The Heavy Lifting Begins
Once you've given yourself some Baby News Triage, it's time to get to work. Getting to the point where hearing about someone else's pregnancy, or receiving an invite to a baby shower, doesn't leave you doubled over in pain (unless of course, like me, you have a genetic aversion to mind-numbing party games...) requires an absolute commitment to your truth. Permanent residency in avoidance alley will make you a slave to misery.
This is centered upon the idea that:
You will never be able to effectively ease the sting until you are HONEST about how you feel.
If you have no idea where to begin with naming your feelings, try these on for size:
- Like a failure
- Like a loser
- Like less of a woman/man
This ugly list could go on for days. Make your own. Write it down. Say them out loud. The point of this is not to make you feel worse, but to bring what you are feeling out into the open. If you don't deal with these feelings, hearing about other peoples' baby news will rain a shit storm of anguish upon you every time. If what you are feeling is so overwhelming that you don't feel like you can do this on your own, GET HELP. Call your doctor, therapist, pastor, priest, or whomever you trust to get you through the acute pain, then come back to this.
The nastiest, most soul slaying, insidious emotion in that whole pile is fear. Following on fear's gnarly, calloused heels is it's ugly step-sister, jealousy, aka "Bump Hate." Jealousy is rooted in the fear that "it" will never happen for you. Unchecked, it will eat you alive. Jealousy will have you obsessively comparing yourself with others and lead you down a rabbit hole of self hatred that you don't want anything to do with, trust me.
Say It, "Infertility Won't Define Me"
Once you are honest about how you feel, you have a choice to make. Are you going to let infertility define you? This isn't self-help fluff. This is your chance to change everything. Feel every last one of your emotions authentically, but realize that infertility is just one aspect of your life. I know it may not feel like it, but it's the truth. Infertility means that the family you long for may come to you in a different way than you had envisioned. Life isn't fair and neither is infertility.
Once you truly decide to not be defined by infertility, you will stop torturing and hating yourself. You stop looking at pregnant women with envy (bye, bye "Bump Hate Olympics"), and you stop asking the futile question of "why me?" Will it miraculously end your pain, disappointment, longing, and suddenly have you clamoring for an invite to a baby shower? No, but it will help ease the sting. Say it. Say it louder. Keep saying it till you mean it.
This isn't easy and it takes practice. I am living proof that it works. In Part 3, I will tell you exactly how to make this stick for good.
Have you let infertility define you? How so?
Leave me a comment below tell me all about it.
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With Love and Respect,
© 2014 From Maybe To Baby