Struggling with infertility is just that, a struggle, and one of the hardest things is to keep infertility from consuming you.
One of the things I struggle most with, and maybe it is an issue for you too, is I felt like I lost myself. I am not who I was before we started our journey. Being able to maintain your identity through fertility treatments takes effort, but it is so worth it.
I want to share 5 easy ways to keep infertility from consuming you while going through treatments. These are things that I did that I felt helped me the most.
Maintaining Your Identity During Fertility Treatments
1. Always Put Your Marriage First
Fertility treatments are hard. Between the stress, the disappointment, and the added hormones it can take a toll on your marriage. That’s why it is so important that you put your marriage first, that you put your partner first. My grandparents were married for 50 years and had six children together, and they always said the secret to success was putting each other first, no matter what.
3 Ways to Put Your Marriage First
- Don’t skip date nights!
- Talk about other things
- Take a quick get away
You want to bring your baby into a strong loving marriage. Our struggle with infertility was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I truly feel like we came out on the other side stronger as a couple.
2. Maintain and Develop Relationships
I struggled with this one. I wanted to just stay home and hide, but this does more harm than good. You need a support system that will help keep infertility from consuming you.
Don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re going through, most people, especially those who are truly your friends, want to be there to help. My in-laws told me that if you don’t tell people what’s going on, they don’t know how to pray for you.
Another way to develop relationships is to look for opportunities to serve others. I know that in a time of trial it can seem counterintuitive to try to help someone else. But it is one of the best ways to take your mind off your own struggles, help someone else, and build a relationship in the process.
We all know that exercise is good for us. Sometimes we just need a reminder. You may have some restrictions as to what exercises you can do with going through treatments, definitely check with your doctor. Especially once you get to a certain point during IVF they say no strenuous activity.
Even a quick walk is so beneficial. If you can, get outside for 20 minutes, that’s 1% of your day that can do wonders for your mental health! If for some reason you can’t go outside (last week it was 115 degrees here so going outside was a hard no for me) do a quick yoga class.
There are a bunch of “yoga for fertility” classes on YouTube! Bret Larkin and Yoga Yin are two of my favorite channels. Both channels have a ton of classes to choose from depending on what you need that day.
4. Projects or Hobbies
Having a hobby or doing a project is a great way to keep your self distracted when going through the fertility journey. I read somewhere that these things help create a more “fertile energy”. I don’t know about that… but it’s something fun in a not so fun time.
We bought our home in the middle of our fertility journey so we had a lot of home projects (and still do!). Although I don’t have much of a green thumb, my favorite projects are usually the ones outside. There’s something about having pretty flowers in your yard that really brightens your day. Even if you have a small yard or even just a patio, I highly recommend planting some bright flowers!
Cooking is another great hobby, and one that you and your spouse can do together (date night!). Cooking together is one of mine and Levi’s favorite things to do. Its also super beneficial during the fertility journey because you can control what is going into your food. Eating at home is one of the best ways to minimize your exposure to BPA.
5. Talk to Someone
If you are struggling with your mental health while on your fertility journey, first of all, know that you are not alone. And please talk to someone about it.
Maintaining your identity while going through fertility treatments is hard, and there can be a lot of grief that goes a long with it. It is so important to talk with someone, maybe someone who has gone through it, or maybe it is a professional.
Therapists are a great resource and there are some who have experience with this specific topic. They can give you tools that will help you handle different situations. I saw a therapist several times throughout our journey and she really helped me handle my anxiety. Ask your fertility doctor or OBGYN if they have any recommendations.
Fertility treatments can seem all consuming, and it is so easy to get wrapped up in it all, where it seems like it is your whole life. Make sure you are taking time for yourself so you don’t loose who you are along the way.
If you have any other ways keep infertility from consuming you I would LOVE to hear them!
Thanks for being here!