Is it possible to be positive on your fertility journey? Yes, you can!
While everyone’s journey is unique, infertility can feel like a heavy weight, a sad burden. It’s a loss. A loss of dreams, a loss of hope. A loss of direction, and a loss of certainty.
My hope for you is not to ignore any of your feelings or emotions. It’s perfectly normal to feel grief, guilt and frustration as you walk the path of infertility.
Secretly crying in the bathroom at baby showers, or being on the verge of tears the entire time, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It means you’re human.
Feeling devastated when your Facebook feed is ﬁlled with pregnancy announcements and you’ve got pregnant bellys in your face everywhere you go is a lot to process.
I’m asking you to seek out a positive light among your mixed emotions, and create a new journey towards your fertility success story. A positive outlook can increase your fertility as you ﬁnd success with a natural cycle, IUI, IVF, egg donation, or whatever path you choose.
These ﬁve tips will uplift you and you’ll see your fertility experience in a whole new light:
01 Clean House
Faith and cultural traditions from around the world focus on an annual ritual of spring cleaning, often just before a major holiday or new year celebration.
There’s power in starting fresh, ridding our homes and minds of the past years’ accumulations. I invite you to consider a “house cleaning” as a way to prepare for a fresh, positive start on your fertility journey.
Whether you are preparing for a natural cycle, an IUI or IVF cycle, a clean and organized home is a great way to create a calm mind. Make it a priority to include healthy and fertility boosting foods in your kitchen cabinets while cleaning out inflammatory foods. Organize clutter and clear out any objects that do not bring you joy.
In your personal life, remove any guilt that may be holding you in relationships that are no longer serving you in a supportive way.
This can mean it’s time to move away from a stale friendship, or create some gentle space between you and a hurtful loved one. I give you permission to allow yourself to create a circle around you of support, love, and encouragement.
It’s helpful, and acceptable, to let anything go that no longer brings you joy.
02 Hold Space
What does it mean to “hold space?”
For those going through a difﬁcult situation or trauma, it means to offer support, free of judgment and opinions. It means opening our hearts to whatever needs may arise, and offering unconditional, supportive love. Sounds nice, right?
Here’s the great thing about holding space; you can hold space for yourself. All things are possible with love and support. And that support can come from you, for you, every day. You may be feeling anger or sadness or loss. You may be struggling with the difﬁcult emotions that come with enduring a miscarriage. There is tremendous sadness and grief.
You may be feeling confused by medical terminology related to infertility, or frustrated and physically unwell due to side effects from medications. You may be feeling hopeful and thankful for the journey.
The spectrum of emotions is vast and broad and deep. I get it, I’ve been there. And you know what I learned? It’s all good. ALL of it.
Because when we’re open to expressing those feelings, we can allow ourselves the time to feel, process, and move through each emotion. We can hold space. Fertility treatments can be draining and time-consuming.
This is your time to care for yourself. Honor it.
At ﬁrst, it may feel difﬁcult to ﬁnd gratitude amongst the pain of infertility. But I promise you: being thankful, every day, is one of the most powerful ways to stay positive and be happy on your fertility journey.
Start each morning, before even getting out of bed, with a silent acknowledgment of things around you to be grateful for. Maybe it’s your morning coffee, the birds chirping, or your partner asleep next to you.
The comfortable bed you were able to sleep in, the opportunity for another day to reach your goals. Repeat this process at night, silently ﬁnding three things from the day you are grateful for. There is always something, I promise you.
Having a morning and nighttime practice of gratitude can transform how you show up especially on the most stressful days. The days that we feel the most loss.
There’s always something to be grateful for, and those things will keep you moving forward.
04 Make It Fun
Yes, you can find ways to make this sometimes crazy and emotional journey of infertility fun!
Here are some speciﬁc ideas from Fertile Hope graduate and coach,
• For starters, I created a beautiful, decorated basket to store all of my medications and my daily medication checklist.
I kept it in a visible spot to remind me that there is beauty in this journey, even when the medications can have unpleasant side effects, or in the case of some IVF injections, cause some anxiety to administer.
• Our “fertile fridge” was another way to have a laugh and create some lightness in the journey. We found images of babies, mothers, even a photo of our reproductive endocrinologist, and decorated our fridge.
We added positive phrases and colorful drawings. It was a simple and fun way to stay positive as we moved towards our goal of becoming parents.
• The first time I had to give myself a trigger shot for an IUI cycle, I invited over two long-time friends to help me through it. The evening was full of laughter, despite my anxiety.
Surrounding myself with those who supported my journey and could create lightness and laughter, even on my hardest days was key.
• A few years later, I had thankfully connected to a group of women all on their own unique fertility journeys. I invited these women over for a gathering on my beta test results day.
Although it was sadly a negative, I was thankful and lifted up by this group of women as we chose to celebrate the journey together.
• One of my favorite ideas is special socks for IUI day or IVF fresh or frozen cycle transfer day! Buy yourself a pair of silly, lucky socks to wear for the day.
I also had a lucky pair of earrings that were my mothers that I wore for each transfer day. And, I am thankful and happy to report I also wore them during the birth of my son!
05 Be kind to yourself
This is the time to seek out acupuncture and massage for fertility. Not only can it increase your chances of pregnancy success, but also is a great, relaxing treat for mind and body!
What else do you love, what brings you joy? Now is the time to give yourself permission to seek it out and embrace it.
For example, Katie loved tea and journaling in the mornings, and during her fertility treatments, made it a priority to light a special candle and allow herself that sacred time to relax, breathe, and make notes on her daily feelings and goals.
Katie also loved nature, and created time every day to walk, hike, or simply enjoy the ﬂowers on her porch.
Now is the time, more than ever, to revisit what brings you joy, and embrace it.
I’ve got this. You’ve got this. We’ve got you!