It’s been a while since I uploaded a post to my blog, but I thought this would be an opportune time to do so, since it is nearing that time of year again which can be extra hard for people struggling with fertility issues. I must admit, with everything that has happened this year, I am grateful we are not still involved in fertility treatment as I know many couples who have had their IVF delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19, and this will have caused an even greater amount of stress and upset than is naturally expected when going through this process.
I always found Christmas hard when we were immersed in treatment. Not only is the festive period very centred around children but it also marks the ending of another year, which can bring up feelings of failure that you are embarking on a new year without that much long-awaited child of your own.
For us, every Christmas we would try to reassure ourselves by thinking that by the following Christmas there was a chance we could have a child and we would be partaking in all the festive activities that make this time of year so much more special.
Having children was not meant to be for us, and we have slowly come to accept that and find contentment with our life as it is. However, this past year and a half, since our final round of IVF, has been a year of understanding and dealing with our emotions. Dave is a very strong person and can cope with things a lot better than me, but perhaps because I am the infertile one, or maybe because I’m the one that had to go through all the invasive treatment, but it has definitely taken a bigger toll on me than him. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I have had a lot of days where I didn’t think I would get through. The mental and emotional strain of 3 rounds of IVF, 2 miscarriages and endless amounts of wasted hopes, dreams and wishes was almost too much to bear and I completely lost myself somewhere in the darkness.
The only way I truly believe I have got through this hard time, is by accepting every feeling and emotion and working my way through them. And this is the most important thing I want to say in this post. I sincerely believe that by dealing with your emotions as they present themselves, is the only way to deal with difficult emotions such as pain, hurt, anger, resentment; all the common feelings one might experience when undergoing any type of fertility treatment. I know this can be very hard for some people to do. Often, people find it easier to hide their feelings; push them down so far inside themselves that they can pretend they’re not even there. My worry with this course of action is that it may result in these negative feelings coming out at another time in the future when you’re not ready or equipped to deal with them.
Something I have learned is that life is not always full of happiness, comfort and ease. There are many times where things are hard, sad or painful, but that is life. That is the beauty of life; it’s a patchwork of differing feelings and emotions, ups and downs, good times and bad.
So, to anyone who is struggling this Christmas, don’t feel pressured to be happy all the time. If you feel sad, be sad. If you feel like having a little cry, take a moment for yourself and let the emotions out. Please don’t numb yourself off to feelings that are present within you. Just ride the wave, face the difficult stuff head on, feel what you need to feel, and trust me when I say that you will come out the other side intact. This past year has been a huge journey of self-recovery for me and I can honestly say that I feel back to my old self. Do I wish I was a mother? Yes. Do I think about the children we have missed out on every single day? Yes, of course I do. I have regrets and sadness that we are not parents, but I have come to accept that life can be hard and unfair, but that is ok. By shutting yourself off to your emotions, you are carving away little pieces of yourself until you get to a stage that you wonder who you are. The best part for us is that we have felt everything we needed to feel and now we have true contentment; and that makes us feel so free.
The below quote is one of my favourites, and it means so much to me. It just reinforces everything I believe in, that it’s better to feel everything, than feel nothing at all.
Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful time and a healthy New Year.