One of my favorite sayings is "Obstacles are the really scary things you see when you take your eyes off your goal". I have been reading the journals of members who have been trying to conceive for many months, some of them years. There is still hope in most of their entries, but some of the women I’ve come to know are tired and frustrated, and each month they get their period, or get another test result back, or hear bad news from their doctor, their eyes come off their goal, and focus more on the obstacles.
I remember how that feeling sinks into every crevice of your life. After trying for years to get pregnant with my first son, and then three miscarriages before my next son, I know how hard it is to keep going. You don’t even realize the subtle changes that come over you with each month that passes. It is really, REALLY hard to stay positive.
But in all of the things that are happening, all the things that are out of your control, remaining focused and positive is something you can control. Your outlook is probably the only thing over which you have control in all this uncertainty. You cannot control the condition of your husband's sperm, your cervical mucus, the hormonal balance needed for conception, none of the physiological stuff. You CAN control your attitude about it. The mind/body connection is so powerful...
If all the set backs are making you feel, bit by bit, that it is hopeless, than you are giving before you’ve tried everything. If you are about to start IVF, but don’t have a belief that it really COULD work, then I would give you a really high likelihood of failure. So how can you stay focused after disappointments?
Ask yourself what is it that has kept you motivated so far. What were the thoughts, dreams, hopes you had when you first started to try to get pregnant? Write them down. Try spending time with a friend's child for an afternoon, and see the world with them for a few hours. Talk to your DH about the things you want for your baby. Try to renew the energy for going through all of this by reminding yourself of the immensity of the joy of the end result. Tell yourself this can be done, you have not exhausted all your possibilities yet, and until you have, you are not going to quit.
After a few years of trying, and worrying, my husband and I finally devised a “plan”. And once we had this plan in place, I was able to relax a little bit more. We were going to try IVF three times, and if it didn't work, we had chosen an adoption facilitator. We were going to be parents one way or another, and I felt that 4000 pound weight I had been carrying lift with the making of that decision. And, knowing there was an end in sight, and I was really at peace. Knowing I was going to be a mom to a child, my blood or not, was what relaxed me. I got pregnant on my own, no fertility drugs, no IUI, nothing, during the two weeks I was waiting to start my shots for IVF.
So what ever step you are taking in this journey, whether it’s the first thing you’ve tried or the 20th, you have to believe that this thing, whatever it is (Clomid, laparoscopy for endometriosis, Metaformin, IVF, etc.), COULD be the thing that changes the picture. After three miscarriages, I wasn’t sure I could try again, but finding a new RE who was willing to try medications I hadn’t been on made me think I hadn’t exhausted all my possible solutions. It was a big emotional risk to take, getting pregnant again, but it worked. I was put on Lovenox, prednisone, and high dose progesterone, and had another baby because of it. Without that belief…
I know how hard it is to keep trying. There were days, weeks, that I didn’t have it in me. But then I’d have a sit down with myself, and go over all the reasons why and how I could do one more test, or try for one more month. I’d realize that no matter how depressed I was, I hadn’t tried everything yet, and until I did, I wasn’t done. And until I had tried everything, there was still a chance.
So on those days, and weeks, when you can’t seem to look at a pregnant woman with out crying, or you’ve just gotten your 23rd period in a row, give your self a gift. Give yourself the best possible chance, by believing it can still happen.