Dealing With Infertility

The best way to get back to “business as usual” is to take care of the emotional business at hand. And there’s nothing wimpy about healthy grief work - it calls on all of your courage and resourcefulness. A Zen proverb says, “The way to control a bull is to give it a big pasture.” Paying attention to grief ends its power over you. Give grief its due and you’ll find the energy and concentration to get on with your life. See a mental health professional if you feel that infertility is making it hard to cope day in and day out.

Denial, Shock and Numbness
After several months of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant or stay pregnant, feelings of shock or numbness may result. Feelings of “this can’t be happening to us” or “I know next month we will be successful” begin to change over to anger and guilt.

Anger usually results from feeling vulnerable or helpless or both. Helpless feelings result from the lack of control that you may feel over your life plan, your body, and your future. This may be a new experience; previously, when you worked hard at something, you probably achieved your goal. Now you are working hard and doing everything you can to conceive, but without reaching your desired goal. A sense of vulnerability evolves from feeling “jinxed,” or feeling that life isn’t fair. You may feel as if you can no longer count on anything good happening in your life.

Anger can consume you, coloring your everyday thoughts and experiences. You may feel emotionally guarded, pulled between tears and sadness or anger and rage. The next time you feel angry, irritable, or frustrated, take an inventory of your body and identify how different parts of your body respond to the angry feelings. Do your legs feel weak? Does your heart beat faster? Do you feel flushed or shaky? Does your breathing change? Become familiar with how you react physically to these intense emotions.