Dear Sassy Surrogate: Is it my fault I can't get pregnant?
Dear Sassy Surrogate,
I don’t know what to do!!! I have been trying to conceive for a very long time and can’t get pregnant. I want to be a mom so much. I hear people say that infertility is common but if that is true, why does no one ever talk about it? Is it my fault I can’t get pregnant? I feel so alone.
- Sad and Alone
Dear Sad and Alone -
I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is true that “7.4 million women, or 11.9% of women, have ever received any infertility services in their lifetime. Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained.” (https://resolve.org/infertility-101/what-is-infertility/fast-facts/). This is an issue that affects a high number of both men and women, yet so many people suffer in silence.
I struggled with infertility for over five years. We went through years of unsuccessfully “trying” to get pregnant on our own, over a year of attempting artificial insemination (IUI) and then years of IVF treatment until we were blessed with our daughter. I spent most of that time feeling ashamed and like a failure. I felt inadequate and that my inability to get pregnant meant that there was something wrong with me. I was too embarrassed to talk about it or tell anyone about the pain we were going through. I did not want people to feel sorry for me, yet I spent every day feeling sorry for myself. The grief and sadness were so intense that I isolated myself and felt even more alone. I felt as if I were the only one in the world going through these feelings and experiences. At that time, it felt like everyone around me and everywhere I went people were either pregnant or had a baby (and then getting pregnant again). I had a hard time being happy for friends and family who were having babies and even started resenting going to baby showers. I did not like the person I had become. These feelings added to my shame and isolation. Where was that 11.9% of women when I needed them? Why did I feel so alone when others were clearly also experiencing the same things? We blame ourselves and shame ourselves into isolation instead of reaching out and seeking the support we need.
Now I share my experiences and struggles with everyone. I reach out to anyone I hear might be dealing with any sort of infertility. I never want anyone else to feel alone and isolated like I did. I want them to feel supported and to know they are not the alone in their feelings, emotions and struggles. It is important to spread the word, to let others know it is okay to talk about, to let people know that opening up about infertility can feel good. The more openly people are able to discuss their struggles, the less alone people feel and the more others will feel okay to open up themselves. The more women (and men!) support others who are struggling with infertility, the less alone they will feel and the more they will understand that no matter what, it is not their fault, there is nothing to be ashamed of and that they are not a failure. We need to help stop the stigma that surrounds infertility and the best way we can put an end to it is by talking about it. The more people share their experiences the more they learn and the more people can use each other as resources.
Another important way to destigmatize infertility is to understand that infertility is a medical condition, and like many medical conditions, it is one that might require medical assistance and treatment. Making it a medical condition takes the personal blame and shame out of it and can make it easier to discuss and seek treatment. Science has made many advances and there are many alternatives to help couples seeking fertility treatment to get pregnant. For example, there are fertility drugs, IUI, donor sperm and donor egg, In vitro fertilization, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, donor embryos, surrogacy and more. The opportunities for couples to become pregnant is so much higher than in past years. Let’s talk about it and share our experiences!
At the time I was experiencing infertility, I wished for a crystal ball. I needed to “know” that at some point I would be a mom, that my dream would come true. I did not mind (although unpleasant) the treatments, the appointments, the shots, etc. It was the unknown that was the most painful and difficult to bear. It is important to keep reminding yourself that you should not lose hope. You will find your path. Hopefully along the way you can seek support. The support is out there. Always remember you are not alone! The path to parenthood, whether IVF, surrogacy, egg/sperm donation, adoption, no longer matters once you hold your baby in your arms; the pain and uncertainty of the journey fades away and is replaced by a joy and love you never could have even imagined.
If you are needing a Gestational Carrier and would like to have a free consult with Colorado Surrogacy please click here, or if you want to help someone achieve their dreams of having a family by being a Gestational Carrier please click here to fill out our intake form.