As if dealing with infertility wasn’t enough — we now have a pandemic.
No one plans for a pandemic.
This is not how it was supposed to be.
The plan was to safely and flawlessly go through fertility treatment and be holding a baby by the end of the year.
Now everything has changed.
Covid-19 has affected fertility patients in ways that experts never expected. But, how do you deal with the ups and downs of the current pandemic? While everyone will process their emotions differently, here are some things you can try to help you cope during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Let Yourself Grieve
We often associate grief with the death of the loved one. But Psychology Today defines it as the acute pain that accompanies loss, and because it is a reflection of what we love, it can feel all-encompassing.
This means that anytime you feel a loss of something you love, you grieve. And that includes your child that you are hoping will come through fertility treatment. When Covid-19 derailed your family plans, you might have felt a significant loss and a big disappointment.
It’s okay and completely normal to have to grieve during these uncertain times. Try expressing your emotions to a partner or a trusted friend. Just remember that they are also dealing with similar disappointments.
Ways to Cope
Here are some suggestions that we have found helpful. Just remember that everyone deals with stress and anxiety in their own way, so what works for you may not work for your partner. The key to coping during the Covid-19 Pandemic is to show kindness and patience to yourself and those around you.
Isolation can lead to depression. Stay connected with friends and family through FaceTime, emails, or Zoom.
Just talking to someone “face to face” can help you work through some of your emotions.
It’s always important to stay informed, just make sure you are reading and watching reliable news sources. There is a lot of fake news and misinformation being spread that can trigger negative emotional responses.
Try to limit your intake of news and social media.
Structure Your Days
With nowhere to go, the days seem to drag on and on. This is why you need to structure your days. Try to keep a consistent bedtime routine so that you can wake up early in the morning. If you can stay productive during the day, you will feel better.
If you have a partner and/or kids, keep them on a schedule also. Set times for work, play, meditation, exercise, and proper meals.
We’ve all heard the term self-care, but what does it mean? It means that you take the time to take care of yourself. Self-care means being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. Self-care is knowing when your resources are running low and finding a way to replenish them.
Healthy ways to replenish yourself include going for a spa day, going to lunch with a friend, taking a walk, or going to a yoga class. Anything that helps you feel relaxed and replenished is considered self-care.
It’s important to note that any self-destructive activity is not self-care. Coping mechanisms like alcohol, drugs, over-eating, and risk-taking are ways to find temporary relief and only hurt us in the long run.
It’s essential always to keep your mind active and engaged. If you find yourself with any downtime, you can take advantage of the free classes, and academic courses offered online.
Marriages and partnerships have been strained during this pandemic. Likely you’ve found yourself dealing with new schedules and a new lifestyle. It can be hard to navigate how your relationships with the people you love have been challenged.
Just remember that your significant other is also suffering. Try to be patient and understanding.
We recommend couples therapy for all of our intended parents. Couples therapy will allow each partner to express how they feel and will eventually lead to a stronger union between the parents.
If you find yourself having thoughts that scare you, get help. Many therapists will provide their services online. It is always helpful to share your feelings with someone who will be non-judgmental and process your feelings of anger and frustration in a safe environment.
Don’t Lose Hope
Even if it may feel like it, all the time and money you have spent pursuing your family dreams are not lost.
Don’t lose hope. While we don’t know everything about the novel coronavirus, it doesn’t seem to affect children. This means that most women who have given birth during this time have been able to have healthy babies.
If you aren’t able to safely go through fertility treatments, there are other avenues you can look into, such as egg donation and surrogacy. If you’re ready to build your family through alternative ways, call us today.
We’re all in this pandemic together.