Going through infertility can require a lot of effort.
You need to change a lot about your daily routine. You need to get up early for doctors appointments, you may be attending acupuncture or trying to implement new diet and lifestyle changes. You may even have to temporarily change your social network. It may be too painful to be around people who have children. All this CHANGE can be downright exhausting.
You may be asking why can’t I go back to my normal comfortable routine, back when everything was simpler. Back to when you just felt like everyone else. When you didn’t have to put your plans of buying a new house on hold so you can have a baby.
Change. It’s part of life, we can either embrace it or rail against it, but it’s still going to come our way.
When you attempt something new and fail, do you fall into depression and apathy for a long periods of time only to re-emerge, try again and fail once again?
Do you want to know why you have been unsuccessful with change and why it’s not your fault?
Here are the stages of change (see which stage you resonates with you):
Pre-contemplation – you are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future (within next 6 months). Even if others encourage you to change, you don’t see the need. Most pre-contemplators don’t want to change themselves, they want to change the people around them. You may not even know there are natural solutions to have a baby. It’s not on your radar. You don’t feel empowered and there seems to be nothing you can do.
Contemplation – you are intending to change in the next 6 months. You are thinking about changing and this is where you explore your ambivalence to change. You could be thinking about what steps you need to have a baby. (Going to the doctor, thinking about your diet and lifestyle)
Preparation– you are intending to take action in the immediate future (within next month). This is where you remove temptations, plan how action can be taken and arrange support, from family, friends or a professional. If you feel hesitant in this stage you will probably need more work in contemplation, especially if procrastination is holding you back. You are considering making changes to your diet, lifestyle, as well as contacting a specialist for help. You may feel unsure which steps to take to get pregnant. You can do more research or reach out for support.
Action – you have made specific modifications in your lifestyle within the past 6 months. This is the stage most of us picture. It’s the actual practice of the way of being. You are now taking steps to prepare your body for a baby. You have cleaned up your diet. You are practicing stress relief techniques, you are practicing self care and getting lots of sleep. You have contacted a fertility clinic if necessary A baby is in your very new future.
Maintenance – you are working to prevent a relapse, this stage is estimated to last 6 months to a lifetime. I support my clients to recognize the difference between a lapse and a total relapse. When you slip up to you give up. Perfection is not the goal, but being able to self correct and adjust more rapidly and easily. Maintaining the diet and lifestyle changes takes time and practice. Small steps amount to huge change. If you have been consuming the standard western diet your whole life it takes time for the body to heal. Typically a minimum of 3-6 months. Patience is key here.
Termination – you have no temptation and you are sure you will not return to old unhealthy habits. Confidence that you have succeeded peaks after one year, but temptation may continue for two or three years. You are on the road to getting pregnant or may be pregnant. All your hard work has paid off.
Recycling (relapse) – this is not a stage but rather the return from action or maintenance to an earlier stage. It is entirely usual for you to fail at one stage and then make a subsequent attempt that succeeds. Research has shown that action followed by relapse is better than no action at all.This is good news.
You can identify where you are in the change process and if you happen to move forward to the next stage before you are ready, you can remove the guilt and shame associated with not succeeding.
Really let that sink in. Take a couple of deep breaths, remove all self judgement.
I share with my clients that they simply moved to the next phase too quickly and more work needs to be done. When my clients push themselves prematurely to the next phase it ultimately backfires.
This simple awareness can support you to move forward with forming a new habit and breaking an old one, while feeling successful. The old feelings of failure and defeat are no longer needed. If these feeling do pop up, simply observe them without judgement.
Even people who have tried something repeatedly, feel a sense of relief when they can now see why they were unsuccessful in the past.
Where are you in the change process? How has this impacted your ability to get pregnant?
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby’s eyes….but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here