The Tip of the Iceberg


Last night I had my first session with my psychologist (let’s call her Dr. Think). I liked her a lot, and I felt very comfortable with her. Speaking with her made me realise that my last psychologist (for couples counselling) probably wasn’t the best fit for me, although she did help us through our issues. I was in such a state of turmoil through my first bout of counselling, that I don’t think I was in a place to be picky about the therapist.

In any case, the first session went well. She asked some probing questions to figure out who I am, and what I am looking for through therapy. I told her I am looking for coping skills, as well as someone who can help me explore my emotions and not only that, but guide me in dealing with them. Because I don’t really talk to anyone about my infertility struggles, I find that I have all of this emotion and I don’t know what to do with it, or how to deal with it. I don’t think I ignore it, or stuff it down, per se, but it kind of just sits on my chest. It causes me to be anxious, and depressed at times. In a previous post I spoke about expressing myself and how I have a hard time doing it because I am confused by my feelings, and don’t have a constructive outlet for them. So I am hoping she can help me extract some of that, and sort through it all.

She made sure to make me feel comfortable, and told me if she pushes anything too much, or starts to lead somewhere I don’t want to go for me to stop her. I don’t see the point in avoiding difficult subjects with my therapist, I mean, what am I paying her for if I don’t dig deep? A lot of yesterdays session was just superficial stuff, what point we’re at with our infertility (I told her we are leading up to IVF), why I wanted to see her, who I use as a support network, ect.

I’m not sure if it makes me strange, but I like therapy. It can be difficult at times, but I enjoy the release, and having someone help peel back the layers. It makes me feel better, and in a way, more in control. Speaking of control, we talked about that too. How powerless infertility makes a person feel, and the grasp it has held on my life for the past 22 months (ugh, it is brutal to say that number “outloud”). I don’t know that I am always very in tune with my emotions, so I find it very helpful to have someone who is very insightful to ask probing questions, things that really make me consider my inner self. To some people, this experience is uncomfortable and they fight it. To me it is cathartic, and I welcome it.

The recent flip of the calendar brought us into June, and I am now already in the month preceding our tentative IVF start date. That in itself has made me uneasy. I am excited about the prospect of starting fresh with a new procedure (and not standing still anymore), that could very well bring us success, but extremely nervous about what it will take to maybe get that success. The day of all three of my IUIs I was extremely anxious. Very upset stomach, jittery, nervous, just overall felt like junk. I don’t want to deal with that everyday of the IVF process. Dr. Think has given me tools to use to help strengthen myself in the coming weeks leading up to IVF. She told me to take half an hour everyday to work on some techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn will allow me better control it when my emotions start running higher.

One thing I am to work on is deep breathing, even just in small doses. I told Dr. Think that I have been using a meditation app (it’s called Complete Relaxation, highly recommend it) to fall asleep recently and it includes a lot of deep breathing exercises. She said that deep breathing can help control stress and bring it down to a more manageable level. Another suggestion she made was to get 10 minutes of exercise a day, in whatever form I like. I had mentioned that I like yoga, and she told me even 10 minutes of any form of physical activity can be helpful and recommended I check out Yoga for Fertility. I am also supposed to think of three things at the end of each day that went right, so that when I am having a hard day, I can look back on the positives.

I think it was a good start, I think I am going to be happy to work on myself, with her. But at the end of the session, she stated that she thought we had only just scratched the surface of what’s going on with me, and I’d have to agree. I like this woman, she can see right through me.

15 thoughts on “The Tip of the Iceberg

    • Thanks! I’m sure that the people you work with feel the same as I do about my therapist, and therapy. I think it is so important that you understand infertility from personal experience, as does my therapist (who is also now living child free). I think it would be hard to be helped by someone who doesn’t truly understand.

  1. julieann081

    I’m so glad you liked your new therapist. 🙂 No, it’s not weird to like therapy. It can be very exciting to know that one is doing something good for oneself!

  2. I’m glad you’re seeing someone to get the support that you need. I find therapy beneficial as well. Hope you get the skills you need to handle IVF. 😉

  3. Lilee

    Your therapist sounds wonderful. I’m glad you’re seeing someone that can help you understand some of these complicated emotions. It’s great that she gave you some practical steps to get started with right away. July will be here before you know it – good luck!

  4. I have always been a big believer in therapy. It has helped myself and my husband tremendously (Sometimes I just wish he would go back without me having to nag him). The advice she gave is perfect. Focus on gratitude, meditation and exercise. I know I try to include each of those in my daily life as well (alright ok fine, maybe I have more work to do on exercise, but I’m getting better). Looking forward to hearing more about your IVF cycle. We are right behind you.

    • I asked my husband if he would come with me to a session or two, and he said yes. He’s not at all opposed to it, which is helpful that I don’t have to convince him. Do you know where you would be going to do IVF? I have someone I know who is starting her cycle just before me, at my same clinic. It’s nice to have someone to lead the way, so I’m going to try and blog about the whole experience as much as possible.

  5. Elizabeth

    I just found your blog- and really appreciate your thoughts. My doc just said last week, we need to start thinking about IVF as the best option for us, which felt like a blow. I really relate to your comments about anxiety- and I already downloaded the meditation app to try! Thanks for your honesty- look forward to reading more as you leap into IVF- and as I anticipate the same.

    • Thank you! It is a bitter pill to swallow when IVF becomes your only remaining option, but I am trying to control the parts of the situation I can, mainly my emotions. It’ll be a roller coaster for sure, but I will be glad to share the journey if it can help others.

  6. I think it’s wonderful your therapy session went well, and great that you enjoy it. I very much look forward to my hour each week with my therapist. Often I wish I could have an hour each day with her! Good luck to you!

    • Thank you! I probably should have done it a lot sooner, but with IVF looming I quit procrastinating! I feel like I have added another person to my “team” and that feels good.

  7. I use that relaxing app too! 3 years into IF made me extremely anxious and depressed. Social media only made those feelings worse and I tried to avoid it as much as possible. I hope good things come for you soon and that your miracle baby arrives with these new treatments!

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