You avoid pregnancy announcements, baby showers, and other pregnant people. You tear up at the store while passing the baby section, or go out of your way to avoid it completely.
You’re in a queer, LGBTQIA+, or same-sex relationship — or entering into parenthood as a single parent by choice. Your path looks different from the outset, which can bring up a lot of emotions you didn’t expect. You may not have a support system that understands your decisions, the process, or how to best show up for you.
You were previously able to have children, maybe even quite easily, but you no longer can. This secondary infertility feels especially unfair.
You feel isolated and like you are lacking the relationships and support you want and need.
You’ve always known you wanted to be a parent, and now you’ve discovered that your journey to parenthood isn’t going to go according to plan.
You’re grieving the loss of the family you envisioned.
There are so many emotions that come with infertility. The anger and sadness can be overwhelming. The feelings of shame, guilt, jealousy and loneliness catch you off guard. People ask questions or make comments that may be well-intentioned but are incredibly painful, and you struggle with knowing how to respond or set boundaries around conversations about your situation.
You may find yourself avoiding the baby section in stores, or feeling like there is no way you can put on a brave face long enough to attend that baby shower you’ve been invited to. You spend hours reading everything you can find on ways to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy each month. Your relationships are different and may be more tense, stressful, and don’t feel as supportive as they used to be. Infertility is incredibly lonely, confusing, and unfair. You catch yourself thinking and feeling things that are completely out of character, and you don’t know what that means or how to manage it all.
In addition to realizing you are not able to build the family you’ve always wanted in the way you thought, you may be attempting to navigate alternative options such as infertility treatments, using donor gametes, fostering, or adoption. Each of these are complex and often painful choices that we never planned to have to make.
Build a family that most closely reflects your vision
Genuinely congratulate others in your life who have announced their pregnancies
Make decisions for yourself and your family that are authentic and healthy