Infertility and Shame

by | Jan 10, 2022 | Anxiety, Infertility | 0 comments

When I saw Joanna on our Zoom call, she was sad, frustrated, but mostly ashamed–she doesn’t think she can mother a child. 

She went through numerous medical treatments and various therapies. She did everything she could to have her own child in her arms. She felt like she was disappointing everyone around her. 

Joanna was the youngest of 4 children. Her family lived in the suburbs until she started university. Their house was full of people and laughter. 

She looked up to her older siblings, admiring them and their friends as they let her join in with them while playing or going to “big kid” places.

Since she can remember, she has wanted a big family, with at least four kids, maybe more. A family just like the one she had. 

She had even picked out the names for her unborn children .

Joanna loved being with children. When she was 12, she asked her neighbours if she could babysit their kids, and when she didn’t babysit, the neighbourhood kids came to her house to be around her.

Joanna decided to be an elementary school teacher. Everyone around her thought it was the perfect job for her! Not only did she love being with kids, but she’d also thought ahead…  “when I have my own children, I want to be with them during school breaks.”

Now, as much as Joanna enjoys being with her little students, she feels a pinch in her heart every day she sees them, and then she feels deeply ashamed for feeling this pain.

When Joanna met her future husband, she knew he would be the best dad she could dream of. He was so loving and patient. He had a great sense of humour. Every family gathering, her nieces and nephews gathered around him. If there was a “most loved uncle” contest, he would win, hands down!

And now all she thinks about is how heartbroken he must be that he can’t have his own child. 

Joanna’s husband suggested adoption and surrogacy, but every time he brought it up, Joanna could only think about how disappointed she was – with her body that was failing her, with her infertility, and with her feelings. She was ashamed of herself.

Joanna was not only going through the enormous challenges of infertility, but she was also feeling like she was expected to hide her challenges and not talk about them because others might feel uncomfortable. Joanna felt as if she was expected to be grateful for her life, her husband, her health, her job, her friendships, etc. 

But she didn’t always feel grateful, even though she was trying her hardest. Her shame was growing.


What Can I Do to Manage Shame and Other Feelings that Come with Infertility?

  • Talk to a professional who supports infertility, provides you with practical tools, helps normalize your feelings, and creates a new empowered narrative.
  • Practice self-compassion. (link to infertility self-compassion blog)
  • Become your own observer. What triggers you? What helps you? See yourself through the loving eyes of an outside perspective.
  • Practice mindfulness (link?) to help you keep your focus on the present moment.
  • Practice self-hypnosis to help you cement your new and desired narrative.


Interested in learning more? Let’s talk.

Miri supports her clients who are on their journey to conception online and in her office in Vancouver, BC

She incorporates the practices of self-compassion and mind-body balance, and supports her clients in finding their inner resources to make sustainable shifts in their lives. Individuals who practice these principles feel empowered in many aspects of their lives and improve their overall well-being.

For more information and to contact Miri Malkin @ Miri Malkin Hypnosis For Top Performance click below.

Miri Malkin

miri malkin

Miri Malkin

Miri Malkin is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and ACC certified wellness coach. Her passion is helping clients access their subconscious for improved happiness and well-being. Miri has first-hand experience with many of the issues her clients face. Freed from these by hypnotherapy, she now uses this powerful tool to help others heal and live their best lives. With Miri, you get the treatment and tools for long-lasting positive change from someone who has walked in your shoes. Receive the caring support you deserve near you.

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