The journey towards conception can be a stressful and challenging one for many couples. You may find yourself feeling bombarded by one obstacle after another. This can often put a strain on, not only your relationship but your mental health as well.
We would like to help you understand and cope with some of these emotional triggers while you are trying to conceive.
When you’re trying to conceive, it is easy to feel frustrated when things seem to be taking longer than you anticipated. Especially when you think back to the numerous pregnancy scares you had before you were ready to become a parent, and now that you are ready, things don’t seem to be working out quite the way you planned.
Some women find themselves obsessing over the “two-week wait” after trying for a baby during their fertility window, while others may feel extra emotional when their period arrives.
The two-week wait is the name given to the timeframe after your fertility window and your next expected period for couples who are actively trying to become pregnant.
It is easy to find yourself feeling anxious as you wait to find out if you have successfully managed to become pregnant or if you need to keep trying. We recommend you make a point to keep yourself busy during these two weeks.
Think of it as a break from monitoring and obsessing over the tiniest change in your body as you track ovulation and basal body temperatures. Instead, try to spend this time reconnecting with your partner. You are, after all, both eagerly waiting for the same news.
Go out together and really get some quality time in, if you are pregnant, it will be a while before you and your partner have the opportunity to revel in each other again.
Likewise, start that book or project you’ve been putting off. Put the time at hand to good use while keeping your mind occupied.
It is okay if you still find yourself wondering if you are pregnant, but try not to allow yourself to spend large portions of the day doing this. Remember, a stress-free body is more likely to take a pregnancy than one riddled with worry.
If you’ve managed to keep yourself occupied and your mind off the possibility of your period arriving during the two-week wait, then having your period start can undoubtedly leave you feeling lousy.
If you and your partner have been battling with infertility, or have experienced loss through miscarriages, your period can seem like a daunting reminder of how difficult it is for you to both get pregnant and carry the pregnancy to term.
The arrival of your period can also bring with it some intense emotions due to hormonal changes. Remind yourself that these hormones are most likely making the feelings you are experiencing more intense than they already are.
Take some time to treat yourself extra well, whether this comes in the form of your favourite foods, a good workout, or a day at the spa. Acknowledge the disappointment and frustration but remember these are not feelings worth spending days and weeks on.
As you anticipate your period, you may find yourself tempted to get a pregnancy test, and another, and another. More often than not, it may be too early for home-based pregnancy tests to pick up on a pregnancy.
It typically takes around 12 days after successful implantation of the egg for your body to build up HCG levels that will show up on a pregnancy test.
Additionally, since many of the signs of pregnancy are similar to that of an impending period, it is best not to get your hopes up too high during this time. It is important that you do not allow yourself to become fixated on the idea of taking multiple pregnancy tests. More than anything, you may find yourself feeling more frustrated and anxious.
While you may feel ignoring the emotions that come up while you are trying to conceive, we find that can often do more damage than good. Keeping things in and allowing these emotions to fester can often result in a breakdown when you finally feel everything at once.
You should instead find a healthy outlet for these emotions. For example, you may want to sit down and voice these feelings out to your partner. It can help to simply speak your feelings without necessarily trying to find a solution, especially in this case, where there may be no immediate solution at hand.
If you and your partner find it more difficult to speak about these things with one another, you can seek community support. There are plenty of other men and women who have suffered through the same experiences that you are. Knowing that you are not alone can help ease this burden.
As you and your partner take on this journey together, it is easy to find yourself trying to put their needs and feelings above yours. While it is important to take care of one another, you should also ensure that you are doing right by you.
What this means is that it is essential that you find time to look after your own physical and mental well-being. Try not to allow yourself to get so wrapped up in trying to conceive that you forget why you are doing this and what you enjoyed before you embarked on the road to pregnancy.
Many people find that it helps to indulge in the things that make them happy. As we’ve mentioned, this could be anything from treating yourself to a good meal or burning off the frustration with a nice, long gym session.
Make time to remember and partake in the activities that make you feel like yourself. They will not only help distract you, but you are likely to find yourself less stressed out and anxious all the time. Once again, a stress-free body has a much higher chance of becoming pregnant than if you were bogged down by worries 24/7.
There is no shame in admitting you need help. While community support can go a long way in reducing emotional triggers and helping you cope with them, for many, professional help can be the form of support they require to get them through this trying time.
You may want to consider seeking the help of a fertility specialist. While your fertility specialist is also available to help you work through and understand the possible causes of infertility, many offer the option of counselling to help couples deal with the emotions that they are facing.
Your fertility specialist will be able to guide you through tackling and understanding the emotions that you are dealing with.
To conclude, the journey to pregnancy can be trying and full of difficult emotions for many couples. However, it is important that you and your partner find ways to cope without letting trying to conceive put too much of a strain on your mental and physical health, as well as your relationship.
While keeping yourself distracted and occupied may work for some, you should always reach out and seek professional help if you find that other methods are not making a significant difference to the way you are feeling.