TTC: Last week I asked you to write to me and share what have you’ve learnt about yourself that you didn’t know before you started your fertility journey. I received a lovely email from one of our tribe, about how she is coping with the very real ups and downs of her fertility journey and how her shift in mindset has helped keep her on track as she ttc. She has given me permission to share her story.
She writes, “I’d like to share what I have learned…
Last year was one of the most toughest and challenging years of my life when I started the IVF cycles. So many disappointments and riding the emotional roller coaster between cycles, putting my body through the checks, waiting, getting results, watching my friends get pregnant, attending baby showers, finding out my younger sister is pregnant with her second, and just listening to constant baby talk and feeling jealous and then guilt for feeling that way. I felt I put my life on hold. Not wanting to schedule in holidays, stopping exercising to let body rest, trying to pull myself together for anything social and taking lots of natural remedies so I wouldn’t break out in tears at work all the time, and just trying to keep it together.
This year I am still going through IVF and will be doing my third transfer next week. However this year I am living more. I am not putting my life on hold waiting to fall pregnant. I am taking action. I have started exercising and taking up more hobbies that bring me joy. My husband and I have taken up salsa lessons, something we have been talking about for ages and I have reignited my love of dancing. I’ve started doing yoga on the weekend, learning new tai chi forms, studying Chinese and scheduling in some fun social events after work.
I have started to focus more on a development plan at work instead of just trying to cruise till I get pregnant and go on mat leave. I’m doing my Cert IV upgrade for training and assessment at work and looking at changing my role to incorporate more things that will challenge and allow me to contribute more value to the business. We have been planning small trips, weekend camping trip with friends, 3 day retreat next month and will go an overseas trip this year hopefully Hawaii. We will manage our IVF process, reschedule or change trips if necessary but will plan fun things along the way. Life has been more full this year. I know I’m getting close to my transfer and hoping I won’t have to do injections while camping, but if I do we will find a way. Life is a journey and I will be a mum one day (naturally or by adoption). Until then I will live my life to the fullest and enjoy it as much as I can.”
I love this email. It’s inspiring and brave. Living with fertility issues is beyond tough. To be in the depths, and making a conscious decision to rise up out of it and live your life fully – this is the key way to manage your journey. I really believe that when you are in balance you are more fertile. When you learn to slow life down and do things that make your heart sing, (like the salsa, yoga and weekend camping,) you remember your fertility challenges are just a part of you, not all of you.
So let me ask you. What can you do to make your journey a little easier? What do you love doing that you’ve put on hold because of your fertility issues? Is it possible to gently reintroduce them back into your life? Finding ways to have fun and relax will allow you to meet your fertility challenges half way, and you are much more likely to have success if you’re relaxed and happy (I have seen this many, many times). Whatever it is that you’ve stopped doing, see if you can bring it back.