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Infertility Support

How do you deal with it?


My dh & I are unable to have children and we don’t have any options as far as IVF etc.  So my question is, how do you deal with the fact that you will never feel a child grow inside of you?  It’s too painful for me to think about but now that my sis-in-law is pregnant, the pregnancy talk starts up again and that’s how it should be.  I’m extrememly happy for my bro and sis-in-law but at the same time, it honestly breaks my heart to know I won’t get to experience any of that ever.

We are in the waiting period of adopting domestically and I know that once we are parents it will help with those feelings but what about in the meantime?

Replies

Thanks for sharing. I have been totally where you are. My heart aches for you.  I agree that once your are holding your child in your arms, the pain will ease greatly (I am an adoptive mom of four).  Still, right now it hurts….!

As for right now, the thing that helped me the most was allowing myself to feel the pain without judging myself and censoring myself. I think this self acceptance really helps dissipate the pain.  Whereas if you keep pushing the pain away, it just grows. 

Three other things that also helped me: 
1) Connecting with my adoptive child-to-be long before I held her in my arms.  I kept thinking how vulnerable she was and because of my infertility, I truly understood a little bit of her vulnerability.  It was something we shared. That gave me strength.

2)delving into my adoption process with my whole heart and finding ways to see it as my ‘first choice,’ not my last choice.  I know this may be hard.  All I can say is, when I started actively looking for other women who were truly excited about their adoption journeys and who seemed to infuse their adoptions with passion and gratitude and enthusiasm, adoption started looking less like a second choice and more like a totally unique and cool path that will make my life bigger and less ordinary.

3) I surrounded myself with a circle of rockin adoptive moms-to-be whom I love like sisters.  When I looked at them, how beautiful and smart and alive and big hearted they were, it made me feel good about myself too.

Sending you lots of love & encouragement,
http://www.adoptiongoddess.com/blog
xxoo Elizabeth

Posted by adoptiongoddess on Mar 29, 2011 at 12:30am

Ditto to what Elizabeth said!

Posted by AuberrySwirl on Mar 30, 2011 at 12:49am

Hello tipd,

I totally agree with Elizabeth.

I felt the hurt and pain that you are expressing.  Even now, it sometimes creeps up on me when friends and family are having children with ease.

I delt with the pain by allowing myself to grieve and feel the pain.  It took a long time, but acceptance followed.

Now, I’m with you, waiting for our adoption to happen.  It so helps to have other adoptive parents to talk to or blog with.

Big cyber hug to you for having the strength to share your pain and frustation with us.  The road to adoption seems long, but in the end, it will be worth it.  That is my motto.  I chant it like a mantra.

Emma

Posted by Emma on Mar 30, 2011 at 1:39am

I had a hysterectomy when I was 30 years old, and I can relate to what you are saying, longing to be pregnant when it is not a possibility.  It is hard for me also to see my friends who are easily getting pregnant.  What is even harder, is I was a foster parent for 2 years, and I watched people have children then abuseing them.  I kept asking myself, “why does god allow people to have kids who don’t really want them or love them, and people like me who desperatly want to love and care for a child can’t”?  There are so many emotions involved.  I am a counselor, and I did an internship at hospice working in the bereavement department, and I worked with families who have lost children, both older and from miscarriage, and I realized then that what I’m feeling, is exactly the same.  I’m grieving the loss of my ability to have a child.  I know some people think, You can’t love something you never had, but that’s not true.  Just like when you are grieving the loss of someone, these feelings get easier over time, but the advantage we have, is that we still have other options, such as adoption, or surrogacy, or foster care.  So even though we will always grieve, it will get better, and we can work through it.  If it is too overwhelming for you, you can always look into grief therapy.  I know the local hospice in our town offers grief therapy for free!  I hope this helps some.

Posted by ErinGabrielle77 on Sep 14, 2011 at 6:00am

Dealing with infertility is so hard.  For me it was a looong process to come to this pretty balanced place, where I am right now. (trying to become parents since 2002)

The waiting time from adoption decision (in 2008) to now had a positive effect.
I wanted a baby to help me with the pain.
Let me adopt fast so it stops hurting so badly!

But if we had adopted right after it became certain that we couldn conceive, the baby would have come into a place of unresolved grief.  It would have been like a onsolation gift for all the loses we had. But at that time I was unable to see that.

In some countries the adoption process is made more difficult for that reason - to have time to work through the grief.

I am using the waiting time to change. First I had to give grief a place in my life. I never actually grieved the loss of my fertility. I never cried about it. I was devastated, sad, angry, depressed, hopeless - but never expressed it.

