Below are some things that have helped me to deal with the heartbreak and emotional rollercoaster that IF is, and specifically the donor egg process. I pass them along with the goal of reaching anyone struggling with what to do and how to get through it all. Feel free to comment and leave your own tips for dealing.
1) Arm yourself with reputible resources. Read as much as you can on the topic, donors, recipients, parents and children of donor eggs. Donor Blogs are great so you can read about personal stories and connect with people on a similiar path.
2) Find a good therapist, possibly someone who deals with woman’s issues. I found that the center i go to does very little in the way of emotional support. They have a brochure for the local Resolve chapter, but that’s really all they can do. I think it’s so important to have someone to help you sort out all your feelings. There is only so much you can talk to your partner about and it’s nice to give it a break.
3) Know that it’s ok to be sad. Let’s face it, no one likes to be sad and sit with those feelings, but knowing that they are all normal can be a big help in recovering and staying sane on the emotional rollercoaster of IF. Chances are there are other emotions in there too, that you are lumping in to the sad group which can be explored and maybe resolved. When good things happen, celebrate them! Small victories are just that, victories, so celebrate.
4) Have a plan. The best thing I could do for myself was to know what i was going to do at every turn in the road. Once we decided on donor eggs, we had plan a and plan b for every possible outcome from every appointment, drug, procedure. Not having to think about what to do when i came to each crossroads was very helpful to me in keeping to move the process forward. Because the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting still.
5) Find a great center and doctor and don’t be afraid to switch doctors if you feel you don’t have a good connection. If you like your doctor, then trust that they have the same goals as you do and rely on them to do the medical stuff and you work on the emotional stuff.
6) Reach out for support. Find a friend you can talk to or read some blogs online to connect with people on the same journey. I can’t
say enough wonderful things about the support i found when i started blogging. Chances are your friends haven’t been through
what you are going through but there are many people who are out there who have.
7) Keep a graitude list. I post things i am thankful for all over my desk so i am constantly reminded of what is important. some of them are simple, “white tea with blueberry notes” others are larger scale, “perspective” and “finding brian”.
8) Write down some inspirational quotes and refer to them often. I have a shelf in my office covered with them.. some i found, some have been given to me… the beauty of these is that in a few words they can sum up a concept that can be a mantra to you during your day to day life. For example, one that is right over my computer monitor that i see several times a day is “to lose patience, is to lose the battle.” – Gandhi
9) Do the things you did before IF. Although this journey can be incredibly hard and unfair, you will have a family someday if you choose. Adoption is a sure thing. So, with that knowledge try to stay present in your own life, enjoy your friends, your hobbies, find ways to express yourself. Usually people want to shut down and isolate themselves from friends that have children, but knowing that you too will have a family someday can be helpful in gaining perspective. I have had to force myself to go to baby showers and childrens birthday parties but I love my friends and family and want to be there to celebrate the good things in their lives. It’s not always all about me. They need support, too, and I believe that is what we are here for, to connect and support eachother, to embrace our interconnectedness and to know that we are not alone.
10) Be good to your body. During my cycles i try to get plenty of rest. I eat extremely well. I do weekly accupuncture and reflexology and occassional reiki. I limit alcohol and caffiene and i meditate. I do yoga. I try to accept myself and my path through taking deep breaths and focusing on the now. I often give thanks for all the blessing in my life.
11) Spend some time pondering the concept “there is no better than here”. Just like money doesn’t buy happiness, children don’t either. Sure, on some level they will contribute to building the life that you want, but when you get there, it won’t be any happier than it is right now. It will bring moments of happiness, but will also bring many other emotions, and will add stress, anxiety and fear. Staying present and focusing on the now will help to keep you from constantly looking forward to the next big thing.