So far in my endometriosis and infertility series, I’ve spoken about the emotions you might face while you are trying to conceive and those you might face post-baby. In the third and final segment of this series, I want to offer some advice that I found helpful when we were trying to conceive.
Don’t blame yourself
Infertility isn’t your fault, and self-blame only leads to self-hate. You have no control over how your body works. Some things are, sadly, out of our hands, so be gentle with yourself. You have enough emotions weighing you down right now without this added guilt.
Allow yourself to feel a myriad of emotions
Infertility will leave you feeling every emotion going: Anger, guilt, sadness, distress, grief ― the list goes on. Understand it’s OK to feel however you may be feeling. Infertility might be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever go through, and facing up to these emotions will make the journey much easier.
Communicate with your partner and make time for each other
When you’re going through infertility, it’s easy to live your life in a bubble and lose focus on those closest to you. But your partner is traveling this road with you and may be feeling the exact same emotions. Talk to your partner, understand how he (or she) is feeling and share how you are feeling. Set time aside to spend together and reconnect ― go out for dinner or a movie, or sit with each other at home. You need to gather strength from each other to get through every single day. It’s you two in this, together.
Similarly, work with your partner
When it comes to fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), it can feel as if you’re taking the brunt of it while your partner gets the easy part. Talk to your partner about the medications or different parts of the treatment, and how you feel about them. You also could get your partner involved in the process; for example, if you are self-administering injections, ask for help.
Communicate with others
Your family or close friends may not fully understand what infertility can mean or what someone going through it will face. Sometimes, this can lead to things being said that might cause upset. It also might leave you feeling like you have no one to turn to. It’s all well and good, putting on a brave face, but if you bottle up all of these emotions, others might think there are no issues. This can lead to you feeling more alone. Let other people in and let them give you that support. They might be able to help you with the turmoil you are facing.
Find other support outlets
I found it very difficult to speak to those around me about our journey with infertility. I didn’t want to face those raw emotions. But I found it really therapeutic to write down those feelings. I blogged about it, from start to finish, and on to the emotions resurfacing post-baby. If you find it difficult to talk to others, or you don’t feel you have anyone with whom you can speak, try writing these feelings in a journal, type them into a blog, or get online and find others in a similar position. You also could ask if there is any counseling available that coincides with your fertility treatment.
It’s OK not to attend difficult social events
You are not obligated to face anything or anyone that will make this journey more difficult for you than it already is. Others should understand this. I couldn’t be around my friends’ babies, at times, and sometimes I had to stay away from social networking. If you do attend a difficult event, try to enjoy yourself and take time out by leaving the room if you need a moment.
Ask questions and become informed
Learn everything you can about infertility. What is causing it? Can the cause be treated? What fertility treatments are available? If you have any queries, ask your health provider.
Look after yourself
Try to take time out for yourself. That might be pursuing hobbies, a trip to the salon or just some time with your own thoughts. Whatever might help you, do it. Remember: It’s not selfish to look after yourself.
Realize that your options don’t end at infertility
Adoption and surrogacy are just two of several alternative avenues to becoming a parent, and even though these alternatives might not be how you imagined parenthood would begin, they are options you can explore.
You can follow more of my journey over at www.emlwy.com.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.