Making a baby sounds like a lot of fun. At times, it is actually fun, at other times, it can be stressful. When you’re trying to conceive, spending month after month of repeated attempts at baby-making, your emotional state can be adversely affected.
Hearing statements like “Just relax and it will happen,” or “don’t despair, God’s time is best” could be inappropriate and may not usually help. On the contrary, this could appear to be some of the worst advice that you require.
Things that relieve stress are helpful in this situation. Admittedly, the worry that you or your partner could be infertile may not be easy to accept, but one of the ways to relieve stress and prevent these negative thoughts from weighing you down, and contributing to your depression and anxiety, is to occupy your mind with positive thoughts.
One of the first things to do is to learn to communicate with your partner. Infertility can take a toll on a marriage, often causing unspoken resentment, feelings of inadequacy, sexual pressure, and tension between couples. Married couples might respond differently with the men acting more emotionally distant and the women more openly distraught. If you feel the stress is getting too strong with your partner, you may seek out counseling.
On the other hand, you could also reach out to a family member or friend. Talking to a close relative or friend can help you de-stress. To reduce stress involves building a bridge back to your family and close friends.
Though you may feel a strong connection toward friends or acquaintances that are having fertility problems, it also helps to allow those who are closest to you to offer their love and support.
Grieving about the situation isn’t abnormal. By all means, don't try to repress your feelings of anger, guilt, or sorrow. If you need to cry, go ahead and do so. If you’re angry and need to pound a pillow or hit a punching bag, go ahead and release your pent-up anger as well. Don’t bottle it up.
If possible, try to plan a time each day when you can spend time focusing on your feelings about infertility, and let the feelings come up. By addressing and releasing your emotions, you’re likely to feel much better and have more energy to cope.
Even though you hope to have a successful pregnancy, your unconscious mind has already begun grieving for the biological child you’ve not yet had. Since unresolved grief can be a major source of anxiety, you'll have to go through a period of mourning in order to feel better again.
Whether you talk to your partner or to a trusted friend, or simply write down your feelings, be sure to acknowledge and work through your grief. It is important that you then let your grief go.
If you can find one, it helps to join a local support group where you can connect with others who are trying to conceive. Realizing that you are not alone is useful therapy.
Timing is key; when you’re trying to conceive, it is advisable to track your menstrual cycle and fertility if you want to really boost your odds of getting pregnant. The benefits vastly outweigh the stress it could cause. Spending time outdoors has been linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety, so plan some fun activities for you and your partner to do together. Take a break, bond with each other without focusing on your fertility struggles.
If TTC is taking over your life, it’s okay to take a couple of months to regroup. Agree with your partner that you’re taking a “break” from trying to conceive, and focus your energy on something else you love: Sign up to run in a race, plan a road trip or do some volunteer work. Clearing your mind of the TTC process can really benefit some couples.
But if the thought of losing a few months stresses you out even more, then keep going. It’s all about what’s going to make you feel better. And keep in mind, it is recommended that you see a fertility specialist if you’ve been trying for a
year—six months if you’re over 35—without success.
If your friends and relatives are uninformed about you infertility challenge, you’ll need to educate them about what you’re going through. Let them know how you feel and want to be treated. You may reconnect with your partner by reestablishing intimacy in nonsexual and sensual ways. For instance, you can make your partner a treat or buy a fun gift, or simply hug and hold hands. You can also enjoy sensual contact that doesn’t lead to intercourse.
A bad instigator of stress is uncertainty about the future. If you’ve been through many months or years of infertility treatments, you’ve lived with uncertainty for a fairly long time. It helps to actively do some research on your present situation and options.
For instance, you can stay current on your medical condition and treatments, research all of your infertility options, and think about alternatives and whether they would work for you. Arm yourself with knowledge – and achieve a certain peace of mind for now.
The best way to calm your anxiety and lift your spirits is to rely on coping strategies you’ve used in the past. Reaching out to loved ones, meditating, praying, and seeing a therapist, joining a support group, exercising, doing yoga, or
collecting information about the problem helps you to feel better.
Experts advise that you find and plan to use at least two coping methods every day. Responses to infertility tend to fluctuate from day to day, and what seems like a respite of peace and calm can be upset by the onset of a menstrual period or another baby announcement. The use of stress-management techniques on an ongoing basis, however, can help prevent anxiety from getting out of hand.