About the Writer: This guest post was written by Hannah Andrews, who enjoys helping others discover the joy in the simplicity of life, staying positive, and motivating them to live a life they love. To read more about Hannah and her passion for finding the good in the little things of life, check out her blog – Living For Direction.
Motherhood is a joyous and exciting time for most. You’re building the family you always dreamed of and you seem to have made a permanent residence up on cloud nine. However, for some, the age old question from family and friends, “So when are you going to have kids?” can be soul crushing.
Not long after getting married, it seemed like I was getting asked that question every week from co-workers, friends, family – you name it, someone was asking. I was still high off our honeymoon so babies were the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t ready to share my new husband with anyone just yet so it was easy to rattle off responses to this question with confidence.
However, jump forward a few more months and I started noticing new PMS symptoms and my menstrual cycle was off the wall unpredictable and nonstop (seriously, Aunt Flow only left for 3-5 days every 2 months before she was back visiting again). Knowing something wasn’t right, I made an appointment with my gynecologist.
And that’s when I heard the words that made me realize my journey to motherhood was going to be more like walking on hot coals than on a bed of roses.
How to cope with the news of infertility
First and foremost, you have to give yourself a chance to process and feel the emotions flooding out of you. Bottling it up doesn’t do you any good in the long run. So find a seat, take a good long cry, scream it out, or take a few good minutes to do nothing but complain. Get those negative emotions out whatever way feels best.
Once you’ve processed, get informed. One of the first things I did was follow up with my doctor and ask all of the questions I had about my specific diagnosis and what all that entailed for my personal journey. I took notes, I scooped up all of the brochures I could get my hands on, and I asked for recommendations of good websites or books to check out that could help me navigate my new reality.
Your doctor should be the first person you turn to for health advice or recommendations. As handy as the internet is, it won’t be able to give you specific advice or guidance tailored to your specific needs like your healthcare provider can.
Lastly, realize your new reality isn’t a bad one, it’s just different. You’ve had a good cry, you’ve gathered all of your information, now set a game plan and crush it like the badass you are.
Positives to Your New Reality
I’m all about silver linings and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to find one in this situation too.
So I dug down deep and found these four positives of my new reality:
#1. Healthy Lifestyle Changes/Getting Healthy
Maybe this isn’t the ideal wake up call, but it could be your motivation to eating healthy, exercising more, or stopping bad habits. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to stick to a health goal…for I don’t know, like 3 weeks, and then life just seems to happen and you fall off the wagon. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Yes, it’s important to make good health choices for yourself, but now you have another little miracle you’re trying to get healthy for. Here is a list of 16 Natural Ways to Boost Fertility that might just help kick start you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
#2. Strengthens the bond with your partner or support system
It’s a tough reality for every party involved. It’s easy to play the blame game or build up anger or resentment towards the other person; instead take this time to really grow your relationship. You have this other person(s) who you’re able to rely on. Do it.
Don’t try to navigate your options or feelings alone, instead open up to your partner or support system. They may be able to offer sound advice, comfort, or a new perspective that you hadn’t thought of. Maybe you’re even able to learn something new about one another and how you deal with disappointment and difficulties.
Lastly, instead of focusing on the negatives of your situation, spend quality time with your partner doing and discussing things other than trying to conceive. Bringing some fun and light heartedness into your new reality can do wonders for both you and your relationship.
#3. You have time to figure yourself out
I get it, you’ve reached the point in your life you feel like you’re ready for a family and you’re no longer thinking about yourself. For some it may even be downright obsessive when it comes to thinking about your future family and the pitter patter of little feet.
It’s great to have a focus and keep your “eye on the prize” so to speak, but soak up this season. Yes, it’s frustrating and disappointing at times but don’t forget to enjoy living in the moment.
Take this season you’re in and get to know yourself again. Pick back up an old hobby or start a new one. Learn something new. Get that haircut you’ve been going back and forth about for months. Take an extra long bath with all of your favorite bath bombs, moisturizers, creams, whatever it is, (because after the wee ones come along, there won’t be time for much of that, soon-to-be mama) and just enjoy your own company.
Not only is focusing on yourself a huge positive for your self-esteem and happiness, it’s a great break from the stress of your infertility battle and everybody needs a little time to recharge.
#4. It makes you a stronger person and mother
No matter your specific situation, whether you are going through hormone treatments, repair operations, IVF, Surrogacy, adoption, and so forth, it takes strength to keep going. You wake up every day fighting for your family and your (soon to be) child.
This little bundle of joy may not be in the oven yet, but you are already doing everything you can for their best interest. Can you even imagine how amazing of a mother you will be once they are actually in your arms? You’ll be phenomenal.
You’re not alone in this – I’m here with you
This journey may be hard, but it’s shaping you and preparing you to be the best mother you can be. It’s tough news to hear, but once you have your chance to process and express your emotions, know that there are always silver linings.
You may have to dig a little, but keep a positive outlook because one day you’ll be able to tell your children how hard you fought for them to be here and they’ll know just how much they’re loved by you.