It just plain sucks. There’s no way to sugar coat it or make it any prettier.
And going through fertility treatment? Well, unfortunately, it can be a very trying time - a time filled with lots of stress from the ups and downs and all the added, heightened emotions.
Rising Above The Pain
As women, we’re led to believe that when we want to have a baby, it will just happen. After all, so many of us spend the majority of our sexually active lives AVOIDING pregnancy. It’s no wonder that when we have unprotected sex, we expect to get pregnant! For a lot of us, though, that is not the case. Even when smacked with the harsh reality of a negative pregnancy test every month, it can be difficult to accept that medical treatment is the only way we’ll have the baby of our dreams. Enter unwelcome feelings of failure, shame and guilt.
It’s important we acknowledge those feelings, of course, letting them rise to the surface, to ride the waves of emotions that hit.
And we also have a responsibility to care for ourselves by trying with all of our might- to not let those emotions overtake us. As I’ve said time and time again, we don’t choose infertility, it chooses us. It’s not something we should be ashamed of (even though we often are). Rather, it’s something that when we accept, (to the best of our ability- easier said than done) we are reminded that infertility, and specifically shame and guilt, do NOT define who we are as women.
We are strong.
We are resilient.
We will do everything in our mighty, determined power to become moms despite the potholes that have not so magically appeared in the road.
Love Yourself Month
Since February is the month of love, I want to challenge all my fellow fertility patients to take a “time-out” from reality. I want you all to fill that time by doing something for YOU – something that makes you happy, that reminds you how amazing you truly are. It’s easy for us to get caught up in the chaos of fertility treatment, but we have to make sure we nurture ourselves. Not sure how to do that? Well, with Valentine’s Day today, I’ve compiled what I think are some LOVEly suggestions:
- Throw a Galentine’s Day Celebration! Invite your best girlfriends over for a girls-night in filled with yummy treats and tasty mocktails. Or, plan a girls-night out to your favorite restaurant, or go dancing. The whole point is to spend time with the ones you make you smile!
- Treat yourself to something YOU love. Maybe that means a mani/pedi or that massage you’ve been thinking about! It could also mean treating yourself to those gorgeous pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. Whatever it is, spoil yourself because YOU deserve it!
- Try something new and use Valentine’s Day as a good excuse to do it, even if you have never had the time to actually make it happen before. Maybe it’s a cooking class, or a Barre class (for all you wanna be dancers out there, myself included!)
- Exercise. Yes, exercise! Don’t think I’m crazy- hitting the gym or taking your pup for a walk can do wonders for the mind, body AND soul. Plus, exercise is a great way to reduce stress during treatment. (Think major dopamine hit- the feel good hormone that does not come from my next suggestion.)
- Binge on… Is there a series you’ve been dying to watch, but just haven’t had the time? Well, then maybe February 14th is the day. Invite yourself to plop on the couch, in sweats, under a cozy blanket and catch up on whatever has peaked your interest! And if you need suggestions, try Shameless, Stranger Things, or any reality show on Bravo!
And if all else fails, remember that you are a fighter and you can and will get through this –loving yourself along the way, an awesome way to take the best care of yourself!