Christmas Letter from ‘R’

Huge love to one of our readers who, after having ivf with an egg donor at clinica tambre, is now expecting her first child. Here she reflects on the way infertility made her feel and shares some of her own coping skills. 

“I’ve always thought of myself as a Christmas lover. The decorations, presents and family dinners were always things that put me in a great mood. But, sadly, this December could not be more different.

My husband and I have been fighting infertility for months and it is devastating. The emotional burden is far worse than I ever expected. Every time I look at my living room sofa all I want to do is lay there sleeping, rather than have a sofa full of people, of family and friends, all  having fun at Christmas like I used to dream about.

Seeing the house full of other people’s kids and having to play with them is something I just can’t deal with right now because I am overcome with thoughts of envy and rejection, and I don’t want anyone to notice. 

The Christmas holidays fill me with dread because I prefer to keep my mind busy with work instead of having to cope with my thoughts. I don’t want to be surrounded by people that won’t stop asking us how the treatment is going and how we are doing. Because, I don’t want to answer. Having to tell them that everything is going wrong fills me with shame. Because it makes me angry to have them respond with sentences I am exhausted of hearing. Most of all, because I hate being looked at with pity.

I don’t know how I will face this, but since I don’t dare share this with anyone from my circle, I’m here telling you. Have any of you felt like this? The truth is that it’s horrible…”

Hello. A year ago, I shared this piece on a well-known blog in my country of Spain. I’m lucky to say that things are going better now for me and my husband. Following an IVF cycle that sadly ended, we went on to have a successful round of ivf thanks to egg donation at Clinica Tambre

Today we are so happy to say we’re expecting a baby that will join us in 16 weeks, if everything goes well!!

If any of you have found yourself in a similar situation to what I went through in 2018, caught up in an emotional whirlwind of sadness and frustration, I’d like to say a couple of things that I hope might help. 

First, try and gather all of your strength and know that there is always someone to talk to in your circle or within the TTC community, even if it is only one person. They will create a safe space, and will respect the time it will take you to talk about your feelings. Try not to hold too much to yourself. You will be amazed at how much strength you gather from talking to someone who understands how you are feeling. 

When we were told egg donation was our only option, I sank so low. I was terrified of how my family would react, how my husband would act towards me and the child. I was terrified I would feel excluded, with no biological connection to the child. I was terrified that me and my husband might drift apart. The team at clinica tambre suggested I talk to both a counsellor and other couples that had a child through egg donation. Well, I’m telling you now, the first conversation I had with a mother of a child through donor egg changed EVERYTHING. She helped me talk through all of my fears and anxieties. She helped me shake off the feeling of jealousy, that every other woman I saw seemed to be getting pregnant naturally. She made me see that having a child with a donor egg was incredible. 

I also want to tell you at this point that  feeling jealousy, anger or rejection is completely normal and we must not blame ourselves for feeling this way. You have every right to feel the way you do. Just try not to internalise those feelings otherwise your head won’t allow you to see clearly. 

Lastly, I want to give a big hug to those of you that are going through tough times due to their infertility. You will get through this even though most of the time it doesn’t feel that way. Please, reach out to your TTC community. 

Sending you so much love this Christmas. Remember, it will be however you want it to be. Look after yourself. 

Warmest hugs,

R.”

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