Hope is the catalyst that keeps us moving ahead through painstaking months of diagnosis and treatment of infertility. In many ways it’s the drive that keeps us moving and can be our greatest resource during this journey. After many months of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, or stay pregnant, feelings of hope and anticipation can turn in to anger, numbness, guilt and shame. I have experienced these feelings and know what it is like to have hope that fades.
As repeated attempts to conceive proved to be unfruitful, intense feelings of failure and fear that we may never become parents began to well inside me. I began to see procedures that failed as “I am a failure.” These negative feelings became searing and painful and began to damage my self-esteem. I began to have thoughts of inadequacy, defectiveness and helplessness. I felt as if I was not only losing my dreams of nurturing a child, but failing my husband and our families. I felt like I was covered in a black cloud of shame.
I had to learn to accept myself and realize the failed procedures are not my failures. Once I reached that acceptance I was able to empathize with others, have renewed strength to continue and have the ability to endure in the midst of my defeats.
Though there are days that my hope does fade, it is because of that hope that I am able to continue on this path. My hope to have a biological child is very strong and allows me to stand again once I am knocked down.