(In)fertility…What happened to me?
If you have experienced the challenge of (in)fertility, you know that after all the treatments, tests, and whether you come out on the other side with or without a child in your arms, you will never be the same. Infertility changes a person's worldview, both of the outside world and our inner world.
In her article titled "The Lasting Trauma of Infertility," Regina Townsend explains it very well, "Infertility changes how you see yourself and the world. Somewhere along the journey, many of us stop feeling as though it is happening to us but instead begin to believe that it is a part of who we are. You become used to living in a constant state of fluctuating despair and hope. And this doesn't turn off when and if you get pregnant. It doesn't turn off when you hear or see the heartbeat." We all come out of this experience differently, and our relationships may feel different.
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health defines trauma as "the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event." And while Infertility may not be life-threatening to us, it feels life-threatening to our family and future. It's a very distressing experience. Studies have shown that women dealing with Infertility have depression and anxiety levels similar to those with cancer, H.I.V., and heart disease. There is pain and trauma within us after we have travelled this journey that needs to be addressed and supported. Sometimes even hearing other people's own experiences with Infertility can feel traumatizing and painful instead of comforting and supportive. It can feel like there is no place to feel understood or supported, and we can start to feel and experience isolation. It is a lonely place to be.
We believe you can find your way back to yourself, even after the pain and trauma of Infertility. We want to acknowledge that every journey will be different and give you some gentle suggestions as to what you can do to support your well-being on this journey.
1. Seek professional help. There are some things we cannot walk through alone, and that's okay. We are not meant to be alone; professional support is a safe place to process what you are going through and help you bounce back. Thankfully more and more people are reaching out for support. It's important to reach out to professional counsellors and psychologists educated and trained to help people, specifically when you're going through trauma and grief surrounding fertility issues.
2. Give yourself a break. It could be a break from social media or attending events, and places you know are especially triggering. Find ways to prepare yourself emotionally before you go if you cannot avoid those spaces; we suggest affirmations and mantras as a great way to set your intention and mindset for each day. If you'd like a free resource to help shift your mindset, you can find our 7-Day Positive Mindset Guide here.
3. Nourish your whole self. Our bodies and minds are not separate, even though we have been educated to think that way. They are interconnected, and we need to support our bodies holistically to help promote healing. Think of ways to nourish your whole self, physical, mental and spiritual. We recently created a post about this topic; you can read more about that here.
4. Connect to a supportive community. Although the heaviness of (in)fertility can make us want to hide away, there are many benefits being part of a safe community brings to this journey. Connecting to a supportive environment of other women going through a similar experience creates a safe space for validation. A judgment and shame-free community create an environment for authentic connection that can aid in personal healing and rest for both our mind and body. All questions can be voiced, heard, and answered without fear of unhelpful comments. The heaviness can be lifted together in a safe and healing way. Want to read more about the benefits of connecting to a supportive community? We have a blog post about that topic; you can read it here.
Moonstone Fertility Wellness exists to help you thrive through the hardship of the (in)fertility journey to feel like yourself again. We provide a space for connection with others in the same fight as you. A nurturing fertility community where you can feel heard, seen, supported, and validated. We believe that the tools, resources, and community will empower you and return hope and healing—a time to restore inner peace, joy, and freedom from the challenges you're experiencing. You are not alone, and we are glad you've found your way here.
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