Accepting infertility is not equivalent to accepting defeat

As a therapist for women who have suffered trauma through miscarriages and infertility issues, I have encountered a lot of magnificent women who are able to find strength and accept their bodies and unexpected circumstances when it comes to not being able to bear children. I have also worked with determined women who have chosen the path of trying different methods of increasing their chances of fertility.

And while neither category is better or stronger than the other, somehow, because of how our society perceives motherhood as an expectation and imperative for women, “fighting” against fertility is perceived as more “valiant, strong, and resilient”.

And, with this attitude, we can simply observe that the world still sees infertility as a loss. As a lack. And as a failure.

And acceptance of infertility is simply acknowledgement of defeat. Of surrender.

In my professional and personal experiences with the diverse women I have worked with, I can say that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

What creates the equating of infertility with perceptions of loss, failure, and lack is the stigma we have attached as a society to womanhood and reproductive issues.

It has been inculcated so hard in us to see women as child-bearing and -raising individuals that the inability to “accomplish” that is deemed unnatural and faulty – something that must be corrected, by any means necessary.

And the quiet and calm acceptance of it jars with us as an act of surrender and acceptance of defeat.

Accepting infertility is accepting what IS.

A lot of women, especially after being supported through several tries and after positively processing their experiences of repeated loss and “failure”, have come to a great place of understanding that, however unusual and undesirable their circumstances may be, that is what they have and what they can move forward with. With much work, of course, a lot of women I have worked with are able to detach themselves from harmful and shameful thoughts of inadequacy and failure, and come to the realisation that things are what they are, and they are neither bad nor good. They are what they are.

And, just like any positive person who is dealt unexpected cards in life, these women have chosen the path of acceptance and have rewritten their stories with the understanding that their value as women and the quality of their lives are not dependent on their ability to bear children.

If you are somebody who is struggling with infertility, or even feelings of guilt over not wanting to have children, therapy is available to process these feelings and better understand and forgive yourself for the offences you may have assumed responsibility for, especially after pregnancy loss or termination due to foetal anomaly.

Send a message and book a consultation with me, so we can start talking about your pregnancy loss (or termination due to foetal anomaly) experience during fertility treatment, and I can begin guiding you through the process of healing, understanding, planning and acceptance.

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