Stress is such an interesting beast, especially when it comes to fertility challenges. There has been no other time in my life that I felt stress in the way that I did in the midst of our fertility struggles. It is like being on a roller coaster ride that you can't get off. It ebbs and flows. Good moments and bad. Even more realistic.. you can be out on the town with your ladies and laughing your face off when some random occurrence steals you right away from your reprieve of joy. Sinking you back into that dark knowing of your brokenness.
I am always telling my clients, “You are NOT broken!” “You did nothing to deserve this or bring this upon yourself.” The cold hard truth is, even if you know that to be true, it is a hard thing to truly feel. Especially when you are reminded each month that clearly, things are not working the way that you were expecting them too.
It wasn't until my daily practice changed that I got my life back. It had become clear to me that my desire to hold my dream baby in my arms had become an unhealthy thought. It was almost as if I could feel the dis-ease coursing through my body any time I conjured up my plans and wishes. I could feel my health declining despite the fact that I was doing all the right things to improve my fertility.
It no longer shocks me to realize the power of our minds. You can be the healthiest person when it comes to food and exercise. But talk shit in your head and always have a negative mindset, and the reality will be a clear picture of atrophy and decay. That is not a picture of the most fertile soil is it?
I still coach my clients on the importance of nutritious foods and moving the body for blood flow and more. However, I now spend way more time focusing on the awareness of emotional health. To add one more obstacle to the situation, those of us who are in the midst of fertility challenges are generally amazing fibbers.
Q: “How are you?”
A: “Fine!” And always the redirect: “How are YOU?!”
Q: “Are you feeling ok?” (And the unspoken, “You look rough.”)
A: Truth = Well, I cried all night last night because I got my period... again.
Real life response: “Yeah. I just didn't sleep well last night.”
Reality check: WE HAVE TO BE GOOD AT LYING! There are 12 months in a year. Can you imagine anyone 'complaining' about the same thing every. single. month. For multiple years?! Yeah, I didn't think so. So we learn to fabricate. We are masters at redirecting. It's really got nothing to do with the support from our friends and family. It's not that there is a lack. It's that it is one of the hardest things to explain to someone who hasn't been through it.
So talk about stress! You spend almost every day aware if you are ovulating or if you have early pregnancy symptoms vs early period symptoms. You have a dream of a life time that is not coming true and you have no idea what to do about that. If you decide you want to do something about that, everything costs thousands of dollars. Your relationship is shaky because this is consuming you and it's hard to have a conversation where it doesn't show up in some way, shape, or form. And to top it off, you likely have some nasty physical symptoms that you deal with on monthly basis. So... tell me again how I should just not stress about it?!
I share all of this with you because I want you to know that I see you. The real you! I want you to know that it can and it does get better. AND I want to share with you how to really deal with the stress:
Build a new daily routine:
+Your #1 goal and concern is: YOU!
+What makes you happy? What makes you laugh? Make a list: Every single day, do MORE of those things.
+Take your mind off of what ISN'T happening. Spend more time appreciating what IS.
I love using a gratitude journal. Every morning when I wake up I list off three things that I have so much appreciation for. Every night when I go to bed I choose one thing to describe in great detail about why I love it in my life. This practice alone can start to shift your mindset.
+Whenever your despair enters the picture, take a full 30-60 seconds to truly witness it and honor it. No more stuffing. Feel it. Allow it to move through you. And then... R E L E A S E it. Deep breath in, and on the exhale, let it all go.
None of this means that you will no longer have shitty days. That is just unrealistic. The goal is to have less and less of them. To have more and more of joy filled and peaceful days, or even moments. Change your mind and you will change your life. Will this get you pregnant? Maybe. Maybe not. But it WILL ensure that you don't lose yourself or the other loves of your life while you wait.
I am here for you. To listen to your story. To share advice. To offer suggestions. To talk you through it. To be a shoulder to cry on. I am here rooting you on. Forever hopeful and full of belief that it will be your turn...
All the baby dust!