From Heartbreak to Hope: Beth's Story
Beth came to see me when she and her husband had been trying to conceive (TTC) for around two years. She was 32 and her husband 37 when they decided to start a family. They had been mindful about not starting a family before they both felt they had sufficient life experience and were able to comfortably financially support a family. Beth remembered how excited and hopeful they were when they started trying for a baby.
Beth’s two best friends had also started trying around the same time and the three girls loved to get together and talk everything babies.
One of her friends fell pregnant straight away which only added to the excitement and had Beth looking forward even more to being a mum.
Fast forward two years and Beth was in tears as she sat with me during her first session. She talked about how difficult it was that both her best friends now had little girls who were close in age and that she and her husband had not yet been able to fall pregnant. She spoke with tears running down her face about how she felt she had lost her best friends.
Beth had grown apart from her two closest friends as she had felt less able to be around them and their babies as it was too confronting and upsetting for her in the face of her inability to fall pregnant.
She also felt a massive amount of guilt for not being able to be around them without getting upset. Compounding this was an intense feeling of loneliness as Beth did not have any other close friends to confide in about her infertility journey.
Beth and her husband tried to conceive without intervention for around 12 months. By the time Beth came to see me they had been working with a Fertility Specialist and had ruled out any problem with her husband’s fertility. Beth had been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and mild Endometriosis. She had a few procedures to rectify the endometriosis and prescribed some medication for the PCOS. Testing had also found out that her ovarian reserve was declining. After tracking a few of her cycles it was recommended they try IVF. Unfortunately, their first round of IVF was unsuccessful. They were able to collect 5 eggs but none of the embryos made it to the point of implantation.
After their first round of IVF Beth was heartbroken.
She reported feeling very low for about a month following and not being sure she could keep going with the treatment. Fortunately, Beth’s husband was extremely supportive. He took some time off work to be with her and encouraged her to rest and express her feelings. Beth said that it was his love and support during that time that helped her to eventually start to feel hope again and ready to continue fertility treatment.
It was before her second round of IVF that Beth obtained a referral from her GP to see me. After four counselling sessions she had found some healthy ways to express and cope with her emotions, was regularly engaging in fun activities and had reached out to a couple of friends for social support. She has continued to see me on a regular basis in order to receive support for her mental and emotional health as she continues her fertility treatment.
Beth reports feeling hopeful and optimistic about the treatment and is also focusing on practicing gratitude for everything that is going well in her life including the strength of her marriage and how much closer she and her husband are.
If you are facing barriers to fertility and are wondering what some time with a Psychologist can offer you, then I’d love to chat. I’ve been supporting individuals and couples at all stages of their infertility journey in my professional practice for many years and, I’m here to give you the guidance you need to make it through with good mental health, no matter what the outcome. You can find all my contact details here to get in touch.