A client got in touch with me yesterday to let me know that her recent IVF cycle didn’t work. Of course, she was very upset. After giving me the news, she proclaimed, “Life sucks. Again.”
Keeping a positive frame of mind during fertility challenges is one of the most difficult things about the entire process of trying to conceive. It’s all too easy to get negative, especially when you get a monthly reminder that your body isn’t getting the memo that you want a baby, now.
One reason for this, in addition to the sheer disappointment, is the constant reminder that your body isn’t cooperating – each and every month, like clockwork. It’s enough to make anyone feel completely defeated.
For every reason that it’s hard to stay positive, there are just as many reasons it’s important to do just that. Staying positive is vital for our physical and emotional well-being. It reinforces, to your body, healthy thoughts and emotions, while negativity is a stress on the body. Negativity can actually contribute to decreased fertility.
One way to stay positive is to approach your life from a place of gratitude. I’ve written about this before. It’s important to find those things in life for which to be thankful. Through this practice you’ll approach life with an open heart, and know that even when you hit bumps in the road, your life doesn’t suck.
It’ll also help you trust and unequivocally believe that true happiness is in the cards for you, no matter what happens in your life.
Here are 5 things to love about your life while you’re in the midst of the fertility journey:
- Your Partner. Last week I shared about coming to realize during my own fertility struggles that the fertility journey was just as hard for my husband as it was for me. I knew we had a strong bond but while we were trying to grow our family I discovered strength our relationship that I never knew was there, and I loved him even more. Our fertility struggles are behind us now but I’m still so grateful for him every day, for being a terrific dad, friend and partner in life.
When you’re feeling like life is conspiring against you, think about your partner and all the things you love about him, and I bet it’ll bring a smile to your face.
- Your Home. Your home is more than four walls and a roof. It’s your sanctuary from the world. It’s where you go when you want to escape the outside world. Fill your home with what makes you happy.
I’m not big on material possessions but I have a few things that make my house a home, and make me feel happy when I see them. Pictures of happy times spent with friends and family. A few items from my mom’s glass collection that she loved. My extensive music collection. Music is a huge part of my life and I love being able to listen to my favorite music at home when I’m feeling low. It always lifts me up.
If your house doesn’t feel like a home, work to change this. Instead of boring white, paint your walls a color that makes you happy. Put pictures out of the people you love. Without overcluttering your home, include mementoes of happy times and treasured people in your life. It will do wonders for your psyche when you need it.
- Your Job. I know it seems weird to include your job as something to be grateful for, especially if you don’t like what you’re doing. I disliked my job for more than a decade, and certainly didn’t feel grateful for it. In fact, it was when I changed jobs that I felt like I’d released some stress in my life that helped me feel that I could finally start to try to conceive. I didn’t like the new job much more than the old one, but releasing that stress was huge.
The reason to be grateful for your job is that it gives you the financial freedom to pursue your dreams. If you struggle with fertility challenges, your dream of becoming a mother is made possible by being able to pay for treatment. Being able to travel and see the world might be your thing, or it might be pursuing some other hobby or passion. Your job is the means to help you make it happen.
If you’re really miserable at your job, so miserable that even being able to pursue outside interests isn’t enough for you to feel fulfilled, it might be time to look at finding a job that truly makes your heart sing. THAT might be your passion.
- Your Family. Love makes the world go ‘round, and family is at the heart of that. Family is everything. I didn’t grow up in a close-knit family and always instinctively knew I was missing out on something.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world are the most miserable because the quality of their family and other relationships leaves a lot to be desired. Conversely, people who might not appear to have much are some of the most fulfilled because they have so much love in their lives.
Fostering close ties with your loved ones gives you that sense of community, of being part of something larger than yourself. Knowing that you’ll always have a place to turn and someone to talk to when you need it. It’s worth every minute spent investing the time to nurture those connections.
Family doesn’t have to mean blood relatives. For some, it’s their network of close friends. It could be a group of people brought together by a shared interest or passion. I love music and have my group of fellow audiophiles; I call them my music family and they mean the world to me. My husband has his group of close buddies who do historical miniature wargaming.
Your family also includes your furbabies. I have 2 cats that bring such joy to my life. Animals are wonderful companions, especially if you’re feeling a void in your life in the absence of children. Like a child, the love of an animal is so loyal and unconditional.
Find your tribe – blood relatives and others – and nurture those connections. They’ll stick with you through thick and thin.
- Yes, you’re reading this correctly. Of everything in life to be grateful for, don’t forget to include yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you have.
Think about all you do to be a good friend to those who matter to you. You’re always there to listen, to lend a helping had, to be there for your friends. To take them out for a fun dinner or a silly movie to help ease their mind of their troubles. To let them cry on your shoulder when they need it. To remind them of how terrific they are.
Do those things for yourself too. When fertility struggles get to be too much, give yourself a fun afternoon with yourself doing whatever you want. Let yourself cry and feel the pain for as long as you need. And then remind yourself of the beautiful, special woman that you are.
You are awesome. And don’t you forget it.
And your life is pretty awesome too.
This post is also available in: Arabic