Are you coping with infertility, the fear you’ll experience pregnancy, or depression because you can’t get pregnant? These tips may help — they’re from Pamela Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority.
She knows about coping with not conceiving a baby firsthand; she wrote about not getting pregnant and accepting a childfree life.
Here’s one of her key thoughts:
“You know you’ve mastered infertility when your anger turns to forgiveness.”
Holding on to anger or bitterness because you can’t have children won’t make your life easier. In fact, it could make things worse! Here, Tsigdinos shares how she learned to accept a childfree life — and one of the ways she coped with infertility was by writing writing Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found.
5 Ways to Cope With Not Getting Pregnant
If you’ve spent any extended amount of time in ‘trying to conceive’ limbo, you know that it’s not easy to move away from the overpowering biological urge to get pregnant.
“It becomes all but a second job what with monitoring, doctor appointments, more monitoring and still more doctor appointments,” says Tsigdinos. “As I moved forward in my 30s, I found myself working my way through a slow but progressive set of steps. I started at acknowledgement and ended in my early 40s with acceptance.”
1. Acknowledge that you can’t conceive a baby the ‘old school’ way. It doesn’t seem to matter how many candles have been lit, how much fertility yoga you do, or whether the mood is “full of baby-making love.” Sometimes the fertility doctors have no clear explanation, but it becomes apparent that your stork is seriously lost. To cope with infertility, you need to accept this.
2. Avoid malls, parks and any child-themed locale. There’s no need to subject yourself unnecessarily to that which you cannot seem to have, says Tsigdinos. She suggests avoiding kids as much as possible.
3. Enter and exit the infertility treatment maze. After you’ve run the infertility gauntlet a few times, you realize you’re exhausted from running into dead ends. You either arrive at a successful treatment outcome (you get pregnant!) or begin to accept that living a life without children is less painful than facing more failure in the womb department. You may or may not struggle with infertility depression.
4. Hang out in ‘Infertility Rehab.’ You slowly attempt to re-engage and co-exist with friends and colleagues and their child-filled lives … or perhaps you choose to start a blog or write a book? This step to coping with not conceiving a baby involves healing and sharing what you’ve learned.
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5. Fully re-enter society. You accept that you’re forever changed by infertility, and know that society, largely, will never fully understand or appreciate the conflicts and loss you’ve experienced and/or continue to battle on those unexpected days when reminders of what could have been surface unexpectedly. Re-entry into society can be exacerbated by those who haven’t given much if any thought to infertility’s collateral damage.
Just as individuals are different, each of these steps require varying amounts of time. There is no right answer to the pain of not getting pregnant, now or ever. Each woman heals and moves on at her own pace. For instance, says Tsigdinos, I hung out in step four, Infertility Rehab, for quite a while. It’s not a bad place to be. It allowed me to control my exposure to the dominant (bordering on domineering) parenting universe that elicited twinges of sadness and longing about what could have been. Fortunately the intensity of the twinges softened as the weeks and months and years went by.
You know you’ve mastered infertility when your anger turns to forgiveness.
For more tips, read How to Cope When You Can’t Have a Baby – it includes advice from women who couldn’t get pregnant.
To connect with Pamela Tsigdinos, visit her blog at Coming2Terms.com.
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