stay away from pregnant friends and relatives (and there seem to be a lot of them) if I’m having a bad day. I’ve been trying to conceive for 2 years and have good days and bad days – some days I just know it’s not the right time to be around pregnant women or small children and I just arrange to be out of that situation. Other times I feel fine and make sure I show how happy I am for those people.” ~ Saralucy.

Be grateful for the love you have

“I know it’s gotta be tough being married and trying to conceive, but try being single and not even having a partner on the horizon! That said, we can ALL find reasons to feel sorry for ourselves. The trick is to let yourself feel the sadness without becoming bitter, I think.” ~ kbot.

For more thoughts on not being able to conceive, read Why Infertility Isn’t the Worst Thing to Happen to You.

If you have any comments or tips on how to cope when you can’t have a baby, please share below!

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