It's been months, likely years, that you've been trying to grow your family. You've been preparing yourself for this next cycle - physically, emotionally, financially. Perhaps it's your first IUI cycle, after months of readying yourself to begin assisted reproduction. Maybe it's your third IVF cycle with a new medication protocol that had given you hope. Or, you were finally ready to attempt donor conception or treatments after multiple miscarriages or intervention after surgery or chemotherapy. And now, the world is upside down and everything has come to a screeching halt. Or, perhaps you're finally pregnant and panicking about the potential impact of the coronavirus on you and your baby.
The pain and grief that has led you to this point is excruciatingly multiplied and compounded with anger, frustration, and despair. Never have you felt more out of control.
You are not alone. Atlanta Fertility Support Alliance is here with you. We will be working diligently to offer resources, guidance, and support as you manage these incredibly unsettling times.
Check out our list of resources below, specifically designed to help you cope with the impact of this pandemic. And, stay tuned for videos, virtual support groups, and updated lists of tools and coping strategies. Keep visiting us here, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and reach out if you need more individualized support along the way.
Facing Fear with Compassion: Join author Elizabeth Gilbert as she talks about how we can meet our fear with compassion, and why now is the time to remember that humans are creative, resourceful, and resilient.
Weathering the Storm: Renowned meditation app, Headspace, is offering free content for all who are experiencing increased anxiety, panic, or despair during this uncertain time. Check out the short "SOS" sessions, particularly "Feeling Overwhelmed."
Self-Compassion Break: Self-Compassion researcher and author, Kristen Neff, guides us through a five minute exercise that encompasses the foundational elements of self-compassion.
Jewish Fertility Foundation will continue to provide their free support groups for anyone experiencing infertility. The groups will "meet" via online platform. To learn more and register, click here.
Local physician and teacher, Jill Wener, MD, offers both meditation training and guided tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique). Tapping is stress-reduction technique using the same meridians from acupuncture. (To learn more, check out Jill's "Intro to Tapping" video.) Jill is offering a free, live Tapping/EFT support session each weekday at 12p EST throughout the social distancing. To attend, just click this zoom link, where she will be broadcasting each session: https://zoom.us/j/828218882
It can be hard to distance ourselves from the distress and overwhelm we hold in our bodies. When you need to feel grounded and get some relief from the weight of the pain, yoga can be a great option. Here, you'll find two excellent resources: yoga for grief and yoga for suffering.
For a wonderful introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how it can help you cope with intense feelings, check out this short video.
Feeling seen and supported by loved ones can be a powerful, positive force in your grieving process. But, even the most loving, well-intentioned friends and family can say and do things that feel unsupportive. This video, an animated lecture from Brené Brown, illustrates just what empathy is and how it can heal.
Shifting into creativity can be more than just a pleasant distraction from your grief; it can offer respite for your activated brain. Try some of these art therapy exercises while social distancing:
Discover Mantras and Affirmations Find the ones that move you. Find the ones that calm you. Print them out and stick them to your bathroom mirror, teach them to your partner to repeat back to you when you're in pain, meditate on them until they become a part of your truth.