Assisted reproduction: how to continue feeling positive and proud of oneself
I began to appreciate everything I already had in my life: a lovely husband, an interesting job, friends, health … Instead of crying for what I didn’t have
During the successive fertility treatments I underwent, I observed how as the months went by, I had increasingly negative, even harmful, feelings, which were taking hold of me. I began to see myself as ugly and fat. Afterwards, I thought I didn’t deserve to be a mother and that my partner deserved better; a beautiful, cheerful and fertile woman who could give him as many children as he wanted. I, however, was incapable, a useless individual who wasn’t worthy of his love or the attention of the people around me. Nor was I worthy of that little being who absolutely did not want to grow inside me.
Gradually, I went into a depression. I didn’t do anything. As I was focused on my infertility, I had no energy for anything else. I smiled less and less, until I stopped doing it all together. I slept badly, some nights were completely sleepless. I had strange dreams, which always featured babies crying or where they were hurting themselves right in front of me. I began to stop talking; at any rate, I had no interest in anything. I no longer shared my pain, nor my hopes, needs or desires with anyone … Not even with my own husband. My friends and family had long since stopped listening to me.
I entered a vicious circle in which I was frustrated, disappointed, irritable … I was constantly reproaching myself about everything, and was unable to get out of this circle, since I still couldn’t attain what I so longed for.
It was very difficult to live with those feelings. Without a doubt, the most difficult thing I experienced during the whole treatment. Some will say that the physical pain of the injections is intense, even though it disappears after a few minutes. Psychological suffering, on the other hand, persists even when the treatment ends. Only the hope of starting a treatment again allows for a bit of dignity and self-esteem. But how do you go on feeling proud, positive, self-confident and trusting in the future when pregnancy does not occur?
One day, I realized that if I lived surrounded by negative feelings and thoughts, I would constantly feel bad both physically and mentally. I then forced myself to believe that a pregnancy was possible, that we are all capable of it, that this is just a setback. I appreciated everything I already had in my life (a lovely husband, an interesting job, friends, health), instead of crying for what I didn’t have. I decided to be fertile in another way: by creating, giving and helping others. I saw failure as a stepping-stone to a better future, rather than as something definitive. I set myself ambitious goals, which gave me the feeling of being able to carry out a difficult project. Little by little, I regained my self-confidence. I respect myself again. My mind is positive. I feel that, thanks to this new approach, what I have always longed for will come to me sooner…
After finishing her studies, Frédérique Vincent packs her bags and goes to England. While there, she meets her future husband. They marry in 2008. The months and years go by very quickly without any sign of pregnancy. At first, it doesn’t matter: they are very busy with their leisure time, sports, travel. Then the desire to have a child becomes an obsession. When fertility treatment begins, she decides to start writing her diary of an infertile woman. Very quickly, her circle encourages her to continue giving her testimony … She is currently a mother of three and author of La Promesse du mois, a book which serves as a testimony to infertility.