Infertility Affects My Marriage And Family

It has been six years since my husband and I got married. I can say that we are happy and contented with our lives right now. We have a wonderful house, we both have permanent jobs, and we have a lot of social connection. However, despite those positive things we are thankful for, we still lack something that every married couple wishes to have – children. When we think about it, it makes us both mentally and emotionally unstable.

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Dealing With The Struggle

The reason why my husband and I do not have children is because of my damaged fallopian tubes. I got diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Unfortunately, the condition already damaged the fallopian tubes severely. It left a scared tissue that seems very complicated to remove. The doctor said while we need to stay positive, we also have to prepare ourselves to accept that we might not have kids anymore. Honestly, that statement can bring any woman into a meltdown. And just like any other woman with the same condition, it led me to anxiety and depression.

The doctor explained that the PID was caused by an infection from getting something like chlamydia and gonorrhea. However, it is not limited to sexually transmitted diseases. There are cases when normal bacteria in the vagina travel into a woman’s reproductive organs, where it eventually causes the disease. The doctor asked me questions if ever I experienced anything unusual with my physical health. Honestly, there is none. I told the medical expert that I was not able to experience any signs and symptoms of PID. Apparently, it is common for some women to be asymptomatic. Nevertheless, I am not happy with that.

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 So since I was not aware of my condition back then, I did not even consider consulting a doctor. Little did I know that the infection grew every day. And for the last couple of years, it became something that I want to get rid of today. I get that it is no one’s fault. But sadly, I can’t help but blame myself for not taking extra care of my reproductive health.

Relationship Issues

For my husband, it is pretty much not a big deal. But for both sides of our family, it seemed like it was everything. Honestly, I cannot blame them at all. After marriage, they were expecting us to deliver the news of pregnancy. But after a couple of years, we are still silent on our progress while other family members are pretty much on constant reproduction. I may sound a little bitter here. But I could not contain the emotional torture this infertility has caused me. It sucks because it felt like it has become the reason for our family’s poorly chosen treatment and relationship towards us.

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I may tell everyone that I am not affected, but that is a lie. The truth is, everything about this infertility issue is killing me inside. I feel like there is no hope for me. And every time nature tends to add years to my life, I become more depressed and obsessed about having a baby. Sometimes, with all the mental illness acting up, I somehow wished just to disappear. People keep asking me when I am going to have a kid of my own. In weird moments, they think that popping babies out of a vagina is somewhat a contest. That the more a woman can deliver, the more she is capable of becoming a mother. I mean, seriously?

I understand how both our families feel about our infertility situation. But I also recognize that not all of them are genuinely concern about us. Some of their presence only wanted us to feel sorry about ourselves because we can’t form life instantly. Some criticized our capabilities, while others believed it was a curse. Honestly, as much as I tell them, “I don’t care,” it still hurts. All the pressure these people are putting me and my husband is something we know we don’t deserve. It is not what we need right now and nor will we need ever. If they genuinely cared for us, they would not make us feel hopeless and unworthy.

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Feelings And Thoughts

I know the challenges are not easy. And with all the mental and emotional pressure that other people contribute to our health, our struggle will not always be the same. There is no guarantee as to where my husband and I can have a baby. But if ever, we hope to live peacefully together even without one. It is a sad realization, but I don’t look forward to it. Of course, I would still want to have a family of my own and raise children. But right now, all I can do is pray to God that one day He will answer.

 

 

Helpful Tips For Pregnant Women Amid COVID-19

Instead of the usual pregnancy panic, expecting mothers experience a heightened pregnancy problem – a pandemic. If pregnancy weren’t stressful enough, pregnant women are worried about the effects of COVID-19 on their pregnancy.

Their questions lie in line with whether I have a healthy pregnancy, where I can give birth if not in the hospital, and how I can ensure my baby’s health. This worry and anxiety are not helping anybody. It is taking an emotional and mental toll on our pregnant mothers in a time supposedly for celebration and joy.

We can still do our best to have a healthy pregnancy. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D. gave a powerful reassurance to the worrying expectant mothers during this time. “It’s normal to have fears and questions in uncertain times, and we are here to support you,” she says.

Eat Good Food

Junk food and comfort food may help us soothe the stresses but keep introducing healthy food to your diet. Sneak in a few sweets, but don’t forget to eat your leafy greens, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to your daily meals.

Practice Mindfulness

Since stress comes from this feeling of helplessness or restlessness, pregnant women should find recreation in mindfulness activities. Practicing yoga, meditation, or other forms of exercise helps.

A simple breathing exercise expectant mothers can perform is the 4-7-8 rule. They will inhale for four seconds. Then, hold the breath for seven seconds. Finally, exhale for eight seconds. Mindful breathing can help us get a sense of control even if it is our breathing, and later on, it will help us keep calm.

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Good Sleep

During these times, pregnant moms need to rest more than ever. Make sure to get peaceful sleep around seven to eight hours each day. To get enough sleep, try going to bed at a consistent time every day. Keep away from caffeinated beverages a couple of hours before bedtime, and stay away from social media or news. Doctors advise you to shut off your devices at least two hours before bed.

Skip The Baby Shower

We need to skip the baby shower or any social gathering, which will jeopardize social distancing. As an expecting mom, friends, and family will understand that it isn’t a priority. If you wish to push for a baby shower, creative ways to hold one is through an online party.

Telehealthcare

Obstetricians and midwives apply a similar strategy in sticking to regular check-ups. They use digital tools and technology to get in touch with patients and clients, which is the best next thing we can all do right now to avoid human contact.

A simple call or video conference can help mothers connect with their health practitioner. This simple conversation can ease a lot on a mother’s worried mind.

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Pregnancy Plan

The uncertainty of the situation is challenging to deal with already. But, creating a pregnancy plan is also one of the ways to help. It enables pregnant women to gain a sense of control over the situation. Moms and partners should prepare who to call when it’s time.

Aside from readying the hospital bag, they should already know where to have the pregnancy and who will accompany mom. By having a plan, predictability is low, but it helps lay out a path to follow.

They should assess whether they want to carry out a home birth or have the baby in the hospital. Some parents fear contracting the virus in the hospital, given the sheer number of patients, but hospital protocols ensure the safety of other patients. 

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Relationship With Your Health Professional

Partners should build a healthy relationship with a supportive midwife or obstetrician. As doctors and nurses mostly handle COVID cases, they are the ones to focus their attention on your childbirth. Find a supportive birthing specialist, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. 

Pregnant women face extra emotional and mental stressors during this pandemic. To keep the mother and baby’s health in check, we must practice basic social distancing protocols. Among other tips that can help alleviate this stress on an expectant mom’s shoulders are taking care of their bodies. Healthy food and enough sleep can shoo away restless nights. 

Meanwhile, mindfulness and a pregnancy plan consulted with your health provider will help you get that control you need. Things may be uncertain, but what we do to cope is still within our capabilities. To all expectant moms out there, we hope these tips helped you. You’ll do great!

Managing Postpartum Depression Amid COVID-19

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According to research, 1 out of 5 in women are undergoing postpartum depression. This condition does affect not only the mother herself but also the mental health of their children and their partners.

With a global pandemic happening now, this number is expected to rise in a significant manner. The anxiety of whether mothers and newborns are exposed to COVID-19 combined with the stress of taking care of a newborn and the sadness brought about social distancing may only worsen cases of depression.

Despite these conditions, there are still several things that you can do to manage postpartum depression amid COVID-19. Here are some of it:

Get Enough Sleep

The challenges of being a new mother might be a little overwhelming at first. You wake up whenever your baby cries, you change their nappies, you soothe them before going to sleep, and you breastfeed them. Although these are time-consuming activities, you have to find enough time to rest.

Getting enough sleep is right for your mental health. Allocating time for short naps and long sleep will not only prepare yourself from the difficulties of being a mother but will also improve your happiness and sense of direction.

