How to come back from a Painful loss.

The previous post talks about the painful decision of trying and coping with loss.

What do you do when your world has seemingly turned upside down?

How do you recover and rebuild again? This post looks at how to come back from a loss or failed treatment cycle.

That’s the question we are faced with after a failed treatment.

Speaking from my own experience, I know that the days immediately after a failed cycle or loss are the worse.

I remember going around  like a zombie and feeling loss, helpless and alone.

I did not know what grief looks like, looking back now, I was grieving but carried on as normal. As the days went on, I slowly came round to the ideal that another treatment had failed and I had to deal with that, but how?

How?

First thing for me was crying I cried the first few days, I was so emotional I refused to eat. Not many people knew the pain I felt because they did not know I had undergone treatment.

Since I was unable to open before the treatment, I decided to spare them the details of my demise.

Crying was my outlet, but a temporary fix.

Temporary because whenever I saw a pregnant woman or baby the emotions came back anew.

I then had to think seriously about  my mental health and how to ensure my body returned to health. Crying for me was a temporary fix providing a temporary relief. Another helpful way I dealt with it was to

Speak out.

I remembered a few friends who had gone through similar situations reached out to me. I was glad they did. They were very supportive and did not attempt to reason my pain away.

One friend in particular just sat in silence with me and we said nothing, that was all I needed. No words, no reasoning.

Often people mistake our grief for an opportunity to offer advice, one has to be sensitive at such times and not assume anything in that moment.

Sometimes all we need is that silent nod which says,  “I care”, “I am here”, “I got you”.

Energy Outlet

To gain new insight into the situation, I channeled my emotions into learning how the next cycle will be better, I asked myself these questions.

“What was was done now”, what could be different“?

Firstly, I nurtured myself to health. I researched how my existing illness could be a contributing factor and the more I read, the clearer it became that it was.

I researched clinics and the type of treatment on offer. I read stories of others who had failed cycles – and how they overcame it.

As a result I gained useful information on clinics and treatments options.

Positivity.

I surrounded my myself and mind with positive vibe, I realised that this is not my fault. It is an illness which needed treatment.

By learning more about the situation and my particular illnesses I was comforted that perhaps there is a treatment option tailored for me.

I prayed

This should be number 1, but it wasn’t, it was difficult at first. But as the days went by, prayer offered a consolation which was a far better relief,

I was able to get rid of negative emotions. Which afforded me the opportunity to speak to a higher power.  

I am a Christian and I know that God helped me through this process and the dark days which accompanied it. So whenever I felt lonely or deeply sad, I talked to him.

I found hope in his assurance as well as being amongst like minded people encouraged me to keep going.

So on this national infertility week, be encouraged to look above, ask for help.

You may not apply these steps exactly, but I do hope that you have gain some perspective on how to deal with a loss or painful situation.

It is very easy to throw in the towels and give up, but never ever lose hope. The rain may be falling now, but the sun will shine again..

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

Related post:

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/10/23/a-painful-decision/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/14/speak-out/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/06/17/6-ways-to-deal-with-fathers-day/

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A Painful Decision

I love doing this, bringing awareness and hope to those on this journey.

This post will feature the story of a dear friend and their painful infertility journey.

Infertility is a destroyer of relationships, love and happiness.

A once happy vibrant couple can become bitter resentful and sometimes split as a result of the intensity brought on by infertility. The inability to conceive or birth a child can take away one’s hopes and dreams.

Izzy was once a vibrant, happy go lucky woman, she loves life, her job and her faith. She was 26 when she met David a simple happy guy, they were perfect for each other. After dating for one year they decided to tie the knot.

Before their wedding they made a private vow to never ever allow anything to change who they are. They love their carefree happy life and vowed to do everything to make sure it stayed that way.

They even wrote a poem to emphasis the point.

Our love will grow and may slow,

We may sail down paths unknown and encounter scenes unseen

But we will keep in view the picture of love that keeps us bound and sane.

And should we tread the path of pain

May we anchor to you our source of strength and eternal hope.

this was printed and placed in their living room. Wedding was celebrate in the simplest way possible and a year later they decided to try for baby. Little did they know fate had other plans waiting for them.

This decision changed the course of their lives and relationships. After a year of trying without success they sought help. By now Izzy was 28 and David 30.

Low sperm count how is that possible? David mused, why me, how how can it be. Several options for conception were presented to them, donor sperm, IVF, ISCI, AI.

David was not an excessive drinker, never smoked, never used drugs, he lived a healthy life. How is that possible? turns out he may have been born that way.

They decided to explore other options. They embraced all treatments option wholeheartedly, still nothing. Izzy was very supportive and finally  David agreed they should go for IVF Using a donor sperm.

THE PROCESS

The process was successful and implantation took place, then pregnancy.. they remained hopeful but were cautious, this was their first conception. Please Lord they prayed, may nothing go wrong.

But 2 month in, disaster struck, suddenly all symptoms stopped and she immediately knew something was wrong.

A scan confirmed their worst fear, no heartbeat was detected. They had suffered a miscarriage.

This loss was very difficult  particularly given their situation, needless to say they were both heart broken. David more so as he felt helpless and guilty, how is he supposed to help his wife, he is the cause yet he can’t do anything about it.

It was an intense period of grief for them. How can they come so close only to be still so far.

It was too painful and this led them to take the painful decision not to go down the IVF rout again.

Their Decision?

If it happens so be it. But they will not put themselves, their happiness, well being and relationship on the line.

