You might think that after decades of life changes that the pain would disappear. Working on your marriage and a career should keep your mind so busy that you forget about the son or daughter that never was. Eventually as time passes that monthly reminder of loss ceases.

Unfortunately life is full of other reminders. Your friends cannot go to the movies or have lunch with you. They can’t find or afford a babysitter. Their son is involved in sports and they need to be there to cheer him on. Their daughter has dance lessons or a recital that they want to attend.

Years pass and finally all your friends’ children are now grown, off to college or married. But your friends still can’t hang out with you because now there are grandchildren for them to spend time with. And the cycle continues.

Every holiday card is full of family pictures of parents, children and then grandchildren. Yearly newsletters spell out all the accomplishments of your friends’ offsprings. That nagging feeling of grief consumes you as you read about their lives full of joy and pride enjoyed by the parents.

You are genuinely happy for your friends and family. But that happiness stings your own heart with bitter stabs of unanswered prayers.

Infertility grief also steals your joy. Children are a source of joy. The neighbor’s new baby is warm and smells heavenly. You hold that infant close and it feels divine. But the feeling flies into the vastness of outer space the second you put that baby down and your heart aches once again for that lost dream.

You hug your nieces and nephews. You genuinely love them. You enjoy spending time with them. But that happiness is always shadowed by that ever present sense of loss. The empty hole in your heart and soul is filled with sadness even as you laugh at their silliness.

Constant reminders of loss. Constant blows to joy. This is the grief and sadness that attaches itself forever to infertility.

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