10 Tips for Coping with Infertility
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been influenced by infertility in some way. We don’t have to tell you how hard infertility is, you know. It’s frustrating, you feel anger, despair, worthless, and sometimes, you feel alone in it.
While infertility is brought up more now than it was even 5 years ago, it doesn’t negate how hard and painful it can be when you’re in the thick of it. Hearing “it will all be worth it/it’ll make sense one day” may seem like nice sentiments, but it doesn’t take away the hurt.
We could tell you to learn how to accept your infertility and learn to find joy despite it, but that’s easier said than done. We’ve compiled 10 tips that have helped us as we are on our own infertility journey.
- Find and join a community of people who are going through the same thing. There are infertility groups on Facebook or you can go look at hashtags on Instagram and find others who are in your same/similar situation. I have used Instagram to find other couples who are pursuing domestic infant adoption and it has been so refreshing to see and make friends with others who are experiencing similar situations and feelings as I am.
- Create a playlist. If you’re a musical person, having a playlist to get you through something can be powerful. I created a playlist with songs that give me hope or songs I hope to share with my own little someday. If I’m having a particularly rough day, I like to play these songs to give me the little push of hope I need. You can see my playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/user/bethflint88/playlist/3tP7AyTbHCtvEhr9Yx6gJu?si=12hBGgD2SZq62mq_Fea7Vw
- Learn how to say no to events that may trigger hard feelings (baby showers, family gatherings, etc). I have learned over the last couple of years it’s okay to say no to events. I don’t go to every baby shower and if I know a family dinner or party will be especially hard, I say no. And I’m okay with it. I don’t let myself feel guilty or bad about not going because ultimately it’s what I need to do to take care of myself.
- Speaking of, practice self-care. We know this is easier said than done. Default coping mechanisms such as eating and shopping and can seem to help in the moment, but ultimately they are not the most effective and chances are they will leave you stressed down the road. Take time to do things you love that help with stress relief. Exercise, be creative, clean, etc. Take time to breathe and understand your needs.
- Find a hobby and participate in something you enjoy that you can focus your time on. Try something new. Travel, if you’re able. Create, write, read. Find something you’re passionate about and spend the time developing this new talent, skill, or interest.
- Write it down. Writing down your hopes, fears, despair, anger can be a therapeutic and healthy way to release the feelings you have. Nobody has to see these thoughts. Promptly Journals even has a free infertility/miscarriage journal you can download: https://promptlyjournals.com/blogs/news/promptly-journals-free-printable-miscarriage-booklet?_pos=1&_sid=c9abd943e&_ss=
- If you’re able, get a pet you can love on. We both rescued dogs while in the midst of our infertility. This is probably the best piece of advice and tangible thing I have done to help me cope. Having something to love, care for, and nurture while you’re in the throws of infertility can help take some of the sting away. When I’ve felt depressed and lonely, my dog has helped me get out of bed. Taking him on walks has helped me get fresh air, which always makes me feel better.
- Allow yourself to feel what you feel. It’s okay (and normal) to feel sad and angry. Often, going through infertility is like going through the stages of grief. Some days you may be able to accept your infertility, some days you may place blame, and other days you may bargain with God to let you have a baby. Allow yourself to feel these things. Take time to allow and process these feelings.
- Serve. This can seem like a cliche, but serving has been shown to help improve your mood. When you’re able to put your own worries aside and help someone else, chances are you will feel gratitude for what you do have.
- Take social media breaks when needed. Sometimes social media can become overwhelming. When it seems like everyone around you has a perfect life and it feels like too much, it’s okay to take some time away.
This may be an unpopular tip, but it’s something we have found to be effective for us.
Buy the baby stuff. Maybe not everything, but if there’s an outfit, pair of shoes, books, etc that you really love and would like your baby to have one day, buy it. Having these items sparks hope that one day you WILL have a baby.