When we started our fertility journey, I Googled my little heart out trying to find a way to “fix” my problem. I know how bad of an idea that is! I am a nurse for goodness sakes, I tell people all the time to stay away from Dr. Google! But there I was, grasping at anything I could to make me feel like I was in control. There had to be something I could do!
The fertility journey is filled with twists and turns that you cannot control. And more than anything I wanted to feel like I had some control. What I have learned is that the only thing I can truly control on this rollercoaster ride is my mindset.
When I started looking at it as something that was happening FOR us not TO us, I was able to see what benefits have come from our fertility journey. If you’re feeling like “ya sure, whatever… you’ve lost your mind!” I get it and I’ve 100% been there! And… let’s be honest I don’t have a positive attitude every day. I still get upset and even have days that I totally lose it.
I wish that I had found these tools at the beginning of our journey, but I just started putting them into practice about three-months ago. They may seem a little “woo woo”, and honestly if I hadn’t tried them I would feel the same way. But, they have helped me shift my mindset, and just be happier overall.
Fertility Journey Survival Tips
I was listening to the book The Audacity to Be Queen by Gina DeVee on Audible and one of the things she kept talking about was writing in her journal. I was in a pretty negative space mentally, we had just done two IUIs back to back, and I was feeling like I just didn’t care anymore. So I thought what the heck? I’ll try journaling, what could it hurt?
My first several entries are complete nonsense (well actually they probably all are) but I felt relief after like there was more room in my mind to focus on positive things.
Journaling is a way to get all of your thoughts and emotions out of your mind and onto paper. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about how someone is going to react.
Affirmations are a way for me to be in control of my thoughts. They are simply short, positive, encouraging phrases that you say out loud (or I like to write them down) to help enforce positive thinking and a positive outlook. Like, “I am healthy and happy!” or “Everything is happening for me, not to me”. The great thing is that you can make them whatever you need to be them based on your situation or how you are feeling that day.
I find myself saying “this is happening for me and not to me” at least once a day. And I really can feel relief when I do.
The mind-body connection is a real thing. Our minds are incredibly powerful so the key is to use that power for you!
I started meditating with the free guided meditations on the app Headspace, I’d also use the sleep meditations which 90% of the time put me right to sleep. Then I bought the More Fertile in 15 guided meditations from Spenser Brassard, and I use these almost daily. I admittedly fall asleep a lot of the time, but they really help me to get myself back on track. She even has one for days that you are triggered. (Check out my post on all my favorite fertility resources)
YouTube is a great resource for guided meditations as well. One of my favorites is the Fertility from the Soul channel, she has meditations, affirmations, and just overall good info. She even has affirmations broke down by cycle week. It’s worth checking out!
To go along with #3, I love Spenser’s Podcast called Fertile Ground. Disclaimer, she does cuss, but if you can talk about this subject without cussing, you are a better person than I. She hasn’t put out a new podcast since July, but if you haven’t listened to her before I would definitely recommend just starting at episode one and listening through. I’ve relistened to episodes multiple times.
#5 Focus on the things you love
I know this might sound like common sense, but I found myself feeling like I had completely lost who I was. I have always been a glass-half-full kinda girl and I just wasn’t anymore. I’ve been trying to focus more on the things I know I love to do like cooking with Levi, spending time outside, and no shame… shopping. I like finding cute clothes and good deals… I just can’t help it.
Another thing I love to do is spend time playing with our pup or going for a walk. Our dog Yankee has been such a blessing for us through this, and its a fact that dogs are good for your mental health (I’m sure other animals are too if you’re not a dog person).
Before you found yourself in this crazy fertility party that you (for sure!) did not RSVP to, what did you like to do? Cooking, gardening, yoga, travel? Whatever it is make sure you don’t lose sight of what you love and the things that make you who you are.
Exercise is good for mental health. period. end of sentence. It has been shown that exercise has a profoundly positive effect on depression and anxiety, it also lowers stress, improves sleep, and boosts your overall mood. It’s an extra bonus if you can get outside for your workout!
I’m probably just repeating things you already know, but sometimes I need a little reminder. I know I always feel better physically and more balanced mentally when I’m working out regularly.
Now, I don’t mean that this is the time to take up marathon training, but just be active. It’s about caring for your body in a loving way, not punishing your body.
I wish I could say that I did these things and voila! I got pregnant. But we are still very much so in the midst of our fertility journey, and every day I have to use these tools to recenter my mindset. You have to make a conscious effort to see the good in your journey. It can be exhausting at first to be constantly redirecting your mind, but it does get easier, and the weight gets lighter.
I hope that these will help you as much as they have helped me. And my greatest hope is that you don’t have to wait as long as I did to use these tools to help you through your journey to your baby.
Sending you lots of love and positive vibes!