How do you cope with the disappointment, pain, and grief of infertility? There are no easy answers or quick tips for stopping infertility from being the worst thing you’ll ever experience – but here you’ll find what works for me. First, read this comment from a woman who went through her own infertility roller coaster before accepting that she’ll never be a mom…
“Being childless is painful but it is not the end of the world,” says Corinne McDonald on How to Be Happy as a Childless Woman – Single or Married. “I found out I couldn’t have kids when I was 28, and I was devastated….until my little sister was brutally attacked. She lived through it, but she has so many health issues, emotional and physical. The world is full of suffering. Infertility is painful, I get it. But it’s not the worst thing that could ever happen to you – and you CAN learn how to be happy as a childless woman. It’s your choice: depression because of infertility or happiness because you don’t want to live in a black pit. What will you choose?”
This reader’s comment so closely resembles my own perspective on infertility, it’s like I wrote it myself! Corinne didn’t say anything about faith or spirituality, but the reason infertility isn’t the worst thing to happen to me is because of my relationship with God. Not my religion; my relationship with the only source of life, love, and light I know.
This list of things worse than infertility might help you change your perspective, and help you hold on to the good things in your life. For there is so much to be grateful for – so much good – even if you’re coping with a devastating diagnosis of infertility.
I was inspired to write this article because Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of E! News, was guest co-host for ABC’s “The View” in honor of World Fertility Awareness Month. She opened the episode on surrogacy saying that infertility stinks and it’s the worst thing in the world.
Is it really true that “Infertility stinks – it’s the worst thing in the world”? Yes, infertility stinks and it’s devastating…but the worst thing in the world? Not by a long shot.
Is Infertility is the Worst Thing to Happen?
If you adopt the “poor me – I’m infertile (or my husband is infertile) and we can’t afford infertility treatments and all I want to do is have a baby”, then you’re setting yourself up for a life of bitterness, strife, envy, and pain.
Why would you do that to yourself? Why is having a child the only thing that makes your life meaningful?
Believing that infertility is the worst thing that could ever happen gives you a negative, depressed, unhealthy perspective that is not based in reality. It blocks all the potential goodness in your life. It stops you from seeing and enjoying the happy things in life.
And it stops you from being grateful for who and what you do have. You’ve experienced a great deal of good, love, joy, and light in your life…and infertility is the black canvas that can let those pinpoints of light shine through.
If you think infertility is the worst thing in the world, then you haven’t slept in a back alley in a cardboard box with your single mom and sister, survived someone breaking into your apartment in the middle of the night to rape you, lived with a seriously mentally ill mother, been cut out of your sister’s life for reasons she refuses to explain, or lived in Africa for three years and witnessed how bad life can really get.
I’ve experienced all those things, which is why I’m childless and still very, very happy. I’d love to get pregnant and raise a child, but it’s not in the cards for us. So, I focus on the benefits of my life — and I write articles to encourage women how to grieve and heal after an infertility diagnosis.
Things Worse Than Infertility
To help you get over the thought that infertility is the worst thing that could ever happen to you, I brainstormed a list of things worse than not getting pregnant:
- Losing a child to cancer or another painful slow fatal disease
- Having a chronically or terminally ill child
- Raising a child who abuses and even kills other people
- Being abused in any way, especially as a child
- A friend or family member’s suicide
- Watching animals get tortured
- Seeing your mom get beat up, and being helpless to stop
- Seeing the way animals are treated in third world countries
- Being homeless – sleeping outside and eating garbage
- Not being able to overcome a mental illness
- Having tumors that cause pain, reduced quality of life, and a shorter life
- Being responsible for someone’s death or serious injury
- Your husband having a vasectomy without telling you
- Never loving, never having been loved
You know what? I can’t go on. I don’t want to dwell on all the worst things in the world. I’m more convinced than ever that there are worse things than infertility — but I don’t need to think about them.
If it’s taking a long time to conceive a baby but you aren’t coping with infertility (maybe you’ve received an “unexplained infertility” diagnosis), read Discouraged Because You Can’t Get Pregnant?
What do you think – is infertility really the worst thing that has ever happened or could ever happen to you? I welcome your thoughts below…especially if you don’t agree with me. I realize that my perspective on infertility isn’t the same as many women’s, and I have received negative comments before.
Feel free to share what you really think and feel. This is a safe place to express yourself! Don’t call me names because personal attacks aren’t acceptable…but feel free to share your emotions, opinions, and thoughts.
Help for Women and Men Coping With Infertility
In Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility, Janet Jaffe, David Diamond, and Martha Diamond walk alongside women and men who are grieving the loss of their dream of having children.
For people experiencing infertility, wanting a baby is a craving unlike any other. The intensity of their longing is matched only by the complexity of the emotional maze they must navigate.
Drs. Janet Jaffe, Martha Diamond, and David Diamond – who are fertility specialists in the field of Reproductive Psychology and who have each experienced their own struggle with infertility – offer insight and compassion.
In this book, you’ll learn how to:
- Reduce your sense of helplessness and isolation
- Identify your partner’s coping styles and erase unfair expectations
- Listen to your “unsung lullabies” – your conscious and unconscious dreams about having a family – to mourn the losses of infertility and move on
Ground-breaking, wise, and compassionate, Unsung Lullabies is a necessary companion for anyone coping with infertility.