So one day we made a ritual. I painted a picture of the baby we would never have (his eyes, my smile?) and then each of us wrote him/her a letter. Then we burned all of that, put the ashes in a self- crafted urn and buried it. (And yes, you can love somebody who never existed!)

Finally I had my farewell and allowed myself to cry.
That was very healing. It made room for the change.

I couldn be the best me, if I still carry that unresolved grief. Not that it will ever disappear completely, but it doesn have that heavy impact on me anymore. It is one small part of me. Not bearing me down.

Now I was able to switch my negatively colored vision of myself as an adoptive mom from :
a mom MINUS the ability to conceive, carry, labor, nurse, pass on genes
To a positive view as a WHOLE-ADOPTIVE-mom: who loves, cares, nurtures, adores, consoles

Don know if that makes sense to others but there was a transition.

I now understand that adoption for me can never be a replacement for lost fertility. It is a choice for a new mode of live with all its challenges and changes.
I want to give my family to a child. I want to open up my heart and home for a child.
I don want him/her to feel as a replacement. I make a new conscious decision to create a family in this way.
( I don even want to try the new treatment that a physician suggested to me which might address my infertility).

That a brief version of my process.

Hugs to you!

Posted by Bell on Sep 14, 2011 at 7:27am

I think the rituals and the way you handled your infertility sounds very healing and I"m glad it worked for you.

And as a adoptive mom, you can still nurse, i just noticed that you mentioned that as something you can’t do.  I definitly plan on nursing when I adopt one day! I think that is probably the best way to bond with the new baby!

Posted by ErinGabrielle77 on Sep 18, 2011 at 4:27am

OH and also, a friend of mine who was told by her doctors 8 years ago that she couldn’t concieve, just found out a few weeks ago that shes pregnant smile  they had given up all hope, did not do ivf or anything, and were pursuing an adoption via foster care.  So don’t give up hope (unless you’re like me,had a hysterectomy)... you never know what might happen!

Posted by ErinGabrielle77 on Sep 18, 2011 at 4:29am

I think everyone deals with infertility in their own way and in their own time.  My husband and I tried to conceive the old fashioned way for 9 months with no luck.  After testing we discovered that my husband is infertile.  He saw a specialist in Houston and there was nothing that could be done to help the situation.  We had to accept the fact that we would not have biological children together.  The doctor suggested using a sperm donor but we were not ready to make any decisions at that time.  I tried to be supportive of my husband who was really struggling with the medical diagnosis.  We had long talks about adoption and donor sperm.  There were pros and cons with each path.  I spoke to a friend who had a child via donor sperm because her husband was left infertile after chemotherapy and radiation treatments he had when he was a teenager.  It was helpful to hear first hand from someone who had been in the same position as us.  Ultimately I left the decision on which path to pursue up to my husband.  After lots of heart to heart talks we decided to try to conceive with a sperm donor.  My husband wanted to give us the chance to experience a pregnancy together and did not have a problem with the child “not being his” biologically.  We chose a donor from an approved bank online and started fertility treatments.  We did IUI 6 times and IVF once over the course of seeing the fertility specialist for a year.  In the end nothing worked.  Over the time we were trying to conceive my egg quality deteriorated and there was no point continuing to try with the fertility treatments.  Once again I had to grieve the idea of having a biological child and a pregnancy.  I had a harder time with the never being pregnant part than not having a child who shared my DNA.  We briefly considered an egg donor (we had a family member volunteer to be a donor) and embryo adoption.  In the end we just wanted to be done with the shots, ultrasounds, and doctor visits.  It was clear in our hearts that adoption was going to be our path to build our family.  We immediately began working with an agency.  I am not the type of person who can sit and feel like I am doing nothing.  I needed to feel like we were moving forward.  It was not an easy path to our child.  We had two failed adoptions but brought home our baby boy one year after signing a contract with our agency.  I look at my 7 week old baby everyday and know that everything we went through was to get to him.  He does not feel like a consolation prize for all of our trials and tribulations.  He is the child we were meant to have.  I know in my heart that we were meant to wait for him to find us.  I would not change one thing that we went through along the way to having him.  When I held him in my arms the first time all of the pain and grief melted away.  It is amazing being a mother. 

You will get through this is your own way and time.  Listen to your heart and lean on your husband.  Don’t let this pull you apart.  Let it draw you closer together.  It is the only way that you will come through it without losing your sanity, faith, health, etc!  You will be a mother one day.  Just focus on the lifetime you will have with your child one day.

Love and prayers,

Aunt Lolly

Posted by Aunt Lolly on Sep 18, 2011 at 10:34pm

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