Take Care of Yourself
Infertility is a medical condition that takes a heavy physical and emotional toll on every woman who lives with it. Between the fertility drugs, the surgeries, the egg extractions and the acupuncture, our bodies become misused and exhausted. Add in the mindless comments from strangers, plus the way we tend to mentally beat ourselves up for our "failures" and it's no wonder our self-esteem spirals downward and our psyches crumble.
Now, more than ever, is a time to look inward. Dr. Feingold says, "I think it's important to do a lot of self care because we want to do the antithesis of what will add to our depression." She recommends some form of relaxation and says to "take care of your relationship" since baby making can become all-consuming.
Therapy is another great option. Psychologists and counselors like Dr. Feingold are there to help women or couples talk about their unique situations. Just ask your obstetrician for a referral. There's also an organization called Resolve whose goal is to "provide timely, compassionate support and information to people experiencing infertility." It's a national group with regional chapters set up to provide local support. And more informal support groups, such as the Advanced Fertility Issues message board on BabyZone, can give you a place to vent, get information and support, and be with others who understand your situation.
Whether the pregnancies of others make you happy, make you cry, or leave you with a mixed bag of emotions, always remember that you have the power to choose the situations and conversations you'll join. And own up to the fact that infertility is a major life crisis that affects your well-being and relationships, so take time out to take care of yourself.