SARAH LIEBMAN, MFT
Infertility, IVF, Donor Gametes, Surrogacy, and Adoption Support
If this tab could give you a hug and chocolate bar (and a take home baby!), it would.
Infertility is one of life’s loneliest experiences. And it doesn’t magically disappear with the final arrival of the longed for child or the decision to not pursue parenthood.
Infertility shapes you in unexpected ways and most of us who have traveled this path feel forever changed by it. Not defeated, not defective, but deeply changed.
One of the most baffling aspects of infertility (from the inside and outside) is the tunnel vision that develops. As if you are a train and the only stop is Baby Town. The hardest thing to explain is why you can’t just “let go!” “relax!” or “stop caring so much!”
You. Just. Can’t.
The pathway that leads to infertility starts out as the pathway to parenthood.
To be a parent is to open a space in your identity for the changes that a child will make in your life, allowing for a reordering of your identity, and making psychological space for a child.
If this unfolds in a conventional manner and time frame, even if unplanned, the vulnerability is likely to result in an enlarging of identity, opportunities for mastery and the integration of the old and the new.
When the path leads to infertility, no matter the resolution, this vulnerability, once a portal to a new life and experience, is left open, without a timely closure, and becomes more of a wound than an intentional opening.
As time passes and the losses mount, the opening in the self, formed to allow for the psychological conception of the longed for child, is now also a ragged and permeable portal, more wound than an opportunity for change.