When infertile couples come to us for treatment, they are full of hope and we are also very positive in our approach to consulting and treating them. However, there are times when fate (is there such a thing at all?), has something else in store for them. Though we have pretty high success rates at our clinic, there are times when nature takes its own course and despite what we do, our attempts fail. Some couples go through multiple failed IVF cycles and are unable to conceive.
Whilst it doesn’t appear that these patients have actually lost anything tangible (in the physical sense), a number of people who face involuntary childlessness tend to suffer a very deep sense of grief and loss; this is something most people around them are oblivious to. Family and close friends don’t recognize that when you have to face the fact that you aren’t going to have the baby you wanted, you can feel very isolated. For many women, this grief can be very intense and overwhelming.
Facing the reality that they are not going to be able to have children, can be heart-breaking to say the least; regardless of whether a couple is attempting to conceive a child in the bedroom or with the help of IVF.
The Invisible Losses
The loss that is linked with involuntary childlessness is far deeper than just not being a father or mother, since they also lose:
• The chance of having their own biological family
• Celebrating milestones with their children- their first steps, their first day of school . This is something most of us who are fortunate to be parents take for granted
• The chance to see their kids playing alongside their nephews and nieces
To make matters worse, many suffer from the additional burden of guilt, because they feel they have failed in giving their own parents a deeply desired grandchild.
When Grief Strikes
For most women who face IVF failure, realizing that they aren’t going to be able to have a child doesn’t just strike them out of the blue. Many patients go through various investigations and treatments(on account of the nature of their infertility issues) and for them, the reality of the situation becomes more of a very “gradual process”. As they go through multiple failed cycles and losses, they recognize that their chances of becoming a mother are fading before their eyes.
Many couples try for years before they finally decide that enough is enough and that the process was becoming just too painful and difficult. People who have not going through IVF treatment, can’t even begin to comprehend the emotional and physical torment that an IVF patient goes through and how their mind, body & spirit starts buckling with every failed IVF cycle.
When Grief Fades Away
Anyone who has trodden this path and walked over these brambles will also tell you that over time, the cloud of grief does lift. It’s important to give yourself the time and scope to get the grief out of your system.
• Understand that it’s okay to go through phases that are bad; once you tell yourself this, that becomes the start of the healing process
• Communicate with friends and family or go to a counselor
• Take some time out and do things that will keep you occupied and distracted
• Remember that your body needs to recover, and be kind to yourself
• Get the negativity out of your system
Hope on the Horizon
For many women the psychological loss of the life they thought they were going to give birth to becomes the biggest invisible loss while dealing with involuntary childlessness. When it comes to grief, there are no rules and every woman’s journey is unique. You may not be able to get rid of grief completely, but with time, the pain will lessen and you may just find that there are other options before you.
We do have a number of patients coming back to us enquiring and wanting to know more about options such as surrogacy and adoption- and in most cases, that becomes the start of a brighter journey for them.
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!