Infertility: A painful emotional journey

Posted on March 23, 2010.

Not everyone is able to have a biological child. Credit Kirstin Paliza/IPS

Not everyone is able to have a biological child. Credit: Kirstin Paliza/IPS

Guest Blogger Tapuwa Ayeh

Like many women, I have always wanted to be a mother and motherhood was supposed to be part of my life journey. Well life is not always going to be what you planned. For years, I went through a painful emotional journey of trying to get pregnant, and alas, failing at every attempt.

Getting pregnant should be easy, right? I am married to a wonderful person and we felt the only thing left to make us complete was to start a family.  For years, we worked on getting pregnant. Every month, being hopeful, every month, disappointment, and then guilt. Back to the tests, other alternatives, but nothing worked.

I mean, is this not my purpose in life as a woman. If I can’t bear children then what is my purpose? The initial feeling of failure that comes from not being able to perform life’s most basic task, reproduction, becomes overwhelming. I start questioning. How could this have happened to us? What’s wrong with me? What have I done wrong? Did I wait too long?

With the guilt comes the worst feeling of all. I started feeling isolated from the community of women who have children as I cannot engage in their conversations about children. In the meantime, there seemed to be an explosion of babies around me. Everyone was having babies, and there were baby showers to attend.

While I am very happy for those having babies, I can’t help the feelings of sadness and resentment as to why can’t it be me. I started begrudging others for being able to get pregnant so quickly and easily. At the same time, enduring those “when are you having babies, it’s about time you start a family,” comments and not knowing how to respond without getting emotional because I am not ready to share this very personal information with most, except for family and a few close friends.

Support from family and friends became very important. I am very blessed to have an amazing wonderful supportive family! My poor husband who had to go through the emotional strain I was putting him through coped in his own way. Through it all, we have become even closer. My parents and siblings have been there to give me emotional support and to let me know it is okay. My girlfriends have been there for me as well. I am very blessed as I have beautiful nieces and nephews who I dearly love.

Now I know that not having children does not make me less of a woman or a person and this has been a very important revelation for me. I have also come to realize that there are many women going through this and that I am not alone. We have accepted that we are infertile. With acceptance, we are at peace and happy and are now open to other options such as adoption. We know that infertility is not easy, but it isn’t terminal either!