A Pregnant Anne Hathway Shares Her Infertility Struggles; Validates Pain Of Other Women

Posted: August 2, 2019

Anne Hathaway has a sensitive, empathetic message for women everywhere who struggle with infertility, while sharing a glowing picture of a pregnant self.

We often talk about sisterhood, about women supporting women but frankly, how many of us succeed in lending at least a patient ear to our fellow women?

At such a time, when a world-renowned celebrity sends out a message of empathy, she deserves a ‘hats off!’

Last week, award-winning Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway posted a message on Instagram about expecting her second child. Well, one may ask what was special about the message? Today, almost everyone announces their special moments on social media.

But what was different from other pregnancy announcements and Hathaway’s message was a call-out to fellow women. While she glowed in her moment, she also made it a point to tell women who were undergoing difficulties in getting pregnant that they were not alone! She disclosed, perhaps, for the first time, that she too underwent fertility treatments to get pregnant, the first time and also now.

Her message read, “All kidding aside, for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies, Sending you extra love.”

Not just pain and guilt,…

As someone who has undergone the trauma, the pain, the disappointment of unsuccessful fertility treatments, I can totally get it. What was more touching was what Hathaway said in an interview for a press tour for her upcoming film, “I just knew that somewhere my announcement was going to make somebody feel worse about themselves because, and it wouldn’t be their fault that that happened, you just can’t help it when you want something so bad and it feels like it’s happening to everyone else but you. And I just wanted that person to know that they’re included in my story too and that my story didn’t just have happy moments too.”

So true! Every time, there is a pregnancy announcement on social media or amongst immediate family or friends, there might be some who feel worse, and cry that somebody else has been blessed and not them. Till now, nobody cared about those but thanks to an empathetic star, perhaps now many will.

…but stigma too, in the Indian context

There is such a deep-rooted stigma in society when it comes to women who are not able to conceive. Not men, but women.

I find even the term ‘infertility’ too cruel. The regional terms for the word which is often used to taunt and abuse women who couldn’t have children are worse. Why can’t our medical field give a thought about it and term it ‘conception treatment’ or something like that?

The taboos and stigmas may not go away soon but what we, at least women, can do is to understand what the other is going through and if we can’t lend a helping hand, we can refrain from boasting what we have.

I have experienced it on many occasions. It is as if the opposite person is just immune to your feelings. I certainly do not need sympathy but those reminders they send to you, “I have it and you don’t,” could be painful.

Thank You, Anne Hathaway for telling me it is alright to feel worse and isolated when I hear about a pregnancy somewhere else. Thank you for assuring me that I am not alone. Thank you for letting me know, ‘infertility’ is not a crime and that some moments of joy had miles of unhappiness and doubtful moments before.

And congratulations to you!

Image source: Instagram

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Rajlakshmi Kurup is a freelance writer based in Navi Mumbai.

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