When you want to be pregnant and aren’t, it is impossible to think about anything else. Infertility is all consuming. With it comes a roller coaster of emotions, anger, frustration, sadness, and disappointment. Also, it is filled with waiting. Lots and lots of waiting. All the waiting and obsessive thinking can make you feel crazy.
Repeat after me: I AM NOT crazy. Infertility is crazy. I AM NOT.
The key to surviving is to cut yourself a break. It is really crummy that you aren’t pregnant yet. Allow yourself the time and space to feel all the feelings.
Does the thought of allowing yourself to feel the feelings leave you panicked that once you let them loose they will completely take over? That makes sense. But I promise they won’t. As important as it is for you to really be in the experience, it is equally as important to take break from it all. Balance is key.
Of course, this is obviously WAY easier said than done. For example, if I just tell you to stop thinking about purple elephants, you will ONLY think about purple elephants. So I am not going to tell you to stop thinking about purple elephants or babies. However, I am going to ask you to think about balance.
How can you create a little more balance in your experience? Here are some ideas on how to create this for yourself and ways to help get your mind off being pregnant when it all gets to become too much.
Make a Distractions List
This can be movies, TV, house projects, cleaning to-do’s, work projects, people you have been meaning to catch up with, places you have been wanting to visit, etc. Make a gigantic list and refer to it when you are feeling overwhelmed or all consumed with fertility related stuff. (I made a “house project” list during my last IVF cycle and now have a completely cleaned out spare bedroom and shed. Now every time I walk by either place in our home I feel like I had some control and that at least one good thing came out of all this madness!)
Schedule Obsession Time
Schedule time to allow yourself to be all consumed. Make an appointment in your calendar that is set aside for you to fall down the baby rabbit hole. Give it a specific start and end time like you would for any appointment. Do it daily or weekly for as long or as short of a time frame as you need. The key is that when the time is up you stop reading the blogs, the Facebook posts, turn off the podcasts or close down your computer. Then go do something completely unrelated (maybe from your list above!)
Plan a Date and Ban Baby Talk
Infertility has this really annoying way of taking over your mind, your body and your relationship. Couples often find that they can’t remember what life was like before infertility (What did we do? What did we talk about?) When you and your sweetie find yourselves all consumed by the infertility struggle take a break together. First, plan a date night. something special. Something that isn’t kid friendly perhaps? Then, agree that for the time period of the date all baby talk is off limits. No baby talk!
Talk to Someone
Infertility is hard, and it is so important to have a safe, non-judgmental place to process all the crappy stuff that comes along with it. Finding a counselor or therapist you can trust and who specializes in infertility can help. Therapy is a place where you can unload all of your worries, concerns, and frustrations and can help you find the balance between being in the process and not letting it consume you and your life.
Interested in learning more about how therapy can help you cope with building your family? Contact me today.