The pressure to get pregnant and raise a family can be huge. This can be even worse when you do want to have a baby, but you’re struggling to conceive. It can make you feel sad, desperate and even like you have failed at something fundamental. Obviously, this can have a detrimental impact on your mental and emotional health. The good news is, there is help out there and some things you can do to take care of yourself during the process. Here are some tips to get you through it.
Navigating Infertility #1: Acknowledge the Problem
If you’re struggling to get pregnant and it’s affecting your mental health, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that there is a problem. Once you have done this, remind yourself that fertility issues are difficult and feeling sad, hopeless or stressed is a perfectly normal reaction. Be kind to yourself by allowing whatever feelings arise. No judgment or repressing negative thoughts or emotions. This will help you to relax and work through the process with greater ease.
Navigating Infertility #2: Keep Hope Alive
Remind yourself that just because you’re struggling with fertility issues, does not mean that you’ll never have a child. Visit a fertility clinic to see what can be done, read success stories of women who’ve gone on to have “miracle” babies after being told that it would be unlikely. Try to be as positive as you can but also be realistic. Remember that if things don’t work out to conceive a child, there are always other options. Sites like https://www.conceiveabilities.com/ can give you more details.
Navigating Infertility #3: Share Your Feelings and Experiences with Others
Share your thoughts and feelings with others to sort out any rough patches. Though talking to your spouse or partner can help, you might want to have someone else who is not directly involved. A counselor, doctor, coach, or trusted friend can help you to see things from a perspective you haven’t considered. There are also support groups for couples who are experiencing infertility.
Navigating Infertility #4: Forget the Blame Game
It’s so easy to blame yourself, or your spouse for your inability to get pregnant. Though it might feel good to point fingers in the moment, it ultimately creates feelings of anger and resentment. This, unfortunately, adds stress and separation that can make it more difficult to conceive. Remember, it’s not your fault (because it isn’t) and remind yourself of that every time you feel yourself starting to get angry.
Navigating Infertility #5: Do Some Research
Educating yourself on the fertility issues you face is a good way to understand your situation and what is possible. I recommend looking at some topics that will build your confidence and get you to a positive place. Blogs like the fertility Diary at https://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/fertility-diary-baby-envy/ are a good place to start, but your doctor and official medical publications are the best places to get a solid grasp on your situation. Read, ask questions, and work hard to understand your position.
Navigating Infertility #6: Know What You’re Willing to Do
Some fertility issues are so insurmountable that you have to go to drastic lengths to build the family of your dreams. You may have to hire a surrogate or consider adoption, for example, or you may have to spend money on In vitro fertilization to get pregnant. It’s always a good idea, very early on, to sit down with your spouse or partner and work out what you’re willing to do for a child. This also includes how much you’re willing to pay to become parents. A clear path laid out in front of you can make it so much easier to get through the struggles you will undoubtedly face.
Navigating Infertility #7: Try to Relax
Spend as much time as you can relaxing, whether that’s by reading a good book, being pampered at the spa or having lots of date nights with your significant other. Give your body what it needs to stay healthy, fit, and stable. A baby is a wonderful thing, but a sick mother to be is not. Your life and health matter the most right now.