42 Inspiring Infertility Bloggers Share How To Stay Positive
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Infertility is real. It affects 1 in 6 healthy couples. Too often, couples suffer in silence. With the help of Lisa Newton from Amateur Nester, we reached out to 42 women dealing with infertility and blogging to learn first hand how it is that they stay positive.
We hope you feel inspired by these women, I know we are.
I stayed positive while TTC by trying to focus more on the present - having small hobbies that I enjoyed simply for the pleasure of them, along with bigger projects that would keep me busy across many cycles. I also became more intentional about doing yoga, which was a great way to improve my fitness as well as my ability to feel calmer and more grounded in the middle of a lot of uncertainty.
Surround yourself with a positive support network. No one should go through this journey alone. I started the Beat Infertility podcast because I know how isolating this journey can be -- sometimes by choice because you don't want anyone to know you're on it -- and I wanted to provide friendly, positive voices to help keep people going. Figure out what and who make you feel supported and lean on those resources.
Count your blessings in a daily journal. It's so easy to get entirely consumed when trying to conceive because having a baby is all you want and dream of. The hard thing is to take a look at your life and feel gratitude for what you already have. However, doing this exact thing every night was so helpful for us. Writing down 3 things you loved that day for example a hug from your mom, praise from a coworker or even just an amazing cupcake helps you go to sleep with even a little feeling of positivity and over time it really helped us balance all the stress, anxiety, worry and disappointment when trying to conceive.
Infertility is hard and lonely, but despite everything, you are not alone and you will get through this. You may feel like you'll never escape this feeling, but you will come out on the other side and you will be okay. You will never forget this sadness and the way that infertility has consumed you, but there is an end to your right now.
Staying positive while trying to conceive is no easy task, but it is so necessary while going through this process. You must keep your eye on the prize, your future child. You may not be able see their face yet, but think of them cheering you on! No matter how much you have gone through, no matter how alone you feel, no matter how lost you may be, you must continue to focus on why you are doing this...to become a Mom to that child who has been cheering you on. You can do this. Just also know that we, in the online community, are here for you. We "get it" and knowing other men and women who have gotten through what I was going through always helped keep my spirits high and positive that one day things will all make sense.
Always look for ways to better yourself while trying to conceive. Instead of asking 'Why me?' ask, 'What can I learn?' or 'How can I grow?' Learning and growing helps to make the journey not feel so in vain. And it helps to serve others in the middle of our own grieving. Serving others helps put our own lives into perspective.
The thing I have learned throughout the years that has helped me stay positive is that I can come to God in my most desperate times with all of my ugly cries and emotions and He can take it. He still loves me and is there to comfort and hold me. He never condemns me.
Intentionally focusing on the fruit has been my saving grace to a fresh perspective. The fruit helps me see a purpose in a season of waiting. If you're struggling to see the fruit, ask yourself what are you learning, who are you able to love through this, and how can your story be used to encourage others? There is fruit in infertility, find it, and hold on to it.
My one piece of advice is to try to make it a game. The players are You versus Infertility. Every time that Infertility (or it's ugly game partner called Life) tries to get you down, or puts a hurdle in front of you that you overcome, that is one point for you and zero points for Infertility. Every time that you need a good scream or cry, do it, but then get up and move forward so that you are beating the ugly face of Infertility.
Wake up every day being thankful for something, and make a habit of talking with your spouse about those things! Talk about about how far you've come, what's been given to you, that time something turned in your favor, or the financial breakthrough you experienced. When we forget the good things that have already happened, it's easy to lose joy and become hopeless for our future.
Make the most of your journey by staying positive and focusing on all the blessings you do have, instead of focusing on what you don't yet have. Plan dates with your husband and keep your marriage the priority and the forefront of importance.
When we're in gratitude, we experience our lives more positively. Think about all of the many things in your life that you're grateful for. Before you go to bed each night, write down 5 things that you're grateful for that happened that day.
Surround yourself with a tribe; whether it be friends, family, a few select people or just strangers online. Find people/a person that can support you, and lean on them. You're not alone, and it is so much better when you realise that.
Go easy on yourself and remember that you're not defined by your situation. I remind myself regularly that I may not be good at fertility, but I am good at cooking, writing, listening, being a good friend, and I'm good at my job. I thrust myself into those things so I feel better about myself and can focus more on what I'm good at, and less on the fact that I suck at ovulating.
Trying to conceive will test your strength, but it is a test you can win. Surround yourself with friends and family that are supportive of your journey. You're in the company of strong, determined women- use their stories, successes and lessons as motivation in your pursuit of your family.
I have lots of advice while trying to conceive. As for staying positive, though, I think the most important thing is to find what makes you happy and do more of it. You spend so much time wading through the highs and lows of this journey. You must stop regularly and find your joy. Take breaks, whether they be long or short. Just don't forget where your happiness comes from and nurture that.
I believe I stay positive by sharing compassion and kindness to others who are struggling on this journey. When negativity swirls like a storm around my soul, I know that I will find peace by sharing a kind word to someone else. On a road filled with so many negatives, finding a positive light can be difficult, so I try to remember to be a light to others.
I found watching motivational and positive speakers on YouTube when I was running on the treadmill started my days off right. It's about programming your mind and being aware of your thoughts at all times. Surround yourself with positive uplifting people.
Find (not baby related) things to look forward to. They don't have to be big things, it can be something as simple as an upcoming movie release, fun date, or special anniversary. Anticipation of pleasant things can be a good distraction from grief.
