Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to Cope With Babies During Infertility

By Faith Allen (link to article here)

People who are facing infertility challenges often have a difficult time being around babies. Seeing a baby is a reminder of what is missing in the infertile couples life. When a couple is most upset about their infertility, babies can seem to be coming out of the woodwork. The infertile couple is exposed to babies in restaurants, at church and even just driving through their own neighborhood. Here is how to cope with babies during infertility.

  1. Accept that exposure to babies is a reality of life. Even though it feels as if infertility has stopped your world, the rest of the world continues to move along its merry path of fertility. Facing this reality head on will spare you being blindsided as frequently.
  2. Express your emotions. You do not have to like being exposed to babies on a regular basis. Seeing these reminders of what is missing from your life is very hard. Resist the urge to stuff down the pain and, instead, express it. Set aside time to cry and punch pillows. If you process your emotions as they bubble up, they will be less likely to explode out of you at inopportune moments.
  3. Minimize your exposure to babies. To the extent you can, try to increase the odds of spending your day without coming into contact with babies. Participate in activities that are less child-friendly, such as going to the movies after most children have been tucked into bed. Avoid places in which babies are likely to congregate, such as parks with playgrounds. More expensive restaurants are less likely to be filled with children.
  4. Monitor your television viewing. If a character on your favorite television show gets pregnant, it is time to start watching another show. You can always catch up on your favorite shows when this chapter of your life is behind you.
  5. Be gracious when you see a baby. No matter how many steps you take to minimize your exposure to babies during infertility, you are going to run into them. Be gracious when you do. Compliment the baby and think about how great it will be when you hold your own baby in your arms. Then, head for the nearest bathroom and cry.
  6. Set boundaries about level of contact. If your friend wants you to meet her new baby, it is okay to decline an offer to hold the baby. Decide how much exposure you can handle, and be clear about the boundaries that you have set. Visit as long as you can handle, and then leave.
  7. Nurture yourself. Exposure to babies is extremely difficult while you are struggling with infertility. After you spend time around a baby, set aside time to comfort yourself. Give yourself the time and space to express whatever emotions you are feeling. Then, do something nice for yourself to help you feel a little better.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Thank you for sharing this article. I still don't hold new babies. Haven't for 4 years. (Except my own son)My sisters understood that because I just told them I didn't feel like holding a baby. I think it's really important to be honest with yourself and even the people around you about this.

On the other side, holding a baby can be a very spiritual experience and (at the right time) can be a good time to focus on what you are working for. Let the Spirit douse you with a baby's sweetness when you feel you can.