Infertility Is Not Your Fault

In one of my last posts, I wrote about letting go of the guilt that surrounds infertility. This post is somewhat along the same lines.

This week I had an ovarian cyst rupture. It was ridiculously painful, and my poor husband was terrified. It had been nine years since that had last happened, so I forgot how bad it could be. After I realized what was happening, I managed the pain as I’ve learned to do, and made an appointment to be sure everything was okay. By the time I went in for my ultrasound the next day, the pain had greatly subsided. The ultrasound tech confirmed what had happened and assured me that everything looked fine now.

She said that there were no large cysts on my ovaries, just the several tiny ones that indicate PCOS. I don’t know why, but I asked if they would ever go away. Of course she said no, and that we can only manage symptoms of PCOS. But what she said next was something that I didn’t even know I needed to hear. She said, “Your ovaries have been like that since you were born.”

Now, I honestly don’t know how true that is. To me, whether or not this is true doesn’t matter. Because it wasn’t the “fact” that I needed to hear. What I really heard, what I needed so badly to hear, was that this wasn’t my fault. I described all the guilt in my last post, things I wish I would have done differently. But no matter what I could have done differently, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that I have PCOS.

I have PCOS, and there is nothing I did to cause it. There are many other women in my extended family who also have it, and they didn’t cause it, either. No one asks for this–to have a body that doesn’t work as it should. I don’t know how you feel about your situation. I don’t know the guilt that you carry, or the things you wish you could have done differently. But I do know that sometimes you just need to hear that it’s not your fault.

PCOS is not your fault.

Endometriosis is not your fault.

Unexplained infertility is not your fault.

Low sperm count is not your fault.

Ectopic pregnancy is not your fault.

Premature ovarian failure is not your fault.

Blocked fallopian tubes are not your fault.

Problems with sperm motility and morphology are not your fault.

Miscarriage is not your fault.

Infertility is not your fault.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of treatments, supplements, working out, eating right, and keeping our emotions in check. We often forget that we are fighting through something that many people don’t have to. We fight so hard we forget that we didn’t choose this battle. It’s hard, being shattered again and again by heartache. It’s hard feeling like you’re getting no closer to parenthood or health no matter what you do. It’s hard, dealing with so much uncertainty. It’s hard being lonely, and surrounded by people who can’t understand. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that this is hard, that this is not something we caused. Because it’s so easy to forget the truth when we are constantly faced with blame, defeat, and pain.

You are strong, even when you don’t feel like it.

You are a warrior each and every day.

You are fighting with grace and purpose, and you will come out on the other side of this.

And when you are tempted to wallow in guilt and shame, remember: it’s not your fault, and there is no reason to be ashamed.