By Lisa Hand
Here’s the thing with any medical condition, your self-esteem is bound to take a hit at some point in the journey. Your body has been deemed imperfect, beyond the obvious “surface dents.” When diagnosed with the big “IF” or the inability to reproduce the same way that the rest of the human race does, it can wear on your mind. The questions of worthiness spin around you. Am I worth enough? Would I be a bad parent? Will my spouse still love me? Why me? The self-doubt can create a host of reasons to not feel very loveable. I get it. I’ve been there. I have certainly not been as kind to my soul as it deserved during some seasons of my family building journey.
Here is one thing I know to be true, you are worthy. We are all worthy of fulfilling the desire deep within our hearts and 99.9% of couples trying to have a baby, well, those people are usually the best kind of parents, eventually. So hold that thought. As hard as it may be, feed yourself with the love you deserve during this process. It might not get you there quicker, it might not wipe all of your pain away and it might not even produce the results you are utterly screaming for inside, but we could all benefit from some more love. And that includes you. Here are some ways to love yourself in the midst of all the doubt.
- Remember who you were before the word “infertility” entered into your profile. What things identified you? Are you an athlete? Singer? Writer? Remember the things that make you more YOU and feed that part of yourself with things that reflect that. Your joy and healing are typically found within your greatest joys and gifts.
- Treat yourself. Yes, you have permission to set aside some of that financial lump you are spending on building your family and take care of yourself. Maybe a massage, a night out with friends or a weekend getaway to lift you up and recharge yourself and your focus.
- Celebrate the milestones. Milestones can be difficult but also belong to you and are worth your time to celebrate. Did you give yourself your first injection? Maybe you finally went to that consult you’ve been pushing back on? No matter what it is, be proud of yourself for it. Make a nice dinner or have a toast with your partner for facing the hard things because hard things are hard!
- Take care of your body. Ok, a big bowl of ice cream after a really hard day is absolutely understandable but the truth is, the better you are to your body, the better you will feel overall. Get some exercise in somehow. Eat foods that make you feel good, physically. Get some fresh air. You deserve it and so does your body..
- Start a new hobby. I know it seems like there is little time to add more things to your plate but finding something new that interests you can help fill some time with a new and exciting adventure, filling up your mental cup!
Ultimately, you are the only one responsible for taking care of you. Infertility is a really challenging journey that is NOT your fault. Love yourself through it and find moments to whisper “I am worthy” to yourself anytime you feel otherwise.
Lisa is an “unexplained” infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss survivor. She resides in Virginia and is a military spouse and mother of two rainbow babies. Lisa is passionate about sharing her story to help others. You can also read about her journey over at PALS and on her personal blog, To Be Called Mama.