Guest Post by Natalie Goldshmidt
Infertility often throws our sense of self, our fulfillment, and our relationships into turmoil. It renders us seemingly helpless and frustrated; plus, time pressures—like a ticking clock—pose a challenge to living in the present, when that present is focused on a future family. For couples, the financial stressors that often accompany fertility treatments can present an unforeseen layer of difficulty; especially as research shows the different attitudes spouses have towards spending. Most commonly, women affected by the challenges of infertility suffer in silence resulting in a feeling of isolation. We succumb to the pressure of feeling the need to hide from our close friends, family members and anyone in our lives who unknowingly inquire about our plans for bearing children. This creates a wall of separation that lends itself to a very lonely and sad existence.
If all this is not enough, shame begins to rear it’s ugly head and make us retreat even further. We fear standing up to society’s preconceived notions to declare that, “hey, its ok… not all women get pregnant the same way, through the same journey… I can be patient; I can figure this out, just give me time”. Instead, we internalize all of these societal expectations and breed contempt, for both the world around us, and ultimately, inside of our own bodies. We end up storing all of the shame, stress, anxiety, sadness and hostility inside our body. The irony being, this is the same body that we are relying on for a healthy, non-stressful, positive pregnancy.
The good new is…there are ways around it! There are things you can do to prevent filling your valuable body with all of this negativity. Having suffered through this difficult journey myself, I discovered what I believe women in this position need most…support! During my years of infertility trials and tribulations, what I longed for most was having an empathic and knowledgeable ear. A woman who could both understand and share in both the mental and physical rigors I was experiencing. I needed a mentor, friend, advocate and trusted confidant. Someone who could create a safe space in which I felt heard, understood and supported. I yearned for unbiased guidance, information and inspiration. I was compelled to dedicate myself to this vital issue In my coaching practice
Here are some useful tools I use with clients in my practice who are facing the stress that is slowly taking over their life…
1. Journal about the most difficult challenges of your life thus far, and how you have gotten through them – what did it require of you? What did you learn about yourself? What qualities of character did you display? How can you bring those lessons and qualities to the fore around your fertility?
2. Write yourself a letter in the present tense from your future self – choose 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years from now. Date it with that selected date and begin to write: What do you need to do, who do you need to be, what is most important for you to remember to get to the future of your dreams? What did you learn along the way? What is the advice you give yourself to stay hopeful and strong? What made your success possible?
Note, it is crucial to remember to always respect the emotions that come up during this process. No feeling is shameful, Every feeling we experience has a purpose behind it and should be explored. We owe it to ourselves to stand up to what lies in front of us and be who we are, as we are.
For additional support, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website,
I am passionate about helping women going through the fertility journey. Having personally experienced it, I am confident that I can make this process a much less isolated one in which you have a platform to be heard, felt and cared for.