Learning how to cope with infertility can be difficult, especially when everyone around you is pregnant.
How do you stay positive during infertility?
How do you stop worrying about not getting pregnant?
These are valid questions because let’s get real, infertility is a hard road, and usually a long one.
I’d like to share some tips on how to cope with infertility and keep a healthy mindset through the ups and downs.
What It Feels Like To Struggle With Infertility
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Many of you reading this may not know the ins and outs of infertility because it’s not a part of your story. I’m so glad you don’t have to walk through it!
Thank you for wanting to learn and gain perspective.
The more you step into the shoes of someone with infertility, the more compassionate of a friend you’ll become.
Here are some insights into the infertility journey:
There may be rainbow babies for some and a sprinkling of happy endings, but for many, there are not.
The road to bringing a baby home from the hospital is marred with so much grief, loss, sadness, frustration, anger, and uncertainty.
Typical thoughts that we can be plagued with on a daily basis:
- Will I ever get pregnant?
- How come all of my friends are just popping out the kids?
- Am I less of a woman because I can’t conceive?
- Pregnancy announcements on FB make me want to puke!
- It kills me when women complain about being pregnant…I’d give anything to carry a baby!
- Why does it seem like every person I know is pregnant?
- Another Mother’s Day is coming…will that ever happen for me?
- Lord, are you hearing my prayers? I just don’t understand why this has to be so hard. We would make great parents!
- People are judging me because I can’t conceive.
- My partner is losing out on biological kids because I’m the one with the issues.
- I can’t go to any more baby showers!!!
- I just want to freaking have a baby! Why does this have to be so hard?
I think the takeaway from this is to be kind. There are thousands of women fighting this battle every day.
Be willing to show up and listen with love.
Showing up is more powerful than any words you could offer.
How to Cope with Infertility When Everyone is Pregnant
Infertility is one big journey of unknowns. Absolutely no guarantees.
If you’re on this road, then you know that your mind can be a playground for your worries.
Worry can cause a lot of stress, and stress is very unhelpful when you’re trying to conceive.
How do you have a healthier mindset and not think about conception 24/7?
How to cope with infertility when you are stuck in your worries
These are some simple ideas you can work into your daily routine. They won’t make infertility go away, but they will support you when struggling with infertility.
- Get outside and walk somewhere that makes you feel good
- Cook a meal that nourishes your body and soul
- Find times in your day to pray
- Take deep breaths when you feel stress and anxiety coming on
- Call a close friend who understands what you’re going through
- Journal (Check out these 5 journaling techniques for mental health support)
- Find time for exercise
- Dedicate time to something creative to reduce stress and overwhelm
- Go for a drive to get out of the house
Things to avoid if you’re worried about not getting pregnant:
- Comparing yourself to your friends
- Spending too much time on social media
- Reading stats and info on the internet about infertility
None of these activities will help you move beyond your worries. More than likely they will just feed your worries and make you feel worse.
Do yourself a favour and channel all of that stress and energy into things that bring life and joy to your soul – like this list of simple pleasures.
What Are Some Healthy Boundaries To Have During Infertility?
When you’re struggling with infertility and everyone else is pregnant, sometimes you need to evaluate your friendships and put some healthy boundaries in place.
I’m not saying to wallow in your self-pity and swear off seeing people. That’s for sure not healthy!
But what I am saying is that when you’re in a difficult season, you need to take care of yourself.
Try to lessen your exposure to situations that trigger all kinds of unpleasantness in your mind and heart.
For example, here are some triggers (to avoid) for women with infertility:
- Baby showers
- Family gatherings, especially around the holidays when there tend to be lots of pregnancy announcements
- Social media
- Mom groups
- Girls night out when you’re the only one without kids
- Mother’s Day
- Baby aisles in stores
- Meeting other moms for the first time and having to answer all the questions like, “Do you have any kids?”
Just because these are triggers, doesn’t mean you avoid them at all costs.
We have to still be a part of society and navigate our relationships in the midst of the hard.
However, you don’t have to attend every baby shower. You just don’t.
Be very picky about birthday parties, baby showers, and gatherings you choose to attend.
Your real friends should be okay with you not attending, especially if they know your struggles.
And remember, you don’t have to defend your choices to people.
The infertility journey is so unbelievably stressful. Lessening the stress in any way possible is vital to you maintaining a healthy mindset.
Put those healthy boundaries in place and don’t apologize for them!
How Do I Handle All The Questions And Comments About My Infertility?
Oh my goodness. Navigating tons of questions and comments when learning how to cope with infertility is so unpleasant.
