August 11, 2019

Infertility Grief: When healing has no Time Limit or Mercy.


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I was recently asked, “how do I get over infertility grief?” Then, the words just poured out.

We know that healing is not linear. Healing isn’t neat, nor is it predictable. And within the five stages of grief, we often flip between or teeter back and forth, and this process has no time limit or mercy.

The infertility stigma may fit into the box of “complex grief.” It is both multi-faceted and multi-layered. We grieve a child that isn’t even born yet, we grieve a role, we grieve an experience.

We grieve an expectation of what we thought womanhood may look like—we grieve a future that we need to erase and replace with another.

We grieve for our parents when we don’t deliver them grandchildren, we grieve a life that becomes spacious. We grieve an identity as infertility constantly challenges our sexual identity and value. We may even re-grieve if we visit motherhood later in life.

We grieve so much that sometimes we don’t even know what we are grieving for anymore. I don’t know if we can or are meant to get over grief—I think we are designed to get through it.

We are meant to face its ugliness in the eye, the pain it has caused, and the alternate life we are needing to lead. But only then, will it seem less painful, less confusing, and less isolating. Many are grieving close to us, invisibly. Grieving silently can also become grieving closely with another, if and when we are able to reach out.

With time, space, hope, and a shift in perspective—we can discover our womanhood is as fierce, our desire to another is steeped in bravery and resilience, our motherly love redirects itself to those who need it, and our grief does not become our worst day—but our greatest asset in living a huge and kick-ass life.

Be kind to your grief, be curious with it, and know that ultimately, you tell grief what to do and it’s not the other way around.

You’ve got this ladies (and men!).

author: Ally Hensley

Image: x1klima / Flickr

Image: elephantjournal / instagram

Editor: Julie Balsiger

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renataskitchen Aug 7, 2019 8:00am

Ally, I have read some of the most awe-inspiring Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Native American messages. Your words belong with theirs.

I have a vision of your pages blanketing the earth like a field of tulips in Holland.

Your mind, heart and spirit unify unsettling reality with omnipresent glory, and you somehow exhale a beautiful shalom.

Thank you for creating and sharing.


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Ally Hensley

Ally Hensley is a Brit to Bondi convert, women’s writer, speaker, global ambassador, and advocate in women’s health. The co-founder of a national and international organisation designed to improve the health and wellbeing for those touched by a unique condition, MRKH resulting in infertility and reproductive developmental issues. Ally works to reduce the stigma surrounding sexual (mental) health. Exploring how a virtual support network can help women to sexually thrive, she is also the cofounder of The Happy V—a safe online space for taboo conversation starters. Ally defines herself as a realistic spiritualist and a scrappy dreamer—where fact is essential and originality is to be absolutely embraced.