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How Setting Boundaries Helps Me Navigate Infertility Hell

How Setting Boundaries Helps Me Navigate Infertility Hell


Do you have boundaries when it comes to your mental, physical, or emotional health? Do you tell people ‘no’ because you know certain events or days will trigger you? I think we all need more boundaries. We are so quick to say ‘yes’ but hesitant to say ‘no’ for fear of disappointing those around us.

“No” is a powerful word. 

Saying “No” doesn’t mean you don’t care about someone or whatever social event they’re hosting or inviting you to. Saying “No” means that you’re taking a moment to work on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. If endometriosis has taught me anything, it’s that I have to say no to things.

I often have to tell people ahead of time that I can’t come to an event due to my (infertility-related) anxiety. I tell them that I need to work on being my best self. (This isn’t always the right verbiage, but I think you get the gist.)

Baby showers have become unbearable.

When I initially received my diagnosis, I didn’t realize how impactful baby showers, gender reveals, and kids’ birthday parties would be on my life.

I can’t sit through a baby shower, play the games, guess the due date, weight or name (if it has been kept a secret throughout pregnancy). I can’t play the diaper game or baby bingo. I just can’t do it. I can’t do it because I’m weak. I can’t do it because I feel like I want to jump out of my skin all the while I’m forcing a smile and pretending everything is alright when it’s not.

So, I send a gift and a note explaining why I can’t attend. Each friend or family member I’ve turned down has been nothing short of understanding because they can’t imagine what this type of Hell is like.

They’re all going through an experience that I so desperately want to have, but just simply can’t have. And all I ever hear is “I’m sorry.”

Mental and emotional boundaries matter. 

It’s not that I’m unable to attend a baby shower–I can be there physically. It’s just when my brain is focused on the fact that I may never get the chance to have a child, all of those nasty little thoughts associated with infertility come flooding in and it’s fucking awful.

The “Why me? and “Will I ever?” The “What would life look like without a child or children?”

Boundaries are put in place to keep thoughts like that at bay. Whenever I hear other women talking about how easy it was to get pregnant, all I feel is guilt, humiliation, and sadness. Comments like “The morning sickness wasn’t bad at all; I can’t wait to have another baby,” along with other sappy comments, most of which are associated with ultrasounds, heartbeats, and how excited the couple is to welcome their newest edition to the family, make for a lethal combination.

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