• Jill

The Emotional Pain of Fertility - National Fertility Awareness Week

31st October - 4th November is National Fertility Awareness Week


National Fertility Awareness Week

Anyone can be challenged to have a family, regardless of economic status, race, religion or sexuality. The emotional pain of fertility can go unnoticed, often being hidden, so we can carry on as ‘normal’, when things are far from normal.


Each month comes and goes, each month the dreams and expectations of the baby you yearn for are dashed, each month the emotional fallout grows bigger and bigger, each month can feel like you are falling apart, denying, neglecting and misunderstanding your emotions and feelings, each month retreating into yourself just a little bit more, the whole time questioning why you can’t grow your family in the way you thought you would be able to.


Fertility can cause so many feelings and emotions, often conflicting:

  • Isolation

  • Frustration

  • Anger

  • Guilt

  • Sadness

  • Loneliness

  • Despair

  • Disappointment

  • Confused

  • Let down

  • Out of control

The list goes on.


The emotional and physical fallout can be huge, often putting a strain on our relationships with our partners, family and friends, often feeling like others just ‘don’t get it’. We hear those comments over and over, and although meant with no malice they do nothing to help your heart that is already broken. How often have you heard these words?

  • You could try IVF

  • You have plenty of time

  • It’s God’s way

  • Think yourself lucky you don’t have children, mine are a nightmare

  • Maybe it’s just not meant to be

Time Traveling

We often find ourselves ‘time traveling’, backwards and forwards from the past to the future. We travel back to the past and question what has happened, have I done something wrong, if only I hadn’t..., desperately having those internal conversations with yourself, trying to find the answers, often giving yourself answers you think you want to hear.


We then jump forward to the future, what might be, seeing your hopes and dreams playing out in front of you before you are cruelly thrown back to the past again and asking yourself more questions. We spend little time in the present.


Being unable to spend time in the present prevents us from enjoying what we do have and the other happy events with family and friends. It is exhausting ‘traveling’ between the two.


Triggers

When I work with my clients they often speak of the triggers they see, sometimes on a daily basis and how angry this can make them feel - the bump, the baby, the buggy, friends excitedly sharing news about the milestones their babies have reached, whilst the whole time you sit there, outwardly smiling but inwardly crying. Sometimes these triggers are at specific times of the year, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas, where your hopes and dreams push you once more to the future.


Support

Your feelings are justified, you don’t have to be strong or hide your feelings. If you are struggling to grow your family in the way that you expected and you are finding your feelings overwhelming and feel unable to cope with your feelings, it’s ok to ask for help.