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Asking for Help

a blog by Shana Kurz, May 24, 2012

I am part of a family of doers. We work hard, don’t complain and push on with enormous amounts of strength. So, when I approached the doors of the fertility clinic, I approached it like a job. I would be on time, wear professional clothing, study up on my meds and cycles. I would take notes and keep track of my hormone levels, egg maturation and learn all of the statistics. I would not cry.

After each day, I would summarize my “fertility for today” when I talked with my husband at night. He is strong, works hard, is fully supportive and interested, but just wanted to talk about other things too. So over those first six months of tests, meds and ultrasounds, I realized that even though I was focused on the details of my doctor’s appointment and procedures, my husband needed his wife and friend. So I took the next step and asked for help.

I was referred to the therapist who worked out of my fertility doctor’s office. She was kind and thoughtful, a great listener and above all else was able to help me put words around the feelings I was having. I resented my pregnant friends and my pregnant sister-in-law, I didn’t like to be around babies and overall had a negative view of my body since it was failing me. I didn’t like what I was going through, how it impacted my corporate job, my relationships, my sleep, my body. And what I learned was that this was all normal, protection in fact. I wasn’t mean or being negative, I was taking care of myself. It was OK to complain.

She helped me through all of my fertility treatments and ultimately had to tell me that we had come to our final session. I was still on her couch at 10 weeks pregnant and wasn’t planning to make a change. The week before, my doctors had finally convinced me to see an OB, and now it was my therapist’s turn to set me free. I had come to a point where I was going to be OK and could turn back to my husband, family and friends for support.

When I think about all I benefited from that one hour a week, I get goosebumps. It was an hour of strength, and a time to admit what I was really feeling and to ask for help. This was so different from how I grew up that it became a pivotal point in my life. I still don’t feel comfortable asking for help, but I now know that it’s courageous and a reflection of strength … and something I need to practice my entire life.

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