Getting pregnant isn’t a skill.

It isn’t a talent that some people are better at than others.

It’s simply the luck of the draw .

YOU are not a failure.

It is not your fault.

It really is just the luck of the draw, meaning some of us have great difficulty in conceiving and may only be able to become parents with some help from science.

Why is it that so many of us feel like we’ve failed when we aren’t able to conceive naturally? Infertility can leave us feeling like a failure as a woman… as a man…even as a human being. I remember feeling so much anger towards my body for not doing what’s seen as the most natural thing in the world – being able to reproduce & pass on my genetics. When all-consumed by infertility sometimes I’d find it hard to recognise that, in most cases, it is out of our control & not our fault for needing help to make a family. It’s why I think we can easily become obsessed with elements we feel we can control – diet, exercise, holistic & complementary therapies, weird & wonderful remedies, old wives’ tales. Following a negative result, it leads us to the ‘what ifs’ – “did I not try hard enough?…what if I’d tried x, y, z?” We can convince ourselves that it’s our fault the IVF cycle didn’t work. I questioned myself all the time, it’s now that I realise it was all out of my control – not being able to reproduce is not my fault. It’s not your fault either.

Since starting DefiningMum, I’ve come to realise that the language we use in talking about infertility can actually make this worse. We often hear fertility struggles described as a “fight” or “battle” – implying that the onus is on us to “win” or “lose”. Then there’s the word I absolutely hate, one that formed part of my diagnosis – “failure”. It crops up so many times… “Premature Ovarian Failure”… “Failed cycle”…you name it, it makes us feel like WE have failed. I actually didn’t pay much attention to the language I used in the beginning when writing – I even called an early blog post “Failure or Fighter”, something I would now describe very differently!

I share this as a reminder – needing help to conceive shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.  You are not lacking any skill or ability – it’s simply shitty luck, something we have to accept and face. Think about the emphasis you put on your own role in your fertility journey & don’t beat yourself up when it comes to things you simply cannot control. Lastly, think about language & try not to fall into the trap of making yourself believe that YOU’VE lost a fight, or you’ve failed. YOU haven’t, you’re simply dealing with an incredibly difficult situation. The way in which you are facing this adversity is something you should be incredibly proud of.

Love, Becky x