"I remember being in 6th grade health class and being taught about reproduction. The way the teacher spoke about it, it seemed like just getting sneezed on by a guy would get you pregnant. That's how fertile they wanted us to believe that we were."
- Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT
Life, of course, is rather different from what we are taught in that class. One in ten couples has an infertility diagnosis and require medical support to have a live-birth pregnancy.
Figuring out the cause of infertility is usually just one very small part of a long road ahead. From the moment of your first infertility test until the moment that you become a parent a lot can happen. And the physical aspect of infertility is usually something that there are a lot of resources for.
But there aren't that many resources for your mental health. Rarely does a fertility doctor sit down with you to talk about how isolating this journey can be or to discuss the shame that you might be feeling around this process. Rarely does someone ask you "so how are all of these appointments affecting your day-to-day life" or even more importantly "how's your relationship doing right now". The sole purpose of the fertility clinic is to get you to have a life-birth pregnancy or in other words: to get you that baby. This is one of those moments in life where very often it's not about the journey but about the destination.
Mental Health Through Infertility
Infertility is new to most couples who face it. It is something that you did not anticipate to happen in your life and often times you don't know anyone who has gone through it. It can become all consuming and it is easy to lose ourselves and our self-worth in this process.
Reaching out for support during this time of high stress is really important in order to keep you grounded. At Smart Talk, you are able to speak with a mental health specialist about how the infertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment has impacted your life and your relationships. You will have someone who can support you in a nonjudgemental way cope with what is happening in your life, guide you through the journey, and help you find ways to continue to enjoy life. You can process your thoughts and feelings about infertility in an open and honest way giving you the space to be your true and authentic self. And you can process common questions like "why me", or "this isn't fair", or "will this ever work for me".
Therapist Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT, has written several blogs, articles, and podcasts about this topic. Here are the links to them if you would like to get more information.