Share the Emotion of Infertility
Infertility and emotions – fertility issues arouse the emotions in both male and female, and need to be carefully considered as part of the overall infertility piece.
Men will experience many ups and downs trying to fulfil the dream of having a baby as much as women do. No two couples react the same way, and no two men will react identically either.
Words used to describe the emotional journey include: guilt, frustration, impatience, desperation, longing, anxiousness, embarrassment, failure, disappointment, anger, unfairness, heartache, grief, hope, anticipation, encouragement and excitement. All of these emotions can be felt over a short period of time, or indeed last for years.
The first ‘disappointment’ is the realisation that after months of trying for a baby you and/or your partner may have fertility issues. Many couples find it hard to digest the news and the relationship may become strained.
Next you may find yourself baring your soul to the doctors and consultants while they investigate what may be the cause of the infertility. This can be extremely imposing mentally and physically for both partners. Suddenly every minute detail of your medical and sexual history is scrutinised, leaving no stone unturned!
Physically you will be prodded and poked and any feeling of embarrassment soon dissipates after the third or fourth time. You will emerge from fertility testing feeling relieved, anxious yet excited as the cause of infertility may be found so you can progress with treatment.
Starting a treatment brings a wave of optimism, hope and anticipation that you will have a baby. As the journey continues this turns into fear; fear that it may not work and if it doesn’t what will you do next? What else can you try?
Then possibly the ultimate emotion, a sense of failure. Men and women were meant to procreate, but why not us? What have we done to deserve this? Why is it so easy for some people? The questions buzz round your head incessantly, driving you mad! Suddenly it seems that there are happy families everywhere. At this time it is important to have the right emotional support to prevent you sliding into a depression.
So what can you do to cope?
Your relationship It is important that you embark on this journey of having a baby together with a solid relationship. Infertility is such a personal issue that most couples tend not to share the news with anyone else initially. In some respects this is a good approach as it helps the couple come to terms with the issues themselves before being questioned by family and friends. It is important to be open with each other about how you feel and not harbour your innermost thoughts.
And keep yourself grounded by reminding yourself that you are a couple who fell in love years ago and are still in love. You can get through this together by talking about it and remembering how much fun you had before the baby pressures arrived.
Revisit those feelings, take time to pamper each other, go out for meals and try to forget about the stress of having a baby for a while. Your relationship will invariably become stronger and your world will not solely revolve around having a baby.
If you do find that you are arguing a lot, it may be time to share the news with family and friends so you can get the additional support you need. There is no point going around in circles, blaming each other and avoiding the issue. Confide in someone you can trust, someone else who you can vent your anger to.
Your partner is probably angry as well and when you come together, the fireworks will not help either of you to move on. So above all share what you are feeling and thinking, and seek support from family and friends too if this is something you both agree on.