Having a child of your own might possibly be one of the biggest dreams of a couple. Yet, infertility crashes your dreams leaving you feeling despair and helplessness. Aside from that, there might be societal pressure to have kids or you might be judged for not being able to conceive. Some might also offer you advice about what to do and what not to, without any regards to your situations.
1. Accept your feelings
It is understandable that dealing with infertility might feel like a roller coaster ride. During this time, one is flooded with emotions. There could be feelings of loss, anger, failure, guilt, jealousy, fear of rejection and many more. All these emotions cause stress which could harm you in a more severe way including physical side effects. The first thing to understand is that feeling these emotions is completely normal because infertility takes a toll on you.
Almost every couple dreams of having a child of their own and infertility shatters that dream. So, take your time and gradually try to accept all that you feel, because only then you will be able to move forward in a positive way.
2. Communicate with your partner/spouse
Repeatedly trying and failing to conceive can strain the relationship of a couple. Infertility can either bring the couple closer or could cause them to drift apart. Feelings of anger, inadequacy, hopelessness, pressure to have a child- are often left unspoken, which causes tension between the couple. Both, the man and woman might respond differently to infertility. Men tend to become emotionally distant whereas women are openly distressed. The relationship might go more downhill if the couple gets intimate only for the sole purpose of conceiving, as it may affect the sexual performance and lead to decline in overall sexual satisfaction.
Try to reconnect with your partner. To overcome the gap, you can go for couple therapy or try to bring back the intimacy via both non sexual or sensual ways. Allow each other to cope differently, if that makes it easier. Don’t let go of each other, you are in this together. Share how you feel with each other and don’t fear asking what you want. Stay strong and act as a team in this entire journey.
3. Talk to your loved ones
Infertility is stressful, you might want to isolate yourself. However, it will do you more harm than good. Don’t shut them out, instead stay connected with them. Support from friends and family, especially at this time can help reduce the emotional stress. Talking about how you feel aloud will make the weight on your heart feel less heavier. If your loved ones are uninformed about infertility, you can tell them about it or recommend some readings so that they can understand your feelings in a better way and comfort you in the best way possible. But make sure that you choose these people wisely as even one negative comment could stress you more than you already are.
4. Explore other options for building your family
Infertility might make you feel helpless and lost. If you feel so, you can explore other options to have a child. Your doctor can help you understand these options and help decide the best alternative for you. This might revive your dream of parenthood. Other options could be- Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) like- IVF, ICSI, Donor programmes, Surrogacy and adoption, etc.
Understand these options well, as it will help you in making your decision and hopefully result in a positive outcome. But before choosing any alternative, grieve properly, because only then you will be able to fully embrace the idea of trying other methods.
5. Seek professional counselling
For a couple going through infertility, seeking help from a counselor will help you deal with the situation in a better way. Along with providing mental support, coping techniques, the fertility counselor will help answer all your questions and help you in making decisions which are beneficial for you. They understand your fears and concerns and you should not at all feel ashamed in asking for help because overcoming infertility is not an easy job.
6. Take care of yourself
Infertility causes a turmoil in your life, during this time it is very important to stop blaming yourself and practice self-care. Because you being infertile is not your fault; it is caused due to genetics and other factors. Blaming yourself will not lead to anything, instead, focus on yourself during this time. Spend time alone, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and talk with others about how you feel. If you are healthy and happy during this time, this journey of infertility will become much easier to navigate through. Take part in activities which help you alleviate your stress, like go for a run, a walk, paint, a parlour session, whatever relieves your mind.
Focus on taking positive steps which help you achieve your goals. Even when you think that everything is especially hard on you, take time, take breath, think and do what’s best for you.