Creating a support system
You are starting a family and the journey to motherhood looks more like a marathon in the desert with no shoes on and just a bottle of rancid water, instead of the blessing experience you have been envisaging for yourself?
My message is: You are not alone! And you do not need to be. We were never meant to be alone.
Did you – like me feel lonely because your interactions with your friends have started to become less authentic, because of the huge elephant in the room?
You no longer say anything about having kids, as it is much too painful and they no longer ask because they intuitively know something is up.
Or just like me, you find it harder and harder to look into your friends’ eye and genuinely congratulate them on their ‘good news’ as you are afraid they will detect the jealousy in your heart?
Or you can barely put on your smiley face to attend yet another baby shower, without bursting into tears?
Then, it is time for a support system.
Why a support system?
Before I tell you how to set-up a support system, it’s important to understand why to create such a thing.
Giving and receiving support from others is a basic human need. Throughout most of our history we have been living close to other people sharing (almost) everything from shelter and food to joy and grief.
A support system has benefits in the range of increased well-being, improved coping skills and healthier life. All are important in any life situation and paramount when struggling to have a baby.
3 ways to create your support system
1. Talk about what you are going through
Talking about what you are going through at a physical level, emotional level as well as medical level is helpful.
So, make sure you find people you can talk to, people who can just listen to you and empathize (no judgement, no advice, no anything - just being there for you) and/or people who have gone through it and really understand you.
Anyone come to your mind?
And be aware that tears and crying might show up. And that is just ok. It is neither bad nor good. It is just what it is.
2. Proficient and empathetic doctor
Proficiency and self-confidence of your doctor is comforting and can in itself cheer you up.
Thus, having a proficient MD is a must, but it is not enough.
(S)he should also be empathetic and you should be able to create a personal connection, as things are going to get really, really personal. You might not even imagine now the level of personal information that you will be sharing with your MD.
Moreover, oftentimes the success of medical treatments is, among others, dependent on the effectiveness of patient-physician interactions.
3. (Have) Faith
When faced with difficulties faith can fade away (as you start questioning WHY things happen to you of all the people), stay the same or increase (as you let go of the control, questions or blame).
The research I have done, shows that faith (be it in God, the Universe or however you may call it) is helpful.
It gives you a sense of peace and acceptance.
So what new kind of conversation can you start with God?