Recently, I rewatched the movie “Up.” In hopes of not spoiling too much but also providing context, it’s about two characters who thought they were going to be parents, and then they weren’t. They thought they would save money and go on big trips, and then they couldn’t. By the end of their marriage/lives, they had lived nothing more than a simple life in each other’s company.
And it was still beautiful.
Three years after being diagnosed with both male and female infertility, my husband and I made the difficult decision to not pursue alternative paths to parenthood and move forward as a childless couple.
When we made that decision, my mind started spinning. If I’m not a parent, what big thing do I need to do with my life instead? If I can’t give back to humanity by raising a child, what do I need to give to be considered equal to women who are mothers? After rewatching “Up”, I realized my answer is, simply, nothing. I have placed loads of additional pressure on myself to reach an unknown goal because I felt obligated to since I won’t bear a child. Yes, it is a blessing to have extra time, and I would love to give back to society. But, if at the end of my life I can look back on fond memories with my husband, family, and friends, my life is still a life well-lived.
No matter what journey your life is taking through infertility, I want to tell you that your life is well lived. Whether you became a parent, are in the process of becoming a parent, or will not be a parent, your life has meaning and you have a place in this world. Your place in this world is not less because of your infertility.
#WeCanALL remember to take up the space we deserve because our lives, regardless of the outcome of the pursuit of parenthood, will be beautiful.
Jenny G., WI
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