I want to give you some TTC tips about coping when everyone is getting pregnant and you aren’t yet. Have you ever felt isolated and alone? It seems a strange question to ask doesn’t it? Like bread and butter or rain or shine, fertility and isolation just go together, and it’s tough.
Feeling isolated when TTC is one of the most common emotions that those of us with fertility issues have to deal with. Everyone else is seemingly getting on with their lives and you feel stuck. For one thing it’s such a personal topic that we often don’t share what we are going through with friends or family. It becomes a secret between partners or maybe if we’re lucky with close friends or family. And the longer we travel this road of fertility treatments and natural fertility it get’s harder. I remember friends having their second and even third children while I was still trying to have my first. And with each month and year that goes by this feeling of being left behind becomes more acute. I remember being part of a book club of close friends. We all got married around the same time and then naturally babies started to appear. My book club became more of a mothers group talking about schedules, sleeping problems and breast feeding. One evening I came back home, picked up a pillow and screamed into it until my throat hurt. How was it possible that I was finding the most natural of acts, that all women should be able to do, impossible. I felt like I’d failed the greatest lesson of my life while my peers where happily moving forward into the next phase of theirs.
There is no point writing about things like isolation and loneliness unless we can also talk about a way ahead. Like all things to do with fertility there is no quick fix but there are some things that we can do to make us feel better. Talking about how you feel is hugely important. There is good research out there which shows that women who join support groups or who speak about what they are going through with counsellors or therapists feel better and are more fertile. Speaking to older women is our lives like mothers or mothers in law can also provide us with additional support. They often do want to help, but don’t know how. I think we need to be better at telling them how they can support us (even if it’s giving them a book about what you are experiencing so they know what you are going through. I found ‘Conquering Infertility’ by Alice Domar does a great job at this). Natural therapists like yoga teachers, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nutritionists who focus on fertility can also be a great support in a lonely week, to off load and help you de-stress and find calm. For me, making friends with people who had older children or who didn’t have children really helped, and they soon became my new tribe of buddies. These friends were only too happy not to talk about babies and pregnancies. Instead they lifted me up, helped me to laugh again and allowed me take some time out from my fertility issues to realise that there were other aspects to my life that were worthwhile and fun. They helped me to realise that I was more than my fertility challenges. It was a timely reminder which made me grateful and kept me sane.
TTC = trying to conceive