For some fertility patients, physical distancing brings great relief
No more awkward get-togethers, no more baby showers, no more cycle monitoring. For some fertility patients, the pandemic's forced pause is welcome.
Perhaps this shouldn't have been a surprise to me, but it was: for some people dealing with infertility, getting to shut it all down for a few months doesn't feel like such a bad idea. Here's why, in their own words.
It's okay to be less okay now
“Not having major markers of other people's pregnancies — that's been a huge relief. To not have to think about turning up to those events and looking great and seeming like you feel great. They are all just cancelled.”
“If there wasn't social distancing happening, then usually we have a group of friends and say, 'Hey, let's all get together.' I dread it, because maybe there's that one person there that's pregnant. And you don't want to see that one person. It's not that you don't like them, it's just the feeling that you get when you see someone who is pregnant.”
“Now I don't have to go out of my way and say I can't meet up. We don't even make any plans because we can't. I don't have to feel guilty. I don't have anxiety about what people are going to think about me.”
“I don't have to make excuses. I don't have to feel bad declining to go out.”
“People recognize that it's not really a celebratory time.”
“Now everyone is carrying this weight. Things are not how we want them to be or how we thought they would be. Infertile people have had a lot of practice in having that sort of mindset. We are so used to thinking about things being out of our control and not ideal and not how we thought they would turn out. With an unpredictable end date. We're sort of better equipped mentally to be in this pandemic mode.”
“It's okay to be less okay now.”
“It's like a full-time job trying to get pregnant if you're working with a fertility clinic. It's literally so much of your time and your energy. It's like you have your day job and now you have this whole other side job — but you can't tell anyone you have this side job. It's just very exhausting.”
“I'm usually at the fertility clinic early in the morning for cycle monitoring. Then I'm rushing to get to work... and working till 8 or 9 at night. Then up again at 6am to go to cycle monitoring. You're kind of in this rat race. And now I can't even go to the fertility clinic — they're closed.”
“I am grateful for those mornings off. I'm grateful that my veins are starting to heal.”
“You get more sleep. You're not rushing to go places. You eat healthier too because you want to avoid takeout food as much as you can.”
“I can step away from alcohol because we're not going to any social events. I can make it my priority to be as healthy as I can during this time.”
“You're at home. You're not stressed. My husband works at a highly stressful job, but now he works from home and can take a break whenever he wants. I'm hoping this actually helps us.”
“I don't think clinics will open before society returns to normal. I secretly hope I can get pregnant before then.”
“It's given me a lot more time to spend with my husband. It's just the two of us. It's been fun for our relationship.”
“It's been kind of nice that we have so much time together at home.”
Many thanks to Amira Posner of Healing Infertility for bringing this interesting observation to my attention.
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