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Grieving and Infertility

grief and fertility

Infertility is often accompanied by grief, depression, anxiety and stress. If you’ve ever felt this way, know you are not alone.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this!

By the time a woman gets to GENESIS, it may feel like life hasn’t been working out the way it was “supposed to be.”  Maybe the implied social agenda didn’t quite work out the way everyone said it should.  She got an education, found a job, found a partner, her career path became solid, and then it was time to start a family.  By that time, perhaps age became an obstacle to conceiving easily.  But wait, she says, “I did everything right!”

“I shouldn’t have trouble getting pregnant now that I am ready” she thinks.  She believed what they told her in high school about how easy it was to become pregnant.


Maybe real life got in the way.  The perfect partner never came along, the unperfect partner strung her along with promises of “next year…”, or a divorce caused a change in the path to an imagined family.

Or maybe the randomness of nature intervened with the original plans for a family.   A chronic illness postponed family building for critical years or impaired fertility.  She found the right partner and then they discovered his sperm couldn’t swim.   She found out that menopause began when she was only 28 years-old.

Each of these scenarios is a loss of plans made for a future family that included smiling infants and happy parents.  Yet each of these scenarios happens to patients without reason and often little warning; causing them to come to GENESIS for help conceiving that much wanted baby.

Moving past grieving

At first, it may seem emotionally uncomfortable to medicalize what “should” happen intimately and spontaneously.  Part of coping with the medical aspects of infertility is making emotional peace with what has gone before.  This may include forgiving oneself for decisions that seemed right at the time so that in the future she could be the best mom she could be.  That might mean having waited for the right partner, or perhaps until there was enough financial stability to provide for a child.  Sometimes it means being confident enough to become a single mom.  Moving on from regrets about what might have been is a process of forgiving oneself for past decisions and becoming ready to embrace new possibilities.

There is no way to turn back the clock, no do-overs, there is only moving forward to become the best parent you can be in ways that you are ready for now.   It will be your family story to share with a child about how much he or she was wanted and how you waited until just the right time.

Kris Bevilacqua  is a clinical psychologist who offers counseling and support while patients are navigating their fertility journey.

If you would like to learn more about GENESIS Fertility New York or are ready to schedule an appointmentplease speak with one of our New Patient Specialists at 718-705-7724

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