Knee deep in a stimulated cycle lately its not uncommon for this thought to hit me - I want a baby so badly...but how much longer can I put myself through this?? I'm not sure about you but my experience has been that the longer our IVF process goes on, the harder it gets for me.
Sometimes it feels like walking knee deep through wet concrete.
When this comes over me I know I'm experiencing self-doubt at its peak. Even with a positive outlook to this whole process it takes a toll - I am human after all!
The doubts raise that question - what if I'm doing all this physical, emotional (and financial) suffering for nothing??
If only I knew for sure my baby was on the other side!
But when it comes to infertility there are no guarantees.
In life certainty provides a safety net for us. Think of all the things you would do if you were absolutely certain it would work out the way you wanted it to!!
I've come to realise that certainty in anything is often an illusion. Too many factors in life are outside of our control.
The quest for certainty often results in desperately trying to control these factors. For me this has only led to disappointment in myself, feeling more self-doubt, anxiety and negativity than when I just felt afraid of being uncertain.
So what has TTC taught me about managing the need for certainty?
Whatever it is, I can handle it.
I've had times where I've faced things and wondered if I would be able to handle them….but every time I have. It might not have been easy but I’ve always come out the other side.
Like any challenge while TTC you are going to have times where you press up against your current limits.
I say current limits deliberately - I know personally I've pushed and grown further than I thought I could.
In those moments where that question comes up I now know the answer to what I can be certain of - whatever it is, I can handle it.
Be Certain Of Your Goal But Flexible In Your Plan To Get There
I’m a planner from way back. I love things to be ordered and marching to my tune.
Fertility struggles are definitely not either those things!
TTC has taught me better than ever that the best laid plans can go wrong.
1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. We are all different and what works for 100 other people might not for me.
I’ve in the past been derailed by this. Defeated even. I was so certain my plan of action was going to work that when it didn’t I fell apart.
I’ve learnt that you need to be flexible. When something doesn’t work you must figure out how to roll with the punches. Don’t let it knock you out - instead change tack. How else can you get there?
Often The Best Way To Be Certain Is To Take Action
Our mind is a powerful tool - it keep us “safe” by letting us feel fear. When we don’t know the outcome that little voice comes rushing out to say - Stop, Danger, Be Careful!
There are times where that voice is spot on. But often its holding us back.
If we stop ourselves from trying purely for fear of not being certain of the outcome then the only thing we can be certain of is that nothing will change!
Action shows us what works and what doesn’t. I’ve learnt to stop thinking of the things that don’t work as failures - I now see them as learning opportunities.
I’ve discovered that what is on the other side of that fear is courage:
The courage to go on.
The courage to make tough decisions.
The courage to let go of the need for certainty.
How has the need for certainty impacted your fertility journey? What are your tips for how to cope with the uncertainty of TTC?