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Archive for May, 2011

Whether you are facing infertility issues yourself or know someone who is, the process can be scary. There are monthly reminders of failure in the face of a strong desire to remain hopeful. These seven strategies will help you navigate this sensitive journey towards conception or along side someone who is trying. Hopefully the end result will be a beautiful new life in the end.

Rule #1. Be patient. The average time it takes a couple to get pregnant on their own is 6-12 months. Of course age and family history along with a myriad other factors such as diet, can have an impact. As challenging as it can be for someone who is used to setting goals, and achieving them quickly, getting pregnant is in part out of our control. If you’re so inclined, prayer and meditation or joining a support network can be helpful. I always encourage meditation and support groups because these are things you can control and studies have shown a positive correlation with pregnancy success and these interventions. Now this doesn’t mean it will make it happen but that correlation does exist and at the same time why not have an easier journey.

Rule #2. It’s not just in-vitro fertilization (IVF). You may be surprised to know that there are many steps and multiple options between conceiving the “old-fashion way” and IVF. On the less invasive side, there are methods such as taking your basal temperature, timing your cycle and tracking vaginal discharge. Some alternative therapies include things like acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal medicines.  I highly recommend second opinions!  Many times you will hear something different and it may be something the first Dr missed or doesn’t have experience with so do your research!

Rule #4. Enjoy the “trying.” Have fun with it. Take the opportunity to explore new things. Discuss your needs with your partner in non-sexual moments. If not, sex can become at best mundane or worse a stressful chore. For each cycle that results in a negative pregnancy test, allow yourself a short time to mourn but also celebrate the small wins like one more month of eating sushi and drinking champagne. While it may seem like the end of the world in the moment, in the scheme of things once you have a child you will have them for the rest of your life, so try to enjoy one more month of freedom. Go for a run, get a massage or a mani/pedi and buck up for another try. This is difficult to hear when you are in the moment of getting a negative result however you do have a choice on how you feel about this.  Choose to feel better and look at what you can do today to make yourself happy…such as the things you won’t be able to do when you have a baby…take advantage of these wonderful times as well!

Rule #5. Adoption is a real option. If you choose to pursue adoption it can be done domestically or internationally and doesn’t necessarily have to take years. There are many great adoption agencies such as the Gladney Center for Adoption.

Rule #6. Lean on your support network. Infertility can be a roller coaster. It’s important to talk with close friends, your spouse, or mom about how you’re feeling. A lot of women also experience miscarriages. It’s not something that is widely discussed, but the more you confide in people or ask, the more you’ll find comfort in the many stories from people you know. Getting support from your core network can make a huge difference in sharing on the journey and they’ll be right there beside you when and if you do get pregnant. Just be careful on who you do tell and make it clear that you want to keep it private if that is what you expect from them.

Rule #7. Be mindful or your inner dialogue. Do your best to stay positive and be your own cheerleader. If you see an expecting mother or someone with their small baby – or if you have to attend a baby shower or visit a newborn – and you start to feel jealous, flip those feelings around. Tell yourself, “that’s what I want” or “that will be me soon.” It’s a simple mind-shift that keeps you focused on having your own baby while helping you to be able to be happy for others at the same time. If that is completely impossible than don’t go, send a gift and a nice card. It isn’t worth it if you are miserable at their event and it send you into a deep depression.
Hopefully you will have the family you so desire soon. Once you do all the worry, anxiety and stress of trying to conceive will become a distant memory as you focus on the new adventure of parenthood.

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