This was by no means an easy decision for the couple mainly because David  has a low spent count.

Sadly I have met quite a few couples who have decided not to pursue their dream of being parents via IVF as a result of the intense pain and heartbreak suffered from miscarriage or failure.

We came close to making that choice as each miscarriage and failed IVF becomes more lingual than the last.

I found the pain of another failure more intense than the last.

THE FUTURE

Well 3 years down the line Izzy and David  have somehow rebuilt their lives again and are well on their way to the coupe they were before IVF.

How did they do it? Find our in the next article. Ways to come back from a failed treatment.

Related post

https://faithfulwait.com/2016/09/22/exploring-other-options/

Giving Up: A Painful Choice.

The decision to stop seeking treatment can be a painful one and one I am thankful I did not have to make.

But I did give it a lot of thought see my post “Do You Call It Quit”?

I explored what it would be like to live without being a mum. I remember thinking I can never not be a mum. It just won’t happen, I have to have a child somehow but consoled myself with thoughts like, it will be fun. I will travel the world unhindered.

At one point we did discuss the fact that we might consider other option if at 40 I was still not pregnant. Luckily I did not have to make

that choice.

I cannot imagine the ache Lisa Riley might have gone through to make that painful decision.

She was undergoing treatment and was told she should consider stopping further treatment as the quality of her eggs were very low to produce any viable outcome.

She describe the moment as a “blow”.

The Process of grieving and healing

If you are facing the prospect of calling it quits with treatment and giving up hope of being a parent, for whatever reason. There will be a grieving and a healing process.

My friend who gave up her hope of being a parent refers to the grieving process as a burial ceremony, heart wrenching extreme loss.

When she came to the realization that this is it., the hope of never carrying her own baby, of never having to experience anyone call her mother,

The pregnancy hormones will never buzz through her body. (She was not open to adoption or other means of becoming a mum).

She had to mourn the future she will never have. She grieved for a long time then began the healing

She described the healing process as a rebirth a new beginning a rediscovering of herself and a world of endless opportunities.

This discovery was a springboard to other adventures one that led her true purpose.

She knew she was healed when she can look at a pregnant woman and not well up with tears

I don’t know how your story will end, But I do hope it ends with you having a baby of your own.

I do also hope that if you come to the point of making the painful decision to give up trying you will find peace in the process and discover your true worth.

You will come to understand a deeper sense of belonging and that we cannot be restricted by or defined by our situation, but become stronger, better by it.

Stay the course, do what you have to do, but above all, believe, pray and have faith.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Grieving The Past.

I was recently trying to catch up with some of the old episodes of the Good Wife’, the American soap based on a working mother, Alisha. One of the episode reminded me of how I use to grief about the past
In one scene Alisha went back in time and grieved for Will “the past love” she never knew Will had for her.
It was very emotional  to see that she really was suffering and heartbroken at what might have been if she knew.

Grieving the past is so real when it comes to infertility and loss. Our grief is made worse when something happens to remind us of what we could have had.

Having suffered multiple miscarriages and failed treatment cycle, my grieve was always front and centre whenever I see a child or am confronted with the news of another pregnancy. I am reminded of what may never be.

My struggle with the past was real. I always  felt heartbroken to think I may not experience the love of my child.

Allowing the past to dictate our present or future can leave us trapped in misery, unable to move forward to the possibility of future successes. See related post on Coping with Miscarriage and Loss

I hated being miserable and also knew that a healthy mind is necessary if I was to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother. So it was necessary to let go of past pains. I determined to be resolute, to wilful put the past behind. This decision did not come easily, but I was able to immerse myself in other interests which helped me leg go of the past pains .

Aside from being Mindful, I also had to

  1. Acknowledge that it is normal to hurt and to remember what I have suffered: If this pieces describes you, do not feel guilty about remembering your pain, it is a natural human emotions. Sometimes we berate ourselves for allowing the past to invade our minds. Free yourself from the guilt of looking back and acknowledge that it is a normal thing to do.
  2. Share Your Pain: One of the areas ‘Waiters’ fall short of  is sharing their pain. For me this was certainly the case.” Who will understand”? I often mused. Carrying the burden alone makes it harder to get rid of. There is an old saying ‘a burden shared is a burden halved’. Often we find release when we share our worries. There is a purpose in your pain. Find someone you can talk to, your partner, a caring friend, a Facebook group or other local support group. Do not suffer alone. Sharing helps us cope with the burden and for me it made the burden lighter.
  3. Seek Help. If your past pain has left you crippled and afraid to try again. Seek help. Your local health practitioner will point you in the right direction. Get some counselling to help you deal with the pain.
  4. Try, try and try again. The best way to get over a disappointment is to try again if you are able to. All hope is not lost, positive virtualization will help you focus on a different image of yourself. 
  5. Set Your Mind To Be Happy. Personally I don’t like being sad. I had to wilfully decide to stop grieving NO Matter what. Set your mind and determine to put the past behind.

Have you suffered lost? Maybe you had an abortion as a teenager and now you blame that act for your current reality. Maybe you let go of a good guy or girl for your current partner and now you feel guilty for causing pain.

Your situation is no fault of yours. Having shared your burden, sought help and acknowledge your grief. You maybe in a better place to try again knowing that your story is still unravelling.

The disappointments of the past can be a springboard to the victories of the future. Set your mind free from what could have been and look forward to what is possible if you try.

Abound in hope as you wait and for your own little burden of joy.

Related Post: The Pain of Miscarriage,Past Pains. ,Keeping Hope Alive

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi