Infertility is hard—very, very hard. Some studies have found that infertility creates as much stress and emotional trauma as a divorce or cancer diagnosis. But along with all this pain, we asked our large online support group if anything positive came out of their infertility struggles. Their responses will warm your heart.
Amid all the suffering that infertility causes, some rays of light shine through. For many women who responded, infertility brought both pain and growth—a deeper wisdom and knowledge about themselves.
Learned What You are Made Of
Struggles help us know ourselves better and sometimes we surprise ourselves by being stronger and more resilient than we ever imagined.
I am way tougher than I thought, but I am also more fragile than I thought at the same time. ~Leslie Molloy
I’m more resilient than I realized. I learned to love myself and how to not be afraid of my voice and advocate for mine and others needs. ~Kate Nagy
My husband and I are stronger than we think AND our marriage is rock solid! ~ Tanya Campen
I’m so much stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally than I ever could have imagined. ~Melissa B.
I am the MOST stubborn person I know, and I would have never classified myself as stubborn before our infertility journey.~ Candi K.
Many women expressed that their suffering has given them greater insight and understanding of how others suffer from all the trials that life throws at us. A greater sense of empathy was a common refrain.
Infertility taught me that everyone has stuff. (LOL) Sometimes you can see it, sometimes you can’t, so just try to be kind. I might not know exactly how someone feels – how can anyone? – but I can understand what it is to have strong feelings, and maybe I’ve had similar ones. My miscarriage helps me understand others’ grief and reactions to loss of all kinds. ~Sarah
Infertility Doesn’t Define Us
I loved the responses that fought back against the limitations of the infertility label. When you are in the midst of infertility, it can feel like it owns all of you–that infertility is who you are. It is not.
I’ve been married 5 years with no kids. Women will say hurry up and have a baby. It’s the most amazing thing you will ever do. I’m pretty amazing without ever haven given birth. We all are! ~ Melissa B.
I am more than my infertility diagnosis.~Anon.
Practical Life Skills
Some women are able to apply the skills they’ve learned through infertility to other areas of their life.
I learned that I don’t have as much control over life/outcomes as I always wish and thought I did. That hard work/doing the right thing/committing to a path doesn’t always mean that I will get the expected/desired outcome.~ Renee C.
A sense of humor is the best tool to deal with nosy people. I had someone ask me if we were “doing it right”. ???? So I offered for them to come watch and see if we were. I’ve also learned to never ask people personal questions. If you don’t already know at least part of the answer then it isn’t any of your business. ~Rebekah S.
Patience and cautious optimism are qualities that guard the heart while keeping me hopeful. ~ A. Hoerlein
You Can Shift Your Dreams and Still be Happy
Sometimes what we think will kill us makes us stronger. We may have never imagined that we could shift our dreams and still live our “happily ever after”.
I found that I wasn’t trying to become pregnant. I was trying to become a mother. Once I held my son in my arms and looked at his beautiful face it no longer mattered that I was never able to get pregnant. Adoption isn’t a cure for infertility however motherhood has cured me of my desire to become pregnant. That doesn’t even look like a good time to me any longer. (Of course, I’m 43 with a 3 year old. I’m pretty damned tired! If I were 10 years younger I may feel differently.)~ Niki Freimuth
I learned that there is only so much your body can take in regards of fertility meds. That I always wanted to be a parent and there where other ways I could. Yes having a biological child with our heritage is a dream but being a parent to a child is a Dream Come True. I learned to shift the stubborn focus of biological thought to adoption. ~ Marynes Pastrana
I’ve learned that in spite of incredible pain & loss, I could pick myself up & not give up on my dream of being a mother. I had to give up on my dreams of having children, but I became a mother to my sons through foster care & adoption.~ Yvette Stromsodt
Did anything positive come out of your infertility struggles?[sws_blue_box box_size=”515″]
Other Creating a Family Resources You Will Enjoy
- How Long Will You Hold On To the Pain of Infertility
- Impact of Infertility on Your Self-Esteem
- Ten Snarky Answers to “When Are you Going to Have Kids?”[/sws_blue_box]
Image credit: Crystal Coleman; bellatrix orion