Infertility grief IS real. It wasn’t until I listened to @janarupnowlpc that I truly acknowledged this – it validated everything I’d felt.
Many of us have come across someone (usually someone lucky enough not to have experienced infertility) who shows a complete lack of understanding and empathy. They’re unable to recognise the magnitude of what you are feeling because the loss isn’t visible & tangible. It made me feel as though my feelings were an over-reaction, that I wasn’t normal for hurting as deeply as I did.
But my feelings were real. It is something Jana calls “compounded grief”, layers of grief, often not dealt with as we plough on through another month of TTC, another IVF cycle, another early miscarriage without taking time to heal. We don’t stop to properly grieve and heal because, by standing still, we are getting no closer to the one thing that could begin to heal our broken hearts.
I’ve shared in the images above some of the losses I’d felt. I know there are many more – so please open up & share with me. There’s nothing tangible to show for these losses, no designated time to grieve. Layer upon layer, each devastation shaped my infertility – a significant period of my life dominated by the emotion of #grief.
It was only recently I recognised this. I now know that I wasn’t overreacting when I was sobbing uncontrollably, feeling disconnected from the world around me or re-evaluating the meaning of my life – I was grieving for a child that never was.
I wanted to share this to show you that it’s ok to feel this way – to help you recognise it & begin to process it. Ask for help if you need to, talk it out – doing so certainly isn’t weak.
Don’t let someone who tells you to “just relax” or says “at least you can get pregnant” belittle any feelings you have. You can acknowledge it, feel it, and don’t beat yourself up for having days where you struggle – you are experiencing grief…but you can get through this. In Jana’s words “You have to feel it to heal it. Give yourself permission to grieve, to feel the loss, talk about it with others, and cry out the pain.” #youarenotalone