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.