For men and women grappling with the pain of infertility, the start of the New Year may signal an optimistic, new beginning or conversely, serve as a painful reminder that their goal of parenthood has not been met. No matter which end of the spectrum you find yourself falling on, you are not alone. With the start of the new year, you may find yourself dreading yet another round of IVF or possibly, looking forward to a new treatment protocol. No matter what 2013 throws at you, here are a few simple tips that might help travelling the infertility road a tad easier to bear.
Laugh – Ever hear the expression “fake it till you make it”? There’s nothing wrong with having fun and joy in your life. It’s not fattening and it won’t stop you from getting pregnant. Funny movies and television shows are more than just a diversion. They are often a life saver. Pick your pleasure, and pick it often.
Talk – It’s no secret that infertility puts a strain on the hardiest of relationships. You may be feeling this in your romantic life, your family life and your friendships. Always remember you are loved, even if you may not be feeling an avalanche of the kind of support you need coming at you from friends and family right now. Something that might help is this. Enlist the shoulder of the person that you feel is best armed to support you through this piece of your life, and request of him or her an oasis of time, just for you, on a daily basis to simply talk. This is your opportunity to dump, to scream, to cry, to blurt out everything you are feeling without judgement or even that person’s opinions or comments (unless you request them). If you need to enlist more than one person, that’s ok. And if no one comes to mind but this sounds like something you could use, well, that’s what therapists are for.
Choose – Not everyone will be able to hang in there with you through this time. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you or you about them. But you have the right to choose who you spend time with and who you don’t. If you can’t handle that annual family get together or party, then don’t go. Baby showers? Up to you. And, if you get a nagging feeling that a friend is not able, or willing to support you through this right now, gently put a hiatus on the friendship. You’re in control, remember? Exercise that control.
Move – Movement displaces anxiety. Take a walk, take a run, take a yoga class, but take your body to a transformative place by giving it time to breathe, and heal, through movement. Your body, despite it’s current trying to conceive and not getting there state, is still an instrument of joy, and pleasure. Let it be that for you.
Touch – You have the right to enjoy your sex life. Baby making sex is not the only kind of sex there is, remember? Find creative ways to get back in touch with that, and then, find some more.
Thank – Think about what you have in your life to be grateful for and give thanks for that. You are still you, and there is more to you than this experience. Try giving thanks for what you currently have. If this feels too difficult for you right now, let it go for a day, or two. Consider it a goal for tomorrow. But hold onto this one, it’s a goal worth achieving.
Remember – Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is a new day. Your life will not always feel like this. Remember to be kind to yourself and to hold on to all of the tomorrows, and all of the dreams, that are still ahead of you.
Happy New Year and best of luck to the men and women who are hoping to become parents in 2013.