Listen to my interview with Rachael Bruton (My Even Keel) who jam packs this episode full of her wisdom of how to feel supported whilst embarking on a fertility journey. She openly shares her own infertility journey and gives great insight into the emotional experience of infertility.
Lastly Rachael gives 1 big piece of advice on how to support a family member or friend who is experiencing infertility.
Rachael, like myself, is an IVF mum of one, who is still experiencing unexplained infertility. She explains in the podcast how IVF impacted her physically, emotionally, and mentally.
We discuss the shame that can come up for people undergoing fertility treatment. Shame that your body isn’t able to do it and that can stop us from talking about our infertility openly. Something that helped Rachael and her partner around shame was that they made a rule when they went for fertility testing, that it was neither of their faults, that they were not getting pregnant.
Rachel discusses details of her fertility journey, and how stressful it was. She got caught up in the doing, pushing herself, if she did it all correctly, then it has to work. And that’s so much pressure on ourselves. If we dont let that pressure out, then no matter what the outcome, there’s going to be a bit of a crash. We need to guard ourselves from that crash, because that crash can be really lonely. Rachael had gone through counselling / therapy before, and knew the signs. Not only that but she was lucky to have supportive friends who she allowed herself to open up to and let them support her. Rachael was able to open up and talk but also had days when she didn’t feel like talking and wanted to be on her own. She is a big believer in minding yourself and finding the small outlets. The non judgmental friends, they don’t even have to be your best friends. If you’re a single person going through it then finding someone to go through with, who will come to the appointments and be your fertility support person. She describes when friends would get pregnant that she would be absolutely delighted for these friends but she felt heartbroken for herself. Rachael was already on a roller coaster.
Her advice for friends or family of those going through infertility is to ask them what they need? We can tend to think oh, this is a private thing. So I’m going to walk away from it. But maybe they want is to talk about it, maybe they want space, maybe they want to be entertained.
You can listen here: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/0vIo9VmW2tb