Expert / 10 April, 2019 / My Baba
That moment when two minutes feels like a lifetime.
When those two minutes pass by so slowly almost like time knows that you are sitting there in anticipation of celebrating or commiserating, stretching that moment out, allowing your body to flood with adrenaline.
That same adrenaline that triggers freeze, flight or fight mode, inhibiting the cocktail of hormones that you need to keep you going. To keep you happy and positive.
Each month becomes a downward spiral of despair.
Starting with trying, moving on to hope, then to fear and despair until finally back around to trying again. The emotional rollercoaster pulling you deeper and deeper with each cycle.
Soon your relationship starts to suffer. Sex becomes mechanical. Anguish and anger take over. Then your everyday thoughts are clouded by the spiral. Maybe outwardly seeming okay but inwardly focusing only on that spiral and the end game of holding that baby in your arms. Work may suffer. You may start to avoid friends who are pregnant or social situations that make that pang of jealousy and pain worse.
This is all too often the story I hear when couples are trying to conceive. They may be a couple of months into their journey or a couple years. Perhaps IVF has been thrown in for good measure. They lose themselves and their relationships can suffer. Focus only being on getting pregnant.
I get that. I understand it. It’s all you desire.
However, losing you along the way isn’t helpful.
Say you eventually get pregnant, you are automatically lost into the role of mummy. Say you don’t, you have lost yourself down the rabbit hole of despair. Both situations leaving you eventually feeling lost and unlike yourself. Your emotional well-being suffers, your mental health suffers, your day to day life suffers.
This is why it’s so important that if you are going through fertility issues, or are struggling in trying to conceive, that you get support. Have a friend, a counsellor or a coach who is there and can help direct you back on track. Someone who can help you sit down and look at your life and the things that you have let go by the wayside and support you in finding the joy again.
Penning a list of all the things you used to enjoy but let slide is a really helpful tool in doing this. Together with your partner or a friend, pick a couple and allow yourself the time to do them again. It could be as simple as going on a date night to a little backstreet pub you went to when you first started dating to finally booking that trip of a lifetime.
Take daily steps of self-care with the idea of regularly and consistently taking good care of your emotional needs.
One way of doing this is by doing something called Morning Pages (which does not have to be done in the morning!) The idea is that you sit down and just write, let it all out. One, two or three pages of consciousness writing, allowing any feelings and thoughts to emerge. It doesn’t matter what you write. The more you do it the more you’ll find that naturally you’ll expel onto paper what it is you need to let go of in that moment.
Another way is when you start to feel that slump pop on a piece of really great music that always make you smile or want to dance and do just that. Smile, sing, dance the blues away. Music and movement are amazing at releasing tension and getting the right hormones going to get us back into a space of positivity.
Also be aware of distractions. We live in a society whereby it’s much easier to just eat another piece of cake, have a drink or distract ourselves with mindless television then it is to truly face up to how we are feeling in the moment. Let’s be honest when you are trying to conceive there are a myriad of emotions that are going on. We need to honour them, feel them, work out what it is that that particular emotion is trying to tell us and then let it go or put into action a solution to help you move forward.
So, no matter where you are in your journey I want you to feel the importance of you. You matter too. If and when the time comes for that baby to grace your lives you’ll want to be the best version of you for him or her, and if for any reason that ship has sailed, then you will want to be the best of you in order for you to get through this incredibly difficult emotional situation. Taking care of yourself will ensure that you can still live the life you deserve.
Alexandra Kremer is a fertility, birth and parenting coach who supports and empowers families across the globe with their unique journey.
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