Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October is infertility awareness month and the this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Please check the Resolve website for information on infertility and how it affects nearly 10% of the population.
People dealing with infertility are tangled in a mess of hope and grief. Most every month there is the hope of conceiving either naturally or through medical intervention. When conception doesn't take, there is grief, anger, despair, frustration, depression, and feelings of failure to deal with.

Grief is difficult to deal with in any situation but decidedly so in the case of infertility. If a couple has been unable to conceive there isn't a death to grieve. However, the couple dealing with infertility can feel as though something has died. And in truth, their dreams have died. Their dreams of an expanding family have died. Their dreams of passing on traditions, wisdom, family heirlooms, etc have all died. A woman's dream of carrying a baby in her womb and delivering a baby in birth have died. A man's dream of playing ball with his son or having an heir have died. A couple's dream of parenthood has died. Still, there are more websites and aids developed for couples grieving the loss of a pregnancy or infant than there are for couples grieving the loss of parenthood altogether.

In perusing the internet in search of help for grieving people led me here. This page was written by a certified grief counselor who also struggled with infertility. There is a lot of wisdom here as well as a reminder of the 5 stages of grief. The author also gives a lot of good resources for grieving people and the infertile.
2.) Fertile Thoughts

My own husband and I were talking today about the upcoming holidays. We usually spend Thanksgiving with either his family or my family but Christmas is spent alone together. Last year we spent Christmas at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis and we ended up having a great time together. This year I don't even want to put up the Christmas decorations. Why have holiday traditions if the traditions don't go anywhere? So in talking we decided we are going to save any extra money that comes in and spend Christmas at the casino hotel. That's how we are going to deal with Christmas alone this year.

Other online resources for people dealing with infertility:
1.) Infertility's Common Thread
2.) Online Peer Counseling List
3.) Blogs of others dealing with infertility, IVF, loss, and adoption
4.) Missing Grace Foundation. This organization holds conferences and retreats every year in the Minneapolis area for families that have experienced: pregnancy loss, infant loss, infertility or adoption and to advocate for comprehensive, patient-focused prenatal care for all women. Five core areas encompass the heart of the mission: Grieve, Restore, Arise, Commemorate and Educate.

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