When I talk to fertility patients they are all “on their way” towards a pregnancy, and their lives are put on hold. What can be emotionally hard for many patients, is that being “on their way”, for a long time can feel exhausting. They cannot start to process their feelings about not being able to get pregnant, and they cannot start celebrating a result, they are in between.
Many couples and singles find themselves in the area I call the “grey zone”, where you are “on your way”, and your situation is unsure and you feel that the situation you are in, is somehow out of control. It can be emotionally hard to continue treatment, but it is worse to stop treatment without a result.
One of my patients explained how she felt like this:
It is like I am living in vacuum. This vacuum influence both my practical life, and my emotional life. I feel that I cannot do any changes in my life, because I am undergoing fertility treatment and I have no idea when I will finally get my result; a child. This unsureness makes it hard to plan other things in my practical life, like changing job, plan a vacation or move to another apartment / house. I am afraid to spend my money, because I am unsure about how many attempts I need and how much this project will cost me. I just need to keep my hopes up, and survive this time in my vacuum.
I tell her that I understand her frustration about feeling that she is living in a vacuum. She cannot yet celebrate a pregnancy, and she cannot yet process her feelings because of a treatment that failed, she is in the middle, in the situation she calls a vacuum and I call “grey zone”, and “ on their way”
What shall you do, if you find yourself in the same situation as my patient, in a vacuum, where your life seems to be put on hold?
- If you feel that your life is put on hold, that is a thought and a feeling, because, in the reality, the time never stops. We are not able to put the time on hold. We are all in processes all the time, and we grow, every process has its start and end. Even our lives. Doors are opened and doors are closing. The egg donation or embryo adoption treatment will make you grow because you repeatedly go out of your comfort zone. You can feel that your practical life is put on hold, but you can never be put on hold.
- “Live as pregnant when you are pregnant, live as not pregnant when you are not pregnant”, this is a sentence I give to all my patients. I know it can be hard to follow this advice when you are in the middle of an attempt. But what I mean is that you should not put your practical life on hold. Move, change your job, plan your vacation, as you were not pregnant, because when you get pregnant, everyone will forgive/ understand changes in your plans; the travel company, your new job and so on. I do understand that the unsureness about the financial part of the project affects your decisions, but I still mean that my sentence should be followed to increase your life quality!
- Accept. If you feel that you are in a vacuum, you need to accept the situation you are in and do the best out of the situation. You need to accept that you have little control in this situation. The clinic will do its best to make you pregnant, in the meanwhile, you should focus on the controllable part of your life. Be social and spend time with those who give you focus, do your activities and hobbies. Invest in yourself, to get the energy you need!
If you feel that your life is put on hold, remember that it is a feeling and a thought, because you will never be able to stop time. The days, weeks, months, and years will not stop because you are undergoing egg donation or embryo adoption treatment, so make the best out of your time and trust that the treatment one day will give you a result!
The best of luck!!