Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Deal with the Struggles of Infertility

By esmy8

So you thought it was going to be so easy, right? After going through your whole childhood with your parents telling you that kissing could get you pregnant, you thought it would all just fall in to place. So you try one month then the next and the next and a year later, still nothing. You start doing all the research, timing intercourse with ovulation, doing a handstand in bed after intercourse, trying not to go to the bathroom after intercourse, eating the cores of pineapples, everything you've ever read about. Still nothing... Now what?

No matter who you are, the moment a struggle ensues with getting pregnant, it seems that the world around you starts to become pregnant. Every friend in your inner circle is pregnant, the 13 year old neighbor's kid gets pregnant, even your cat becomes pregnant! All of the feelings are inevitable. At times you may feel like a failure. At other times, you may feel like you're being punished. All of these unhealthy feelings can turn you into a depressed and isolated person.

  • The first thing that needs to be done is to really try to step back and look at the reasons you want a child. Obviously, there are healthy reasons and unhealthy ones. If after a thorough self-analysis, you discover your reasons are good and pure, then the best next move is to sit down with your partner and establish a limit. How far are you willing to go? Will stop at 6 cycles of Clomid or do 3 cycles of IVF? Establish a stopping point and stick to it.
  • Secondly, go to a reproductive endocrinologist. See what your options are and try to get as thorough diagnostic testing as possible. If several cycles of some kind of help do not produce a result, a laparoscopy maybe recommended. There are numerous problems that can only be diagnosed via laparoscopy. While it is a surgery, it may well be worth it if it results in giving you more answers.
  • Third, make sure your closest friends and family know what you're going through. It's amazing how seemingly insensitive some people can be when they don't realize your struggles. Once they know, they can be more careful with what they say (i.e. not asking you what's taking you so long to get to having a baby) and how they act. It can also be very liberating not having to go on with the act of not wanting kids if people know that the lie is a cover for the truth of infertility problems.
  • Fourth, after every attempt, always have a plan in place for the next step. The worst thing that you can do is let yourself bank all of your hopes on one procedure/attempt. Always try to move forward. That may even involve planning an intimate vacation for two after an especially long haul. Just always try to give yourself a reward.
  • If all of the struggles turn out for naught, it's important to grieve for the child you couldn't have. Let yourself feel the feelings. If adoption is for you, pursue it. If your heart was set on having your own, acknowledge that and try to channel your energy into nieces, nephews or your friends' children. There are benefits to not having children, no matter how hard it may be to see that while you're fighting the fight, but try to focus on those things. Pursue life-long goals. Maybe you've always wanted to pursue acting and never was able to. Maybe you wanted to write a book or travel the world. Focus your time and energy into making yourself whole. Your life can be fulfilling without children.
  • Throughout all of this, THINK POSITIVE! By think positive, I don't mean to say "this is going to work." I mean that you should always focus on the good side of things. Something along the lines of, "OK this looks promising and if this doesn't work, we have next month."
  • Infertility is the struggle of a lifetime. While on the surface it may not look as difficult as a battle with cancer, ask anyone who has been battling infertility for years and they will tell the enormous strain it can put on the body, mind, friends, and relatives of those going through it. The last and most important thing of all is never to forget your partner's feelings while the war is being fought. Lean on each other and know when it's time to get help from professionals.

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