This blog addresses various emotional aspects of experiencing infertility. It is written by a clinical psychologist who specializes in infertility counseling. Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your journey!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Top tips for surviving infertility treatment, day eight--remember that "different" isn't bad

One of the things I have learned throughout my life is that people tend to have very negative initial reactions to things or events that are outside the realm of "normal".  If you think about it, negative reactions to things or people that are different are probably the cause of most of the trouble in the world, including prejudice, wars, and everyday common social cruelties.

Infertility treatment provides plenty of opportunities for such negative reactions.  By the time infertility treatment gets into full swing, "normal" has usually been left far behind.  We are left trying to figure out how to deal with the fact that our families didn't come into being the "normal" way.  What will we tell our children, our families, our friends, and those nosy folks who make inappropriate comments at the supermarket?

I've been struggling with this in my personal life for over a decade now, and because my oldest daughter is adopted and looks quite different than me,  she and I have had our share of questions and comments about our deviations from "normal".  I have always tried to emphasize to her and to others that being different doesn't mean things are worse somehow.  Being different just makes us interesting.  And interesting is good--we have a unique and special story to tell about how we became a family.
For the most part, I have been remarkably fortunate that when I present things in this light, people respond positively.  It seems to help them challenge their own assumptions, and to feel a little better about themselves and world.

So remember, although you may be on a different path to parenthood that is outside of the norm, it doesn't necessarily mean it's bad.  It just means it's different, and different can have it's own charms and wonders.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you had a great day!


  1. Even though we all know you're right about this view of "normal", somehow the "normal" people don't believe this & still look down on the different people. I'm particularly thinking of a naturally-fertile friend of mine who's arrogant about her own fertility. Maybe only different folks have to understand that different doesn't mean worse.

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  3. Your article about infertility is really nice. It will be helpful for the peoplr who are taking infertility treatments.