You are researching, getting acupuncture, changing your diet, taking medication, submitting yourself to injection after injection, going through egg retrievals, trying IUI and IVF. Nothing is working. It starts to feel hopeless. Why is it so easy for some women and so hard for you?
Being infertile in a fertile world is challenging and isolating. Sometimes it seems like everywhere you look, there is a pregnant woman. It feels like every time you log into Facebook you see an announcement of a new baby being born. Or your cousin/aunt/mother calls with the news of another family pregnancy. Or you are invited to a another gender reveal party for an old friend. Or you are hearing yet another a story about a surprise pregnancy. Each time, it feels like a punch in the gut.
When you learn someone you know is pregnant- your sister, sister-in-law, friend, coworker- you want to feel happy for them. You truly do. But you struggle with feeling so sad for your own experience that it is often hard to be celebratory. Which starts to make you feel guilty, sad and further alone.
Infertility treatments make you feel like you are on a roller coaster. Each month starts out with hope and often ends with a crushing disappointment. The medication leads to wild mood swings. It's hard to steady your feet.
If you feel this way, it is important to know that there is support available. Talk to your spouse. Reach out to a friend or family member who has "been there." Attend a support group. Talk to a therapist who understands.
Here are some resources that might help:
Mass General Hospital Center for Women's Health https://womensmentalhealth.org
International Council for Infertility Information Dissemination www.inciid.org
American Society for Reproductive Medicine www.reproductivefacts.org
Fertility Lifelines https://www.fertilitylifelines.com
In-person Support and Information
RESOLVE The National Infertility Association www.resolve.org
Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility by Janet Jaffe, David Diamond and Martha Diamond
Life Without Baby: Surviving and Thriving When Motherhood Doesn't Happen by Lisa Manterfield
Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children by Jody Day
Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you."
- Maya Angelou
Sometimes, the best way to get support is with a licensed therapist. In particular, a therapist trained in infertility and/or maternal mental health may be a good fit. To find a therapist in your area, try an online therapist directory such as Psychologytoday.com or Goodtherapy.org You can search via zip code or town and, in some cases, you can narrow your search to specific specialities and insurances accepted.