Grief – Trying to conceive or infertility?
- Alissa Oakes
- June 25, 2018
The silent grief and heartbreak of trying to conceive or infertility: how Schema Therapy can help you process this.
We hear a lot about the challenges of parenthood, with its excitement, hopes and fears. However less is spoken about the difficulties that many face whilst trying to become parents, in particular those experienced by women. Trying to conceive can be physically demanding but little is discussed about the mental and emotional pain that women go through whilst trying to fulfil their dream of becoming a mother.
There are a multitude of reasons why the journey to motherhood can be hard. These include difficulties in conceiving, under-going assisted reproductive technology (eg, IVF, cycle tracking, using donor eggs or donor sperm etc), miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, not meeting your ‘Mr Right’ or ‘Knight in Shining Armour’, partner indecision on whether to have a baby, relationship breakdown or a partner leaving during pregnancy or in the first year.
Most women go through this in isolation or with only the support of a select few friends or family members. They are constantly watching their body for signs, willing it to conceive. So often they are facing work every day with this as their secret, forcing a smile or interest when others talk about their children. Noticing every pregnant woman on the street, what should be happy news from friends of their pregnancies makes them draw a sharp painful breath and hold back the tears or jealousy.
For women in many of these circumstances there is grief. Grief for the baby you might never have or hold, grief for ‘how I pictured my life’ or letting go of the dream of having a child with a partner or of using one’s own eggs. Why do we not speak about this? Why do we suffer or grieve in silence? There needs to be a place for this grief to be experienced, heard, felt and processed.
A psychologist can provide this support, someone who understands your journey and does so with empathy and compassion. Schema therapy is especially well placed to help you process this emotion. It is an emotion based therapy so we work directly with what you might be experiencing – grief, loss, heartache, sadness, anger, jealous, self-blame or loneliness etc.
We help you process these feelings and also some of the many questions you might have.
Why don’t I get the dream?
When do I stop trying?
How can I be happy with what I have?
What is my life meaning now? Did I do enough, did I try enough?
Should I have done something differently?
Should I have tried more?
So many I shoulds…. By working through these together, we can help move you out permanent loop and to find your way forward.
This is an area I work closely in and am passionate about providing that support. If any of these issues resonate with you, please get in touch so we can help you through this difficult time.
Psychologist, Clinical Psychology Registrar
MPsych(Clin), BSc(Psych)Hons, GradDipPsych, BEc, MAPS