Stop Hating On Yourself About Infertility

Hey, there’s a person over there who looks like they are suffering. They look like they are in pain and they are upset.

Go punch them in the head.

What? Do what? Are you serious?

I am absolutely serious. Go punch them in the head. While they’re down, kick them, too. And please tell them that they are a failure.

You look appalled by what I’m saying. Why is that?

Isn’t that what you do to yourself every day? Hating on yourself about infertility?

Every day I meet with women who hate on themselves for the medical problem of infertility.  Unfair, I say, so unfair!   Why are you treating a human being whom I care about in this terrible way?


Flip the script and stop hating on yourself about infertility. Please.

Here’s how you do it. You have the same amount of compassion for yourself that you have for other people.

Can I tell you how many times people tell me that they don’t know how to do that? Maybe you are one of those people. I certainly had to learn it for myself. I come from a family that regularly serves up a shame buffet. A shame fest. I had to learn to have compassion for myself and not load my plate up with shame.

You can too.

Here are a couple of ideas. I love the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It was one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday book recommendations that was wildly popular several years ago. It is deceptively simple. Here are the four steps:

Be impeccable with your word.

Don’t make assumptions.

Don’t take things personally.

Always do your best.

Here’s my interpretation.

  • Be impeccable with your word. In short, you don’t say ugly things to other people. You also don’t say ugly things to yourself. And if some of those slip out of your mouth or float around in your mind, you question them. A typical one is “I am a failure.” Is that true, you with a medical problem of infertility? Let me ask you this: would you tell a person with cancer that they are a failure? I don’t think so.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Most people struggle with this one. In my experience, people do not make positive assumptions, as a rule. In the infertility treatment world, I hear more about assuming that a cycle will not work than people who assume that it will. Assumptions are often wrong or irrelevant, but when you go into them, your mind and body will react negatively. This is why people are often surprised and relieved when their negative assumptions are not true.
  • Don’t take things personally. You see pregnant women and new babies and you become infuriated. I feel you. I have been there. I also know that those other women did not get pregnant or have a baby to be harmful personally to me or to you. Here is a picture that can tell the story.

  • Always do your best. This does not mean being perfect. After you have an egg retrieval, your best will be to walk down the hall at home and get into bed without falling. On a day when you have had enough sleep and you are feeling relatively well, your best will be very, very different. They are both your best. Best is relative.

So, stop it. Stop hating on yourself. Infertility is hard enough without treating yourself terribly. Hug yourself instead. (I’m sending you a hug too! ?) Really, use The Four Agreements every day. It really helps. And thank yourself for doing your best to get through each day. Just your best. I am there with you in spirit.



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