Trying To Conceive – Lessons I’ve Learned

I do not like the word “infertile”.

It implies that someone is in-fertile. Not fertile. The opposite of fertile.

It is a word that can make you doubt everything you know about yourself and your body. It oozes into your pours so it seems you can’t get away from it, even when sleeping. It takes your confidence, your joy and your shine. It sneaks in, like a thief in the night, to take what is most valuable to you on the journey to making a baby.

HOPE.

I accidentally stumbled across the actual definition of “infertility” last night:

The failure of a couple to conceive a pregnancy after trying to do so for at least one full year. (source)

Infertility, you can bite me.

I never thought I would write about our journey trying to conceive baby #2. While I love to share and teach and write, there are things I keep to myself and consider personal. I sometimes like to hold things tight to my chest, protecting them from the light of day. Thinking that, if I expose them, I might have to face some truth I’ve been avoiding.

Then I realized things are always more clear when brought into the light.

Maybe this will help someone else going through the same thing. I hope so, because it is hard wanting a baby so, so bad and not being able to decide exactly when it happens.

It is so hard.

Or maybe this will just help me, so that I can more clearly lay out the jumbled thoughts in my head and continue to find my own peace through this up and down journey.

Pilates Happy Hour Love

This post is not about counting days in your cycle, eating the right foods, picking the perfect exercises, taking your temperature, drinking caffeine or checking your mucus (seriously, can we please just stop talking about the mucus?!).

This post is also not about “infertility”, because I don’t believe in that word. We are women and we were born with some level of fertility. It’s how we were designed and it’s part of our DNA. Some of us just might have different levels of fertility and different paths to get there, but I refuse to label myself, or any of you, as infertile.

This post is about taking back your power. Taking back your confidence. Taking back your joy, your fun, your spontaneity. Taking back your joy in the present moment. Taking back your HOPE.

Stop labeling yourself

Too much estrogen, not enough estrogen, PCOD, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, short luteal phase (I still don’t get what that is by the way).
Let go of the labels and stop putting them on yourself.
When I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2005, I was immediately put into a category of “may be difficult to conceive”. I didn’t even understand why. I just knew that it must be true because it was written in my chart.
I call bullshit.
I had surgery and then changed my lifestyle to manage and hopefully cure this disease, with the primary intention to someday have babies.
I was DIAGNOSED with a disease. I did not BECOME the disease.
We are given labels in medicine because it is convenient and clean and easy.
Not because they determine our future.
Yes, you might have fibroids or low thyroid levels or even a third eye. That does not define you.
Do not take the easy road and give up because of a label. You can be stronger than any tag that is put on you. It’s up to you to believe that and live it.

Stop the Googling madness

Google has the power to suck me in like a third dimension wormhole. When I innocently type in “symptoms of ovulation”, the gravitational pull begins. The next thing I know, it’s an hour later and, while I have no idea what my original question was, I do have ten more things to ask Google next time.
This world of counting cycle days and using predictor kits is a very personal, very emotional and very volatile one. For every piece of promising information you find, you will also find ten stories from women who are frustrated and angry and annoyed. I understand. I am with you, sister. I just can’t let myself read all of those stories and chat room conversations and conflicting pieces of advice. It sucks my confidence like a vacuum, and I end up closing my computer more confused and unsure then when I started.
The internet is an amazing tool, but use it wisely. Know yourself and what triggers you to doubt, and avoid those things. My general rule is to type in my question and then limit myself to two or three sites for the answer. If it takes longer than that, I’m probably going down the rabbit hole and need to get out while I can.
ps – There is an amazing source in addition to Google, and it’s called Your Doctor. Have one you trust and like and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I wanted a hormone level checked recently, and my doctor seriously ordered it within 24 hours and I had the result back in two days. Not all doctors respond this way, but it never hurts to ask.

