Written by Carina Freeman
This article will appear in two parts, the first part focuses on the differences in dealing with fertility problems between men and women and the second part gives you tips on breaking the cycle and learning to deal with the situation. Look for the second part next Tuesday.
My goal as a fertility coach is to empower couples to strengthen their mind and body for their infertility journey by giving information, guidance, and positive direction so they can feel confident about what’s ahead.
I have written several articles on infertility and have helped countless couples during their journey. I am very passionate about helping couples dealing with infertility. It is very important to not only prepare your body for conception but your mind as well. As your fertility coach I am here to encourage and educate you so you can take control of your mind, body, and your fertility. This leads to self empowerment, time and money saved, as well as less heartache by being informed and inspired to take ownership of your actions which will optimize your chance of having a healthy baby.
If you have ever struggled with infertility you know that men and woman are affected in different ways. We will be discussing in which the different ways men and women are affected. We will also talk about the emotional circle of infertility that most couples experience. To top this off, I'll share 5 ways to deal with this emotional circle as well as a few statistics.
Women typically see themselves as the emotional caretakers or providers of the relationship. We tend to feel responsible for negative events, as well as for other people's feelings, bad or good. When a woman has to deal with infertility, she experiences intense feelings, such as pain, anger, fear, etc. We are very good at repressing these feelings. Some women see their way of dealing with personal feelings as dysfunctional or "crazy", which may cause anxiety or even depression. Those emotions can become ominous. We feel out of control. Our emotions can become a monster about to swallow us whole.
Men however, typically see themselves as the financial providers of the relationship and feel responsible for protecting the family from real danger or anticipated dangers. They usually feel threatened if they express their feelings openly since they have been “taught” to repress their emotions. They are trained to take charge, to make decisions and to think without being sidetracked by emotions.
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Circle of emotions
Let’s say our cycle day 1 starts at the 1st of the month. It’s the “1st of the month” we have begun to take our ovulation prediction test, keeping a detailed record of our temperature, and keep a close eye on our cervical mucus. We are so excited and optimistic and we believe “this month is our month”. On our day to day travels we see women glowing with pregnant bellies, and smile because we see ourselves that way in just a few months. Finally everything points to ovulation; our temperature, cervical mucus, and ovulation prediction kits say it’s a go. We are sure to “baby dance” every day, maybe several times a day, for the next few days so we don’t miss our optimal chance. Just a few days later ovulation is done.
It’s time for the two week wait. We are very anxious watching for any signs that may point to pregnancy. We may yearn for an emotional connection, reaching out to others through chat rooms, forums, and blogs who are also in that two week wait. Listening to their stories and comparing symptoms. “Are my breast tender?” “Am I craving different foods?” “Am I starting to feel nauseous?” At one moment we want that connection and in the next it’s possible for us to withdraw emotionally from everyone including the most important person, our husband, due to the fear we may dissapoint him again this month. As the days pass, our optimism slowly dies as our hope for pregnancy this cycle begins to fade. It’s starting to look like another failed month. Depression and anger may start to show up. How could this have happened to me again? What's wrong with me? Just like clockwork, that dreaded day comes when our monthly cycle is here again. Are we being punished? Every month we get even angrier than the last. We have feelings of failure from the inability to perform life's most basic task - reproduction – and this can be overwhelming.
As these feelings come up, we may feel out of control and not sure how to ask for what we really want or what we really need, especially from the husband we are trying so hard to emotionally protect. At this time couples tend to cling together, feeling that they together have failed in the most basic of all roles: reproduction. What have we done wrong, as they examine all the evidence of ovulation and timed intercourse, but are faced with another failed cycle? Their marriage may also be at risk because of the tensions and the high emotions they are experiencing. The stress in a marriage associated with infertility is often overlooked and not fully appreciated. It’s time to pick ourselves back up day by day and get ready for another hopeful cycle.
Does this sound familiar? This cycle can continue and will continue until you achieve pregnancy or you learn to break the circle.
So how do we deal with this to save our mental stability as well as our marriage? Much attention is paid to the physical aspects of infertility, but there is a deep river of emotion that needs to be dealt with as well.
I am there for every aspect of a woman/couples infertility journey. If advice is needed, I give advice so they can become clear and centered in every aspect of their life...not just their fertility. I give suggestions about their next treatment so the couple can feel confident about what is ahead. I give positive encouragement when they are feeling down, or if they just someone to talk to who understands. My primary job is making sure they are ready for a baby mind and body...specializing on the mind and helping them "create" the life they deserve. www.holdyourhandfertilitycoach.com