By Nicole Dalton, A4L’s Community Parent
Infertility; a term that is spoken far too often in society today. If you step into a room there is a guarantee that at least one woman is suffering from infertility. Either she cannot become pregnant or she has difficulty sustaining a pregnancy. For those women who dream of being a mother this can be a life shattering circumstance. Not only is it a strain on relationships and lifestyles, it also robs a woman of her sense of femininity. Each one of these women will have different physical characteristics, but they all have one thing in common; they have told themselves at one point in their journey “I am not beautiful and my body has betrayed me.”
There is an abundance of negative emotions associated with infertility. There is a loss of self. You become emotional, gain or lose weight, lack energy and sensations that used to feel good in sex now feel uncomfortable, especially considering most of your sex action comes from an ultrasound wand. Your immediate family at this point now knows every working detail of your sex life and reproduction. Where Cosmopolitan and Glamour used to sit next to your bed, you now have books telling you to just eat better, lose weight and relax “It will happen.” Your personal space is invaded by at least 10 strangers with needles and instruments poking and prodding in your most private areas and chances are you may have accidently kicked one of them in the face when they poked the wrong spot.
So through all of this how does a woman heal herself? How does she bring balance back to her life and love herself for who she is? How does she love a body that has “failed” her and prevented her from achieving a dream? Dealing with infertility is the biggest struggle some women will face, but there is hope. Through my 7 year experience with infertility I have really utilized all of the following methods to reconnect with myself and redevelop my sense of being a strong woman.
Practice positive mantras. When you start to feel overwhelmed deep breath and remind yourself that “I am beautiful and I will get through this.” Repeating positive mantras changes your thinking by shifting it away from negativity and downward spiraling. The more you hear something the more you will believe it. We are our own worst critics, so imagine what positive compliments can do for us.
Have sex! That’s right; there is no better way to get over infertility then appreciating your body in its most natural form. Be creative or keep it simple. It is all about recognizing what makes you feel good again and redeveloping that sense of intimacy with yourself and your partner. No medical professionals allowed in the bedroom this time!
Schedule dates with yourself. Put “me” on your calendar and take that time every month or every week to do something you have always enjoyed or try something new. It sounds cliché but allowing yourself time to do things you enjoy gives you something positive to focus on and also reignites your passion for past hobbies and new endeavors.
Do something to change how you perceive your body. Get that much wanted tattoo, book a pin up or boudoir photo shoot, start an exercise program, buy some new clothes. This will give you the confidence to look in the mirror each day and acknowledge that you are on your way to appreciating my body again.
Alternative therapies such as yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, osteopath and massage are amazing ways to release negative energy, realign your chi and feel rejuvenated. These therapies also have positive health effects that extend past your infertility concerns.
Surround yourself with amazing people and do outrageous things. Have a crazy girl’s night; take a weekend trip; laugh until you can’t breathe; dance with your best friend on a truck tailgate while singing your heart out to your favourite song. Doing these things allows you to live your life without infertility controlling it and bring you back to a place where you can happy without the guilt.
Infertility is not a hopeless journey. It will leave you with permanent scars on your heart and psyche, but it also empowers you to be the most amazing woman you can be. You are going through this journey because you have the strength to survive. Recognize it as a gift to love yourself unselfishly and to see that you are brilliant, gorgeous, resilient, and talented.