Disappointments Stepping Over Excitements
One of the things I get asked a lot is: How did you deal with the emptiness and the disappointment infertility bestows upon you, month after month?
So the short answer to this question is that I didn’t. For a long time I didn’t deal with this, or I didn’t deal well with it because I didn’t know how to. For a while, I let my circumstances take over.
This is one reason why I decided to share my infertility story and to share the infertility lessons, resources, and tools I have created and personally used. In fact, I didn’t know anyone who would be able to help me in the way I needed help. See, the resources on the emotional struggles with infertility, when I was going through it were close to none-existent.
So, I hear you!
I hear you and I feel the pain infertility is throwing at you!
I also know how challenging it can be to suppress any excitement during that waiting period – the time right after ovulation and before you can take a pregnancy test to see if your “trying” worked. I have been in your shoes and I know what it feels like to feel afraid of feeling excited because you have convinced yourself that if you feel excited, your excitement will most likely be in vain.
That nagging voice in the back of your mind that has taken residence, is now strategically appearing more and more often posing questions such as:
Are you kidding yourself?
Remember last time?…
What makes you think this time will be different?
We both know what’s gonna happen…
In my experience, after the first year of trying and hoping each month was the month, this nagging voice became stronger and stronger. I came to dread the inevitable “waiting period”. It was so nerve wracking. With each time it proved itself right, I felt I was fulfilling some sort of self inflicted prophecy and then felt guilty for not knowing how to put an end to it.
See, each month I would get confident and feel good about trying fresh (whatever the hack that means). I would think to myself, ok this time it’ll be different, this time it’ll work – only to find out it didn’t.
At times it felt like I was trying to kick an addiction of sort to its curb by telling myself this time it would be different. This time I will be pregnant. Like I had total and complete control over what was happening in my body; Like if I stood on my head, or slept on my side instead of my back, or ensured to stay in a zen state all month, which to be quite honest, I have tried and it actually made me more stressed because I saw everything as a potential stressor, so I stressed out about making sure I’m not stressing out. You get my point…
Being In Control Versus Letting Go
The truth of the matter was that I didn’t have control over any of it. As I discovered later on my journey, not having control over it was a big obstacle for me that in itself made my entire journey emotionally ten times more difficult and far longer than it could have been, which is why it’s something I spend time on with my clients on their fertility journey.
It’s easy to say, oh just let go and all will start falling into place. But letting go, as great as it sounds and as much as we tell ourselves that we have to let go of whatever it is we are supposed to let go of, it is one of the greatest challenges on this journey! It was for me, and I know it is for you, too.
What am I supposed to let go of, anyway? My unborn baby? My life long dream of having a family? What exactly am I supposed to let go of? Even if that was easily done, the next question becomes: How? How do I do that? Especially if I don’t want to let go! If I just want to make my body work!
But here’s the thing: this rabbit hole I was in, was only tossing me and turning me in a million different directions, yet I was more stuck then ever. It made me emotionally drained and completely lost.
Infertility affected all areas of my life and I was so busy following what doctors and experts thought my next move should be, that I stopped paying attention to anything else. I stopped paying attention to who I was on this fertility journey I was on, and who I was becoming in the process of trying to control what I could not control.
It took me years of trial and error to truly, and I mean truly, admit that I had no control over this infertility business, and to actually let go of something I was dead-set on so much so, that I took it for granted! Until life decided to throw a different twist on my path.
In trying different approaches to conceive a child yet nothing working, time became the only factor that evidently worked. And time, started passing me by. Years I have lost that I can not bring back. Years of living life; Years of feeling alive, not just being alive. Years of loving life, not just going through life.
No-one understood what I was going through because no-one I knew actually understood infertility. As a matter of fact most of the people around me thought more or less it was like the common cold – you just sleep it off, don’t stress about it, don’t think about, and it’ll go away… Sure, I’ll take cold medicine and by morning I’ll be pregnant, right?
Infertility professionals, experts (whatever you wanna call them), would provide next steps, but they, too were working of theories and studies that could only speak of averages and potentials and percentages, but they could not give any guarantees. How could they? If one approach fitted all, infertility would be like the common cold… 🙂
I started thinking about this whole experience and who I was becoming internally. I started questioning my choices. I started loosing confidence in this fight to get to my unborn child. I was becoming bitter. Month in and month out I felt sad, to say the least. And when I wasn’t sad, I was angry. It started taking its toll.
I started slowly pushing everyone away until I was alone in this invisible circle I created and drew a thick, deep line around myself.
As I looked around me and saw this increasing distance between me and everyone around me, all I could see were strangers. I have turned most of the people I knew and cared about into strangers. I didn’t know how to articulate what I was going through without taking it as a personal offense of sort, and they didn’t know how to articulate that what they wanted was to help me.
I decided that if I truly want to get out of the rabbit hole I was in, I have to do more than stay victim to my infertility circumstances. I decided that I was the only one who can do something about it. As much as I loved to think and believe that the solution to my infertility was in the hands of someone, somewhere out there, I knew deep down that was an illusion I had to part ways with.
But to get to my answer and then adjust everything in my life accordingly, I had to be ready and I had to begin somewhere. So step by step I chose to change my attitude and my mindset around my infertility.
There were different ways to do this, but the common denominator was that I had to be ready. I had to be ready and committed to trying and failing and trying again. The reason for this was because I had no resources I could use as a guide to take me to where I needed to be emotionally on this journey. So I created my resources and I started using them.
I’m not gonna tell you it’s easy because it’s not! But I will tell you anything in life worth doing takes a bit more effort than we tend to think and like to believe it does. So all I have for you here is: BEGIN. Do it at your own pace, but BEGIN! If you would like, use the worksheet I included with this blog post, but BEGIN doing something different from what you have been doing on your fertility journey, today!
How do you deal with disappointment on your fertility journey?
Fell free to let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know if there is a topic you would like me to cover in a future post. Finally, feel free to send me a private message if you have a specific question. I will do my best to reply within 24-48hours from the time I receive it.