Ask AF: Ongoing Grief About Infertility

A new baby can trigger old grief about infertility. Advice for parents on how to manage.

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Q: My husband and I became parents via adoption after a long struggle with infertility. Our son, now two, is truly the love of our lives. When my best friend recently had a baby, I was surprised to feel sad, and even jealous. How can I get over this?

A: If someone cries at a wedding, its not because she wants to marry the bride’s spouse. Its because she feels the depth of the couple’s love, or she’s flashing back on her own wedding, or simply because people react emotionally to profound life events. Your friend’s giving birth has awakened a series of memories, some recent (and painful), some not so recent—perhaps a memory of yourself as a little girl, imagining becoming a mommy.

It might help you to know that grief does not have to end with complete acceptance. Our losses become a part of us, and they may surface at moments that surprise us. This does not mean that you are jealous and want to become pregnant or that your son is not the love of your life. It means you are human. Try to accept your feelings as normal, and I’m sure you’ll find that you have positive feelings about your friend’s baby, too.


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