Ten Lessons for Women Failing to Conceive

 “Don’t waste your time hating failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success”

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I have wasted many months hating failure; failure month after month.

Failure to see two pink lines, failure to produce the miracle that is supposed to define the word “woman,” failure to give my husband the one missing piece, failure to keep my ideal weight while my hormones fly to Mars and back, and now, failure to even ovulate.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about toughing it out, yet this is a whole lotta failure for one girl to keep her chin up through.

 So rather than hate all this failure, I think I may just extend the olive branch and see what it has come to teach me. When I do so, I realize just how phenomenal of a teacher this failure has been.

Ten Lessons for Women Failing to Conceive

  1. Your husband does truly and deeply love you, to a depth you may never have realized without this catastrophic failure.
  2.  Taking care of yourself has to be your first priority. From the food you put into your mouth, to the time you set aside for naps, walks in the woods, and long hot baths– you must nurture and love yourself first.
  3. Some friends will stand beside you, and others will drift away; this is the essence of life. It is not personal, it is not meant to hurt you, it is just the way relationships ebb and flow. Let them go in and out, as with the tide. Welcome their coming, and bless their leaving.
  4. Jealousy comes from the root of fear. Letting go of the fear of your inadequacy, and of the unknown future, releases your jealousy of others whose belly’s are round.
  5. Some gifts are greater than motherhood. We have all been given gifts, don’t waste yours. A baby may or may not come to you from your womb, yet pining only for this creation may cause you to lose sight of the one knocking at your back door to come in.
  6. The world needs your light, don’t hide it. Infertility can cause self-esteem to plummet. Finding the courage to pull back the shades to stand firm in the miracle that is you, illuminates a world previously lit only by candlelight. The world needs your brilliance.
  7. Your faith will be tested in nearly every way. Before reaching the top of Everest climbers encounter freezing temperatures, altitude illnesses, and constant setbacks. This is your Everest, don’t waste time journaling about your daily defeats, zip up your jacket and keep climbing.
  8. There is a store of reserves you never knew you had. In Alaska there are three months of the year when it is dark 24-hours a day. Facing infertility means there are months when you will feel dark 24-hours a day. Keep holding on for the light, it always comes, and when it does you will realize the abundance of the storage you may have never known was in the cellar of your heart.
  9. Gratitude–always have it. The ability to find it is developed on a road marked with fertility challenges as pit stops along the way. Be grateful for the struggle, it is teaching you to be strong.
  10. Hope, never lose it. She will be the hand you hold while in the doctor’s office, the pillow your tears fall on when you learn the heart didn’t start beating, the blanket that encompasses you when you fall exhausted from the struggle. And hope will be the gentle shove pushing you forward when it is time to let go.


  1. Thank you for this post. What a great reminder of how we should be dealing with and living through infertility.

  2. Thank you for always reading, and always encouraging. You are a gem.

    1. Thank you for always posting such encouraging words! It makes it easier knowing there are others out there who are struggling with the same emotions. Until I started blogging, until I found your blog specifically, I had no one in my life (aside from my husband) who could understand what I was going through. It is hard to try to share this with friends who have children because then they feel guilty and it makes me feel worse for sharing- if that makes sense. You have helped me so much- I am so grateful! Thank you!

  3. Well I am certainly glad we have found one another, and you are definitely not alone!

  4. […] bring your child to you with miraculous speed, I can share with you the steps I took along the way http://infertilityawakening.com/2011/04/20/ten-lessons-for-women-failing-to-conceive/. I can pass along the wisdom that was shared with me in my healing process. I can also trace the […]

  5. Thank you for the support , some days are harder especially when the dr keep on saying I don’t know why you are not pregnant , that statement just break my heart.

    1. Though some days may feel very dark, and you may perceive yourself as alone, the sunrise will come and you are loved and supported in many, many ways. All the best to you on your journey. We are always here on this forum to support you.

  6. Mirriel · · Reply

    I have spent 3 years trying to conceive. Me and my husband love each other very deeply and we both hope that one day, we shall have a child of our own. However, My husband so much loves children and always brings his sisters’ and brothers’ children. these children at times do nasty things and I find it hard to confront them because they always look down upon me. the thought of being surrounded by over 6 children who are not mine daily drives me crazy. I went to see gyneacologist and all tests carried out reveal that everything is okay with me. I am so baffled that sometimes I feel i should try my luck with another man. what do I do?

