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The Seven Stages of TTC……The grief of losing the idea of your own child

My TTC journey over many years has led me to a place where I need to consider at what point I will call it a day and accept the fact that it may not be in the plan.


In looking for some assistance (without having to pour my heart out to a therapist- which is probably what I should be doing ), I realized that there are very few articles on how to come to terms with infertility….it seems the hope never dies. There is no closure.


In a devastated state recently I found myself telling my DH that what I was feeling was worse than the loss of both my parents with whom I was very close and from their death I’ve never truly recovered.  Reading a friend’s blog where she described her journey as one long bereavement I realized just how much grief I had felt in my TTC journey….and I decided to revisit the 7 stages of grief.


1-                 Shock and Denial-  “This can’t be – I’m sure I will conceive- just a matter of time”

2-                 Pain and Guilt- “God is punishing me for that mistake I made-  he thinks I wouldn’t make a good parent”

3-                 Anger and Bargaining- “Why are others blessed with children when they don’t deserve it-  I promise I will be better if you bless me with a child”

4-                 Depression, Reflection and Loneliness-  “I don’t want to go –  to much baby talk, too many kids around, not another baby shower. Nobody understands, not even my DH”

5-                 The upward turn

6-                 Reconstruction and working through

7-                 Acceptance and Hope


I can’t comment on 5- 7 because I sometimes feel that I’m at 5 and find myself dipping to four again.


So how do we proceed to steps 5,6 and 7???  Is it even possible?  At what point can or do we accept?


This quote said it all for me:


“We find a place for what we lose.  Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute.  No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else.”  Sigmund Freud.



I have looked for ways of consoling myself and have now resorted to reading parenting help sites where parents are finding their children’s behaviour difficult or just finding themselves in really difficult circumstances.  Not because misery loves company but just to dispel some of the romantic notions I do have about parenting.


Although none of us seem to lose hope- is there anybody out there who has successfully accepted IF and moved on to a happy child-free life?  I would really love to hear from you to give me hope that I may find acceptance.


I’ll end with another quote:-


“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair”


February 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments