"Well, I've only been trying for X months/years and I know that a lot of people have been trying longer". Don't do this to yourself. Everyone's journey is different. Six months might feel like forever to one person whereas five years may feel like a short time to another. One example is my mother. My mom tried three years before conceiving me. She said she never felt discouraged, never even felt that she had fertility issues despite having some testing done. I on the other hand have struggled since the beginning. I've only done thirteen cycles over three years but still struggle to grasp onto hope. I knew when I was a teen that with endometriosis getting pregnant would be difficult but I believed that I would beat the stats. Who knows what the future holds for me but I want to share with you some of the things I do to help stay positive during this journey that seems endless.
1. Becoming part of a community.
For me vlogging and blogging about my struggles and my journey has helped me find so many wonderful women who are in the same boat as me. There are so many ups and downs on this journey that it's nice to have someone to help pick you back up when you're feeling down. Sometimes it's hard to stay positive but talking to others who truly understand what you are going through can really help. I'll admit that sometimes it hurts to see them beat infertility while leaving me behind but often it does bring hope that if they can beat it so can I.
2. Hold onto your faith, even if you are not religious.
For those who believe in a god there are sooooooo many inspirational scriptures out there but for those of us that don't it can sometimes be hard to hang onto our faith/belief that we will be parents one day. I personally am Buddhist and believe that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately I often struggle with the "why me" of infertility. Since I don't believe in a higher power I don't feel that there is some plan for my life. Instead I feel like I did something wrong and this is how karma is paying me back. One example for me is that shortly after I went fully vegan I found out I got IVF funding. My immediate thought was KARMA! I stopped causing babies from being taken from their mothers and now I'm finally going to get my own baby. Then when everything fell to pieces I started questioning everything again. Instead I feel like it's soooooo important to hold on to the belief that everything happens for a reason and I will end up with the child I'm meant to have, when I'm meant to have them. If you are not religious in any way find a quote, word, or something inspiring and hold on to it. My "word" is HOPE. I have it tattooed on my wrist, I often create art with that word, and one of the middle names I've picked for my future child relates to it. I also have a necklace that says "Never, Never, Never Give Up" which I actually received in the mail the day I found out I was pregnant (which ended up being a chemical pregnancy). No matter what find some faith/belief/mantra and hold onto it!
I can no express enough how much meditation helps me! It can take as little or as much time as you want it to. It could be unguided, just sitting at your desk at work, or guided while lying in bed before sleeping. I used to meditate in the morning but since struggling with infertility I started using guided meditations before bed. If you are currently trying to conceive, either naturally or with help, check out Circle + Bloom (15% off using this link). The guided meditations are amazing and are focuses on fertility. They have helped me so much during cycles when I'm TTC, they help me stay focused, stay positive, and visualize what my body is doing. They are so relaxing and calming I really sleep much better using them. I can't wait to use them again once I start TTCing again. If you want a non-fertility related guided meditation check out the Stop, Breathe & Think app. It is really nice and is free. You can also purchase add on tracks if you want. I really like it because you put how you are feeling and it gives recommendations for some meditations that might help. I also use a diffuser similar to this one with the HOPE essential oil from this essential oil set. I find that the essential oils paired with the meditation really help with staying positive.
4. Find a hobby.
This probably seems like a stupid thing to do to just waste time but I have found that having something to do has helped me keep hope. I have painted multiple paintings for what will hopefully be my future child's room, I learned to crochet and I am currently working on a blanket, and I have learned calligraphy and hope to use some of my skills to make more decorations for the future nursery/child's room. I also made a felt mobile! Now it is definitely difficult to be making all these things and having no where to put them so for some people this might not help them stay positive. However keeping busy can, especially since for those struggling with infertility we tend to focus on our life being on hold instead of living it. With what I learned over the past year I've even been able to open my own Etsy shop to help with some of the costs of infertility.
5. Write a journal.
Throughout my life I have had multiple blogs. I'll admit I'm not the best writer but I do enjoy it. I love to journal and creating a journal for my future child has been fun. I started with a digital one at Penzu and I really liked it. There are a lot of things you can customize for free but I decided it was worth it to pay for the pro account. I like the digital version of a journal because it will never get ruined or lost. I can type a lot faster than I can write, I will never run out of room, and I can even include pictures! I know that when my child is old enough to read it paper journals will be a thing of the past so why not have a digital one instead. I do however have two paper ones. One I started not too long ago and was meant to be for IVF and my wait for IVF. I do not censor myself in it so I'm not sure I would let my future child read it or not. It lets me get out some of my frustration on my not so positive days. I also have a Mom's One Line a Day Journal. I love, love, love this journal. I started it last April and have written in it every night before bed. It only has enough room to jot down a quick thought so I don't ramble on. The way it's organized it that I can see the post from the same day last year as I write in this year's spot. I have the dates numbered as a countdown as my hope is to have a child in my arms before the pages in the journal are filled. Writing in a journal to my future child really helps me to stay positive on the days when I'm feeling down.
I hope these 5 ways to help you stay positive while battling infertility bring you some strength and hope. I know that this journey is hard, I know that it's something no one should have to go through. Unfortunately there are millions of people who are but please know that you are not alone. Every day won't be positive but it will hopefully be one day closer to the finish line :)
Have any tips on how to stay positive? Share them below!
I am 30, single, vegan, and been on my journey to becoming a single mother since 2013. I have struggled with infertility and I am now on the path to international adoption of a little girl with Down syndrome. Come join me on my journey to becoming a mother!