I saw my counsellor on Friday morning. I can’t quite recall if I began seeing her before or after my second miscarriage – my memory of those long months is unreliable – but I can remember that I only rang her for an appointment after I had spent an entire weekend sat in our bedroom, crying, utterly unable to function. Times were difficult. The Centre for Reproductive Medicine when I had my fertility treatment provided a counselling service free of charge for all patients, because the HFEA, bless their cotton socks, had made it compulsory. I had been reluctant to avail myself of the service throughout my previous rounds of treatment, because… well, you know. Therapy. A bit… self-indulgent, yes? Surely: if you can’t sort your problems out just by talking to your mates, or just bloody dealing with it, you’ve gotta be either a bit damn yampy, or disappearing up your own arse?

Yep. I was a prat. I know.

I talked for over 3 hours on my first session. And it was wonderful! I clicked with her immediately. She understood. In fact, her insightfulness amazed me. She helped me pick apart my tangle of rage, blame and guilt. She was there for me during the treatment cycles, and the miscarriages. She was there for me during the Fear that was my pregnancy, when I was scuttling into the unit to see her, swathed under ridiculously voluminous clothing to conceal my bump from the waiting room. She was there for me – and Harry – in NICU, when she brought Harry a teddy bear. (Because she is a staggeringly nice and lovely person, as well as a thorough professional, she even came to his Christening.) And she helped me come to terms with actually being a parent. The HFEA, not unreasonably, stopped shelling out for her to listen to me around then, so I happily migrated to her private practice. It’s some of the very best money I spend, and I always walk away from my time with her ready to take on the world.

In short, I cannot recommend professional help highly enough. It’s not the same as thrashing things out with your spouse or friends. You travel further.

So, I have felt much more upbeat over the weekend, despite the little chap having awful bronchiolitis – and generously handing it over to the mater and pater. We are all over-endowed with green mucus at present. Harry has been eating a little better, so I intend to be brave enough to actually get him weighed tomorrow, and see what the last month of short commons has done to his tiny 20lb frame.

I am also cheered up by my proud possession of a working laptop, wireless router problems all resolved; I can now sit in the nice warm lounge as opposed to the freezing cold office. The idea is that bringing Hubby and I into the same room of an evening will actually facilitate us, you know, talking to each other. So far, it hasn’t seemed to work out that way, as Hubby – who is thermally self-sufficient in anything short of polar conditions – is now sat in the office, surfing, whilst I am in the lounge.



7 Responses

  1. I felt the same way about therapy! Until I one day I HAD to go or be a hyporcrite toward my husband (who was in therapy too because of all the brain damage fallout.) When I sat down with this lovely woman she told me that in fact no, I *wasn’t* expected to deal with infertility, living 1500 miles from home, being a newlywed, my husband’s brain injury, a past abusive relationship and my brother’s recent deployment all by myself. What made me think so? And I just kind of sat there going “Ummm, well, ahhh…”

    I saw her for nine glorious months until we moved 1500 miles back east and I still miss our sessions.

    I hope Harry’s gained a metric ton of weight and suddenly develops a fondness for skankburgers. (Those’ll pack the pounds on him!)

  2. Thanks for this. I’ve been referred for infertility counselling and a massive part of me wants to show how strong and brave i am etc and face it alone. I have my blog surely that’s enough offloading for anyone? But then I went to my doctors for a repeat prescription last week and ended up in a flood of tears. When she said going to conselling was far braver than not it did sort of click. I have decided to face it, and go. Cheers for sharing.

  3. Can I tag along please? I am 12 kinds of fucked up but no bastard will take pity on me and refer me! Help me Hairy Farmer Wifey, you’re my only hope.


  4. It’s compulsory for it to be offered here, too. But the one mandatory session we had before starting IVF was so sooooo….Well. SHe was crap. Hubby and I immediately snapped into Don’t Tell Her ANYTHING mode.

    Very glad you have a better thinker-helper.



  5. I think counselling is a great thing. It’s becoming more and more accepted in Ireland, whereas years ago I think it was seen as very much an American way of dealing with things.

    I went to a wonderful counsellor when I had my third miscarriage. She had been through five losses herself, so she really understood where I was coming from. I’ve been thinking of going back to her again, but I’m going to give accupuncture a go for a while and see if that’s any good for unwinding.

  6. No one seems to have a problem with someone using crutches and serious pain medication for a broken leg. But break an emotional leg and suddenly, it’s all “Pull yourself together” and “Buck up, there’s always someone worse off than you” Glad to hear you’ve called in the cavalry and it’s actually helping you deal.

    Hugs from here.

  7. I was brought up to think that Talking About Oneself was, well, it was Showing Off (Orrff, even, if you prefer). It took me a pathetically long time to notice I was the only person in the family who didn’t spend hours and hours talking about him/herself. Showing Orrff now revealed in all its glory as a clever and useful thing to do. Darn that family, for hogging it!

    Very glad you have such a spiffing counsellor, and that you’ve managed to have a good talk with her. And that Harry ate something. Despite the green mucus thing. Urgh.

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