Infertility - Being Stuck in the Hallway
I've always had a problem with the saying "when one door closes, another door opens". It just felt like you were minimizing the importance of the door that closed and what it meant to you while making you feel like life was filled with easy transitions. It also made me think that every door that opened was a door that I had to walk through; simply because it was open.
"When one door closes, another door opens" tends to refer to transitions in our lives. It refers to moving up grades each year, changing jobs, changing relationships, changing where we live. It also makes you believe that you need to be in constant movement; constantly moving forward, constantly moving up in life.
What nobody talks about is the hallway between the doors. Nobody mentions that one door might close and you might be stuck in the hallway for a while until the next door opens. Being stuck in the hallway is what infertility feels like. The door closing behind you is that you cannot conceive a child the "natural way". So, you start the infertility treatments. You might start small with some hormone supplements you take by mouth, or you might have to move to something more invasive like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). You end up spending years in the hallway banging on that door, begging for it to open, and to give you that child that you want; that child that you feel you deserve.
So, what can you do while you're in the hallway to not lose hope? Because you want that biological child. You're willing to go through rounds of IVF treatments, hundreds of hormone shots, and setbacks. You watch as others around you become pregnant, have children, and walk through their doors. But for some reason, your door won't open. For some reason, you are asked to wait. It can be so difficult in those moments to remain positive, remain hopeful, and continue to believe in the process.
The biggest help is talking to friends and family about what you're going through. Getting the support and comfort you need to continue banging on that door. They can give you the strength to try again, the hope that it might work the next time. You also start to feel less alone. The more you talked about it, the more your friends will open up about their struggles. All of a sudden, you aren't the only person banging on that door anymore. All of a sudden, you are surrounded by other couples banging on their doors. Having friends go through what you are going through and having them be successful in the process is one of the biggest sources of hope. If it's working for my friend, it might work for me.
I will continue to focus on ways to cope with remaining patient while you undergo infertility treatments in my blogs this month. I think it's so important to take the time to find ways to stay healthy throughout this journey and so want to take the time to really explore each method of staying healthy with you. Stay tuned for more thoughts in the upcoming weeks.
Written by Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT
Originally published on 09/20/2017