Control your thoughts

“Just don’t stress about it. Stress makes it worse.”
Thanks for pointing that out.
Every woman who has been trying for a year to get pregnant knows that. If I could just turn it off that easily, I would.
For me, just telling myself to “not stress” does not help. It causes me more anxiety.
Instead, I actively redirect my thoughts to something that gives me peace instead of frustration.
Thinking about my daughter is one avenue I take. She has a laugh that melts my heart, and any time I start to go down stress road, I hear it in my head.
I have a few inspirational quotes I love that I have memorized and can repeat like mantras, over and over again.
I hear my husband’s voice saying, “Our baby is coming when the time is right, honey!”. I could say that to myself, but it holds more power for me when I hear his voice, confident and strong, telling me.
I read this article by Amy, because it is real and sweet and she is hilarious.
I exercise. Sweating out stress while listening to great music always works for me.
I remind myself of all I’m grateful for. I don’t want to miss everything this moment has to offer in my life because I’m fixated on my worry for the future. I look around and really take in how amazing this very moment is.
When a stressful thought comes to you, let it go. I mean immediately. Delete it from your brain. Turn from it and walk away and find your vision or saying or song or quote or action that brings you joy. Don’t worry about anything but that moment. Then, when stress hits next, do it again. And again. And again.

Believe

You must believe. You HAVE TO believe. The only way any of the other actions can work is if you whole-heartedly believe your baby is coming to you. That might sounds trite or cliche or just plain annoying.
But it’s true.
I can’t tell you how to make this happen. You have to sit with yourself and find the place in your deepest being where you can feel and see and touch your future baby. Then wrap that place up safely and tightly, and hold on to it. Protect it from the doubt and sadness and insecurities that might come during your own personal journey. When you really believe in a baby for your future, the labels and Googling and stressful thoughts will lose their power over you.

Pilates Happy Hour Trying To Conceive

I have no idea what your personal journey is like or what you’ve been through. I don’t know your future or how you might be tested. I don’t even know my own. I DO know that it is hard and trying and painful at times. And it’s also beautiful and sparkly and joyous at times. Let’s hang tight to joy and hope, and remember that it isn’t hugs and bubble baths that produce the diamond. It’s heat and pressure and fire.

To receive my personal fertility superfood grocery list for free, click here. Let’s take this journey together.

Bring it on.

If you have a friend or loved one who may benefit from this article, please share the love by clicking one of the share buttons below. We all need a little encouragement sometimes xoxo.

About Jessica

Jessica Valant, MSPT, PMA-CPT, is a mom, wife, business owner, licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor. She has been practicing for over 15 years, and has a passion for spreading the joy in a Pilates lifestyle! She teaches online workouts and workshops for students and professionals in the Pilates and PT industries.

11 comments on “Trying To Conceive – Lessons I’ve Learned

  1. Pingback: How To Increase Fertility - A Home Pilates Workout

  2. Thanks so much for linking to my “Secondary Infertility” article. I know what you are going through and it is hard! I don’t know if you kept up with my story, but after 2 1/2 years of trying, we had our second baby. I will never know how or why, but I think all your advice in this post is smart and you should BELIEVE for sure – I did, deep down, even as I was giving away my older daughter’s baby things (trying to unjinx myself) and trying to get really comfortable with our family of 3. I hope you get everything you want.

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I, too, have fibroids and endometriosis and it sucks! Of course you know that though. 🙂 I’m praying that some life changes will help us conceive.

    • I’m so glad to have you here! Thanks for sharing your story and just know there is always hope :). I’m learning slowly to stop expecting everything on my own time table and to just go with the flow. Stay in touch! xoxo

  4. I stumbled across this blog post after clicking on your YouTube fertility exercises video and I am so happy I found you. Thank you for writing this. I relate to every word. It does help so much to know we are not alone. It has been such a private struggle! So from one mama with an almost 2 year old to another… We can do this! I am so incredibly grateful for my little girl but I want one more oh so badly. xoxo

    • Michelle – You are my soul sister :). It IS a private struggle, and it’s so hard to explain and even to internalize myself. While I wish you weren’t going through this, I am glad to have someone who understands! You are right – we CAN do this :). Thank you again and PLEASE stay in touch and let me know how things go! xoxo

  5. Pingback: Secondary Infertility - My Two Year Update - Happy Hour Mama

  6. Pingback: 30. No, We’re Not Infertile – Laylaliyya

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