The first month you pull the goalie, in the bedroom, you get a little hopeful at the end of the month, thinking, “maybe we’ll get lucky.” You don’t think much of it ‘cause you know you only have about a 30% chance of getting pregnant (assuming you got the timing right). After a few months, you put your legs up after you do the BD. You end up with another BFN. The next month, you buy some OPKs, put your legs up after you BD, take some Vitex, and cross your fingers.
With each month that passes, the list of things you do to improve your chances of conception increases. You might find yourself on TTC forums or Facebook groups, checking every new symptom, asking if anyone got a BFP 4 days after ovulation, because you felt a twinge and your boobs hurt.
After six or 12 months of TTC with no luck, you visit a reproductive specialist. Once you get diagnosed with infertility, the wishin’ and hopin’ every month becomes more intense even though your chances of getting pregnant naturally get smaller. You think about the story of your friend’s friend that went on vacation after 7 rounds of IVF and somehow got pregnant naturally. WTF!?
We know it’s tough. We’ve been there. You’re hoping you’re the exception, but in reality (like the scene above), you’re the rule.
If you want to know the actual symptoms of early pregnancy, go here or here (you already knew those signs though didn’t you?), but know every woman and every pregnancy is different. And if you are going through fertility treatments and you suspect something is wrong, CALL your gynecologist or reproductive endocrinologist (RE). They know you and your current situation. Trust the professional, not a random person from the internet.
When you recognize you’re graspin’ and reachin’ for whatever you can hold onto, hoping that it will bring you one step closer to being pregnant (or confirm a pregnancy), just hit pause. Here’s why… graspin’ and reachin’ puts you in a very unproductive, downward spiral, wasting your time obsessing, and being disappointed while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Recognizing how your actions impact your journey is step one. Step two is focusing on what you want, with intent. Instead of buying another cute onesie with matching accessories, do something productive with all of that energy.
Like that movie scene above, becoming hyper-vigilant of every gurgle and twinge, and twisting it into “maybe I’m pregnant” is not helpful. If you go online, you will find SOMEONE that claims to have had your early “pregnancy symptoms.” Feeding that dream just leads to a bigger let down if/when you get a BFN at the end of the month.
Instead, start a journal with YOUR thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. Do this without judgment (it may or may not be an early sign of pregnancy). At the end of the month, if you get that BFP, go ahead and read back through your journal and label everything as an early symptom. If you didn’t get a BFP, go back and read those observations with an open mind, open heart, and self-compassion.
It’s so hard. We get it. Find a new series to binge, learn something new like knitting, or start a new project. Every time you go to the internet to match your symptoms, STOP, and binge-watch your show, knit another row on your scarf, or work on your project.
The science is solid: It’s harder to get pregnant when you’re stressed. Physiologically, stress is a sign of immediate danger, and getting pregnant is NOT vital for survival. That’s a fact.
If you’re undergoing fertility treatments, stress is part of the equation. During that two-week-wait, when all you have to think about is “did it work this time,” your mind can get the best of you. You’ll start to stress over the tiniest thing. Then you’ll think, “I need to relax to improve my chances.” Then, at the moment when you need to relax, knowing that you need to relax, but realizing that focusing on trying to relax is stressful, which stresses you out even more — making you more intent on relaxing, but getting more stressed out because you can’t relax, and you can’t figure out how to break the cycle!
So, if you’re stressed after reading that, take a moment to create a list of a few ways you can relax, ranging in price from free to $20 or less. That way, the next time you’re in a “stressed out I need to relax loop,” you’ll have a list you can go to without thinking. And before you know it, you’ve broken the loop.
At the end of the day, use mindfulness to recognize when you’re in a loop, then consciously choose a more productive endeavor, and take that action. This mindfulness practice will ultimately set you up for a healthier journey towards what you desire.
If you’re interested in exploring more ways to recalibrate your approach to infertility, check out our latest workbook, “Reframe Your Fertility Mindset: Create The Experience You Desire.” In just 31 days, you’ll shift from the very confusing tailspin that was your past, towards consciously choosing how your infertility journey unfolds moving forward. Best of all – It’s absolutely free. Download Now