Infertility presents women and their partners with various stresses constantly — yet, knowing how to reframe those stresses makes a tremendous difference, not only in your outcome, but also in how you get beyond this challenging time in life.
Consider the following 10 scenarios and their matching reframes.
Think if you’ve been in a similar scenario yourself before, and whether changing your perspective might actually help you feel better…
- You learned yesterday that your fourth IVF attempt resulted in another negative pregnancy test. Today at work an irritating coworker announces that she is pregnant.
- Reframe: “I know she’s annoying… but what is it about her that perhaps I might need to try myself?” or ”Wow, if it happened for her, it can happen for me.”
- You are 38 years old and have just been through another IVF protocol, only to find that all of your embryos are genetically abnormal.
- Reframe: “It is time to make some changes that will help create better gametes, or to create a different attitude about using a donor.”
- You switch to a new fertility specialist for a third opinion, and learn that all along you have had a uterine septum preventing implantation. You’ll now have to postpone an important vacation and then wait an additional cycle for your body to recover. The thought of this taking even longer makes your heart sink.
- Reframe: “I am grateful for an answer at last, and can see this as an opportunity to have an open womb, ready for new life.”
- After doing fertility treatments, you conceive but have two early losses — at which point you learn that you have an autoimmune condition to address.
- Reframe: “I forgive my body for fighting so hard against itself and attacking the pregnancies. I am ready to change the way I view life. Creating more peace in my heart creates a more welcome space for baby.”
- You’ve been diagnosed with ‘unexplained’ infertility. You’re 33 years old, you menstruate regularly, and you’e done every test in the standard workup and then some… but there’s no explanation as to why it’s not happening for you, month after frustrating month.
- Reframe: “The explanation is within myself… and I have the courage to look at the parts of myself that I don’t like or understand, in order to create necessary change.”
- You finally make the decision to use donor eggs, and it doesn’t work.
- Reframe: “I am ready to release sadness and grief. I allow the baby who is intended for me to come to me, in its way at the right time. In the meantime, I am keeping my heart open.”
- Everywhere you look, you see someone with a belly, announcing her pregnancy on social media, or pushing a stroller.
- Reframe: “With so many pregnancies happening, I can trust that there is a baby out there for me, even when it is hard to believe.”
- The holidays are here again and that means answering the same questions, or being the only couple present at family gatherings without a baby.
- Reframe: “Even without having a baby yet, I have reasons to truly love the life I have.”
- You are upset with your partner for not being more involved in the process, and your partner is upset with you because ‘all you can think about’ is having a baby.
- Reframe: “I am ready to release my resentment about this process. I am willing to look at my behavior. I am grateful for the support that I receive.”
- You pause just long enough to hear your inner conversation. It’s constantly saying, “Why me? What am I doing wrong? When is it my turn? How can I trust? It’s not fair. What more can I do?”
- Reframe: “I am more than enough. I am deserving. I can allow this process to unfold at its pace. I am willing to make changes in order to get to the baby intended for me.”
Anyone who’s spent time trying to conceive can appreciate the way their thoughts rush to the most negative, defeatist places. As tough as it is to imagine these scenarios, they happen everyday, all day long.
Today, catch yourself. Apply some of these reframes. Write them down. Set alerts in your phone to remind yourself of a particular reframe – you may realize that they are helpful in many situations!
If you’re trying your best, then remember — it’s impossible to try any harder than you already are; allow your efforts to be good enough. And if you’re already in The Seed Program course, remember how good it feels to reframe your pain and frustration. Don’t stop using your tools!
To find your own reframe, finish this sentence:
Without infertility, I would not know that I can ___________________________.