Infertility sucks. I know. I’ve been there. And I hid it from almost everyone I know. I was ashamed that my body wasn’t working the way it ‘should’. I hated every person that asked me when I was going to have a baby, now I hate it when they ask about having another baby. I’d hated every new pregnancy announcement. So I had to find things to do when going through fertility treatment.
Put yourself first
I put this first on the list because I believe it is the most important thing. And something that often needs to be re-learned during a long term relationship or when children do come along. It’s ok to say no sometimes.
After being cooped up in an office all day or inside all weekend due to bad weather, some fresh air can be a great way to have a small reset in your day.
With all that fresh air, there is a good chance you will also be enjoying some sunshine. There is something about a sunny day that just makes all my problems melt away. It doesn’t even have to be warm. Just feeling the sun warm my body on winter’s day is enough to make me feel quite happy.
And while you are enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine, why not add some exercise? And I don’t mean the marathon training type of exercise. Just a walk around the blog, or to the park. A good stretch can also do a lot of good.
And not the quality time you have probably been having with your partner in the lead up to this journey. I’m talking about a pet or other family members or friends. Spend some time walking your dog or teaching them a few new tricks. Catch up with your friends for brunch and organise a dinner with your family.
Take a social media hiatus
Most pregnancy announcements happen on social media these days. One way to ensure you miss these is to take a hiatus or cut back on your social media screen time. When you are going through fertility treatment pregnancy announcements can be too much.
I’m not a huge fan of journaling. But I am a fan of writing or typing whatever comes to my mind. Then I throw the paper away or delete the typed document. This helps me get everything off my chest without having someone else’s thoughts or opinions to interrupt.
I know that being mindful in the moment can be difficult. Using a mindfulness app at night has helped me clear my head before bed, which helps me fall asleep quicker.
Find small wins
Small wins help you feel like you have accomplished something, even if it is something small. Small wins provide joy and some extra motivation. You got out of bed today, that’s a small win. You drank enough fluids today, that’s a small win. You ate nutritious food to fuel your body, that’s a small win. You put yourself first, that’s a small win.
Buy a small piece of happiness
Buy a lollipop, go out for coffee and cake, get a manicure, take a nap, binge watch your favourite tv show.
It’s ok to say no to invitations if you really just don’t want to go. And the same goes for cancelling at the last minute. At the end of the day, you need to look after you.
Now, these next few might not be a good option for you, but I found some benefits to them.
Read fertility blogs
I found that reading fertility blogs helped. I really struggled to find Australia fertility blogs but read a few from the US. And while there are many differences between the IVF processes in each country, I felt that reading about other people’s experiences armed with the knowledge that I could use on my own journey.
Join fertility Facebook groups
I would comment to offer my support or suggestions but never felt the need to post myself. The main thing I really got out of reading other peoples posts was the knowledge that I really didn’t have it that bad. In so many cases there is someone out there that has it worse than you. And this can be really humbling.
It might take a little while to find the right combination of these to suit you and your needs, but it’s a great place to start. And just know that while this may feel like a very lonely time in your life, you are not alone.