When I was trying to conceive, I felt so much failure.
Feeling like you are a failure is common when you desperately want to be a mother but can’t.
Infertility erodes your confidence and self-worth like nothing else I’ve experienced. It left me feeling less than, broken, and that there was something wrong with me.
Despite knowing logically that wasn’t true, I couldn’t help feeling that not only I’d failed, but that I was a failure.
So many of the clients I see feel this too. It’s a natural response to the grind of infertility. You invest so much time, energy, money, and hope, into it working, only to have it fail. It’s hard not to feel like it’s because of you. It’s hard to avoid feeling like a failure.
There is a part of us so intrinsically connected to this desire to have a baby that it feels like the problem is you, that you must be at fault.
We would never judge another woman who was struggling with infertility as much as we judge ourselves. When I was trying to conceive, I felt so much failure. I felt shame, I felt inadequate, and less than the other women in my life who were mothers. It doesn’t matter if it was rational - it’s how I felt.
It’s hard not to feel failure when there is an expectation as a woman you will have children. There’s an assumption that this is the natural state for women. The fact that I’m frequently asked if I have children while my husband has never been asked, is one example of this.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we can feel like our worth is somehow tied to being a mother. Once I realised what was going on, I was able to unattach from it, but it took some time. I now know my worth has nothing to do with having children. There are so many ways for me to nurture, to create, and to love.
I no longer see not having children as failing. Failing is not trying. Failing is giving up. That is not my story. My story tells of hope, love, determination, resilience, loss, letting go, growth, and so many more things. I have grieved and I’ve dusted myself off and I’m showing up in the world as the person I want to be. I am dreaming new dreams.
About the Author
Kathryn Grace is a Life Coach at Fertility Potentials. She is passionate about supporting women on their fertility journey and helping them find acceptance and peace whatever the outcome.