The 10 Top Ways To Stay Strong During Infertility
Through my own personal experience and the coaching work I do with clients I have condensed some of the most helpful ideas into what has become my top ten tools.
Both for myself personally and many other people they have been hugely helpful, I hope they will be to you too.
1. Realise what you are facing
Infertility may well be one of the toughest battles you will face in this life, with the ability to test you on numerous levels.
Indeed research has just put a persons long term experience of Infertility as having a stress point reading akin to Cancer or Bereavement.
Because of this it is essential to realise what you are facing, and to treat yourself as well as possible in every way.
To only expect from yourself what you would of a close and much loved friend.
2. Get equipped
Infertility can be a journey of any length, with varying difficulties. The first key question is to ask what areas of the process most need supporting right now?
Do you need emotional back up and what kind? Counselling, coaching friends, online support etc.
Do you need to feel fitter?
Could you do with nutritional support ?
How can you best prepare yourself for the journey?
3. Build the best support team possible
This is the practical response to number one.
Who do you have on board at the moment?
Who could you get to help?
Much research Has shown Acupuncture, nutritional help, and CBT(Cognitive behavioural therapy) all to increase chances of success.
As well as definitely increasing the incidence of staying sane!
4. Ask yourself what do I need right now?
A simple but highly effective technique is to ask ourselves on a daily basis what do I need right now?
What areas of life have been neglected?
What one or two things could make all the difference right now?
It is all too easy to feel that our control has been handed over during Infertility. Asking these questions not only keeps you in touch with how you are actually doing but will regain a sense of control in the day to day.
5. Let other people know how to help you
Infertility can be a poorly understood and little empathised situation for the outsider. Hard though it may be it is often up to us to show people how to help.
Take the initiative if needs be and say how you are feeling, and then how you can best be supported.
6. Keep your relationship as central
Infertility inevitably can bring in huge strain on a relationship.
At the start choose to be proactive in putting the two of you as your number one priority.
Do anything and everything to stay strong.
Find ways to best support and encourage each other. And if needs be get outside help such as counselling or coaching for yourselves.
7. Remember who you are
Infertility is a huge process but it is not your identity.
An event rather than who you are.
Think back to the last thing that really made you happy/content/laugh/find pleasure in.
Start to pinpoint the things that make you unique and the things that matter to you.
Make it an absolute priority to keep in these things.
Make it another absolute priority (!) to allow areas to flourish that may have taken a backseat. Things that may have been robbed by infertility.
What changes need to happen today?
8. Keep a sense of humour!
Honestly! And for two reasons …
1) Because it will keep you sane in an insane process. And help you to actually enjoy life, not just wait.
2) Because research has shown that laughter and a sense of humour not only facilitates the bodies own ability to be well and in optimal condition, But has also been shown to help even specifically with IVF!
9. the 80/20 rule
Rather than belittling or ignoring your worry and anxiety give yourself, and it time and space.
Focus on the issues.
Write it down if that helps (certainly journaling through infertility can be of great benefit).
What could you do?
What research could be done?
What resources do you have?
What resources do you need?
What can you attack the worry with?
After this the next step, to the best of your ability and knowing the worry is being dealt with, move on.
Make every effort that day to bring in other aspects of you that have been neglected.
Break down the journey piece by piece.
U stands for understanding body language.
This is the heart of why you are keeping on this journey until conclusion is reached. That absolute physical pull to find a family.
It is vital to remember this during the many ups and downs. The bigger picture will get you through the small details
D Stands for decide what you want.
What does family mean to you and what concepts could that include?
As far as you are able, decide what you are moving toward and begin the process.
A stands for act towards your goal
Every day do something to move you one step further along the path than you were yesterday.
if its not a medical step forwards what else could you do? Making sure your body is given the best fuel possible, talking to a counsellor or coach, writing or praying all are active steps on the way.
S stands for see what happens
There is more of an evolution of the journey rather than a set path for most people. An adjusting of medications, moving on to new protocols, highs and lows to be experienced.
To acknowledge this as normal rather than being surprised by it can be hugely helpful and a relief for many people.
A Stands for adjust You may start off saying ..
I will only do Clomid and am too needle phobic for IVF , but are then told IVF will be the better option for you.
You may begin the next cycle believing this is definitely our last IVF go only to get to the end and want to actually try again.
Make the goal work for you, not the other way round.
Ultimately this is your goal, and more importantly your life. Only you can make all these big decisions, only you can walk this unique path.
Best wishes to you all
Anya works with the London Women's Clinic. Please go to Fertility Counselling for more details.
Any health and medical information
published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed
medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with
a health care professional.