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Relaxation Really CAN Help when Battling Infertility


a blog by jennandtonica, July 22, 2010

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid to write this. Somewhat taking The Other Side on a touchy subject among an emotional, hormonal, sensitive crowd is a little like sacrificing myself to the wolves.

But I believe in what you're about to read.

If you're battling infertility, relax. It helps. I promise.

Before you start pounding out a venomous comment or hop over to my personal blog to send hate mail, let me elaborate.

(I sort of wish I had written this before I found out I was pregnant.)

Before Fertility Treatment Success

My final two cycles before learning I was pregnant with the triplets were my two best cycles. One cycle was unmedicated, and the final included more medication and monitoring than ever before.

After experiencing my second early miscarriage in April of this year, I waved a white flag and admitted temporary defeat. I was tired of the medication. I was tired of the 7 a.m. monitoring appointments at the RE. I was tired of the injections. I was tired of the doctor-ordered intercourse. I was emotionally drained of the hope of success and in utter despair of loss.

I decided I couldn't keep torturing myself. Infertility followed me through my days and never let me rest. We decided to take a cycle off and spend the out-of-pocket money that would have gone to copays and prescriptions on a kitchen makeover. We needed to do something that would definitely have a positive, tangible outcome.

That cycle was glorious. I started it not knowing if I'd be ready to try again after just one cycle off, but midway through, I knew I was ready to try again. I started the next treatment cycle with a new, refreshed attitude, ready for whatever may come. Going into that cycle, I told myself we were doing all we could to get pregnant. Spending extra time thinking about the possibilities (good or bad) and scrutinizing over every possible symptom wouldn't change the outcome of the cycle, so I might as well be easy breezy and enjoy life.

My husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary — mid-cycle then — with a day trip to Charleston, S.C. The timing was right in the thick of the getting-pregnant busy season, but I can honestly say the timing didn't spoil our amazing day together. When I normally would have been stressed to the max, I was enjoying the company of my wonderful husband. If it weren't for how much I love him, I wouldn't have been trying so very hard to get pregnant. He, I and the fun we have together are the biggest reasons behind wanting to enlarge our family.

Taking Control of Your Life

I spent too many cycles focused more on treatments than the reason I was putting myself through them. I can't say relaxing had any role in our success that cycle, but I also can't say it didn't help. How relaxing relates to this pregnancy, though, isn't the point.

Even before seeing that positive pregnancy test in June, relaxing helped me take back my life. Infertility didn't rule my body. It didn't rule my mind. It didn't rule my relationship with my husband. Infertility was just something I fought — a side note to my bigger picture.

Beating infertility isn't just about bringing a child into your home to love and call your own. Beating infertility starts with attitude and sheer willpower to not let it redefine the person you and others have loved. Beating infertility begins with relaxing.

[Editor's Note: Turns out Jennandtonica is pregnant with triplets after all! She and her husband were told Baby C had stopped developing and no longer had a heartbeat, but they saw three healthy babies at the next ultrasound, a week later. They've since seen all three on two more ultrasounds, and all have great heart rates and are measuring ahead. The doctors have no concrete explanation for what happened, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is all three are thriving and looking great.]

Comments (1)

No worries. As I recently wrote on my own blog, "No one ever got pregnant thinking negative thoughts." Not stressing and thinking positively definitely can have an impact on your health. And you're not saying that just relaxing is going to work. You yourself coupled it with fertility meds. I think people know they need to relax but get offended when they're told that's ALL they need to do.

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