A Woman Shares
The emotional stages and relationship stress caused by infertility are far more painful than any procedure by a doctor.
Feeling as if they are all alone, they struggle with wondering if they will ever be able to conceive. They beat themselves up thinking that it is something they are doing wrong, or that they are being punished for something. They feel as though they are failing their job of being a man or a woman.
Common emotions that the infertile woman may feel include anxiousness, anger, depression, sadness and hopelessness.
Infertility also usually leads to a decrease in self esteem. All of these emotions are completely normal when dealing with infertility. Many women become sad or jealous when they hear that someone else they know got pregnant or if they see other pregnant women out in public. Seeing a pregnant woman at the grocery store could send her to her car in tears.
Each month as they renew their energy to try again they begin to feel anxious, wondering if this could be the lucky month. Then at the first sign of not feeling well she runs to her stock of pregnancy tests only to be deflated by the reading of the results. She feels angry that there is nothing she can seem to do to make it happen. Often the hurting comes off at her husband as anger, when she's really just frustrated. This leads to stress in their relationship.
Men are often forgotten about when it comes to the emotional impact of infertility, but they also suffer. They are just accustom to keeping their feelings locked up inside and it often comes out as anger or they withdraw some from the relationship. However, they do feel the same pain and wonder if it is something they are doing wrong. They often question their manhood. Most men feel as though they are somehow letting their wives down. They are used to fixing things that go wrong and feel frustrated that this is one thing that they can't fix, no matter how well their tool chest is stocked.
Although most women choose to keep their emotional pain to themselves, it's not the healthiest thing to do. They may feel they don't want to burden others with their problems or to appear weak. But keeping it bottled up inside only makes things worse, you need an outlet for that pain.
There are several things you can do express those feelings in a healthy way:
- Find a few people that you trust and talk to them about your pain.
- Visit infertility discussion boards and chats to share stories with other couples going through the same thing. Also, visit the boards for those that are pregnant, you will find that many of them also struggled with infertility.
- Find an infertility support group either in your area or online.
- If you are a religious person talk to your pastor or minister about your struggles.
- Keep a diary and put your feelings on paper.
- Exercise the anger off -- physical activity will help you release the stress.
- Don't be afraid to research and ask questions, learn as much as you can about infertility and your options.
By reaching out, you will realize that you are not the only one struggling with infertility and this should bring you some comfort. You will also feel better just by sharing those feelings. The most important thing to do is not let the pain get the best of you, you need to keep your head up and keep trying. Remember that parenthood is worth fighting for.