These tips are about helping you feel OK no matter where you are at right now – baby or no baby! One thing I learnt from my own experience with infertility is that it's so important to be OK along the way or years of your life disappear. It’s about finding more ease in the journey, trusting the process, and being able to look back and know you were true to yourself.
1. Get informed
Read, research, and explore all your options for treatment. Gather information and get informed on what supports your fertility so you can give yourself the best chance of success with any treatments you undertake. Make sure you are empowered and understand what is available so you can make informed decisions. Be open-minded. Try different things. Talk to different people. Take responsibility for your own health and emotional well being. Remember this is your fertility and you are in charge.
2. Focus on fertility and not infertility
So often we are labelled infertile or the unhelpful label of unexplained infertility. This can leave us feeling broken and like there is something wrong with us. It takes our focus away from what we can do to be fertile. Focus on increasing your fertility – there is so much you can do. Fertility can be a delicate thing because it can be affected so easily, but as with everything, there is always a combination of factors that lead to a certain outcome. It’s worth taking a comprehensive approach to your fertility. Focus on what is in your control.
3. Change focus
TTC is overwhelming - it’s a lot to deal with. Think about giving yourself a break by changing your focus, just for a while. Decide to do something different - plan a trip, learn a new skill, sign up for a course, renovate that room, plant a garden, train for something, take on a new challenge, start a new project. Do something that can help take your mind off Project Baby. Switching focus can give you a well needed mental and emotional break. It’s a chance to re-energise so that you can go again with new energy.
4. Consider time out
Have you thought about giving yourself time off? I know this sounds counter intuitive because the clock is always ticking, but sometimes we need to rest, regroup, and recharge. TTC is relentless and it wears us down. Take a break from all that charting, pee sticks, and pregnancy tests. This is particularly important after a failed treatment, repeated disappointment or a loss you are grieving.
Rest can rebuild our strength so that we can try again. Mother nature does this - think of the seasons and how winter is a time of preparing for spring growth. Know that it is OK to take a break when you need to so that you can come back stronger.
5. Up the joy
Trying to conceive can become all so consuming that we forget how to enjoy life now. I know for sure that we all need a little more play on this journey. This journey is a tough one, so we need to allow as much fun and joy along the way to keep our spirits high and maintain our resilience.
When we're not feeling good, we can stop doing the things that nourish us. Invite more joy into your life starting today with whatever it is that makes your heart sing and your soul smile. Maybe it’s a yoga class, creating art, gardening, or simply a candlelit bath. Connect with mother nature, get creative, dance. Take yourself on a date, get your nails done, bake a cake – whatever makes you feel good. Ask yourself, what can you do today that brings a little more magic or play into your day?
6. Take the pause button off
Life has a way of passing us by when we're struggling to conceive. If you’ve got to that place where life feels on hold while you wait to see what happens, it’s time to take your life off pause. Decide to stop delaying decisions because you may be pregnant soon. Take the new job or promotion. Move house. Plan a trip. Sign up for a new course. Train for something in the future. Go on do it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The regrets we have in life are usually about the missed opportunities, the things we didn’t do.
7. Decide your limit
It can be useful to decide now what you and your partner are willing to commit to. Will you consider adoption, surrogacy, donor eggs? How many rounds of IVF feel right to you? How many years will you commit to? These decisions can become harder down the track when we are exhausted, emotional, and our thoughts clouded. The more we invest the harder it can be to call it quits so it can be helpful to think about this upfront. Knowing your boundaries can keep you safe later on and prevent extra uncertainty and pressure. Know that nothing is ever set in stone and decisions can be reviewed.
8. Connect to your feminine energy
Does it feel like the harder you try the further away it becomes? Trying to have a baby can quickly become all about the doing - more activity, more invention, more treatments. The focus is on the plan and the end goal.
When this happens, it is easy to lose our connection with our softer feminine energy, and it’s the feminine energy we need to create life! We are both made of male and female energy - of yin and yang. Both are needed in our life and they can easily get out of balance.
Conceiving and creating a baby comes from being in our delicious feminine energy. This is the space in us that allows, that creates, that imagines, and that receives. Women by nature flow. We do not move in straight lines. We don’t rely on plans and maps to get us somewhere. We take the scenic route and grow through the journey. We are like water, and we flow in the direction of least resistance. And as we flow, we nurture and we nourish along the way.
So, go inwards. Let go of the way you think it should be, and allow your inner self to guide you.
9. The future will be OK
This is something I never heard on my journey so I want to share it with you. I can tell you that where you are now, in the trying, the waiting, the hoping, is a harder place to be than on the other side of letting go. If, and when, it's time to let go, life becomes easier. You let go of all the waiting and the what ifs and the trying. You start living life again. Yes, it is different from the life you imagined, the life you hoped, the version you had in your head. But it can still be great – I promise you.
OK so this one is not so easy but it is so important. Our pain comes in not accepting what is. Infertility was never part of our vision for our life – it wasn’t in The Plan. But what is going to happen is going to happen. We need to let go of the outcome. Do all the things that will increase your chances of having a baby, then let let go. This is not always easy but it's the ticket to peace. The best way I know how to do this is through cultivating a practice of meditation. Let go and trust that life is working out for us whatever happens.
About the Author
Kathryn Grace is a Life Coach at Fertility Potentials. She is passionate about supporting women on their fertility journey and helping them find acceptance and peace whatever the outcome.