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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Infertility And Depression

Why on earth am I struggling to contain my tears whilst sitting in Starbucks, enjoying one of ther "Festive Favourites"??? Oh yeah... it's because I started a new cycle, and there's a mum on the next table breastfeeding her Bubba... reminding me what I am not. Maybe I should leave... but why should I... I was here first, and I was perfectly OK sourcing some images for an article I had worked on. 

It is so maddening to suddenly have to contain my emotions, these crazy emotions which seem to have a life of their own, and usually let me know they exist when I'm out in public... why couldn't they just keep in check until it's dark and I'm alone!


The fact is, that according to a charity poll conducted recently, 91% of people suffering with fertility problems suffer from depression at some point in their struggles. Perhaps, one of the most difficult emotional consequences of infertility is the loss of control over one’s life (Domar AD, Seibel MM. Emotional aspects of infertility. In Seibel MM (ed). Infertility: a comprehensive text. Stamford: Appleton and Lange; 1997.p.29-44). A loss of control creates a huge sense of hopelessness when thinking about the future.

In my experience, there seems to be offers of support for those who go down the route of using one of the treatments available, like IVF, IUI etc... but what of those of us who can't use them for financial or health reasons, what about those who want to but are not eligible for help from the NHS, or what about those who had a number of attempts, which weren't successful and now the courses, and all options, have come to an end - what support? What counselling? What help?

Depression is the silent enemy of women who desire to be a Mumma, and who are fighting infertility. It can take a grip at any moment. As Christian's this can lead to the added pressure of feeling incredibly guilty - after all, aren't we supposed to trust God! Doesn't depression mean we have stopped trusting God??? How can we be a "good Christian" if we are depressed?? Not only does the Christian woman have to suffer the heartbreaking stigma of being infertile, but there's the added anxiety of having to appear to "hold it all together" and yet all you may want to do is hide in a dark corner, eat chocolate and never face the world again. The feeling of depression may even take you to the edge of suicide as the prospect of never being a Mumma is too much to bear.

Don't suffer alone. You're walking a lonely road anyway, but you don't have to be alone in it. Let your Hubby in to your heartache. Even if he doesn't understand what you are going through completely, he loves you and wants to be there to just hold you in your pain - remember he is fighting a similar battle with you.

Don't hold back your emotions... OK there may be occasions when you will need to run to the nearest toilet, but you need to be honest with yourself. You need to allow yourself to grieve without pressuring yourself to "get over it".

Be honest with God. I know, I know... talking to God may seem like the hardest thing to d right now, especially if you blame him for your fight against infertility. But we need to "forgive God" for ourselves, because He is the only One who can truly uphold you through the darkest days. It might feel like He has abandoned you, or is withholding good things from you, but He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you. We may not understand His ways, but we can trust them.

And if you need to, seek out a counsellor. The Infertility Network offer a support helpline (click the link to access information and the number) for those who need to speak to someone who really understands the struggles associated with infertility.

Find a Journey Buddy, preferably another woman who is going through a similar experience, or who has been through it and come out the other side (however that may look). Ain't no one gonna understand like someone who has worn similar shoes on a similar path.

Oh honey, I really wish I could make things better for you, but I pray that you will see the light of Jesus shining in your dark place. 

May you find rest in Yeshua's Shalom

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