A Baby At Last for singer Celine Dion , age 42 - after a reported six IVF failures at a New York fertility center. But experts say regardless of your age, the secret to fertility success is to stay focused, recognize your feelings, and make sure you communicate those feelings to your partner and your doctor! Here's how to do it all!
By Colette Bouchez
" A BABY AT LAST!" These are the words that warm our hearts - particularly when they come from a woman over 40! Why? Because everyone knows that having a baby is one of life's greatest joys - and when you've gone through a long struggle just to get pregnant - and finally do so after age 40 - the joy of being able to say " A baby at last" is something you will never forget!
At the same time, the weeks, months and sometimes years leading up to that moment can strain a couple to the brink - not only financially, but emotionally. And for some it is a time when they turn away from each other, instead of towards each other. Why does it happen?
According to relationship experts Poula and Hans Jorn Filges, one reason is that couples undergoing fertility treatments simply don't talk enough to each other or relay how they really feel.
"It's important that couples talk to each other, not at each other - that they share their frustrations instead of taking their frustrations out on each other. This is true of any situation, but it is especially true when something as fragile as your fertility is involved," says Poula Filges, who, with her husband Hans Jorn Filges co-authored the Danish best selling book " Let's Talk."
Being able to speak the words " A Baby at Last" is wonderful, says Poula Filges, but, she says, "it's also important to speak a lot of other words so that you can finally get to that point - it's all about communication, and it makes a huge difference in how you will get through this experience," she says.
According to New York fertility expert Dr. Niels Lauersen, talking is an extremely important part of not only partner communication, but also doctor-patient relations - and it can even influence the success of your treatments.
"Too many times couples feel intimidated to share their emotional feelings about their infertility, not only with each other, but even with their fertility doctor ; they try to put up a brave front and pretend they are coping fine, when in fact, they are not ," says Lauersen, authorof the international best selling infertility book " Getting Pregnant: What You Need To Know Now" ( Simon & Schuster/Fireside Books, NY).
What they almost never realize, he says, is that the stress and the anxiety that builds up when you don't share how you are feeling , can actually have an impact on the success of whatever fertility treatments you are trying.
"If you are stressed , if your relationship with your partner is under stress, your body thinks 'Hmm this is not a good time for her to get pregnant' - and it can actually work to keep you from conceiving," says Lauersen. If all you think about are when you are going to be able to speak the words " A baby at last" , the stress can really get out of hand, he says.
At the same time, sharing your feelings and your fears with your doctor can not only help you to better cope, it can help him or her to tailor your treatments to be even more successful.
"When a couple opens up and tells their doctor how they are feeling, the doctor can sometimes make important adjustments in medication or even prescribe nutritional or other natural ways to help them combat the stress so that their fertility treatments can actually work better," says Lauersen, the medical director of GettingPregnantNow.org .
Poula Filges agrees: " A couple must talk to each other, but they must also share how they are feeling with their doctor - and doctors must also become more adept at listening and helping their patients to talk to them, to make themselves more accessible and let the patient know they are interested in what they think and feel emotionally."
A Baby At Last: It Can Happen For You!
Today, getting pregnant is easier and more likely to happen than ever before. The technologies that have come forward in just the last decade alone are astounding in the number of problems they can solve.
Still, experts say that for some the most difficult part of getting pregnant is grappling with the frustration, the anxiety and the fear of never being able to say the words " A Baby At Last". And if that's how you feel, experts say talking can do wonders !
"If you find you cannot talk to your doctor, talk to a trusted friend, your mother, your sister - and especially talk to your partner and encourage him to talk to you as well. When you do everything in life - including getting pregnant - becomes a lot easier," says Lauersen.
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