Utilize Online Resources

As someone with postpartum depression, you may also utilize the power of technology.

For one, there are a lot of therapists and physicians nowadays who are providing online and telephone consultancies. Since their patients cannot go to their offices to avail of their services due to COVID-19, they put it upon themselves to bring the services to their clients. What’s admirable about this is that there are even hospital emergency departments that prioritize women undergoing this condition.

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Another beautiful thing about the internet is that there are also various online forums where you can interact with the people who are also in the same situation as you. They will empathize with you since they know what you are going through. Robert Sege, MD, Ph.D., FAAP, suggests joining forums, “New mothers may find it helpful to discuss their experiences with other new mothers.” Once you have recovered, make sure to give back and show your support to them as well.

Lastly, numerous online apps support women like you. These are apps that focus on breathing techniques, time management, mental exercise, and such.

Connect With Others

It is not enough to talk to strangers who are having the same condition as you. You should also try to connect with the people you are closest to – your partner, your family, and some close friends. Yes, the concept of social distancing might hinder this, but there are ways on how to go about this.

In these kinds of situations, you can use social media or any other video chatting platform to connect with the people around you. You may seek comprehensive support from those whom you share the same struggles, fears, and situations. As for support, you can always count on BetterHelp experts as they can provide that need. This online counseling website has great ratings from their clients and also has social media accessibility like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Prioritize Self-Care

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One way to optimize someone’s mental health experiencing postpartum depression is through lifestyle changes. Its focus is on aspects of self-care such as nutrition, time for self, and exercise. As someone going through a lot, what you can do is to take small steps. Begin with easy tasks such as showering daily, listing down your feelings every day, and exercising every afternoon.

Once you have accomplished all of these, then you can now go to the difficult tasks. One example of this is proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is vital in new mothers because their babies depend on their health. Therefore, make sure to consume three meals a day and have some healthy snacks in between. You also have to keep yourself hydrated to be able to enhance your brain function.

Another thing that you should focus on is exercise. Yes, there are times that you might be a little lazy to get up and stretch your body. However, exercising does not only contribute to physical improvements, but it also gives you higher energy and a good mood.

Since most places are on lockdown and it might be too risky for you to go out and join the gym, the best way to go about this is to exercise at the comforts of your own home. Believe it or not, you do not need fancy equipment to get you going. All you have to do is prepare a set of exercises that fits your condition as a new mother. Before undergoing this, make sure to seek the advice of a professional.

Last Thoughts

COVID-19 limits the way you handle this situation, but you should make do with what you have right now. Just follow the tips above, and you’ll slowly be able to manage your postpartum depression.

My Own PPD And How I Overcome It

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Hello everyone!

My name is Susan, and I am a PPD survivor.

Postpartum Depression had taken my life and robbed me of taking care of my son when he was born. (Simply put, postpartum depression is the presence of a clinical depression during the postpartum period. In that way, postpartum depression is exactly like any other depression that is unrelated to childbirth. But there’s more to it than that,” says Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW.

The father of my son left me when he learned that I was pregnant. I never heard from him since then. Taken aback of the situation especially coming from a stringent family environment, I went to a series of emotional turmoil on whether to terminate my pregnancy or go ahead with it and suffer the repercussions that my parents will impose upon me. I was grateful that I did not go through the first decision. I bravely faced my parents and told them of my state. As expected, my father was, and my mother did not even console me. I felt that I was all alone in this situation.

After I gave birth, I felt that I still experience the burden of my parent’s frustrations. I became paranoid and hesitant to hold my son. Feeling of disgust and just wanted to be away from him was my primary emotion and objective. To be honest, I never felt sad the whole time, but angry at what transpired over the past nine months of my life.

My psychiatrist diagnosed me to have PPD, and she told me to get hold of my life once more as the condition is treatable. I took some medicines to help control my irrelevant thoughts and unwanted feelings. (“Some people assume that if they are prescribed antidepressants they will need to take them for the rest of their lives. People can use medication as a tool to help them feel better,” Jessica Koblenz, PsyD was referring to taking meds when depressed.)

