Infertility is hard. You start with a heart full of hope and just a tingle of excitement as you decide that the time is finally right. As time goes on, spontaneity is replaced with planning, measuring and counting. Later still and your vocabulary is full of acronyms like IVF, IUI and ICSI, and you know that the words egg pick up don’t necessarily have anything to do with the supermarket. Even social media hashtags like #ttc and #2ww have become a comfortable second language.
Then you get the news. Your best friend is pregnant. On the outside, you smile and hug her and tell her how happy you are for her. But on the inside, it’s like someone has struck you in the heart with a dagger. All you really feel is jealousy and envy, mixed with feelings of guilt for not being as excited as you should be. The empathetic and compassionate you, the good friend, wants to be really happy and excited, and you will say all the socially correct responses to anyone’s baby news. But inside you’re burning up with grief and questions of why. Feelings of sadness and frustration come flooding in. Why was it so easy for them? Feelings of anger at your body for not working as it should sneak up on you. So you withdraw from the world and nurse your hurt feelings by spending the day crying and just feeling genuinely empty and lost.
The first thing to understand is that it’s absolutely natural to feel this way in these circumstances. The feelings you are having are a form of grief. It’s real, and it’s okay to feel it. The important thing is to find ways to manage it so that you can process it without letting it consume you. Often our instinct is to try to supress what we’re feeling. We try to compress it all inside and pretend those feelings aren’t happening. Putting on a brave face is appropriate sometimes, but processing and learning to manage what you are feeling is important to prevent the pressure inside you from building up.
Things that will help to support you during this time of roller coaster emotions:
- Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. Always remember that their grief experience could be very different from yours, and acceptance of these differences is key to supporting each other.
- Your journey is a daily experience. Some days you will be okay, and other days you won’t. Allow yourself to go with that.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s very normal to feel sad. Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling.
- Sometimes we need to refocus and adapt to a new identity or state of being. Try putting your focus on something else like planning a short break. Even If you can’t go anywhere right now, take some time to plan something for the near future.
- Think about where and what makes you the happiest. Is it beach or a bush walk? Or a sunset? Take yourself there in your mind.
- Practice self care -make it your mission! Actively plan some nice things for yourself during your week.
You should also consider seeing a counsellor. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone trained in fertility counselling can help you process your feelings and turn around any negativity. Seeing someone sooner rather than later can give you the tools to help you stay on top of things.
Jaylene Fuge-Cuk is Counsellor at Well2. She has a special interest in working with clients experiencing infertility, pregnancy loss and grief.
You can read more about Jaylene here
For bookings with Jaylene phone 8362 6622 or contact the clinic via our contact form
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