The Weight of Guilt

Throughout our entire infertility journey, it has been hard not to be consumed by guilt. There are a hundred things one could feel guilty about during this process. As an Irish American Catholic woman, guilt seems to be something I cannot avoid! I have watched generations of some of the best guilt sufferers and guilt encouragers in action. In attempts to let go of my guilt, I want to list all of the things I feel guilty about.

I feel guilty that I have serious infertility issues which mean I will most likely never have another child. I feel guilty that my daughter will have no siblings. I feel guilty that when my husband and I are sick and old, she will have no one else to lean on like our parents are leaning on their siblings as their parents now fall ill and pass away. I feel guilty that throughout my infertility journey I have been sick, sad and uncomfortable, not be able to be the best mom to my daughter. I feel guilty that I caused my daughter stress and worry throughout this process. I feel guilty that I could have passed my infertility issues to her genetically.

I feel guilty that I have all of the infertility issues that have caused so much pain and heartache for my husband and I. Although my husband assures me time and time again that it is “our journey,” I feel guilty that my body is fertility challenged and broken.  I feel guilty that when we first got married 8 years ago we talked about having as many kids as we could, and now that hope and dream is not possible. I feel guilty that we have spent half of our marriage struggling with infertility. I feel guilty that has had to worry about me through 8 surgeries or surgical procedures, all fertility related, in the past six years.

I feel guilty that throughout this process I have neglected people and things that I love. I feel guilty that throughout this process I have lost touch with friends, missed social gatherings and important events in their lives because I have been consumed both mentally and physically with infertility. I feel guilty that I have missed hanging out with important elderly family in my life because of my inability to go to see them throughout this process. I feel guilty that I have caused my parents so much stress throughout this process. I feel guilty that I cannot give them more grandchildren to love and spoil.

There are many more things I could list. These are just a few that dance around in my head sometimes before I fall asleep. Now that we are at the end of our infertility journey, I started thinking about all of these things and guilt in general. I realized that I could replace “I feel guilty that” with “I have no control over.” Feeling guilty about something, although heart wrenching and stressful, implies that I have control over it. Having control over something, even if it is something bad, is a safer feeling than having no control.

Guilt is a weight that can bring you down, paralyze you, consume you and have you make choices that your heart doesn’t want to make. To be a better mom, have a healthy marriage and be my best self, I need to let go of all of these weights, all of this guilt. I have no control over my infertility. I have done the best I could with the challenges I have been given. I am only human. Letting go of this guilt, will room to embrace the future with an open heart and open mind. I feel lighter already!

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