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Staying Positive During Infertility Treatments
a blog by tori
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone and explaining my upcoming month of fertility treatments, and she sarcastically exclaimed “Boy, you’re just a ball of sunshine aren’t you!” At that very moment I realized something…
I used to be optimistic. I used to be the person that people would turn to if they needed a laugh during a rough day!
Infertility has changed that for me, and I realized that I need to stop the pessimism that is slowly invading my life, and take back my optimism.
During infertility, and treatment, staying positive can be an incredible challenge. What you were initially trying to achieve seemed so easy! Sure, pregnancy might not come from the first month of trying, but certainly you’d be a mommy (or daddy) within the year! Then that didn’t happen. Time started to pass, soon you reached the year mark, and with each visit from “Aunt Flo” your cup steadily became a little emptier, and quite a bit less than half full.
We’ve all had those feelings that we never thought we would have or feel. That secret jealousy when a good friend gets pregnant, that thought of “it should have been me,” or “we deserve this more,” and worst of all, “I’d be a better parent.” The thought comes quickly, and you tell yourself you are just hormonal, and deep down in your heart you really don’t mean those things, but it happens . . .
Infertility chips away at your once optimistic, happy life.
So, what do you do? Wallow in self pity? Give up? No way! If nothing else, infertiles are good for one thing, not taking NO for an answer. Sure, we may throw ourselves the occasional pity party (and we’ve usually got IF friends who are more than willing to attend), and sometimes the stress and sadness seems overwhelming, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.
One of things that has kept me sane through this entire process has been having a great group of IF friends that I can lean on when the weight of infertility is just too overwhelming. I’ve realized over the last year and a half that these friends do not need to be in my exact situation. They don’t need to be dealing with nonobstructive azoospermia, or male factor infertility, or even have trouble with the actual act of getting pregnant.
Any woman, or man, who has been through any kind of infertility or child loss just understands. They understand the pain, and loneliness. They understand how easy it is to feel isolated from the normal Fertile Myrtles of the world. Best of all, from what I’ve experienced, they are totally willing to listen to crying, yelling, whining and every other emotion that comes with infertility.
Writing out my feelings, both on my blog and in a journal has also helped me so much over the last year or so. Sometimes I will start to write, and realize that thought and emotions are spilling onto the page that I didn’t even know existed in my mind. I’ve also found that sometimes my feelings are so jumbled up in my mind that putting them on a piece of paper is only way I can sort them out. Even if you don’t want anyone else to read your blog, and even if you are horrible about updating journals, I strongly suggest some form of writing to get those IF feelings out of your mind.
Finally, and most importantly, just spend time with your significant other. Plan days out, plan nights in. My husband and I have realized that sitting at home, doing nothing, wallowing in our infertility, is not only bad on us as individuals, but horrible for our relationship. Some of the best days we’ve had over the last year and a half have been planned last minute, and have been seen by both of us as totally necessary escapes. We’ve gone to quite a few festivals over the summer that we’ve always talked about going to, but never got around to. We’ve gone to shopping centers just to walk around. We’ve gone to the beach and just sat in the car and talked. During infertility, being a strong team with your partner is absolutely the most important thing to remember. The two of you will probably (hopefully) never go through another challenge of this magnitude in your lifetime, and it is vital to be on the same page through treatments, it will be great practice for being united during pregnancy and parenting.
There are so many more ways to keep your sanity and optimism during fertility treatments, and over the past couple of weeks, since I’ve set my mind to it, I’ve been doing a lot better with staying optimistic, and sending positive thoughts out there into the universe . . . hoping that those positive feelings will come right back to me.
What do you do to keep your optimism and sanity during treatments?