Whether you’re childless because of infertility or miscarriages – or you simply ran out of time – the hard truth is you’ll probably never stop wanting a baby. The sadness, disappointment, and heartbreak never really goes away. That’s the bad news; I thought it’d be good to get it out of the way. But there is good news, and we’ll get there!
But first, I should tell you that my husband and I can’t have kids. I’m 47 now, he’s 50, and we accepted and learned how to cope with childlessness about four years ago. But I know what it’s like when you can’t stop wanting a baby! In fact, I dealt with a bout of regret and sadness last night. We were watching the move Allied with Brad Pitt; he and his movie wife had such a beautiful baby girl, and the images of her sleeping in her crib just torn my heart out. I don’t often struggle with the pain of childlessness because I’ve accepted it, but…sometimes it just hurts.
What’s your story? Tell me in the comments section below why you don’t have kids, and what you do when those “I want a baby” feelings rise up. Writing can be a healthy way to share your experience and work through the pain and sadness of infertility.
When You Can’t Stop Wanting a Baby
I was inspired to write this article for a reader, who said:
“Lately I haven’t been as busy as I usually am. In those quiet moments I found myself fantasizing of what it would be like if I were not sitting alone in my house, but was with my children. I was overwhelmed by the pain of realizing that my husband and I may never have the baby we want. When my husband come home I totally broke down in tears and wondered to God for the 100th time, WHY us? How do I come to accept that God will for my life may not include becoming a mom? It’s just inconceivable to me, and my heart and faith refuses to accept this.”
My tips for coping with the constant struggle of infertility sadness and depression won’t erase your pain, but they may help you get through the day…
1. Be open to all paths and possibilities
The more you cling to your beliefs that your life “should” be a certain way, the harder you’ll fall when things don’t turn out the way you expect. If you refuse to accept reality, then you’ll never get over the grief of infertility. If you struggle against your life the way it is right now, then you can’t heal. If you focus on the idea that you can’t stop wanting a baby, then you’ll stay stuck.
Take a deep breath. Consider the possibility that your life may not go exactly the way you planned, hoped, dreamed. Allow God to be God. You don’t know what’s best for you and your husband, and you have no idea what He has planned for you. Instead of getting swept up in your own emotions and longings, open up your heart and mind to the Roar of Something Greater. God is that roar, and He is in control! Surrender.
2. Accept that you’ll always struggle with grief
I’m sorry to say that the shadow of pain never goes away. Being childless isn’t easy, especially when you desperately wanted to have kids. That’s not quite me – I was never driven to have a family, but I was excited at the thought of having a baby with my husband. It wasn’t my first life goal or top priority, but I wanted a baby.
Even though I’m not devastated by our infertility, I do feel grief and sadness when I see a baby. The baby doesn’t have to even have to be cute or darling…there are just some kids that are enchanting, aren’t there? And when I see one of those babies, my heart is stabbed. If I feel this way, and I never desperately wanted a baby, then I can only imagine how painful it is for women who wanted children above all else. Are you knocked down by the pain of infertility? If we were together in person, I’d hug you and we’d cry together. I’m sorry for your loss.
If you feel worse than sad or disappointed about not having a baby, read How to Deal With Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant.
3. Expect unexpected moments of infertility sadness
When you can’t stop wanting a baby, do you feel like you’re constantly covered by sadness and pain? I’ve spoken to a few childless women who never feel happy or peaceful.
Some women are like me: they mostly accept their childlessness and have even found ways to help other infertile couples cope with infertility. But this doesn’t mean we’re always happy. Even if we’re fine with not having kids, we often have unexpected rushes of grief because we’ll never experience motherhood. It’s hard and it sometimes/often hurts, even for women who chose a childless life. The weird thing is that those moments of infertility grief and sadness are often totally random, so there’s no way to prepare.
4. Have a plan for the pain
Even though you never know when you’ll be struck with pain because you feel like you’ll never stop wanting a baby, you can be prepared. Then, when those rushes of infertility sadness overwhelm you, you have a strategy in place.
My reader mentioned her husband. He’s a source of comfort and strength, and that’s such a gift! Not all husbands understand and support women when they can’t stop wanting to have a baby. Lean on your husband if you can. If not, then find other sources of support and comfort. Talk to friends who understand, distract yourself with art or creative projects, meditate on a favorite passage of Scripture. Cry if you need to. The exact way to cope when you can’t stop wanting a baby is less important than your ability to lean on it when things get rough.
5. Be aware of your triggers
I rarely feel the pain of childlessness when I’m in the playground because it’s so loud and crazy! But, I do feel like I want a baby when I see women breastfeeding, or pregnant women, or grandparents taking care of toddlers. There are certain circumstances that incite infertility pain and grief in my heart and soul.
What are your triggers? What makes you feel like you want a baby, and you’ll never stop wanting your own child?
Maybe it’s an empty house that you wish was filled with kids, or the school across from your office that is always alive with the sounds of young voices. Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid those circumstances…especially if your family members have kids, or you work with children, or your coworkers are moms or pregnant women. Even if you’re constantly surrounded by babies, it may help to simply be aware of what makes you feel sad or depressed. Even better, pay attention to what helps you cope with the pain and grief of infertility.
6. Trust in the Roar of Something Greater
If you want to be truly peaceful, happy, and even joy-filled even when you can’t stop wanting a baby, you have to turn your life over to God. There really is no other answer, or other source of life, light, or power! All those strategies for coping with infertility depression and tips for dealing with childlessness are futile — unless they’re resting on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
God created you for a reason, and He allowed infertility into your life. I don’t know why, and there’s no point in even asking the question. Even if we knew why we’re childless, the reason wouldn’t make us happy! I don’t care why I can’t have children. I accept and trust my Father God in Heaven, and I know He has a purpose for my life. And, I believe that His plans for my life are far greater than anything I could imagine.
The best way to cope when you can’t stop wanting a baby is to lift your eyes upward. Take a deep breath. Humble yourself before the Lord. Trust that He loves you, and He has good things planned for your life. Learn more about Jesus; fall in love with Him — for He is calling you.
When you can’t stop wanting a baby, your marriage might be suffering. Read How to Stop Infertility From Ruining Your Relationship for tips.
How are you feeling? Feel free to share your big and little thoughts below. Say whatever is on your mind and in your heart.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.