Fertility expert, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi in an article for PUNCH shared that when going through a period of infertility, it helps to actively do some research about your options. Arm yourself with knowledge to an extent that infertility can prepare you for parenthood and becoming a good mum or dad. It may sound off, but after years of struggling to start a family, the experience could be your best preparation for parenthood.
Read his article below:
It is obvious and understandable that struggling through the long painful years of infertility isn’t something that most people would want to remember or actually be thankful for, but it’s all a phase. When you’re around 28 years old and ready to start having children and it doesn’t happen, finding out if something is wrong is often the logical step.
As a woman it usually begins with you. Are you ovulating? Are your menses regular? How healthy are you? Do you have good genes? The questions are endless and answers not readily forthcoming.
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You see the gynecologist who would carry out series of tests to rule out all kinds of possible reasons for your infertility. There are tests after tests; some tests may be painful, while others are embarrassing. If nothing is found wrong, you go back home and keep on trying to conceive each month.
Another year goes by and you see another medical doctor and go through some more tests only to once again be told that everything seems normal and healthy. But still nothing to show. The next logical step is to make sure everything is okay with your partner, he goes for multitude of tests and examinations too but nothing is found to be abnormal.
So you start watching the calendar, using ovulation kits, reading, crying, and thinking. Finally, you make a breakthrough and discover the problem is something with your own reproductive organs.
You make enquiries about seeing an infertility specialist who recommends one assisted reproduction technique and you settle for IVF, but find that the cost of the procedure is out of your budget at the moment.
No problem, it’s not the end of the world; you begin to save up and plan for it. After another long stretch of time you undergo a cycle of IVF and boom! You finally conceive and have your baby, at 36. Success at last. A lot can happen between the time you are 28 and ready to try for a baby and 36 when you finally give birth. At age 28, when you were ready to become a mother you probably didn’t have a strong appreciation for parenthood. It could have seemed to be like just the next step in your marriage.
Giving birth to the next generation seemed like something expected of you and you may think that you had it all planned out when it came to motherhood. You figured you would have the baby, go right back to work, and live the life of having it all. But as the years went by, you began to see parenthood differently, and start to really appreciate the idea of getting to raise a child.
Infertility makes couples long so much for the opportunity to get to be a part of the club that only parents are allowed into.Through the struggle you are motivated to think of how to start a career and a life that would enable more time with your child, should you ever be given the opportunity to have one. Those feelings become stronger and more concrete over the years.
Anyone who is trying to get pregnant knows firsthand how many pregnancy tests one can go through, only to be disappointed. A number of parents have confessed that they probably would not have cherished parenthood the way that they do now if they hadn’t gone through infertility.
Knowing what it’s like to long for a child and not have one and to believe that you may never get the chance to have one is a strong factor in moulding you into a great parent when you finally become one. It can also be particularly stressful in that it creates a great deal of uncertainty and emotional upheaval in a couple’s day-to-day world. If you’ve been struggling with infertility, you’re probably no stranger to stress.
But as overwhelming as your situation may seem at times, there are ways to reduce your anxiety. But you do not have to live with the stress. Focus attention on your mind and body — and bring a calmer perspective to your life.
You can start by acknowledging your feelings and understand what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. Going through infertility tests and procedures month after month can be emotionally, physically, and financially draining. It could be as if you have no control over your body or the situation at hand and all this can build up the stress.
The dream of wanting a biological child has been truncated by infertility, but it is not the end.
An effective approach is to ask questions and get answers. When dealing with infertility, it helps to have people around who can help answer your questions and understand your fears and concerns. A fertility specialist/counsellor or infertility support group can be of help out here. By meeting other infertile couples, you’ll be assured that you’re not alone.
See Tips To Help You Stay Ahead Of An Infertility Situation As Suggested By Dr. Abayomi:
- Expressing emotion is quite okay. If you need to cry or get angry go ahead. Addressing and releasing your emotions helps you focus.
- Whether you talk to your partner or to a trusted friend or counsellor, or simply write down your feelings, work through your grief – and then let it go.
- Record your thoughts if you can. Write them down in a notebook or booklet to bring up some insights you didn’t know you had.
- Staying connected to family, friends and all your loved ones is an effective way to help you cope. A strong connection toward a friend or acquaintance who is also having fertility problems goes a long way to help you cope.
- By educating your friends and relatives about your infertility, you’ll also be letting them know how you want to be treated.
- Communication is key for every couple challenged by infertility. Every unspoken resentment, feelings of inadequacy, sexual pressure, and tension between is an impediment and drawback.
- Women are more emotionally fluid and more openly distraught, and this is no surprise. It is good to show your feelings than bottle things up by seeking counseling. Even a few sessions with a good counsellor who is knowledgeable about infertility can help you regain your footing as a couple and help you move forward again together.
- As much as you can, do not let intimacy suffer in both nonsexual and sensual ways. Make your partner feel wanted in little but special ways. Take him or her out, buy a fun present, hug, hold hands, go for a walk, enjoy sensual contact that doesn’t necessarily lead to intercourse.
- Find ways to reduce stress. Find a plan to use to cope. Responses to infertility tend to fluctuate from day to day; and what seems like a respite of peace and calm can be upset by the onset of a menstrual period or another baby announcement.
- Being relaxed can make the conversation between the two of you feel less tense and more focused. It is true you’re trying to get pregnant, but you also have a life to live, so don’t neglect your overall health, particularly your diet.
- You might have spent so much time, energy, and money on infertility treatments, that you may have neglected your general health. It’s quite possible that at least some of your issues may be due to health factors — particularly your diet.
- Eat well but sensibly; cut down on your intake of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and white flour. Reduce or eliminate chemical additives and alcohol.
- All this is just a tip of the iceberg. There are tons of issues connected to infertility and the joy of parenting. But the bottom line is certain. Struggling through years of infertility may have its own benefits after all.
- If you can cope with the stress of Infertility, which isn’t a piece of cake, then you can cope with being a parent. Infertility is only a journey, becoming a parent is the destination.