If you’re a smart, strong, determined and successful woman (and if you’re reading this, I know you are), then you’ve learned that hard work is the key to getting where you want to go in life. And that has always served you extremely well. Until now.
I’d be willing to bet that infertility is likely the first time you’ve ever faced a situation you couldn’t brainstorm your way through, read up on to find a solution, or otherwise put your nose to the grindstone and work harder until you got your desired result.
This is not to say you haven’t tried! I’m sure you’ve monitored your ovulation over dozens of cycles, read absolutely everything you can possibly get your hands on, tried modifying your diet a time or two (or ten), sampled some alternative treatments, and quite possibly tried a round or two of IUI or IVF. All to no avail.
And wowza—that’s frustrating! To say the very least.
To all you amazing women who find yourself in this situation, I’d like to offer this for your consideration:
It’s time to work smarter, not harder.
I can hear you thinking, “What the [&$@is that supposed to mean?!” Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging. Keep reading for my 3 ways to work smarter, not harder through infertility.
1. Take your foot off the gas.
Do you ever feel like the harder you work at out-smarting infertility, the more it feels like you’re banging your head against a wall? Or like nothing you do gets you any closer to your goal? I know I sure did.
The first step to working smarter is to stop trying so hard. We really can’t control our fertility in the way we’d like, so when we try to, we often end up creating unwanted stress and anxiety.
(Head over to this post, to find out why stress is your fertility’s #1 enemy.)
Dialing it back could mean something different for every woman, but here are a few suggestions:
Don’t spend so much time on Google searching for solutions; likewise, you don’t need to read every book about fertility you can get your hands on.
Don’t bounce from one potential lifestyle change to another. Anything you decide to try will take some time to work—often as long as 3-6 months. Constantly changing tactics is only going to create more tension, not a baby.
Don’t focus on your numbers and test results. If they provide you with actionable information, then take action. Otherwise simply allow them to be numbers. You’re a person, and for better or for worse, no medical test or number can tell you how your body is going to behave. Don’t get hung up.
2. Stop looking for the magic bullet in your kitchen.
It probably doesn’t exist. Sure, you hear tons of stories from women who started eating X or Y (or stopped eating A and B) and got pregnant. But we’re all different, and just because it worked for one, or even a few, women, doesn’t mean it will work for you. And you could literally drive yourself nuts trying all the things you read about. (Also, remember what I said above about jumping from one lifestyle change to another.)
Instead, I’ve got a few simple guidelines that I like to suggest when I work with clients:
1. If you know that you have an intolerance or allergy, or if a certain food (or foods) make you feel not good when you eat them, then avoid them.
2. Otherwise, eat in such a way that your body feels satisfied and happy.
Too many rules and trying to be too much in control creates a lot of stress and pressure which is exactly the opposite of what you want right now.
3. Focus on your present self and what she needs right now to be happy.
Obviously, I know that what you really want right now is a baby. But I also know that there are lots of other things happening in your life like work, relationships with family and friends, and even your time alone with yourself.
Why not look at the other non-fertility related aspects of your life to see what you could be doing to bring yourself more joy in the present moment?
Have you been waiting to change jobs because you keep expecting to be pregnant? Maybe it’s time to really get that ball rolling. Same with that fabulous vacation you and your partner keep putting off.
Is there a class that you’ve often thought about taking? Maybe now would be a good time to go for it. Or do you simply wish you had more time for yourself? Then make that a priority and figure out how to make it happen.
The only version of “you” that exists, is the “you” of the present moment, and she deserves to be as happy and fulfilled as possible. Not only that, but positive change in one area of life often leads to positive changes in other areas, too!
Send me a comment if something in this post resonates with you. I’m here cheering you on along your journey!