“I wish I would have known about this kind of help sooner.” – many clients
That statement breaks my heart. Medical exploration is the first approach to infertility in most cases. There is so much struggle within this process… coping with the unknown, hormonal changes with treatment, internal conflicts with faith or cultural beliefs, and even a questioning of the self and our abilities.
Eventually, the bigger picture of how to live in a fertile world is our reality. We begin to see our dreams in our everyday lives which activates our grief spiral time and time again. We see new born pictures on social media, we hear crying babies in restaurants and we pass baby supply aisles in stores. Each time, tugging, sometimes stabbing at our hearts. Our search for a story that is just like ours – well that comes up short, too.
This is infertility, beyond the medicine.
This may be the first time we feel out of control. We recognize that what ever happens on any given cycle is beyond our efforts. We actually need help. The first line is the amazing doctors and nurses that know treatments to improve our chances of conceiving any given month. Acupuncture, yoga, supplements, massage… The idea is try just about anything that is found on a blog or social media with the hopes of a similar outcome – pregnancy.
Sometimes, Dr. Google does have all the answers. Part of infertility is getting connected to ourselves. Why does this hurt so much? What is needed to help when we see “everything baby” out in the world? How do connect with friends and family now? Our love relationship is now stressed, now what?
Navigating infertility is as much of an impact on life as navigating cancer, heart disease, and other serious health issues. Life is turned upside down. It’s important to take time for ourselves. Dive a bit deeper into our thoughts and try out some new life scripts as we navigate our new reality.
It’s really easy for others to suggest things like meditation, coloring or drawing, walking in nature. How do we do those things or find the energy when we are so focused on what’s next? The brain whirls around circulating thoughts. Perhaps this is the first time to consider counseling or peer support.
I have found that by the time someone reaches out for counseling, their hurt is quite profound. Peer support groups are a great idea as a first step. RESOLVE and SHARE are great national organizations that offer support groups based on your situation. RESOLVE can be a fit for those living with infertility, SHARE for those experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth. If online programs can offer support for those that are juggling life and like to return to ideas as they arise. Embrace You, Surviving Infertility is such a program to help navigate many areas of living touched by infertility. I encourage you to reach out for counseling, sooner rather than later. The hurt is real and infertility truly impacts us to our core, our center.
I can tell you, you will feel better. You will be different, that’s for sure. You will be even more amazing as you move through this obstacle in your family building. How you do that is truly up to you.