Still, I am not getting the kind results that I wanted to feel and see. When a friend invited me to attend a natural healing program for depressed persons, I started to see changes.

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Acceptance and renewal. These are the two words I saw when I entered a small room with nine persons attending the same session. It struck me the most because I suddenly realized that I haven’t moved on from the ugly experience and continue to live in the dark shadows of the day that I was neglected and left alone. I also realized that I became selfish towards my son and he experienced the same neglect and isolation that I felt. I just passed on to him the same negative emotions that I harbor. I wanted to change that. That very moment, I wanted to come home and hug my son and tell him that I am going to be healthy for him no matter what.

That was the beginning of my healing period. I completed the whole counseling session and found some enlightenment and inspiration along the way. “Therapy is a course where you are the subject matter. You can explore yourself, go deeper into your current thoughts and feelings, or just sit and “be” for a while. This vital practice has become a forgotten art in our world today,” says Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP.

Some of the strategies that I have included in my daily routine to help me recover from depression are the following:

  • Attending to my basic needs. Rest and sleep, nutrition, and exercise – so primary yet we seldom disregard their importance and contribution to our wellbeing. I started to engage in some outdoor activities, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep and rest. Being mindful of my limitations like decreasing alcohol intake and eliminating smoking practices.
  • Creating awareness of feelings. I started to journal my life experience. This allowed me to examine my daily routine and reflect on the things that needed change.
  • Meet new friends and acquaintances. Never limit yourself to form new relationships. This is a form of fresh air as a new person in your life is introduced. For me, one of the people that God brought to me during this difficult period in my life was Sheena. She is a licensed online counselor from BetterHelp. We talked about many things and Sheena became my supportive friend. She also helped me understand about my situation, my condition, which was such a relief.
  • Always include your child in your dreams and aspirations. Cliché as it may seem, loving your child can heal the deepest wounds of depression. That’s the most valuable lesson I learned, and it will forever stay the same.

I’m still recovering and taking it one day at a time. But I am hopeful that anytime soon I am getting there.

How Online Counseling Helped Me During Pregnancy

My husband and I have always been reluctant to have kids of our own. The truth was that we wanted to plan everything in our lives. We do not want to do something that will place us in a compromising situation. However, things had changed when we started to volunteer in an organization that caters to the needs of the children. During the charity works, we learned to be close and open to the kids in the center. That was the reason why we changed our plans and decided to be pregnant.

 

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Depression And Psychiatry

 

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One of the common issues these days is mental health. As you can see, many individuals are starting to suffer from mental health illnesses. Some studies reveal that the rate of suicide has increased in many countries. According to the researchers, the cause of this includes anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health issues. Because of this, it is essential for everyone to spread awareness about this concern. In this article, we are going to talk about depression and psychiatry.

 

What Is Depression?

Depression is not sadness over loss. But people can become depressed from persistent and unremitting stress, or as the outcome of trauma, or they may have neurobiology that makes it likely that they will become depressed at some time in their lives for no obvious reason.”Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD.

This refers to a mental health sickness that is characterized by negative emotions, loss of hope, despondency, and despair. Another common term for this is “major depressive disorder.” This disorder affects a person’s feelings, acts, and thoughts. Once a person is considered to be clinically depressed, he will show signs of extreme sadness and lack of interest in pursuing daily activities. Most of the time, this person also starts to withdraw from his relationships with others.

 

 

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What Are The Symptoms?

Take note that the symptoms of depression may range from mild to severe conditions. It is highly recommended to seek professional help instead of creating a self-diagnosis of this disorder. One of these professionals who can assist with talk therapy, when needed, is BetterHelp. The website contains licensed and certified experts in the field of therapy and counseling. They can provide the necessary online sessions.

For the purposes of sharing information, the typical symptoms are as follows:

  • Having an erratic mood
  • Change or loss of appetite
  • Increase turmoil in relationships with others
  • Exhaustion or over-fatigue
  • Feeling guilty about something
  • Constantly thinking about death or suicide
  • Experiencing insomnia or trouble in sleeping patterns; and
  • Withdrawing from hobbies.

