Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesdays with Will - Dilemma

Work has been busy (which I am grateful for), so I spent my day off doing errands and going to appointments. One of my appointments today was with my therapist. It's a long story about how and why I see her, but I can tell you it has been positively life-changing.

I always look forward to our meetings. Today was no different. But near the mid-point of our session she dropped a bomb: "I'm pregnant."

Ugh. She did tell me in a very professional way, so no qualms there. We talked a bit about how I felt (shocked, speechless) and discussed what that means about our relationship. I'm not sure, honestly. I am feeling a bunch of different emotions that are all over the map.

I sort of feel that I am losing the only other person aside from Mo who knows me intimately. I never thought I was that attached to her. Heck, if you had told me a few years ago I would be in therapy, I would have called you crazy.

My therapist and I will continue to discuss the complexities of our changing relationship and I will somehow decide what is best for me. After all, this is one of the few things in life that is all about me.

I am curious as to your thoughts/reactions. How would you feel in my situation? Do you think you could/would keep seeing your therapist?


Add to Google Reader or Homepage Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe in Bloglines Add to My AOL


  1. Hi Will,

    Dropping back into this IF world and checking on you two. Ugh. Yep, that would have been a hard one to swallow. My first reaction was: RUN! But halfway thru, I thought it might be a really wonderful opportunity for you to work thru feelings you may have toward people "on the other side." I know we IFers can be quite resentful of the preggers set and perhaps to be able to voice the mixed feelings, etc. would be really cathartic. Plus, having had my own dose of therapy, sounds like the working relationship you established has been really fruitful. Those aren't easy to come by. It's challenging finding a therapist that actually does some good. Good luck with the transition--whatever the outcome.

  2. Will - this has been one of the bigger challenges in my life. I started this journey not wanting it to change who I am - mostly a fun-loving, supportive person - loving kids and pregnant women alike. I have felt that slip away and I now just feel mostly dread when I have to talk to my four pregnant co-workers (one of whom is a dear friend) or to my pregnant little sister or my pregnant stepsister. And I do not like that about myself. Most of these people are people I care deeply about and I just want to feel pure happiness for them, pure joy and pure love. Instead, it is tainted by my own failures, my own crushed hopes, my own horrible, horrible despair. I feel like that is not fair to them -so I try as hard as I can to be the woman I was before all of this started. Some days it is too much and I just avoid them. This is one of the things I am trying desperately to do.

    That being said, I have been in therapy in the past for issues unrelated to IF and the dynamic you have is much different than what I struggle with. I guess it would be hard for me to discuss how pregnant women make me hurt in my gut when I see them or to get vulnerable with fears that it may not happen with my pregnant therapist.

    I do not have any advice. I just know that I want to hold on to that piece of myself that is fading away.

  3. Run! Or at least walk quickly.

    Sorry, I couldn't do it, I couln't stay with her, because I would simply stop being honest. It's too hard to talk about pain and agony and bitterness to someone who has the one thing you want above all else, for if she's not been through infertility herself, she's not only not going to get it, she may no longer be able to 'hear' what you're saying. Yeah, it's her job, but she literally has a bigger concern, and depending on how her pregnancy goes, she might not be available to meet with you anyway, providing a nice double whammy.

    Maybe you can see her and talk about other issues...? But honestly, elephant in the living room an all that.


  4. My knee jerk reaction to your post was RUN, couldn't get me out of there fast enough if I were in your shoes....BUT trying to have a reasonable response means also considering how you said that meeting with her has been life changing. Would you want to have to go through "starting over" with another therapist? Possibly lose some of the progress you have made with her for yourself?
    All in all, you know yourself. COuld you continue to be candidly open with her about how seeing pregnant women makes you feel, as you are watching her become visible pregnant??? I'm not sure U could realistically do that, but only you know for sure what you can handle, within the context of the professional relationship you have established with her...
    Good luck with whatever you decide. (and sorry that this came at such a cruddy time for you!)

  5. Hugs. Being in a 'trust zone' and hearing that must've been hard.

    I agree w/ppl, this might be a good way to work through the normal feelings that IF causes when around someone pregnant. Because, whether we like it or not, we have all had to deal with people close to us being pregnant, growing, etc.
    I hope you can continue to see her, that the work you do grows and continues to be helpful.