When you are staring down at a steamy pile of crap that is handed to you, find ways to make it into something less steamy. Meaning, turn your bad into something that will keep you moving forward. For us, we would buy fun Band-Aids and crazy socks prior to every IVF. Then during our two week wait we would create a 'TWW Jar' which would consist of popsicle sticks with different fun-to-do items listed on each one. Everyday for two weeks before each beta we would choose a stick out of the jar and do whatever was written on it: game night, go get sushi, movie night (his) choice ... etc. Basically by inserting positive distractions into a negative situation, it made it much easier to remain hopeful and not let those hard moments knock us down for an extended amount of time.
Staying positive through TTC is a battle that requires guarding what we think about. We must choose to seek little moments of beauty or joy or irony and express gratitude for or laugh at those brief encounters of light on the dark journey of TTC. With God's help, I clung to hope by trusting that He had a good plan that I may never understand and I could trust Him and His promises regardless if I had more children or not.
Dealing with infertility has taught me lessons in patience and letting go of trying to be in control. Through the years I have also slowly learned how to be happy in the moment with what I have which has taken a lot of pressure off of each new IVF cycle and helped me maintain my optimism and positivity.
Don't lose perspective on all you have to be grateful for. The longing and heartache in this journey is exhausting, but focusing only on what you're missing will only lead to bitterness. Keep a gratitude journal, take time outs when your spirits are taking a hit, and always be thankful for what you DO have. :)
Try not to lose sense of who you were before you started trying to conceive - infertility treatment can be intense and you can easily become consumed by the process, always trying to learn more. Be sure to make downtime for yourself, doing things you love whether it's hiking or reading or crafting or watching sports - it's important to stay in touch with your true self and the things you love to do, the things that help you feel the most relaxed and joyful.
Give yourself the space to breathe, to find stillness and balance, to pull in the oars and let the river take you where it will. Let your nervous energy and excitement about starting or growing your family find a place to live outside of your head - write in a journal, doodle it out, knit, crochet, color, put a puzzle together - but give it a space to buzz and whir and flutter about so you can focus on the task at hand: Getting pregnant!
Making positivity an explicit goal of trying to conceive can actually make you miserable. Positivity does not help you conceive. It may, however, make you feel isolated and angry. So what is more effective than staying positive? Women who experience 'emo-diversity', or a rich array of both positive and negative emotions, have better mental health which means better fertile health. While trying to conceive, feeling a variety of specific emotions gives you more detailed information about your particular situation, thus resulting in better behavioral choices. FEELING (in the body) heartbreak, fear, anger, sadness and guilt is a significant part of a healthy mind-body and these embodied feelings are very potent fertility drugs! In fact, when we give up control to some of these emotions while trying to conceive, we seem to transcend positivity and achieve a deeper state of healthh - that of well being.
In the middle of TTC, you sometimes forget about your relationships. You become so focused on the task of getting pregnant that you get wrapped up and forget to focus on the one who's right there beside you keeping you positive and uplifted! My one piece of advice is to remember the relationship with your husband. Try to make time for just the two of you. This is a tough time for both of you and you have to remember you are both on the same team in your journey.
Wherever you are on your fertility journey, write down a blessing from each day. It doesn't need to be big, it could be a great cup of coffee, the colour of spring blossom on your street or the kindness of a stranger. Sometimes when you're trying to conceive it's easy to lose sight of all the blessings that this wonderful thing called life has to offer and taking time to remember them will help you immensely.
God's timing is perfect, not just for you, but for your baby. Consider how you met your love, landed your favorite job, or connected with your BFF. So many things in life happen based on being in the right/same place at the right/same time. God has plans for your baby and His timing for their life, who they will meet, and what they will do, is perfect. Trust that.
It's so easy for infertility to consume every part of your life; it feels like everything that used to make you happy is tainted with sadness because everything reminds you of infertility. At a really low point, I realized that the only thing that made me happy without making me sad at the same time was watercolor painting. I started making time to be creative more of a priority in my life, and focusing on one thing that makes me happy has really helped me balance my emotions through the ever-repeating heartbreak of infertility. My advice is to find something that does your soul good, something fulfilling that makes you happy unrelated to TTC, and whatever it is, make it a priority in your life, your brain and heart need a break from the obsessive worry that comes with infertility.
I walk by faith, not by cycle. I don't focus on the odds, the diagnosis, or the obstacles standing before me. Because it's not about my ability (or inability) but rather God's ability. Instead I choose to focus on the Truth that when He planted this all-burning desire for me to be a mother in the soft fertile soil of my heart, He wasn't looking at my medical chart, my bank account, or my insurance coverage. He was simply looking at His grace, mercy and power that can and will overcome it all.
There is a reason and a plan. When my first IVF failed, I was devastated. Not only were we out $20,000, but we had none left to freeze. And, my Mom was dying of brain cancer. But now that my little girl (from our 2nd IVF) just turned 1 year, I realize that if the first one HAD worked, we wouldn't have her! It was absolutely meant to be, because she is more amazing than anything I could have dreamed up.
Nourish and nurture your body and soul. Spend time in prayer, eat healthy, and love your body. Try not to complain about the process, and consider each appointment and every pill, shot, ultrasound, and lab work, as a blessing that brings you one day closer to your baby. Figure out a way to make it fun. For me, I enjoy taking photos of the journey, knowing one day I'll look back and see how far we've come. Perceive the journey as a path that will make you a better parent with a deeper understanding of the miracle of life. Most importantly, and above all else, have FAITH!
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Yes, you are right.
Really enjoyed the bloggers. They are right. When we are dealing with infertility, it is very easy to lose sight of all the positive things in our lives...
Well said, you guys!!!
Thank you guys so much. I'm inspired. And God bless us all.
With a grateful heart, I am always inspired and encouraged by you guys. Much thanks.