Grief Work

I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again, thank God for therapy.

I saw my therapist this past Friday, a week after finding out our second shot at IVF was another disappointment. She told me she was sorry, like so many other people had, then asked if I, “wanted to do some grief work today.”

I looked at her a little strange at first, asking how we’d do that.

She handed me a clip board & told me there was a pen on the table beside me.

“I want you to write down all the losses you’ve experienced with this. Then, when you’re ready, you can share them if you want and then take some time to really feel the emotions that come with each one.”

I nodded, scribbling LOSSES on an empty white sheet of paper. I didn’t have to think long on some of my responses, others required a bit more digging.

Here’s what I came up with:

  • 1 Miscarriage
  • 4 embryos
  • The experience of being pregnant & all that comes with it (ultrasounds, documenting your baby’s growth, having a baby shower, preparing a nursery, etc)
  • Possibility of having a biological child
  • Security in knowing my child won’t be taken from me at any given time (if one were to foster to adopt)
  • Opportunity to share child’s milestones with others (if you foster to adopt, you aren’t allowed to share images of your child on social media-or even write their name)
  • Ability to name our child-unless we somehow came up with the money for a private adoption
  • My career choice. Before entering into the world of infertility, I had always wanted to work with kids….now that I may not ever be able to have my own, I don’t feel that is something I’ll ever be able to do. On top of that, social work, in my opinion, is one of the absolute worst professions to be in when you’re infertile. Last week in class, one student was discussing a case of abuse from their practicum site. Halfway into it, I had to retreat to the bathroom to cry. In my own practicum, I conduct assessments on individuals struggling with drug addiction daily. Nine times out of ten, these heavily addicted individuals have 5+ kids, all while shooting up heroin and a slew of other paraphernalia. Coping with all of the above is challenging in and of themselves….when adding infertility into the mix, it feels damn near impossible. So, now, here I am 60,000 in debt in student loans…now learning I am infertile. Infertile in the worst way apparently as one’s egg quality cannot be remedied even with the most expensive of treatments.

After I shared this with her and really got in touch with the emotions that are tied to the heavy things I chicken scratched onto a blank piece of paper, we talked about something else. How I was going to grieve. She suggested that Scott & I do some type of ritual together to commemorate the losses we’ve endured. She also suggested that I write a letter to my children that may have been, which I may share in a later post.

As for the ritual, I am not completely certain as to what we will do yet but I have talked with Scott and we are both interested in doing something. I feel like it’s a good idea because, with any other death, you have a funeral. There is some ceremony of acknowledging pain & the accompanying grief and loss.

I mentioned releasing balloons. He mentioned releasing lantern, which is something I’ve always wanted to do anyway, & then mentioned this may be a fire hazard LOL So, for now, I guess balloons it is 😛

Seeing as this weekend is Valentine’s Day & we are also celebrating my Birthday early, at first, I wasn’t sure when we would do this….writing this, it came to me. For my Birthday present, I scheduled the tattoo I’m getting for my babies for Saturday. I feel like releasing the balloons beforehand would be a beautiful idea, ending the grieving ritual with my tattoo (which I will also share later after getting it).

“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” -John Green



3 thoughts on “Grief Work

  1. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to endure all of those losses. I don’t think we really stop to feel the loses when we’re infertile. I mean, for me, I took some times after my miscarriages, but it was on to the next cycle. I think you’re therapist sounds great, too.

    Liked by 2 people

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