Questions can come at you from family members, friends, coworkers, neighbours, and strangers at the park.
Why all the questions?
Why do other people feel the need to say something?
It’s perfectly normal for people to be curious about another person’s family, but it’s not perfectly normal to assume that any of that information is their business.
Infertility is very personal and private.
If someone chooses to disclose any of their story, this is their choice. If someone chooses to keep their entire story private, this is their choice. Both choices should be respected.
I can say from experience that attending family gatherings or even being at the park around other moms can bring about some fears about potential questions.
I don’t enjoy being put on the spot and feeling like I have to answer personal questions for people I may not be very close to.
Some examples of on-the-spot questions or comments:
- Do you have any kids? I’ve got 4!
- How long have you been trying?
- When are you guys going to have a baby? You’re missing out!
- We are so glad we started trying early!
- How old are you, 30? Better get going on that!
- We have 3 under 3 and didn’t even two for 2 of them!
- Have you tried ____? It really helped us!
- I see you have a 6-year-old. Just her?
- Are you going to a specialist?
- Are you going to ____’s baby shower? It’s going to be so great!
How to respond when people are prying for information:
- I don’t really feel like talking about that
- This is honestly none of your business
- My husband and I are keeping this matter to ourselves
- Why don’t you tell me more about your kids?
- We are just taking things one day at a time, thanks
- I’m good, no need to share your advice and tips
If friends, family or strangers are continuing to pry, you can just leave the conversation. That’s perfectly acceptable.
This is a rocky road you’re on, and it’s super emotional and unpredictable.
You don’t owe anyone any information that’s outside of your comfort level.
People in your life who truly love you should respect that and not push.
When you’re coping with infertility, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself in conversations with others!
How Do I Stay Positive During Infertility?
Staying positive during infertility is so important. Any doctor or specialist would agree.
Our mindset and perspective can absolutely affect our bodies and stress levels.
As women going through something so difficult, we need to try and remain positive!
One of my biggest tips to stay positive is to find your people.
By that I mean to find a few people (maybe 1-3) in your life who you can share everything with. They are your first phone call.
You have the freedom to spill the best and worst of your journey with them, free of any judgment.
During your infertility struggles these are people who will:
- Honor confidentiality
- Be okay with ugly crying
- Ask you to go do something fun to get your mind off of the issues
- Drop off your favourite drink when you just got another negative test
- Pray with you and for you
- Know when to ask questions and when to just sit with you quietly
- Encourage you, challenge you, and support you no matter what
Infertility is extremely isolating.
Having just a few friends who you can go to whenever is very life-giving and empowering throughout the infertility journey.
There is power in community and in having others speak life, blessing, and truth into your life, especially if you’re experiencing dark seasons.
Find your people and keep them!
They won’t make all your problems go away, but they will help cushion the hard moments you encounter.
Another helpful tip for staying positive is to focus on good things.
Don’t watch movies and TV shows about becoming a mom or being a new parent.
That won’t help you at all.
If you want to focus on how to cope with infertility, do these things instead…
- Listen to good music or podcasts
- Find some humorous books that keep things lighthearted
- Watch a funny RomCom with your spouse or girlfriends
- Don’t spend too much time scrolling through social media because you will inevitably be subjected to more pregnancy announcements and gender reveals than you’d care to see
Part of taking care of your body during infertility means taking care of your mind.
For me, I like listening to worship music or spending time reading the Bible. Both of these things help take me from the land of negativity to a more positive place, one where I’m more rational and can see things more clearly.
Reading the Bible helps remind me that God is always with me and I’m never alone in my struggle.
I truly believe that even in the midst of my struggles, there’s a greater story being written!
Whatever you need to do to help your mindset be more positive, do those things.
How To Cope with Infertility: Final Thoughts
I hope this article has been helpful for you as you continue to put one foot in front of the other and strive for a healthy mindset during infertility.
Remember to find your people, stay positive, establish healthy boundaries, and have other outlets that help you deal with the stress.
Praying for each of you on this journey, that no matter what may come you wouldn’t lose hope.
How Do You Stay Positive When Coping with Your Infertility?
Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!
About Lisa Johnson:
Lisa is a former kindergarten teacher turned homeschool mom. She loves to write, teach, and go hiking and fishing with her family. Along with blogging, she is also passionate about Jesus, encouraging women, drinking iced coffee, and making guacamole. She and her family reside just outside the Chicago area and are hoping to add to their family through adoption. You can read more about her humorous take on parenting and life at Thank Goodness Its Recess.