06 Jan Getting the Infertility Support You Need
Are you seeking – and receiving – the infertility support you need? For some, an infertility diagnosis and the ensuing fertility journey are public knowledge – shared online via blog or social media posts and part of everyday communication with family members and friends. For others, infertility is an incredibly private affair, with medical appointments and the ups-and-downs of IVF cycles being secretly explained away and processed in shrouds of secrecy.
Regardless of which of those experiences resonates most with you, it’s essential that you seek the fertility support you need to weather the fertility treatment storm.
Signs you’re in need of infertility support
Here are some of the signs you’d benefit from infertility support:
You have an infertility diagnosis
Yes, it’s that straightforward. If you’ve received an infertility diagnosis, you strongly desire to get pregnant, and you can’t – yet. In most cases, it also means you’ve tried to get pregnant at home for quite some time, which sent you to your OB/GYN – who then referred you to a fertility specialist. You’ve spent months – and possibly years – pining at all the pregnant women and new babies you see around you.
Ultimately, you’ve experienced notable stress, worry, and grief around why you weren’t getting pregnant in the first place, combined with a huge blow and heartbreak when your fears were confirmed by an infertility diagnosis.
At this stage of the game, it’s wise to connect with therapists (or at least add a few to your contacts for the future) who specialize in infertility.
We like to recommend clinical psychologist, Kristy Koser, PhD, who works with many of our couples.
Read some of our favorite infertility blogs
We mentioned that some people share their infertility news online, and infertility bloggers are an example of that. Visit our post, 5 Infertility Blogs to Follow, to start reading heartfelt testimonials and stories from some of our favorite bloggers. We tried to select blogs sharing a range of experiences and backgrounds, including women who succeeded via IVF, who decided to use donor eggs, a woman who chose to freeze her eggs when she was younger and recently used them for IVF. We think you’ll find them relatable.
Join a local infertility support group
The good news is that infertility and fertility treatments are seeming less and less as a closet secret as the public wakes up to how common an infertility diagnosis actually is (1 in 8 couples, according to the ASRM). The more you and your partner connect with others who understand what you’re going through, because they’re walking the same (or a similar) path, the less likely you are to feel alone.
We’re fortunate to have a few different support groups here in the Richmond area. Click Here to find one that’s right for you. If joining an in-person group feels overwhelming at this point, RESOLVE has an entire page dedicated to online infertility support groups. And, of course, your fertility specialist and staff should also serve as a lifeline and as referrals to high-quality support in your area.
For those in the Lynchburg region the Motherhood Collective is an excellent resource for support: www.themotherhoodcollective.org
Take good care of yourself
You’re already spending plenty of time doing all you can to prepare your body for pregnancy, but your mind and heart matter too. While we don’t want you to worry, be anxious, or stress about your worry, anxiety and stress – perpetual cycles of that biochemical feed are not good for you and your potential pregnancy.
Do all you can to be kind, supportive, and caring with yourself. Clear the calendar as much as you can to prevent that “rat race” pace that seems to be the norm. Create healthy boundaries for yourself – and with the people around you (a skill that will come into play many times when you become a parent). Finally, make stress-management and relaxation a foundation of your daily life.
Looking for a fertility specialist who is on the cutting-edge of reproductive technology and who also provides emotional support through your diagnosis and treatment phases? Schedule a consultation with the Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Center of Virginia.