This is a window into my life.... Infertility, Pregnancy Loss, Marriage, Weight Loss Surgery, and finally... a multiple pregnancy.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grief and Infertility

I get so frustrated with people when talking about infertility. It truly is something that you just don't understand until you've been in those shoes. You don't know the constant pain and depression that happens month after month. There have been numerous studies that have equated the emotions of getting your period every month while fighting infertility to losing a loved one every month. You go through all the stages of grief month after month. It's a seemingly never ending cycle of ups (very few) and downs (a great many).

For those of you that don't know, the 5 stages of grief are: Denial, Anger/Guilt, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

Some information is about how infertility itself causes a person (couple) to go through the stages of grief. (Stages of Grief After Infertility). Hearing the word "infertility" is often a shock. This wasn't really the case for me. I knew I would probably have trouble getting pregnant because of my PCOS. The article I posted above has a pretty good idea of what people might feel or experience when they find out that they are infertile and may never be able to have children of their own (meaning biological).

Now I want to take a look at the stages of grief as they apply to a woman's monthly cycle. Every single month, a couple dealing with infertility, especially the woman, goes through the stages of grief. There is never a break or reprieve from the feelings. Just like a woman gets her period every month she experiences let downs month after month.
 Here's how it goes:
Denial: This is it. This is the month we will get pregnant. I don't feel like I'm getting ready to start. I'm sure my boobs are sore because I'm pregnant. Yep. This is it. Without a doubt it is finally our time!... That negative pregnancy test... It's just to early. Fast forward a few hours. Oh... that spotting, maybe it's implantation bleeding... maybe?... please?

Anger: WHY ME!? Why can't it be my turn!? What have I done so wrong to deserve this? Why can crack whores get pregnant but I can't! This isn't fair!

Bargaining: Dear God... It's me Mary... (well no... not really, but it was that before infertility and pregnancy loss killed my faith). Now it's more like... I will do anything... ANYTHING to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Really... standing on my head while eating jello. If it will get me pregnant... you can bet your ass I'll try it.

Depression: This usually involves crying, avoiding pregos, chocolate, wine... more crying. More avoiding of fertile people. A bit of self loathing is thrown in there. Oh... and don't forget feeling like a complete and utter failure for the millionth time.

Acceptance: This month is over. I can't change it. I can't fix it. I can't make it different. Time to start again.  Maybe this will be our month....

And so it begins again.... Over and over again.


  1. Thank you for this post, it was exactly what I was looking for to help my husband understand how I feel every cycle.

  2. You described every stage perfectly! I've been married for nine years and we have struggled with infertility for 7. (We are now trying to adopt) infertility is an up and down roller coaster of emotions that other people just don't understand. Thanks for sharing your story and congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope everything goes well for you!


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