The Support I Needed When Battling Infertility But Didn’t Know How To Ask For

By Anni


I really wanted to have children.  I spent the second half of my twenties mulling it over, convincing myself and my husband.  I spent the first half of my thirties consumed by making it a reality.

PCOS. Anovulation. Clomid. IUI. IVF.

For years.

Until I finally got pregnant just to lose the baby. Just to hold a tiny fetus in my arms long enough to say mommy and daddy love you.

Would have loved you.

I’d like to say I handled it all with grace, but I’d be lying. I obsessed, I wallowed, I envied. I asked why me. I resented the unfairness of it all. I cried. And then I cried some more.

At the time, nothing anyone said helped. Not the advice to just enjoy my life while waiting patiently. Not the promises that eventually it would work out. At the time I didn’t think there was anything anyone could have said.

But in hindsight…

After becoming a mother and being a mother. After thinking about what I want my daughters to know if they inherit my health conditions.

When I hit my rock bottom – when I was carrying my baby’s ashes in a small black box – I didn’t need more reassurances that one day my dream would come true.

What I needed to know was that even if this was the closest I ever got to motherhood, I would still be ok. That in our motherhood-glorifying society a woman can lead a fulfilling life without bearing children.

The Support I Needed When Battling Infertility

What I needed to hear was this:

Your worth as a human being is not related to your body’s ability to produce a child.

You don’t owe anyone a baby. Not yourself, not your husband, not your parents, not your husband’s parents. Not the world.

You are strong for trying. For letting your arms be bruised from needles. For letting your mind go blurry from hormones. For letting go of the expectation to make a baby in private, with romance, in candle light.

For spreading your legs to a different stranger every day.

For enduring the humiliation, the embarrassment.

For laughing at carrying your husband’s sperm in a cup even when you want to cry.

For being happy that your husband is the healthy one, that it’s you and not him carrying the guilt.

For dreaming the same dream every night. Of the smiling child with your husband’s nose and your own eyes.

You are strong for all that and we will stand by you for as long as you need us to. We will forgive you for your mood swings. We will care for you when you are on bed rest. We will cry with you over the ball of cells that stopped dividing on day 7.

But we also want you to know that it’s alright to stop, it’s alright to not do this anymore, it’s alright to move on. When your mind and body tell you it’s time, it’s alright to let go.

It doesn’t mean you are weak. It doesn’t mean you are a quitter.

It means you are strong enough to work through the grief. It means there is something else in store for you.

This is not going to make or break your life. It feels like it will, but it won’t. There can be more to life than motherhood. There is happiness beyond bundles of joy and blue and pink teddy bears. And if it comes to that, we will help you find that happiness.

We are here for you. You are enough.

You will be happy again. Regardless.

A few thoughts on infertility support from someone who has been there.

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About the author 

Anni

Hi! I'm a life coach, a Certified MBTI® Practitioner, and a mentor for stressed out introverts and highly sensitive people. I used to be one myself! My mission is to help you discover your true self and create a life you ACTUALLY like.

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  1. Thank you for writing this. As the title states those were things I needed to hear but didn’t know how to ask. As I’m sitting here crying bc of our situation and feeling like I got a hug from your words. Weird I know but it’s what it felt like. I am sorry that you experienced such loss!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Amara! I’m glad if my post helped even if in a small way. I know how hard it can get.

  2. So from the article you have three children. How did you get your miracle hurricanes? Adoption or ivf or iui. Hope you don’t mind me asking.

    1. I don’t mind at all. 🙂 We did six rounds of Clomid only and four rounds of IUI+Clomid with no pregnancies. Then I got pregnant from my first IVF, but lost the baby at 18 weeks. After that, we had to wait several months before trying again. My second IVF was unsuccessful, but I finally had a healthy baby girl (who is now 7) as a result of my third IVF. When we started trying for a little brother or sister, we did two rounds of FET. The first resulted in a chemical pregnancy and the second resulted in boy-girl twins who are now 5.

      1. Thank you for writing this and telling your story! I know this is an old post but found it today while struggling with my journey. We are on our 4th IUI and have started injectables this month which has been very emotional for me so your words really spoke to my heart! Thank you so much!

  3. This is a perfectly beautifully put article that hits the nail completely on the head. Thank you for writing this. Infertility is still such a taboo subject that no one ever knows how to talk about or what to say. I’m about to embark on try number 3 after 8 years of clomid, IUI and 2 x IvF; two miscarriages and praying for my miracle but your are right, it doesn’t define us. But we are brav

  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this. It has been 384 days since we started the journey to become parents. And 384 days later we are still childless and have no answers as to why. Some days I’m ready to give up and not let it consume anymore of my life. I know our experience has been short compared to many and it is really only starting. Reading this helps me know that if the time ever comes when we need to stop, it’s okay. Thank you for giving me the extra push I needed for today.

  5. Thank you for writing this. I think you put into works a lot of feelings and thoughts a lot of us have had but were always to afraid to share! Thank you!

  6. Thank Anni for writing this. Everything you said is exactly how I am feeling. We tried getting pregnant on our own. Then moved to Clomid & IUI. After three unsuccessful IUIs we finally got pregnant only to have it end with miscarriage at a little over 12 weeks. We have been trying but not success. Reading this helped a lot in knowing someone understands what I am feeling and going through.

  7. I’m glad I found this…its been 7 years of trying with no success…not 1 single pregnancy. Through the 7 years I’ve had to watch both of my sisters have 3 and 4 children each. Some days all I want is to give up, and some days all i need to hear is “it’s ok to stop.” Thank you for this.

  8. Thank you for sharing. My husband and I are in the midst of a 5 year long battle with infertility due to severe endometriosis and while I’m not ready to give up just yet, I appreciate your honesty in this article. I could feel societal pressure being lifted from my shoulders as I read your words–and I didn’t even realize I was feeling that pressure!

  9. Thank you. I have been battling that same thought process but wasn’t sure why I couldn’t get these answers. We have been trying for 8 years to only find out 2 years ago that I have stage 4 endometriosis and will have to do IVF at no the age of 38. COVID -19 happened and now I am at a stand still and don’t know what the next step is for us on this journey. So, again thank you.

  10. This is a good article and words to remember. However I will play devils advocate a little bit as it sounds like the wise realization you came to was after you were able to be successful on your no doubt long, painful journey to motherhood. I wonder if the feelings would be the same if the journey had not been successful. I am a highly ambitious person engaged in the community with many hobbies and interests. I do not feel like I owe anyone a baby, and no one is pressuring us to have any. I’ve dug deep to uncover the reasons I really want children and know it’s for all the right reasons. Could I move on and be happy in some way without children, sure, I’ve been through many difficult things and know I could get past this too, but a huge void would be left, and I know I would never get over it. I am certain not having children would change me forever as a person. On this journey I don’t think we talk enough about those who are never successful in becoming parents in one way or another, and what that process is like.

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