Recently, Giuliana Rancic shared her very private struggle with infertility with readers of USA Today. Stories by people in the public eye who struggle with anxiety, depression and infertility can bring comfort to many who read their words. We realize that no amount of fame or fortune can protect someone from life’s challenges .
You may know of Giuliana and her husband Bill (both of reality TV fame). Their path of dealing with infertility has been well documented and discussed over the years including several other health issues they have had to contend with. I applaud their willingness to share their stories and connect with others who are struggling. Their infertility journey did bring them to surrogacy and their son Duke.
When you read about Giuliana’s struggle with infertility, you realize one theme that kept them going – hope. Hope carried Giuliana through when she realized that what was so “normal” for other people was not going to happen for her – the idea of conceiving a child herself. Her strong sense of hope helped her manage IVF, which for many couples can be an unbearable time filled with uncertainty and expense.
How can you manage to find and then maintain some hope when going through IVF? It can be difficult but I can help. When clients approach me for help, they often come in frightened, ashamed, confused, tired, angry and depressed. They have been struggling with issues of infertility for some time and have hit the emotional wall.
We often start by examining the full range of emotions that occur, and there are many. You may feel scared that you will never be able to conceive a child, angry that your body is not working as it should, jealous of your friends and family members who seem to easily get pregnant, and dread the idea of dealing with the doctors, tests and medications.
Validation is a key component in the beginning of our work – you have the right to feel exactly as you do. When someone is struggling with infertility, they often keep their deepest feelings to themselves. Our task is to help you manage the negative emotions so that they don’t dominate your perspective on what you are going through. I provide a safe space to fully experience whatever emotion you may be feeling and expressing your emotions can bring about a sense of relief.
As Giuliana states, research can help alleviate your anxiety by providing you with a greater understanding of what types of treatment options are available. The science behind fertility treatment is constantly evolving so it is helpful to try and find out what is most current so that you can make educated choices. It is critical to find good doctors to work with who have good success rates. I would add that finding a great therapist who can help you stay positive is also a vital part of your journey toward having a child.