I’ve often heard from people about my “good luck” that I was able to get pregnant at 42. That I was “so lucky” to overcome my infertility diagnosis and have my son. That good luck must run in my family (luck o’ the Irish, anyone?) for me to be able to get pregnant after just a year of trying.
True, I do have Irish ancestry, but this doesn’t make me any luckier than anybody else.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I’ve been thinking about luck, especially as it relates to fertility. I reflect every day on my good fortune to have my son, despite the odds against me in successfully conceiving. But it wasn’t luck.
While there’s always a bit of luck involved in getting pregnant and having a baby – even under the most fertile of conditions, humans are remarkably inefficient at reproducing – to think it’s sheer luck implies that getting pregnant is something that just happens to us.
In fact, the opposite is true. I made and stuck to a carefully devised plan to achieve my goal of getting pregnant and having a child. Read more about what I did here. In short, I created the space in my body and my mind to prepare to be a mother. I set my intention and lived it every day until I got my positive pregnancy test. Deep down I knew that motherhood would happen for me, in some fashion, and never wavered from that belief.
In essence, I made my own luck.
The Roman philosopher Seneca said that luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity. This means that it actually takes a lot of work to get lucky. In my case, this was true. It was a year of quiet, focused action, introspection and determination.
Richard Wiseman, a British psychologist, carried out a study in the 1990s to determine why some people seem to be luckier than others. In the course of his research, he interviewed hundreds of men and women and studied their lives. He concluded that thoughts and behavior play a key role in determining our luck, or lack thereof.
Dr. Wiseman identified 4 main principles through which so-called lucky people create their good fortune.
- They’re skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities;
- They make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition;
- They create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations; and
- They adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
Without knowing it, I adopted each of these principles while I was trying to get pregnant.
I researched all the doctors at the fertility clinic closest to my house and sought out the one with whom, on paper (and, as it turned out, in reality), I felt I clicked the most.
My intuition guided me constantly, through my health and lifestyle choices, and, later, the creative visualization and mindset work that I did several times a day.
While I certainly experienced the ups and downs of the fertility roller coaster, and felt more hopeful at some points than others, I never wavered in my steadfast belief that in some fashion, I would have my family and be a mother.
I kept a resilient outlook in the face of two miscarriages, cancelled cycles, several months of negative pregnancy tests, and a grim prediction of my chances for success.
My late grandfather James J. Lydon would have approved.
It’s true that on the fertility journey there is so much that feels out of our control, but to create your own luck, it’s imperative to regularly take stock of all the things you can control, and use those things to your advantage to do everything you can to tip the scale in your favor.
We all have the power to be “lucky” on this path.
What are you doing to create your luck?