The road of infertility is long and lonely, and often unexpected. It can be a heavy load to carry and have significant impacts on your mental health. No one who wants children ever wants to hear their doctor tell them that it’s not going to happen “the old fashioned way”, or to look at a treatment plan for fertility treatments, trying to decipher what it all means and how much it’s going to cost. The sheer amount of information that comes with a diagnosis and treatment plan is overwhelming, and that’s just the technical side of it all!
I’ve talked with a lot of people over the past several years who are struggling, or have struggled to get pregnant and have a baby. Over and over again, I hear common thoughts and feelings. If you are new to all of this, I wish I could say “welcome to the club”, but we both know no one wants this membership. So, instead I will say “welcome to a space that gets it.” It’s amazing how powerful it is to be in spaces with people who get it, or who have experience with others who have walked a similar path.
Some of the most common things I hear people express about infertility is deep sadness and grief, anger, confusion, loneliness and a sense of betrayal. It’s not uncommon to have feelings of resentment and jealousy towards people who are able to get pregnant and have babies without intervention. Even people that you also happen to love very much! These emotions can feel at odds with one another and make you feel guilty or like you’ve done something wrong for having them. You haven’t. You’re a human first, before anything and everything else and what you’re feeling is to be expected. Most of us who want kids, have always known we wanted kids and had no warning signs that there would be problems. Something that we are taught is the natural way of things, is suddenly feeling anything but.
If you are someone who has managed things such as anxiety and depression in the past, no doubt infertility put gas on that fire. But even people who have never struggled with their mental health before will find themselves in need of more support as they navigate what their diagnosis means, what the options are, while going through treatment, and processing whatever the outcomes may be. Infertility has such a shroud of shame and silence around it, but when we discover just how common it is, it starts to seem like maybe we should be talking about it more. Friends and family can be a source of great support and comfort, and they can also be sources of pain and misunderstandings. Finding a support group either in-person or online can be an invaluable tool for you during this journey. Even then, some people find they need more support, time, and space to work through what they are experiencing. You may need a place that is all yours where you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s feelings or expectations. No one else’s opinions or ideas. A place where you can share the highest highs and the lowest of lows when it comes to infertility, and know there is no judgement. Only compassion and acceptance.
That’s where someone like me comes in. Finding a therapist that specializes in infertility counseling can be difficult, but more and more of us are coming into this work. We understand the unique challenges that come with infertility and building a family in ways that you didn’t originally plan on. Maybe that means using donor sperm, egg, or embryos. You may be looking at using a surrogate. Perhaps life happened and you find yourself making the decision to be a single parent by choice using fertility treatments. I can support you through your journey, while providing tools to help you cope and understand yourself and your feelings better. This is hard and sacred work that you’re about to embark in, and I am honored to be part of your journey. If you live in the state of Oklahoma and would like to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call to see if we would be a good fit to work together. Please reach out to me at Laura@inspiredmentalwellness.com to get started today.