It’s safe to say that we’d all like to conceive our children the old-fashioned way. We’re taught that children are the product of love between a man and a woman, and sex is the most natural part of the human experience.
The reality in our 21st-Century society, however, is worlds apart from the early days of the human race. A friend with 2 kids told me recently that she’d “never been pregnant from sex” and she’s not alone – it’s been estimated that 5 million babies have been born through Assisted Reproductive Technologies like In Vitro Fertilization since 1978, when the first “IVF baby” was born. That’s the entire population of a small country!
Whether it’s a couple struggling to conceive on their own, a single woman who wants a child but isn’t in a relationship, or a same-sex couple who feels called to be parents, more and more people are turning to medical help to build their families.
We’re so fortunate to live in a time where there are so many options, and so much help available, for family building. Fertility treatments are no walk in the park, though. They’re grueling, demanding, exhausting, and emotionally gut-wrenching procedures, especially if you’re going through them for many months, or even years. They’re also exorbitantly expensive in many countries, including the U.S.
But there are ways you can navigate the process, and get the biggest bang for your buck if you have limited resources (and most of us do!).
If you’re in fertility treatment, or you’re about to start treatment, I’ve put together the top 5 things (besides money) that got me through fertility treatment. The cool thing is that having these things in your arsenal will not only help you on your fertility journey, but throughout your life.
1. A Plan.
Enter into fertility treatment with a solid plan, and stick to it. Fertility treatments are already an incredibly arduous, stressful, emotional process. Without a plan, the treatments could wreak huge even more emotional and financial havoc on your life. A plan can be whatever works best for your and your partner. When I was trying to conceive my son, our treatment plan was to try 3 rounds of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI); if IUI was unsuccessful we’d try up to 3 rounds of In Vitro Fertilization. We’d move on to other options if IVF was unsuccessful.
It’s all too easy to go down the rabbit hole of saying, “I know this is our month, let’s just try one more.” Next thing you know, it’s 12 months later, you’re still at square one, out of a lot of money, emotionally drained, and moving on to the next step anyway. It’s also easy to reach the end of your rope with one treatment option and be emotionally spent. If you haven’t previously given thought to what you’d do next in that situation, it can be completely overwhelming to figure out next steps.
I was lucky when I was trying for my son – I got pregnant. The second time around I wasn’t so lucky, but my husband and I still stuck to our plan, and it saved us a lot of heartache.
This isn’t to say that the plan can’t be tweaked if you or your doctor feel the need, but it’s good to have a blueprint from the outset to guide you.
I can help you formulate a plan that makes sense for you, physically, financially and emotionally. Book a discovery call with me today!
Focus on being the best “you” you can be when starting such demanding medical treatment. If you’re significantly overweight, aim to achieve a desirable weight range before undergoing treatment. Get on a solid eating plan including lots of fruits and vegetables, cut back on sugar and red meat, eliminate processed foods, and drink lots of water. Get at least eight solid hours of sleep every night. If you haven’t exercised a day in the past five years, get your body moving, even if it’s just an evening walk around your neighborhood or a gentle yoga class. Your body will thank you. You will feel better and have more energy. And a healthier you will be a better parent to your future child.
A top-notch medical team.
Your team is a significant partner in your reproductive success. Do your research when selecting your medical team. Make sure your Reproductive Endocrinologist is Board certified. Read reviews of his or her qualifications, success rate, and bedside manner. Ask questions at your consultation. Ask more questions if you’re still unsure after hearing the answers. Same goes for the fertility nurse. This is the person with whom you will most frequently interact on a day-to-day basis, and you want to feel comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask for a different nurse if you’re uncomfortable, or look for a new practice altogether if you feel it isn’t a fit. You’re not only paying a lot of money for treatment, you’re entrusting your team with your dream to have a baby, and you want to feel confident that they are vested in your care.
A support system.
The fertility journey is incredibly lonely. It never fails to amaze me how so many people struggle with fertility and building their families, yet we all feel so alone.
For your emotional well-being, it’s of paramount importance to let others support you during treatment. Your spouse or partner, family and friends are all sources of support. Many online or in-person support groups are also available where you can find others going through treatment and might have similar experiences. My husband was extremely supportive when we were trying for our son, but I wish I’d made a greater effort to find other women who knew what I was going through to turn to for support.
I also wish I’d thought to seek out a coach to help support me while I was on the fertility journey. To learn how I can support you, book a discovery call with me!
Setting an intention was the most powerful part of my journey, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to conceive my son without it.
An intention isn’t the same as a goal. While a goal is directed toward a future outcome, an intention is firmly grounded in the present moment. In my case, my goal was to have a baby, but my intention was to create the space in my body and in my life to be a mother. It’s a subtle difference, but palpable.
We all have the capacity to manifest what we most desire, but there is no one-size-fits-all method for setting an intention. Meditation, focused consciousness, yoga, journaling, and visualization are all techniques that can be effective. Experiment with different methods and find what resonates with you. The key is to be clear and focused in your intention, never waver from your belief that it will happen, and take some sort of action every day, no matter how small, towards your intention.
If this isn’t something you’ve done before, it can be a little overwhelming. I can give you some ideas to get started.
While there are no guarantees in the world of trying to conceive, these tools will help you weather the process. Big love and lots of baby dust to you on your journey!