Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Empathy for infertile couples

I am an IVF specialist, but I am not infertile. This is why I try to learn what infertile patients go through from my expert patients. This helps me to see things from their perspective and understand their feelings.

Here's an email exchange our expert patient, Manju, shared with me.

Hello Manju,

I'm at that stage where a neighbour's or friend's pregnancy or child delivery sends me off, first its pain, anger, then I begin to compare myself to them asking why? Many times Ive cried in secret, sometimes I just don't care.

In the past people said to me, buy baby stuff, go visit new babies, carry them, play with them and tell them to bring yours for you. Well I did that over 5years and nothing happened. Now 7years on, one positive ivf that ended at 33+ weeks, one failed ivf cycle, thin uterine lining, almost 40 and losing myself in thoughts, I don't visit new babies anymore.

Recently I told my hubby that we should move house. Imagine I attended the weddings of nearly all our neighbours and now most of them have at least 2 kids. Others are either pregnant or not ready yet for another one.  Like seriously Manju, how can they control such factors and I cant? They know that once they are ready for a baby, they will get pregnant.

Its a terrible feeling I have when I see these women and there children. I was once at a birthday party for a friend's daughter and everyone else came with their own kids, I was so pained I went into the bathroom and cried.

A neighbour once told me that i was wasting my husband's money wearing good clothes, visiting hospitals, changing hair styles and buying nice things, only because I don't have kids to train in school or feed. Its the worst thing to be childless especially here in Nigeria where no one ever minds their own businesses.  No one should suffer so much.

Now, we are ready for a 3rd ivf which I pray will be successful because hubby says its the last he will pay for, and we are not sure where to go. I've been in touch with Dr Malpani since after my first cycle but travelling to India is difficult, also getting a donor is also hard as the doctor said they only have Indian donors.

Well, God help us. Your post is totally real  and maybe you were speaking to me for a change of attitude,  its just a difficult advice to take.

My mail is quite long, yet I've so much more to pour out lol.

Thanks for letting me share my burden with you.

Dear L,

Very happy to hear from you. You have lightened my burden too with your mail, I must say thanks to you too !

I understand completely when you say how the situation is for a childless woman in Nigeria. Indian society is not very much different than that of yours. I do hear lots of inconsiderate comments. India is the second most populated country in the world, you could see children and hear news of childbirth everywhere.
U, you must remember that, most of our problems are aggravated not by others or by our actual situation itself but by the way we view our problems. I want you to remember certain things which might help you to deal with this struggle a lot more better :

Children are just a source of happiness and not an absolute necessity for a happy life.

No one can hurt us without our permission. Don't allow reckless comments to bother you.

Every journey is different and this is yours. Never compare your life with others. Who knows what others are going through !

Changing place is not a solution to escape your problem, you just need a change of mind.

Being with children and shopping children stuffs might not give us a baby but will definitely give us happiness, we just need to appreciate other's blessings and have an open mind. I know it is easier said than done but not impossible. I find great solace when I am with my friend's child. I do attend all functions without fail. All the children who were born in front of my eyes have children now :)

I am really sorry for your neighbor, for the kind of person she is. It needs lots of bitterness within her to hurt someone like that, with such unkind words !

If possible, I want you to do something which will give you self-importance. It can be like helping the needy, participating in some charitable activities in your community or helping women who are in a similar situation as you are. Please be kind to yourself, cultivate lots of self-love; respect your soul and body for bearing this suffering so well ! All this will help you to be confident and proud about yourself, then you might not cry thinking that all others have children while you do not have ! Have you thought like this - have you ever wanted to be thankful for being perfect when seeing a physically handicapped person ?

I agree, not having our genes propagated like everyone else is painful. I have that pain too. But I do not want to spend my life in a bitter, unhappy way because I have to struggle for a child. Who knows what future holds !

I am not sure whether my words are of any help. But when I write, it helps me a lot ! :)

Lots of good luck for your upcoming cycle ! I will be praying for you. Losing a baby at 33 weeks is such a horrible pain, you are such a strong woman and please be proud of yourself. ((((Hugs))))

Keep in touch !

 You can email Manju at [email protected]

Her blog is at www.myselfishgenes.blogspot.com

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