Talking about the pain of infertility

pictureIn a recent article published by the Guardian Australia, Louise Williams writes about the emotional pain and stress that she has experienced in her journey through infertility. (I Know the Pain of Infertility–and Talking About it Helps; http://gu.com/p/3pnkc)

I was deeply moved by the author’s courage in writing about an emotionally painful experience which is both deeply personal and one which will resonate for many people who are also facing the challenges associated with infertility.

The author touches on the feelings of grief many women experience and how the expression of this is grief is not really understood in our society.  I was saddened to read that some women may feel that their grief is ridiculous because ‘nothing is lost.’

As I reflect on these words, I am reminded of the fact that the grief experienced by those who experience infertility is deeply felt and very painful. At the same time it is a grief that isn’t really acknowledged and openly accepted. This leaves many women wondering whether their grief is real or even necessary.

The fact remains that many of us who have experienced infertility do become attached to the dreams we hold about our imagined future child. Entwined with this is the vision we may hold of ourselves as future parents.

With infertility, all of our tenderly held dreams, plans and fantasies about our future selves and our dreamed-of babies are completely shaken, and this can be a terrible blow to our inner worlds.  It is as though what once seemed really solid beneath our feet – the concrete, the asphalt, the soil, suddenly seem to cave in and fall apart in front of us. As we walk along, we realize that what we had assumed to be solid and secure is now fraught with uncertainty.

When this happens, we are reminded of our vulnerability and we will experience grief about all that we have lost and wonder if anything will ever be resolved.

It is very normal to hold deep feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and hopelessness when we experience infertility. Unfortunately, the grief surrounding infertility often remains unspoken and in our silence we remain unsupported by others.

I wholeheartedly agree with Louise William’s views on the importance of talking about infertility. It is time for change and for people experiencing infertility to feel that they have a voice that will be heard. It is time for our society to wake up and be more sensitive, compassionate and responsive to those who are suffering from the deep emotional pain and stress that surrounds infertility.