CommunicationHow toInfertility ResourcesLoss
March 3, 2020


The idea of loss can mean so much during the journey of infertility. Loss can be thought of in the most literal sense in terms of miscarriage, but can also be the “absence of” and all that this entails. Specifically, for better or worse, we all have expectations (even from a young age) for the way we want to have a family and how that may come to fruition. These expectations are largely molded by societal and cultural norms and many of us may not even realize how ingrained or strong these ideas are until they are called into question. Through a diagnosis of infertility, one begins to wonder whether they will be able to have children at all, or the family that they imagined. A couple may also grieve the idea that conceiving may not happen in one’s home but instead through (invasive) medical intervention. Even after a pregnancy and birth of a child, one can feel loss at the idea of not being able to have a larger family or subsequent children due to the financial constraints of fertility treatments, as well as the toll it takes on one’s emotional and physical health. Furthermore, the process of fertility treatments may take years, and due to advanced maternal age or other medical factors, it may not feel possible to have more than one child.  

In addition, many of the “normal” expectations of the process of conceiving and being pregnant, again largely defined by society, are not the same for individuals struggling with infertility. This includes not having the joy or excitement of buying a pregnancy test from the grocery store, and instead taking a test at the doctor’s office. An individual who has struggled with conceiving can often feel very insecure and worried during all the stages of pregnancy, but particularly at the beginning. In this case, many of the small pleasures of being pregnant (shopping for baby items, hearing the heartbeat, telling friends/family/partner, finding out the sex of the child, etc), though exciting, can also be tinged with anxiety and apprehension. 

The ideas of non-traditional loss, as outlined above, can be confusing and difficult for many couples who may not understand the complexity of their feelings. It is therefore important to engage in self-care and be able to get support, not only from one another, but also from the larger community.