If you long to be a mother, infertility can be one of the most isolating, excruciating trials to endure. Staying hopeful and optimistic while others in your social circle are celebrating baby showers or welcoming new babies can feel overwhelming and downright painful. The key to weathering the often-tortuous pain of infertility is to find support where you can.
Seek Professional Help
The stress of infertility can take a toll on even the most loving couples. Discussions about whether to pursue adoption or surrogacy can produce strong emotions, especially if you and your partner disagree on the subject. If infertility is causing your relationship to suffer, or if you're feeling exceptionally depressed or anxious, seek help from your physician or a therapist. Infertility counseling can help you reduce stress, and refocus and recharge your relationship. A sex therapist may be worth contacting, particularly if intimacy is lacking given the pressures of scheduled babymaking.
Support groups can help you feel less alone while you pursue your path to parenthood. Whether in person or online, these groups can help you express your negative feelings, develop more effective coping skills and boost your self-esteem, notes RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to others face to face, an online support group, discussion board or telephone coaching group board may be a better choice. Your doctor or fertility specialist can provide referrals to groups that would suit your needs.
Knowledge is power, and plenty of knowledge and support for infertility can be found on the shelves of your local bookstore or library. BabyCenter.com suggests that you read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler and “Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book.” Making the “recommended” list at the Creating a Family website are “Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options” by Melissa Ford and “Hopeful Heat Peaceful Mind: Managing Infertility” by Carol F. Jones. “Waiting for Daisy” by Peggy Orenstein and “Laughing IS Conceivable” by Lori Shandle-Fox receive multiple thumbs-up from fertility centers listing staff picks. Your doctor or support group can provide additional recommendations from the huge canon of infertility literature.
Choose a Good Offense
While your friends and family can certainly be a first line of support for life’s problems, including infertility, social gatherings can be tricky. Folks may pepper you with questions about when you're going to have a baby or offer well-meaning advice about how to get pregnant, sending you spiraling into anger or depression. You can brace yourself for these situations by rehearsing possible responses in advance, RESOLVE advises. Be direct — you shouldn't hesitate to ask them to respect your boundaries. If you want treatment results to remain private, for instance, tell them that you will share results when you are ready.