When suffering from infertility there are days that are just plain hard. I had one last week. For some reason I just couldn’t focus on the good in my life and I just wanted to focus on what was going wrong. That is ok. I allow myself to have days like that, because if I don’t let out the sadness or the hurt, it will fester into something much more.
I do try to have more good days than bad. But, as us ladies suffering from infertility know, that isn’t always easy.
There are days, even weeks, where we have to work at being happy and work at focusing on the good. I decided to share with you 10 things that contribute to my happy days. Hopefully one or all them help you as well….because, we need more happy days in our lives.
#1. Everything is Better Served in A Wine Glass
There are some nights that I just want to sit down and have a glass of wine, but I can’t. Technically I could sneak in a glass, but I feel that I have to do what is right for me and unfortunately that has meant no wine for a while now. But, I have learned that just the art of pouring anything in a wine glass makes me just as happy. My new nightly ritual is pour 1/2 a purple flavored izze and sparkling water into the glass…and, viola…it looks like wine.
#2. Create a Morning Ritual
The fact that I am not working at the moment has made it hard for me to get motivated some mornings. There are days where I don’t have much scheduled and I find myself religiously watching the third hour of the Today Show; and that’s no good. As much as I like Kathy Lee and Hoda, I should be doing something else at 10 am. To get myself out of the funk I have created a morning ritual for myself. The small act of having a morning ritual makes me more productive and more eager to tackle the rest of the day.
#3. Channel the fear into excitement
With infertility and my pending IVF comes so much anxiety and fear. Fear that I won’t get the outcome I am hoping for, fear that I won’t be able to handle the daily injections, and fear that my body won’t respond the way it is supposed to. I am trying to let go of the fear and turn that into excitement for the possibilities of what is to come. I have tried hard to not get excited about this process and have focused on the fear, but not anymore. I want to be excited for the journey. I want to be excited that my body could respond how it’s supposed to and that I may get exactly what I want from this process. Living each day with excitement instead of fear is way more rewarding.
#4. Share your experiences via a blog or Instagram
My one regret is that I didn’t start blogging or sharing my experience on an Instagram account sooner. The act of sharing has been so fulfilling for me on this journey. During my four miscarriages and first appointments with different fertility doctors I felt so alone. Everyone I knew was off having successful pregnancies and I was alone in a world of repeated pregnancy loss, needles, and heartbreaking ultrasounds. Connecting with everyone in this community has been one of the best decisions I made. I no longer feel alone, I know that I now have a support group of so many woman spread throughout the world. There is no judging when I have a bad day there is just encouragement and support that things will get better.
#5. Set aside enough “me” time.
As I get closer to starting stims I am making sure that I have set aside “me” time weekly. Some weeks it’s in the form of acupuncture, others it may be a massage, and sometimes it’s just brining a book to a local coffee shop. During this process I am my number one priority and I want to make sure that not only am I physically ready for IVF, but that I am emotionally ready as well. Some weeks it seems that my life is so consumed by outside noise that I have to set aside time to just focus on me.
#6. Make sure your day is filled with things you love
In the world of infertility our days can seem so long as we wait for the positive pregnancy test, as we wait for stims to start, or as we wait for an updated embryo report. In the past I have just wanted to sleep away the days to make them go by quicker, but that is not how I should be living my life. There are some days where is seems endless and they are filled with doctors appointments or the daily stresses of infertility. I have found that I find more pleasure in each day if I fill it with little things that I love to do. I love to squeeze in at least 20 minutes to read my book, I love to take my dog for a walk through our local park, and I love to chat with my hubby while making dinner (there are days he just wants to zone out after a long day of work..but I force him to come chat with me). Adding little things I love into my day helps me to appreciate each day I have.
#7. Keep track of things you are grateful for
The world of infertility can be a dark and lonely place where we feel consumed by the daily negatives of where our journey has brought us. For a while I felt that there were more dark days for me than good and I was getting tired of it. I realized that there was still so much in life that I was grateful for or things that I was happy about, but I wouldn’t let myself focus on them. Then, I finally took the advice from my mom and started a gratitude journal. Each day I write down something that I am thankful for or happy about; and I find that by writing it down I am able to reflect that there are also good things happening in my life. I still have bad days where it is hard to find the good, but I force myself to focus on at least one thing that is going right. At times my entries may be as little as “I sat in the sun and watched the dogs play this morning” to “I am grateful to have such a loving and supportive family”. Even when it seems that my life is crumbling around me I try to find the good in something from that day.
#8. Let go of control
I feel that this has been the hardest for me during my journey with unexplained infertility. The fact that the word my infertility is described as unexplained can be very frustrating. That means there is not a definite reason to why I have suffered through 4 miscarriages and that means that there isn’t a definite solution to helping me maintain a pregnancy. It means that I have no control and I have to accept that. By my fourth miscarriage I came to the realization that there was nothing I could have done differently to make the outcomes better. There are little things that I can control in my life such as: not drinking alcohol, eating a balanced diet, and making time for yoga. I know that in the end these things will make a little difference in the outcome, but I can be satisfied that I was doing the best I could for my body. When I start stims I will have no control on how my body reacts to the medications or what the outcome will be and I am finding a peace with that.
#9. Take a facebook hiatus
At times I feel constantly bombarded by cute pregnancy announcements and birth updates on facebook. I find myself torn between being happy for them and feeling utterly sad for myself. Once and a while it’s good to just check out from the world of facebook and focus on other things in life. Somedays this is harder for me than others as I can find myself mindlessly scrolling through the news feed. I have found that for myself to really check out I have to delete the app from my phone for a few days/weeks at a time. I don’t always need to know that my friends second cousin is expecting their first child…or what my friends ate that day…..it’s good to just check out.
#10. Get some exercise Daily
No matter where we are in our journey of infertility I believe that this is key. I feel so much better after getting outside or getting my butt to the gym. Depending on the day it can be harder than others to get myself motivated, but I never regret it. I always regret not making time for exercise, but I never regret working out. On days when my motivation is low I just add on a few miles to my daily walk with my dogs or add an extra walk with them in the afternoon. No matter what the exercise looks like I alway feel better when doing it.
And…some pictures that make me happy!!