When it comes to fertility challenges you can reach this weird place where you realise that you actually want something to be wrong with you. There’s a "sweet-spot" where something fixable shows up and - ah that's WHY! Then you get pregnant straight away! This actually can happen - a blocked tube cleared, endometriosis removed, thyroid issue corrected, Natural Killer (NK) cells suppressed and so on.
Most of us sit either side of the "sweet-spot" - in the land of unexplained infertility, or of explained infertility but treatment is complex....
I've been on both sides, and let me tell you neither is fun!
I want to talk today about the unexplained side of the TTC equation…
When you start this crazy ride you assume all is well. After some time you get some basic checks - hormone levels, ultrasounds, ovulation happening - which for us all came back with flying colours.
We were in the unexplained category for the first 14 months of our fertility journey.
That time vacuum of frustration, anxiety and confusion....and hope that it would magically be over soon.
After all we were two healthy adults, why not?
Unexplained infertility is a soul-searching experience - at first you wonder if you are just being paranoid or impatient.
People tell you to de-stress and relax.
To lose weight or gain weight
To eat this, not that
To exercise this much but not that much
None of it changes anything, and you still don’t get pregnant….When it drags on and nothing happens and no-one can tell you why its very, very hard.
You start to question everything about your body, lifestyle, sense of worthiness. You live your life in 4 week cycles of OPKs, temperature taking, waiting, hoping.
You decide that a fertility expert is required. You have a glimmer of hope they will find a reason. Or - hang the reason! - maybe IVF will just work immediately and we will move on from this phase of life!!
Unfortunately in unexplained infertility IVF isn’t a guaranteed solution. Sometimes its just not clear – even with all that science has to offer us these days – why its not working.
You can have perfect cycles, get strong embryos and still no joy. It tackles your faith, your finances and your heart.
So what are My Tips for Surviving Unexplained Infertility?
Beyond all reason, beyond all logic. Guard that place in your heart that whispers to you, telling you it will work out eventually.
I don’t know about you but I’ve had times when my belief has wavered….and those have been the darkest and hardest of my time TTC.
When I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that we will succeed all that comes with TTC is so much easier to face – even the setbacks!
Visualise your pregnancy!
It can be so easy to focus on just getting that positive pregnancy test. Or on all the things we don’t want to happen. Have you ever really seen yourself being pregnant? Looked beyond that Big Fat Positive (BPF)? Imagined what it will feel like as your baby grows? Have you visualised being a mum?
The mind is a powerful tool – what we focus on is what we get – I don’t know about you but I’m spending my energy focusing on what I want!
Only ask productive WHY questions
A lot of my unexplained patch involved desperately searching for answers. I realised the biggest question I wanted the answer to was….
This was not helpful – it disempowered me, set the tone of my fertility struggles as playing the victim to infertility.
It opened the door to my worst thoughts about myself. It took a long time to close again.
I learnt to leave that behind and ask better questions of myself and my fertility specialists. Ones that were actually constructive and supportive not the other way around!
What are your tips for surviving unexplained infertility?