Three Ways to Battle Guilt During Infertility

I distinctly remember sitting in that adoration chapel all alone, bawling my eyes out. In hindsight, it wasn’t long after that when we would finally conceive our son, but at the time I was at the very bottom.

“It’s not even about me becoming a mom anymore. John is such an amazing man and he would make an even more amazing father, please do it for him and not me.”

The guilt of it all ran thick. Medically, it was “all my fault” and I carried that burden daily (even though I knew better). John had his days too. Some days it was no big deal, we’d adopt or just travel instead. While other days were harder and he would get frustrated with timed intercourse and watching everyone else have their 2nd and 3rd kids. 

Infertility is both mentally and physically hard, there’s no way to sugarcoat that. And as soon as those tests come back the guilt sets in.

“Why am I this way? What did I do wrong?” Guilt is a totally natural response to this situation, but Spoiler Alert: It’s not healthy to stay stuck and wallow in your guilt!

So here are 3 ways to take hold of that Guilt and keep it in check where it belongs:

Forgiveness - Forgive yourself for feeling this way. Guilt is a heavy burden and can manifest itself physically the same way stress does. Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves. We don’t have the capacity to offer the same compassion we might give to someone else. We hold our standards too high or place too much judgment on ourselves. In order to remove the grip of guilt, you must forgive yourself. This truly is a difficult task to do alone, which leads me to the next point…

Seek Help - Seek help from those around you. Be real with yourself and decide what level of help is necessary to get you through each day. Maybe the help of a community like this one is enough most days. However, some days it may not be and that’s OK! Never ever be ashamed or afraid of needing help to work through the feelings and emotions that go along with this journey. That extra help could be as simple as a life or mindset coach or as official as a licensed therapist. Check-in with yourself often and always seek out the help you need!

Be Honest - Be honest with those around you as well as with yourself. I hear women often ask if they should share their fertility journey with other people and the answer is a definite, Yes. I have a few reasons why: First, it normally keeps people from making any further insensitive comments they normally (and usually innocently) make. “Are you ever going to have kids? “Can’t wait forever”… or in my case “Why would you want such a big age gap?” Just be totally honest with people because they are usually more responsive than you might anticipate. Second, (in my opinion) the more people that know your situation, the more likely and more often you will be lifted up in their prayers. I get that a lot when I share our story, “Oh, I hate that, we’ll be praying for you.” Every little bit helps! Finally, being honest and talking about what you are going through is just plain therapeutic. You wouldn’t hide any other situation or feelings from your friends or husband so don’t be afraid to let people know where you stand. They may not understand, but at least now they know and [hopefully] can start supporting you better. (More on these relationships and other interactions in another post!)

Be sure to join the community of women here or download this resource here!


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