Sunday, September 12, 2010

First counseling session

I had my first session with the counselor today, as planned, and I liked her.  I will definitely be going back.

Interestingly, she has been a counselor for 20 years and has also had her own struggle with IF, which (luckily) ended happily with the birth of a child.  Since that time, counseling people dealing with infertility has been a special interest of hers, because when she was going through IF, she found a dearth of qualified professionals who could truly understand what she was going through.  (And by coincidence, she and her husband were treated by the same RE as us.)   She has also counseled at least five couples who have gone the DE IVF route.

Naturally, most of the session was taken up with my bringing her up to speed on me and on where we are with our infertility.  We talked a lot about my marriage, our "unexplained" diagnosis, our TTC history, and our contemplation of DE IVF, as well as a little bit about my personal and family background.

Embarrassingly, I started crying within the first ten minutes of the session and ended up crying off and on, about half the session total.  (My eyes are still puffy and scratchy, and I left with a mild headache from all the crying!)  At one point when I was crying, she asked what I was thinking, and I told her honestly that I felt embarrassed about falling apart in front of her.  I mean, even though she is a professional counselor, she is also a total stranger, and this meeting was our first.  Not surprisingly, she didn't think I had any need to feel embarrassed, but I did.  It is just so uncharacteristic for me to break down like that.

Afterward, on the way home, I hit one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants for my form of comfort food.  LOL.  I have been working diligently on eating better and losing weight, and making some progress, but much as I hate to admit it, fatty, carb-rich foods do make me feel better when I'm down, at least temporarily.

I suppose the fact that I cried so much, and so easily, in such an unaccustomed way, just goes to show how much I am holding back some strong emotions and how much I need to be getting help from an objective third-party to work through them.  I do genuinely feel that I am coping well most of the time, but today showed me how powerful my emotions really are and how strongly they can affect me when I let them rise above the surface.  It felt odd to open up about my feelings of hopelessness, sadness and loss, but good in a way, cathartic.

My primary goal is to work through my feelings of sadness and grief at the prospect of never having my own biological child so that I can work toward accepting other paths to parenthood.  (Currently, given my husband's feelings on the matter, that will mean DE for us.)  I feel that I cannot, in good conscience, go ahead with plans for anything until I have come to terms with this loss.  So I hope that I will be able to do this successfully.

10 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you found a good therapist who is an expert in IF issues. I also see someone who does this kind of work and it is so wonderful for me, I would be lost without it. Do not worry about crying in her office, that is expected :)
    Good luck with this process.

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  2. S,
    I think its great that you had a release. So important. I can totally relate to thinking you are handling things well only to be hit with a flood of emotion, which, of course, does not mean you aren't handling it well. Its a lot to deal with. Your counselor sounds like a wonderful fit. Lucky you.
    I haven't been "around" lately but I wanted to say good luck on your prospective new job.

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  3. I'm really glad you had a good experience. It is an emotional thing when you really open up about infertility. I hope it helps make you feel better about everything.

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  4. Glad you found a good therapist with an IF background. I remember sobbing the entire time of my first visit as well and I am a strong person. A therapist without IF experience just doesn't work for me.

    T

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  5. Aw geez! I cried when I went in to see a doc (many years ago) about my lack of energy and inability to focus! Huh???? LOL! In your case, I'd think it would be odd if you DIDN'T cry. I really hope she can get you where you want to be. I'm sure having someone who has been in your shoes leading the way is a great comfort! Looking forward to seeing a positive outcome from this for you!!!! XOXO!!

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  6. For me, when I cry in my therapy sessions, it's when I am in touch with authentic feelings and I know I'm on track. it's so good that you have found an outlet for your feelings.

    Take your time with processing this DE thing. The good thing is there is no hurry. AND it's a procedure that ups your chance of getting a baby significantly. Of course, this doesn't make it an easier choice.

    All the best.

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  7. I think crying seems like a sign she knew all the right questions to ask? Maybe with her experience both as a patient and a therapist giver her insight to the sensitive areas. Course, maybe just laying it all out on the table reminds you what a mass of crap it is.

    I am super proud of you. I dont think it is easy. You are making a huge investment in yourself and your family.

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  8. I'm so glad y'all are getting to see a good therapist. It's so smart! I'm keepin' my fingers crossed about the new job, too!

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  9. Hey S...I know what you mean...I have NO idea why I start crying within the first 10 minutes of seeing a therapist as well. It is embarrassing but obviously we have little control over it so I just let it out. I am glad you are working with a therapist as you deal with your grief to move on to donor eggs. I can say that 99.9% of the time, I am at total peace with our decision. Grief seems to rear it's ugly head upon important DE milestones, like donor selection, egg retrieval and I am betting my money it will show up the night/day before egg transfer. I almost anticipate it. Therapy, books, connections with other DE bloggers has taught me to anticipate such experiences. What we have suffered is a profound loss. I don't think we will ever truly heal or ever be the same but for me I am ever so humbled that I was able to climb from the bottom and here I am after DE retrieval...so proud and so looking forward to meeting this baby. I now consider it a gift that I even have this opportunity. I know you will work hard to work through your feelings. It is my hope that grief will loosen its grips over you and will allow your heart to fully accept DE...on it's own time. I wish you peace in your heart whatever choice you decide. But you're doing everything right...keep working hard.

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  10. I am so glad you had a positive experience and found someone good who gets IF. I hope you continue to find support there.

    I think I cried in almost every therapy session about IF and babyloss, yet I almost never cried outside of there. I couldn't hold back the tears- I guess it felt like a safe place.

    Best wishes to you! Keep on forging ahead like you are.

    Hugs!

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