The Emotional Journey through IVF
One of my earliest observations as a therapist is the common denominator among so many people who present for counseling - the experience and feeling of loss and longing. Loss can present in a variety of ways, including as an unfulfilled wish or life goal. Infertility and the potential loss of the dream of becoming a parent are devastating. The longing to fulfill that dream can be overwhelming and can also bring out the strengths of that individual or couple as they harness their resources to make it happen.
Amazing advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with donor egg have opened the possibility to not only build a family, but to have a gestational bond with baby even if not a genetic tie. Absence of shared genetics does raise for many the question, “Will this baby be mine?”, implying a worry that the mother will not feel attached to her child. Rest assured, that as human beings, we have an innate desire and ability for bonding and attachment. Understandably, there is often uncertainty and ambivalence on the road to motherhood - and that is OK. Deciding to parent a child is a life altering decision. Additionally, embarking on this journey utilizing assisted reproductive technology entails many decisions along the way and a considerable investment of emotional energy.
It is extremely important, and you owe it to yourself, to select a medical practice that will meet your individual needs and in whom you have the utmost confidence. Supportive and educational counseling on an as needed basis is also recommended. A qualified therapist can support you through the decision-making process and help manage feelings of anxiety and stress you may be experiencing as an individual, or as a couple, as well as continue to serve as a resource for potential emotional needs around early parenthood. IVF can be the journey of a lifetime. I wish you all the success!