Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never Give Up” rings in my ears after I recently heard a story of a woman who at the age of 54 gave birth to twins. I do not know if this woman’s children were her own or if she used donor eggs to conceive. This woman was an acquaintance of a very good friend of mine. My friend said that this woman struggled with infertility for 14 years and was finally able to conceive after a lot of personal development which included a lot of mindset training. Of course, she was on all the proper supplements and did everything she could to optimize her health. This woman was emotionally resilient. After all, 14 years is a long time to keep trying to have a baby. In the end she had two! Most women would have given up. It is simply too exhausting emotionally and financially to keep trying for so long.
This brings to mind a very important point about the journey of infertility. It is also very much a journey of resilience. Resilience is now a term that is being used in business, however, it is very applicable to any struggle that one has in life. The level of resilience is what determines who succeeds or who fails. What exactly is resilience? Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult experiences. Infertility can be emotionally draining and stressful. It is normal to feel depressed when pregnancy does not occur easily, especially when coupled with expensive reproductive procedures. There are some women who succeed after years of trying and their stories are amazing and triumphant. I think that the decision to continue trying and the decision to use donor eggs or adopt is a very personal decision and one that each woman must make after assessing her situation carefully.
There are some things that a woman can do to cope with the stress of infertility. See below:
If you are struggling with infertility here are some things you can do:
- Get one on one counseling with a certified therapist to deal with the emotions that come up while trying to conceive
- Find a support group of like-minded women that are going through a similar experience
- Elicit the support of supportive friends and family members
- Engage in self-care. This can be any activity that is calming and reduces stress. Examples are: massages, yoga, deep breathing, meditation
- Journaling feelings and thoughts can be very therapeutic
- Communicate with your partner
- Educate yourself about finances and about all of your options.
- Be realistic about your situation and balance this with optimism. This can be a fine line and one that you will have to navigate as you go.
- Engage in activities that make you happy
- Join organization such as RESOLVE to find support
Infertility is a journey that most women do not expect to go on. Many women stop fertility treatments not for financial reasons, but because they become emotionally exhausted by the process. Having a support system in place allows women to become resilient for as long as they want to keep trying. Sometimes the desire to have a biological child is very overpowering and when it becomes difficult it can be devastating. However, if the end goal is simply to be a parent then I do believe that that is possible for any woman who desires to have that experience. It just may not happen in the way that she originally thought it would. It is important for women to empower themselves in every way that they can while they are on this voyage. A little bit of preparation will go a long way in maintaining a state of happiness, optimism, and emotional resilience.