"Will I ever have a baby?" 3 Steps to Cope
When we went through our fertility journey, the idea that we would never actually have a child was the most terrifying part of it.
I honestly thought I felt the ground tremble. I felt physically dizzy with fear that this could be our reality. I was paralysed with it.
I discovered, through trial and error and many, many months of tears and frustration as we waded our way through this frightening and (at the time) barely discussed journey: there was a way I could cope with this feeling. In fact, I could almost dispense with it. And I know that sounds impossible. Stick with me...
You might be in the same position I was: trying for number one and scared to death you will never be able to become pregnant, or experience parenthood. You might already have a child and be adding immense pressure by feeling guilty that you can’t provide a sibling. You might even be feeling ok about this idea yourself, but wondering how on earth to support your partner, who is stuck in this thought pattern and can’t get out of it.
These 3 steps changed how I dealt with this thought completely:
1. OWN THIS FEAR
Just because you talk about this fear out loud it does not mean that it will come true. (I know that this is another fear we have; that by voicing something negative we will bring it into our lives – more about this later). The number one priority is that we let ourselves really sit with this fear because it isn’t going to go away if we don’t. Make pals with it. It’s a big one, and it won’t go anywhere if we try and brush it under the carpet. If we imagine this fear like some kind of beast, knocking on the door all the time and trying to get in: pretending it isn’t there only makes it angrier and more insistent. Let in the Fear Beast. It just needs a bit of love. So, try saying it out loud. You might feel like a bit of a doosh. But just try it, “I am scared we will never have a baby” for example. Go for it. No one is listening except you (unless you’re in an office or something…then maybe go to the loo for this exercise!!).
2. ASK YOURSELF: WHAT AM I ACTUALLY AFRAID OF?
Ok, so now you’re into this, let’s dig a bit deeper. We are constantly in limbo when we’re trying to conceive or trying to bring home a baby in any way. We seem to be always waiting for an appointment or waiting for a test result. We are always researching the best diet or the latest advice on supplements. This whole journey lends itself so easily to living in the future because we’re always waiting to get to the bloody destination. Ask yourself: what am I actually afraid of? And write down the answer. Take 5 minutes to do this now. Is it that we will feel left behind? Is it the thought of being old and grey and not having someone help us do the shopping or take us to the café? What is it that you are actually afraid of? By breaking this down and getting it out of our heads and onto a page, we can start to find a little bit of clarity.
3. GIVE YOURSELF WHAT YOU NEED TODAY
I realised when I was allowing myself to live so much of the time in the future, I was completely neglecting the present. I was forgetting what I had. I was creating a future in my head, which did not exist. I was worrying and procrastinating and so scared… for what? Something that literally did not exist yet. It didn’t mean the fear wasn’t real. The fear was real. The possibility of it becoming real… was real. But when I started to focus on myself and my present-day reality all the time, I found a freedom I never knew existed. So ask yourself, what can I do today to help myself right now? Do I need to get support? Do I need to get a counselling session? Do I need to go for a walk? Do I need to do that thing I’ve been wanting to do for years but never done it because I was scared to? Do I need to cut my hair reaaaallly short? Do I need to meditate? Do I need to cook? What do you need? Right now. Today. Do one thing you wouldn’t normally do today and see how it makes you feel.
These three steps are just the start of transforming your mindset while you go through this very difficult journey.
The more you let yourself travel through them each time a "Fear Beast" like this creeps into your mind, the better chance you have of coming back into your default, naturally happy, content and best self (the one who is generous, confident, creative, brave and...vulnerable).
You can be all of these things even when you feel like you’re treading water. You don’t have to feel like you’ve lost yourself. You can blinkin’ well FIND yourself if you want to.
If you want to give this a go and find you have questions or you just want to learn more about how to use this kind of approach really effectively and get free emotional/mindset support- you can join me Live on Thursdays at 1.30pm (GMT) in my closed Facebook group and on Instagram.