There's no sugar coating it: infertility is HARD. There are so many times during your journey where you will find yourself feeling very out of control of your situation. While can't control everything, there is a lot you can control and focus on in order to feel better about your journey. Today, I'm sharing six things to remember to feel more in control of your fertility journey.
1. Your worth is not determined by your fertility.
As you are now, you are already worthy of everything your heart desires. With or without a baby, you are whole and complete. You inability to conceive naturally does not make you less of a person. Your worth comes from knowing who you are at the deepest levels, acknowledging and respecting your values, and accepting and embracing your true self.
Repeat after me: I am whole, I am worthy, I am enough.
2. Your feeling are valid.
No one gets to decide how something feels for you. Only you can determine how a situation makes you feel. We as humans cannot force ourselves to feel a certain emotion. Emotions are organic, so whatever you are feeling is ok. If your journey makes you feel sad, then you feel sad. If your journey makes you feel excited, then you feel excited. If your journey makes you feel bitter, then you feel bitter. If your journey makes you feel angry, then you feel angry. No one can tell you that whatever your journey makes you feel is wrong. You are allowed to have feelings and be emotional over your journey.
3. You are allowed to set boundaries.
This is a great example of something that you truly do have control over during your journey. You are allowed to set boundaries on your journey, but not only that, communicating your boundaries with those around you so that they have a full understanding of what you desire. It's important that you let those involved know that it's not personal, it's for you and your mental health. Communication is key! So what exactly do boundaries look like for someone struggling with infertility? Here is a few examples below:
- Not attending baby showers
- Not attending children's birthday parties
- Not wanting to be involved in pregnancy updates
- Staying off social media
- Being open about your journey, but not wanting to discuss details
- Not wanting to see someone's ultrasound
- Not attending holiday family events with children
- Not babysitting someones children
4. It's ok to have bad days.
Bad days are going to happen on your journey. I'd be lying if I told you I never have a bad day. Sometimes I carry it well, and sometimes you can't pick me off the floor. There's no telling what each day will bring. As we like to say here, "Some days are filled with rainbows and others with clouds." Infertility is much like a storm. Some days are sunny and beautiful, but the rain is inevitable. Never feel bad about having a bad day. Let the storm pass and feel everything you need to feel. It's ok to cry. It's healthy to feel your emotions and so good for your mental health to release them. You're human and this is hard.
5. Make time for self care.
It took me two rounds of IVF and a miscarriage to realize that my self care should always come first. It's easy to get lost in your fertility journey and quickly you begin to feel like less of a human and more like a science project. I make sure to schedule one full day a week of self care and sprinkle in small acts of love throughout the week to reconnect with myself. If you need some ideas for self care, I shared how I cope with infertility in a previous blog post.
6. You are not alone.
When I tell you I see you, I hear you, I feel you, I mean it. I completely understand where you are coming from when it comes to feeling lonely on your journey. I can't begin to tell you the amount of times I curled up in a ball and cried month after month of starting my period. Another failed cycle is gut wrenching. Putting your body through injection after injection, surgery after surgery, failed fertility treatment after failed fertility treatment is emotionally and physically lonely and exhausting. Watching another person get pregnant without medical intervention feels unfair. The pain of miscarrying is unspeakable. All of it feels so lonely. I need you to understand that through all of this, you are not alone. I see you, I hear you, I feel you.