Most people believe that working hard, following through, organizing, and planning lead to success. We see evidence of this everywhere from our professional lives to personal endeavors. This idea is part of a “grit narrative” that we tell ourselves. Push through; work hard; persevere! So why does it seem like this doesn’t apply to fertility? You track ovulation, get focussed, change your diet, check cervical fluid, do blood work on days 3 and 21, attend endless appointments, get sperm analysis, yet somehow never get closer to your goal.
And all the while your friends say “just relax; you’ll probably get pregnant as soon as you stop trying!” and other profoundly unhelpful advice.
Letting go of outcomes is an essential part of trying to conceive. It also happens to be the most difficult part. For the achievers among us, the news hits hard that a pregnancy can not be achieved, only received; when you enter this journey, all of your striving gets left at the door. And of course you know this, but what’s a doer to do?
Embracing the not-striving and letting go of outcomes does not mean doing nothing. It only means that as you proceed through the tasks involved, you make sure you’re lifting your head up every day and seeing the many other parts of your life there before you. It is not a change in behaviour, only a shift of perspective. Maybe you don’t have to be “gritty” and tenacious with this particular journey.
Tracking ovulation, checking cervical fluid, attending appointments all have their merit, and I strongly encourage those things. However, bringing mindfulness into the process will greatly reduce the anxiety, stress, hopelessness and grief that arise when you focus singlemindedly on trying to conceive.
Here is a good resource for support. There are many mindfulness classes and groups throughout the city who can help you navigate these sometimes rocky waters.
Acupuncture is another resource if calming your mind feels like climbing a sheer, slippery cliff. It is known to reduce sympathetic nervous system response, release endorphins and relieve pain. Most of my patients share that they fall asleep on the treatment table or, at the very least, enter that in-between-limbo-place where they’re unsure if they’re awake or not.
If you have any questions about Acupuncture, or need to talk about any specifics of your condition, please book a 15 minute phone consultation. I’m always available for a chat.