 

The items mentioned above are not exclusive. If you think that a close friend or family member is depressed, do not hesitate to call a therapist or a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Avoid creating diagnoses without the assistance of a professional.

“People often don’t realize that depression isn’t just one thing. It can have different causes and presentations. Some people look sad, others are more irritable, some withdraw, and others seem restless.”Lisa Moses, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist.

 

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Can It Be Treated?

The good news is that depression is treatable. Luckily, many organizations and institutions focus on studying this disorder. Because of their efforts, therapists and psychiatrists already have several ideas on how to treat or deal with major depressive disorder. According to these individuals, the approach depends on a case-to-case basis. To create a practical approach, the patient must undergo a diagnostic evaluation. During the evaluation process, the health professional will identify the existing symptoms, family history, medical records and environmental factors that could have contributed to the occurrence of the depression.

“Many therapists love to dive in and help you find out who you are on a deep level, helping you uncover the passions buried under the busyness of life. A desire for this time to self-reflect may mean that,” says By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Does Psychiatry Play An Important Role?

The answer to this question is in the affirmative. As you probably know by now, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health. As such, he has the authority to prescribe certain medications to his patients. For this reason, it is proper to conclude that psychiatry plays an essential role in the treatment of depression. There has to be a combination of psychiatry and psychotherapy to ensure that the clinically depressed person could recover soon.

 

Depression is a serious issue that you have to take into consideration. If you notice that someone has symptoms of depression, be sure to talk to that person and make a suggestion about his possible treatment.

 

Can Therapy Cure Depression? 

“Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person. Misinformation about mental illness shames and discriminates those suffering with depression from getting professional help.”
Deborah Serani, PsyD

A recent study shows that there has been an increase in the reported cases of depression. Based on the findings of experts, more people have suffered or are suffering from the adverse effects of depression. A quick look at the statistics of different countries would reveal that a lot of these depressed individuals have decided to take their own lives. All this information tells us one thing: depression is dangerous.  

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Infertility Issues In Marriage: How To Best Deal With Them

One of the primary concerns of married couples is raising a family of their own. Most couples want to have children as they progress in life together. However, there are also some who prefer not to have babies at all. If you are one of the individuals who want to have kids in the future, then it is crucial that you understand the significance of infertility in every marriage. Unfortunately, there are some instances wherein women are incapable of giving birth or experience difficulty in getting pregnant. On the other hand, there are also some men who have problems concerning this area.

Jamie Long PsyD has the same problem, and she said: “It’s been five years since I learned of my own infertility. The diagnosis that makes it all but impossible to conceive (Premature Ovarian Failure), came after eight months of trying to start our family. The news that I ran out of eggs before I was ready to bear a child was the most dumbfounding and heart-wrenching reality of my life. When acquaintances, extended family, and strangers asked me when I’d have children, I could barely muster a response more than a shoulder shrug.”

 

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Are You Suffering From Post-Partum Depression?

“The experience of shame can interact with depression in important ways that can maintain or worsen the severity of clinical depression. Classically, the depressed person engages in behaviors that they aren’t proud of,” says Erin Mendoza, PsyD.

A lot of people think that depression is just a state of mind. Because of this, they do not take the issue of depression as a serious one. For these people, those who are clinically depressed are only having emotional problems and nothing more. Unfortunately, this has become common in different places all over the world. Because of this, it is no wonder why many individuals do not take post-partum depression as a life-threatening mental issue.

“Post-partum depression is common. Ten to twenty percent of women experience significant depressive symptoms after the birth of a child. Of these, 5 to 10% experience severe depressive symptoms, meaning that about 1% of women develop a severe depression after childbirth,” according to psychiatrist Eugene Rubin M.D., Ph.D.

The truth is that many new mothers have this kind of mental condition. At the same time, this form of depression also causes death to women involved.

 

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