Playing the Waiting Game: Patience and the Fertility Journey
There’s a lot of waiting when you’re trying to get pregnant and have a baby.
Waiting for your period to come to start a new cycle. Waiting for ovulation. Waiting to get that consult with a new fertility doctor that you scheduled weeks ago. Waiting for your screening test results to come back so you can begin treatment.
And of course the mother of all waits, the Two Week Wait, aka, the longest 2 weeks of your life, where you wait to find out if you got pregnant this month.
And if you’re the kind of person who’s always been able to accomplish what you want in life because you make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen, the waiting can be torturous.
We’re also an instant gratification-oriented society which doesn’t make things easier. We’re used to getting what we want, when we want it. Now we can even order groceries online from Amazon and they’re delivered within an hour! Why can’t we just order a pregnancy that way!
In my coaching practice I see a lot of women struggle with the waiting. I also see how the quest to get pregnant can permeate every aspect of a couple’s life and affect all of their decisions. Should we move into a new home? Should we buy a new car? Should we plan a vacation next year? Should I try to get a new, better, job?
At the back of their mind is, but what if we’re pregnant by then?
So they put their lives on hold.
I also experienced heartbreak with having to wait for the baby I wanted so badly, and for other things I wanted from life that weren’t completely under my control. My experience was a little different, though. I waited 38 long years to get married. After getting married, I wanted to start trying for children right away but my husband didn’t feel ready. I had to wait some more because I knew it had to be right for both of us. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. The ticking clock was at the back of my mind all the time and my husband and I had more than one heated discussion about it. I cried myself to sleep a lot of nights.
In the end my husband reached a point where he was ready and on board with growing our family, and thankfully our actual journey through fertility was just a year. But as you can see, my journey to motherhood was much, much longer.
I remember my single days looking at my married friends and wishing I had what they had.
Shortly after my husband and I married I looked at my friends with children and wished I had what they had.
I slogged to work every day for years, to a job I didn’t like, wondering when my life would ever change.
I kept busy with activities and hobbies but felt like I was just spinning my wheels and marking time.
I spent a lot of years waiting for my life to begin.
I’m here to tell you that putting your life on hold doesn’t work for your overall happiness because your life doesn’t begin when you get pregnant.
Your life is here. Your life is now.
If you want to buy a new car and can afford it, then buy one.
If you want to move into a new house and it’s feasible for you, go for it. Change is good!
If you want to book a vacation, this is a no-brainer. I’m all about seeing the world! The experiences you have while doing so are priceless, and being able to share that with your partner is golden. During my year through fertility, I booked two big trips – one to London and one to Puerto Rico. A month after getting back from Puerto Rico, I got pregnant with my son.
In short, when trying to conceive, live your life the way you would if you weren’t trying to conceive. Don’t put your life on hold. Be sensible of course, but throw the what-ifs out the window.
By living this way, think of all the things you’ll be able to tell your baby about someday – all the cool places you lived, all the amazing places you visited, all the incredible experiences you had before it was born. Talk about setting a fantastic example to your child of living every single moment to the fullest – and instilling anticipation in your child that you’ll create and share those types of awesome experiences with him or her too. Your child will grow up viewing life as something to be truly lived, not endured.
As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” You don’t want to miss out on your life because you’re waiting for something to happen.
You might even find if you do this that the time you used to spend agonizingly waiting for milestones on the fertility journey is passing so much more quickly. Because you’re not waiting. You don’t need to be “patient” because you’re fitting in trying to conceive around all the other things in your life, not being held prisoner by your fertility journey.
You can still be focused on your goal of getting pregnant and living a purposeful life toward that goal, without sacrificing the other important things in your life. Things like your friends, your family, your passions and interests, your career.
When you do get pregnant things will have a way of working themselves out. They always do.
To your fertility, and to your life,