October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The tragedy of losing a pregnancy or newborn takes many forms and is experienced by thousands every year.
Talking about something as personal as the loss of pregnancy or of a child can be incredibly uncomfortable. This month is an opportunity to push past that discomfort in the hope of offering solidarity and help to those who are struggling with the lasting effects of devastating loss.
There are many aspects of pregnancy and infant loss that are worth discussing. Here, we want to look ahead to life after infertility and pregnancy and infant loss. Even in the darkest moments, there can be a spark of hope ahead.
Giving Grief its Time
Although it may seem counterintuitive, we need to talk about grief before we can talk about hope.
Grief is complicated. It’s not as simple as feeling sad, talking about it and moving on. The weight of grief — and specifically that of infertility and pregnancy loss — can stick with you for years.
We say this not to be discouraging, but to acknowledge an important reality: Although there is hope for a beautiful life after infertility, its impact will never fully disappear. We can’t have an honest discussion about life after infertility and pregnancy loss without honoring the very real and challenging grief of this experience.
Real hope is found in confronting pain, not avoiding it. That’s the first principle of life after infertility and pregnancy loss. Give yourself time to honestly face the loss you’ve experienced — to wrestle with it, feel it deeply and process it fully — before jumping to the next step.
Good is coming, but it can’t be rushed.
When you are on this journey, you may realize that you cannot do it alone. Many others have come to the same breaking point. There’s no shame in this. Reaching out to a counselor or other form of professional help could provide the support you need to carry on. You can use this guide from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to find counselors who specialize in infertility and pregnancy loss.
Rebuilding Your Dreams
Alternative family-building options are becoming more popular and accessible. This means that your dream of starting (or growing) your family can take on a new shape in life after infertility.
Before we go on to family-building options, it’s important to stop and consider if this is really what you want. Life after infertility looks different for everyone. That could mean that, in your life, your new dreams are not related to building a family. Whatever passions bring your joy, that’s what you should pursue.
If your dream of starting a family is as strong as ever, then there are two primary ways to do that:
Adoption: There are several different ways to adopt. For hopeful parents choosing between adoption and surrogacy, domestic infant adoption is often the route that makes the most sense. This type of adoption involves a prospective birth mother creating an adoption plan for her unborn baby. She then chooses the adoptive parents (that could be you!) and, after birth, the newborn is placed with the parents.
The adoption journey is rarely easy, but it can be a beautiful and life-changing way to build your family. If you’d like more information about adoption, you can contact our sister agency, American Adoptions.
Surrogacy: The surrogacy process can be an amazing way to become parents. There are several different ways to go about finding a match, choosing a gamete donor, and completing other aspects of the process. The most important step to a successful surrogacy process is finding the right agency to work with. If you’d like to learn more about surrogacy, you can contact us at any time to speak with a specialist.
You’re Not Alone
Life after infertility and pregnancy and infant loss will always be impacted by the pain you’ve experienced. But, as you can see above, there are available options that create the opportunity for new life in the midst of the pain.
If you find yourself in a place where moving forward feels impossible, it may help to read the stories of others. You are not alone. Others have carried the same weight, and they can testify to the promise of a bright future.
- Stories from American Surrogacy
- Stories from American Adoptions
- A testimony to perseverance
- A story of adoption after infertility
Everyone is on a unique path. As you can see from these courageous stories, there’s always the chance that, despite the pain of the past, the future is full of goodness.
Contact Us Today
Would you like to speak with a surrogacy professional about surrogacy after infertility? Please contact us online today or call 1-800-875-BABY (875-2229).