How To Cope While Waiting
How To Cope While Waiting
We have defined infertility in many ways. As an emotional rollercoaster, going through the maze and more. But one important thing that people need to understand is that infertility is a phase that will pass. Even though it will pass, it is important to know how to cope during this period.
In this interview Dr Abayomi Ajayi discusses how to cope while waiting with Esther Odiake, a fertility counsellor.
Dr. Abayomi: We are discussing how to cope while waiting. Please tell us more about this.
Esther: For marriages to survive infertility crisis, couples must learn how to continue to tend the garden of marriage. They have to make positive deposits for them to be able to cope during this crisis process. It is a special unconscious effort that they need to make and it requires positive energy. I am going to talk about some steps that can help couples cope during this period.
The first one is to work as a team. Despite having different factors of infertility, it could be male or female or combined factors. If it is just the female factor, the spouse should not see it as the woman’s problem or the other way. They should work together as a team and this will help them cope and go through this process. If they are proceeding for treatment or not, they should see the situation as a combined challenge and not just one person’s cross.
Dr. Abayomi: In this environment, we know that men don’t see infertility as their problem, they consider it the woman’s problem. I have also seen women who also use infertility against their husband. What you are saying is that such couples are not likely to overcome this challenge and that is what leads to a lot of breakdown in marriages.
Esther: If couples see their situation like they are in it together, it will help them cope. Another thing is for couples to plan a play time. Because this challenge brings anxiety. They are tense and they do not see themselves playing together. It is just infertility they worry about. They can just decide to take some time off, relax, forget about infertility and enjoy themselves together. They can fix a day within a week to go out on dates or go on a vacation. This can help them take infertility out of the whole process. They just need to create time to be together.
To add to this, couples need to also separate baby making from love making. It is a big challenge when couples that are faced with infertility just have sex for baby making. What some couples do is, calculate the ovulation period and focus solely on that period of the month to have sexual intercourse. This will not help them, they need to be able to take their minds off making babies and have sex for fun.
Dr. Abayomi: Most of the patients we see have been married for about 10 years or 15 years and there is no child. The natural reaction is, why am I still doing this? Are there things that can help them overcome all this so that they understand.
Esther: These couples can try to make a change in their lifestyle. The bedroom that they use often for trying to make babies can be changed to another room. It would make a whole lot of difference and it won’t be like they are going to the same place to do the same thing all over. Another thing that can help is for them to recall how they started. That excitement that was there at the initial stage, before the challenge of infertility came into play. If they can recall all that, it will add a zest to the whole process. And it won’t be like they are doing the same thing over and over again.
Dr. Abayomi: I hope you have learnt something from this discussion.Thank you.