    1. Mirriel,

      I do understand your feelings. We have several nephews who my husband would have at our house every week if he could. I realized that for me, having them here too often felt like a reminder of what I could not have myself–it was painful.

      When my husband and I were able to talk about what he needed and what I needed, we were able to find a comprise that worked for us both. Perhaps by taking time to get clear on the amount of time you are comfortable with your nieces and nephews being at your home, and then having open, honest dialogue with your husband, you can find a compromise that will make you both happy.

      And though it seems very “business like,” my husband and I do practice what I speak to in this post (https://infertilityawakening.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1994&action=edit). We have a written contract that we negotiated about our nephews (among other things) so no longer is there any argument, and we are both happy.

      My best to you and your husband. This journey is a difficult one, however it can also make a marriage stronger than steel!


      1. my dear, i am going thru the same. i just hate myself when i see my neighbors kids playing in my house. my husband supports me but i sometimes feel like i have no reason to live. anyways life is not a straight line. I have lost a kid before and i believe that one day God will compensate me with triplets. i sometimes do not even want to see people at all. and when when i look at children who would be my sons age, i just never stop shading tears

      2. Sending you love and a hug Chantal. I too hope that you receive your blessing in triplicate for all of your heartache.

    2. After carrying out several tests which revealed nothing wrong with my reproductive system, I decided to wait upon God. When I started visiting another gynecologist in June, little did I know that wonders awaited! He counseled me and recommended further tests without any medication. I brought the results back to him.The radiologists and Lab attendants equally wondered while I was not conceiving. The gyn kept encouraging me to be patient, for it was too early for me to worry. On the next visit, he proposed to refer me to another more experienced gynecologist. I hesitated and decided to hide the referral forms.Whenever I would discuss it with my husband, his response was constant “I can’t do much, God is the giver of children” Some times I would doubt his responses. One day I cried out to him because I was getting pressure to bear children from my own patents. He did not bow out on his response. My Option was to carry out a pregnancy test before I could start afresh with a new gyn. This was about one month after crying to my husband and hiding the referral forms. The results were positive, it was amazing. I knew then that It was not my cry which changed my status, but the faith of my husband did. Now 16 moths down the road and a scan last week revealed that my fetus is normal.
      I can not narate everything here but I wish to encourage each one of you, that you are not alone. you are in that situation for a reason. Despite your medical condition or status, you are surely not alone. God is walking beside you and his timing is the best. Be blessed.

      1. Thank you for sharing your story of hope Mirriel. All the best to you.

  7. Thanks for this good advice………i am also suffering for this very badly…just want t o set my mind…!

    1. You are most welcome. May you find strength and support on this difficult journey. You are not alone.

  8. Thank you, I have been on a few websites but this moved me to tears (in a good way) and really helped me and will continue to.

    1. Becca, you are so very welcome and I am glad that these words helped in any little way that words can. You are not alone, there are so many of us out here who really, really understand. Best to you.

  9. Its all very good and well for everyone to think such happy thoughts of hope and strength, but I think that this is an infertile womans biggest downfall emotionally. After 4 years of trying, 5 failed ivf’s, no pregnancies and no explanations, I am at the end of my tether. I wish I could stop hoping so that I can just live life. If you keep hoping then you can never live life to the fullest. A hysterectomy feels like my only way out of this madness. The more my husband says we should never loose hope the more I want to run away from it all.

    1. Rox I really do hear you, so much pain, so much let down, so many disappointments, and still no clear path to the “exit” sign.

      I hope that you can perhaps press the “pause” button for a few months. Maybe just stop everything, even keeping an eye on the calendar, for a month of two. Sometimes we just need a break from anything to do with fertility and/or babies. And perhaps your husband could support you in that break with a ban on any and everything to do with hope.

      It’s ok to be angry, to be hopeless, to be completely done with it all. All those feelings are ok, and I hope that you can find the space and support for them to have their say. Sending you a hug and a gentle understanding – I too have been on this journey for four long years.

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