Trying for a baby can feel like an emotional roller-coaster for many couples, so here's what to do if it takes over your life.
When trying to get pregnant, sex can feel like a routine, mechanical, or even forced, especially if you've been trying for a while.
You obsess about your fertile window. You've tried all the tips and tricks to help increase your chances. And you've probably spent a small fortune on all the different fertility products on the market.
Finally, there's the dreaded two-week wait. You have high hopes on Day 28, so you take a pregnancy test, but once again, it's a big fat negative. Sigh. You start feeling anxious and emotional by the evening, indicating that Aunty Flo is on her way. Then the following day, you wake up with your period.
Do this for a couple of months, and it starts to feel like an emotional roller-coaster. Continue it for a couple of years, and it completely sucks all the fun out of your sex life, leaving you both feeling exhausted, miserable, and sometimes questioning your future.
Trying to conceive without luck is an issue that many women struggle with, yet no one wants to talk about it – just know that you're not alone.
How do you prevent yourselves from this emotional roller-coaster or get your relationship and sex life back? Here are our top five tips.
1. Stop Trying To Conceive
I know this is the most frustrating advice because you've probably heard it from friends, family, and your doctor, but hear me out.
If you've tried all that you can and feel tired of the baby-making routine, throw all that out the window because it's not helping your emotional and mental wellbeing. Stop trying to force it to happen, give yourselves a break, and learn to enjoy sex again.
Stop trying to force it to happen, give yourselves a break, and learn to enjoy sex again.
One way to do this is by consciously making an effort to have sex on different days, times, and places. For example, instead of making love in your bedroom, try doing it in your bathroom, living room, kitchen, backyard, etc. It's fine to hit your fertile window but also have sex on different days of the month.
The novelty of being intimate at different times and in different places helps break your pattern, bringing spontaneity and fun back into your sex life.
2. Focus on Becoming Healthy for YOU
Many women go on weird diets and exercise regimes when trying to conceive. While this is a great idea, it can become overwhelming if you're not getting the desired result.
Instead of doing all this healthy stuff for a baby, shift your mindset and become healthy solely for yourself. Eating healthy and exercising makes you feel physically better, which also helps to shift your mental and emotional state.
Finally, practice self-care to soothe yourself. Book in that massage, yoga class, gym session, acupuncture, and buy yourself flowers, just for YOU.
3. Start a Passion Project
Another great way to shift your focus is to start a passion project. Pouring all those pent-up feelings into something positive will help you see that you can find meaning and purpose in other ways too.
Is there anything you've always wanted to try but haven't have gotten around to doing yet? Perhaps you've always wanted to write a book, learn to paint or sing, or start a blog? Or maybe you've always wanted to start running but never got serious about it?
Pouring all those pent-up feelings into something positive will help you see that you can find meaning in other ways too.
I understand a baby is all you want, and your longing is entirely valid. But if you think life has no meaning without a child, this thought alone fills you with anxiety, leaving you discontented, and the vicious cycle begins. So shift your focus, and start that passion project now.
4. Find Peace in Temporarily Being without a Child
As we know, making babies can take some time, so you need to be okay with being without a child during this time.
Stop wasting your time obsessing about it because it will only make you feel anxious and sad. Let it go, for now. Let God, the universe, or destiny (whatever you believe in) take care of it. Find peace in the moment, and know that everything will be okay.
5. Focus on Strengthening Your Relationship
Finally, focus on things you can do to strengthen your relationship together.
One of the most challenging parts of trying to conceive is how lonely it can feel. Sometimes it even feels like your husband doesn't understand what you're going through.
Embracing novelty can inject new life and excitement into your relationship and help you feel more connected.
It will be much easier to shift your mindset if you're both tackling this together. Here are some high-leverage steps you can take to begin recovering from trying to conceive and to bring about positive change in your relationship:
Focus on some growth goals together. For example, could you take a relationship course to understand better how to relate and collaborate? Or what about a financial course to learn about protecting and growing your assets? You could also learn to grow in areas of your health or spiritual life. YouTube is an excellent resource for all of this.
Commit to one date night per week for the next two months, and both take turns choosing what to do.
Could you start a side-hustle together?
Start a DIY project, such as redesigning a room in your house or renting an allotment to grow plants and vegetables.
Start a new hobby, such as learning how to play golf, going hiking, or taking dance lessons.
It doesn't matter what activity it is as long as you're comfortable doing it together. Again, learning to embrace novelty can inject new life and excitement into your relationship and help you feel more connected.
When trying to conceive overwhelms and stresses you out, remember that you're not alone, and it's okay to feel like this.
What's important for you and your husband to remember is not to blame yourselves but to recognize the signs of stress and respond to them. Follow the above steps to help you reframe your situation, but if it all gets too much, don't be afraid to reach out to friends or seek professional help.
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