Changing the narrative when struggling to conceive
I’ve been thinking a lot about the behaviors we exhibit when being diagnosed with infertility or simply trying month after month to have a baby and not having the outcome we hoped for. After talking to countless women, being a part of support groups, and in my own journey, the theme is consistent.
We worry ourselves into an answer.
Let’s take the two-week wait (TWW) as an example.
We’ve ovulated. Whether we are trying naturally, undergoing IVF and just had the transfer, or had sperm inseminated, we all have to wait….for two weeks. We post on support groups about whether anyone out there who did get pregnant had symptoms during the wait. We search Google and read every article about early pregnancy symptoms. We monitor our body for any sign of “something different.” This article by Alea Mass of Two Moms Make a Right explains the stages quite accurately!
The common theme is we worry and if we worry just hard enough, we get what we want. We are miserable, scared even.
This happens whether we are trying to conceive (TTC), deciding what doctor to see, panicking about whether to do the IVF, questioning if the timing is right, or determining how many embryos to transfer.
What if we changed the narrative?
Let’s rewrite the TWW (or any) story. Perhaps it may read like this.
We’ve ovulated. It is time to take care of our body because we may be growing a life inside. We eat healthy food, meditate, do yoga, take walks, observe the beauty around us, focus on gratitude. We envision the life possibly growing inside and how wonderful it would be to have a child. We acknowledge we have done all we can this month to create a life. We remind ourselves that nothing can be done to change the outcome except to care for our body, mind, and spirit. We have the date two weeks away marked on calendar. Each time we worry, we gently remind our brains to focus on the present.
In two weeks, we are pregnant or we are not. If we are, we take care of our bodies the best we can with the tools we have. If we are not, we do the same, but know there are plenty of resources to support us achieving our goals.
I know this is hard to put into action. I wonder whether when I was undergoing fertility treatments if I may have been happier…. or simply felt better. I could never control the outcome, but I certainly could have direct impact on my well-being.
I hope each of you considers this whether you are trying to get pregnant, planning for surrogacy, adopting or deciding to move on. We deserve to be happy and feel fulfilled, regardless of our journey.
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