I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the terms there are for women without children. I think this says a lot about how society views us, and more importantly, how we view ourselves.
It was sparked by hearing the term Infertility Survivor. This made me feel sad! At first, I wasn’t sure quite why I felt this way. After all, we are survivors of infertility!
So why didn’t it sit right with me? We should all be allowed to choose the labels we want to define us. But I couldn’t help wondering if this label kept us stuck in a place where we don’t want to be.
For me, I want to be defined as more than an infertility survivor. Infertility has shaped me. It challenged me, and for a while, it tore me apart. But my journey continued beyond that. I would never have believed it just a few years ago, but I feel I am now a better person for it.
I use to feel shame around not being able to be a mother. But I no longer feel like that. I am proud of how far I have come. Infertility is part of my story – a big part - but it doesn’t get to define who I am.
One of my beautiful clients has let go of her dream to have a child. When she came to see me she wanted to know how to fill the huge gap there was in her life by not conceiving. But recently she told me there is no longer a gap to fill! She doesn’t want to replace it or have a new goal or challenge. Rather she is content to enjoy the life she has. Infertility no longer has the same grasp on her. She has freedom and I’m so happy for her.
This is what I want for all those who are unable to have the baby they desire. Whether it is infertility or secondary infertility, it’s painful. I want you to know you can be more than a survivor. You can thrive.