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The Transition to parenthood after infertility Plomp, Deborah Adele

Abstract

Relatively little is known about the experience of those who make the adjustment to parenthood after a history of infertility and within the available literature there exists numerous gaps and inconsistencies. In this qualitative study, in-depth interviews were used to explore the experience of four heterosexual married couples making the transition to first-time parenthood after prolonged infertility. The study sought to answer the question, "What is the experience for couples making the transition to parenthood after primary infertility?" A thematic analysis of these data, using Colaizzi's (1978) seven step structured analysis, generated five phenomenological themes. In no specific order, the five themes are as follows: (1) A sense of gratitude/being blessed (2) A sense of appreciation/not taking parenthood for granted (3) A sense of completion/new connection (4) A sense of readiness/purposefulness (5) A sense of parenthood as a positive, healing experience. Overall, the data reflected the transition to parenthood after primary infertility to be predominantly a positive experience with the pain of infertility put aside, at least until the couples began to think of expanding their family once again.

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