  6. So, I had a somewhat similar situation happen earlier this year. My acupuncturist- who was much more than a needle- sticker to me, announced her pregnancy just as I was coming off of failed IVF #2. I remember crying on the table when I was supposed to be relaxing... the news was like a punch to the gut. It was like losing one of the last people that I could really count on to listen and advise through this journey.

    My initial reaction was to leave, but for some reason, I kept going back. I guess I valued her care more than her pregnancy sometimes bothered me. And I think that is the balance to be considered. You'll know for you and for your relationship with this doctor whether or not her care and guidance can overcome any awkwardness around her pregnancy...

    tough decision. good luck.

  7. I don't think I could stay with her. I think it would be hard to talk about my situation and have someone give me advice who doesn't have any idea what I am feeling. I know they are trained but it would always be in the back of my mind.

  8. This is an issue I worry about a lot myself, but from the opposite side of the couch! I would say 'don't run'. It seems like you might benefit from feeling your way through it for a bit to see how it is. The narcissistic wound of infertility creates this rawness that convinces us that we can only bear to have our pain mirrored,rather than empatized with. When I am in the right place (I.e. Not to raw) I find that a fertile persons real empathy can be so healing--it is as if their appriciation of the gift they have validates my desire, rather than invalidates my efforts.

  9. Hmm, that's a tough one. I too do bi-weekly therapy and feel it has helped me to manage all of the emotions that surround IF and babyloss. My therapist is also female and I've actually thought about this scenario. I personally probably wouldn't be able to see her anymore once she was obviously pregnant with a huge belly. It would be too difficult for me to see her belly grow weekly, especially given that the vast majority of my therapy hours are spent dedicated to conversations revolving around my infertility, pregnancy loss, and the death of Myles. It would seem weird and almost insulting for a pregnant woman with a huge, round belly telling me she understands. Therefore, I think I'd have to temporarily find someone else to see until the baby is born. I do find that my relationship with my therapist is good, so I'd hate to loose that forever. Therefore, I know that for the sake of saving our relationship it would be best to take a "break" from it for awhile. Best wishes on a tough decision.

  10. Unfortunately Im an emotional thinker and responder so I would NOT stay with her nor would I even contemplate staying with her while watching her belly grow everyday...nope...Im sorry though that you have to make this type of decision especially when you are probably sick of making decisions!

  11. My initial reaction, of course was you have got to be kidding me, how hard for Will.
    But, I've been working hard on me lately and getting back to that place where I could be around pregnant people (it's my isue not theirs) I try to remind myself that me not wanting to be around pregnant women is like someone in a wheelchair not wanting to be around runners,it's not the runners fault they have legs, and it's not the guy in the wheelchair's fault that he longs to run. I have a long way to go, but, I was there at one point in my life and I will get back there again.
    All that said, would I go to a therepist that was pregnant - probably not because it would be there staring at me, growing, a constant reminder... as you see I'm working on it.

  12. Yeowch. Damn. My stomach did that awful flop when I got to the line where she outed herself. I can handle being around pregnant chicks, but it's still hard sometimes. I don't think I would want to work with a pregnant therapist if I could help it. And, therapy is supposed to be all about you. It's someplace where you shouldn't have to "handle" something you don't have to. But it's also difficult to find a therapist you really connect with. I guess it boils down to how much she helps you...

    Sorry this has come up for you.

  13. I'm so sorry you're having to make this decision--I've been following your blog for a few months, and I'm hopeful that things go well for you. I honestly don't know what I'd do in your position. I'm a therapist, and my son was born 2 years ago after years of struggling with IF. My "therapist answer" is that if this is someone with whom you have an intimate connection, it may be worth working through this with her. Whatever decision you make, I wish you all the best.

  14. Will,
    I agree you should talk it through with your therapist and see what you feel after that.

    This is just what happened to me and my DW. We've been jointly seeing a therapist since m/c #3 and before we started IVF a year ago. The therapist is also pregnant and just left on maternity leave at about 36-37 weeks along. She actually specializes in women's reproductive health issues and fertility, so she's a great match for us and our questions / issues.

    We still got a tremendous amount out of our sessions, and unfortunately both of us feel quite a loss right now not having her with us through the latest downs in our cycle. We felt no bitterness or animosity toward her. Although my first reaction when she told us was to think that we might need to find someone else. She handled it all very professionally and we talked about her pregnancy a bit during 1 or 2 sessions as well.

    However you handle it will be right for you. I hope your decision making process goes well. Best of luck with this latest crazy fork in the road!


What do YOU think?

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts