Sometimes the fertility journey can feel more like running a in a race. A really long one. With lots of hurdles. At times you are flying along, clearing those hurdles with ease. You feel positive, wildly optimistic; blood pumping in a good way- You Can Do This!
Other times you are out of breath, with a massive stitch just barely making it over those damn hurdles which suddenly seem enormous and too close together.
You can feel so fatigued that every step forward is a mental battle in which you have to remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
This week has been one of those parts of the race for me.
It's funny how sometimes those hurdles that you know should be the most enormous are the ones you seem to just breeze over...and the ones that should be much smaller can suddenly seem insurmountable.
I think the mind is an amazing thing. It helps you muster strength and stoicism in the moments that you need to Just. Keep. Standing. as the ground crumbles beneath you.
In my experience is there are no free passes. When your mind decides you are ready to process parts of those should’ve-been-enormous-hurdles, the ones that you thought you’d already breezed over, something little pops up to trip you.
This happened to me earlier this year when something small really upset me, and I couldn’t work out why. After awhile I realised it was really about the loss of my ability to conceive naturally.
I’d put a lid on how I really felt about that, as I had also been dealing with the loss of my pregnancy, so it took a back seat to that grief. It was clearly too much to process then, but still needed to be emotionally resolved before I could move forward.
My recent small hurdles have been a series of letters from my IVF Doctor, each announcing a newly identified larger hurdle ahead of me in the race. Each hurdle on its own is not impossible…but I’ve been running non-stop for two and a half years now and right now I'm fatigued.
Somehow yet again I need to dig deep to find the energy reserve to anti-up and face this next round of challenges.
So what do I do to pick myself up and keep running in those weeks where I catch my toes on a hurdle and fall flat on my face?
- Music – Same as I would to help pump me up for exercising I put together a great playlist - songs that inspire me, tap into my emotions and get me motivated again!
- Plan! In this process you have so little control. I find taking a step back and making some changes to things I can control helps to make me feel like I am actually accomplishing something. It also helps remind me of why this dream is worth fighting for.
- I take a day (or more!) OFF!!! There are times when I can’t take a break at particular moment as medication or diet restrictions are vital, but it can be easy to get so focused that I often forget to take advantage of the moments where I can take a break. Have a bloody glass of wine! Eat some cheese! Run! It feels good to slip into my “old shoes” for a while…and inevitably it makes me more motivated to come back to my “new shoes”.
What are some of the tools you use to help you leap over the hurdles in your fertility race?