Every year around this time when everyone is getting excited about the holidays, you start seeing all of these really depressing articles coming out about surviving infertility during the holidays.
I hate that! I want to offer you something different. I don’t want you to just survive the holidays. I want you to THRIVE in the face of infertility, every day of the year.
Yes, it is true, this is an incredibly difficult time for couples who are struggling to get and stay pregnant. It’s hard all the time, and it doesn’t stop for the holiday season. Everyone around you is talking about how blessed they are, updating Facebook with photos of the their happy families skiing in Colorado, and drinking eggnog. Meanwhile, you are still giving yourself shots, worrying about your FSH levels, trying to figure out how you can swing another day off work to make it to your RE appointment, and studiously not eating cookies or drinking champagne at the office holiday party. The 10 different photos of your friends’ adorable babies in elf costumes just add insult to injury.
Struggling with infertility is challenging on every level, but what I want to share with you today is that we actually have the ability to decide just how hard it is for us. Yes. It is painful, but the reality is that you DO have the power to make it less impactful on your life today, right now.
This might be a new way of thinking about your life and your situation, but stay with me and take a minute to really think about this;
The Dali Lama said, that 99% of all suffering occurs in either in the past or the future. What this is means, is that very little suffering actually occurs in the moment apart from physical pain. Either we are lamenting the past or worrying about the future. We are thinking of all of our past failed attempt to get pregnant or worrying about how we are going to pay for this or if our husbands are going to leave us…or whatever. All of these things either already happened or MIGHT happen in the future. Anytime we are not the present we are vulnerable to our minds torturing ourselves with worry or regret.
Im sure you are asking yourself, “What the hell are you talking about? I am infertile and I don’t have any power over this whole messed up situation.”
While it’s true that you can’t will yourself into being pregnant (oh, if only!) in some ways, you do have power.
Here is how:
The next time something upsetting happens (notice I didn’t say to you…this keeps you from being a victim of anything or anyone. Things happen. You can’t change that, but you get to decide what to do with them.); you got your period again, you are ovulating and your partner is out of town, you just found out your FSH is 20…whatever.
Instead of getting upset and retelling the story to everyone who will hear it or replaying it over and over in your head hoping to sort it out, just stop. Stop. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, am I in the present, past or future right now? If you are in the present or past, take another couple of breaths and just put all of your attention right on your breath…on right now. The more you practice this 20 second exercise, the more you will be able to impact your suffering.
The reality is that, when you obsess over the things that are difficult and sad in your life, you are chronically re-triggering distress emotions and suffering for yourself. When we are in replay mode, we feel like we are doing something helpful or productive, but we are just thinking about what happened. And this thinking, while it may seem innocuous, is not very productive for your fertility or health.
The more time you spend overthinking-either in ‘past’ mode or ‘present mode’- the more you cause stress to your system. Stress causes cortisol to go up and as we know, cortisol can negatively impact your ability to produce progesterone. You desperately need progesterone to both get and stay pregnant, so you can see how reducing your experience of suffering has direct influence on your fertility.There is a very easy first step. Stop. Breathe. Get in the present.Click To Tweet
The less you feel you are suffering, the more happiness and peace you will have in your heart. This will make your life-and your health- better every time you practice it.