Be A “Mother-To-Be”
A woman carries a child within her heart long before she conceives or adopts. Since you’re already a woman who is expecting a child, treat yourself like one. Eat well, take your vitamins, get enough rest. Take walks around your neighborhood, and as you do, notice the best routes for strolls someday with your baby. Write down your feelings, both physical and emotional, in a journal, perhaps as a start to your baby book. Clean out your closets to make space for the maternity clothes you’ll be buying, or the baby clothes you’ll soon need.
Make a list, and treat yourself to all the little things you enjoy doing, like browsing in bookstores or getting pedicures. Not only might it be more difficult to find the time for these small indulgences once the baby comes, but some of these activities may also provide a welcome respite from the wait itself.
Put Yourself First
Make sure your feelings are a priority in every decision you make, from going to a baby shower to celebrating a holiday. Explore ways to de-stress when you feel anxious, such as taking long, slow, deep breaths. During these times, pay attention to your thoughts. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity, fearing that you’ll never get pregnant and have a baby, choose a statement to get you back on the right track, such as, “I am open to having a baby, and I know I’m doing everything I can to make that happen.”
Check In With Your Spouse Frequently
Talk with your partner about how you’ll cushion the disappointment if you get your period or the pregnancy test is negative.
If you’re waiting for fertility test results, many women find it easier to have their spouse deliver the news, rather than hearing it on voicemail.
Decide in advance how you want to respond to people who know you’re waiting for a baby. One of my clients told her family in advance, “No news is bad news,” to eliminate the need to call them with negative results.
Get Online for Fertility and Adoption Support
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a trusted friend who’s also trying to conceive, with whom you could share every thought and symptom? Whether you have such a friend or not, you can now get virtual support online. Online communities exist to offer comfort and support, to reassure you that almost every mood and symptom you’re experiencing are normal, and to remind you that you’re definitely not alone. Check out the Forums on ConceiveOnline (http://conceiveonline.com/myconceive/home/) to find others who are experiencing the same thing as you are, and can offer valuable support and advice.
For prospective adoptive parents, the strain of waiting can also be eased in the company of those who have already successfully waited and adopted. “Living, breathing, hope,” is how one of my clients, who was awaiting final word on a Korean adoption, described it. Online resources, either domestic or categorized by country of origin, are also available.
When Waiting Is Not An Option
Repeated disappointments, whether from more than a year of trying, negative fertility treatment results, fear of another miscarriage, or a previous failed adoption, can trap some women in a debilitating cycle of grief. If you find yourself dreading the wait so much that you’re paralyzed, unable to carry on with your normal routine and activities, then you may need professional help. In situations like this, you owe it to yourself to reach out to a trained counselor. It’s only after you’ve had the time to heal the heartache of these losses that you can begin to think about moving forward again.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of Conceive Magazine.
Related Topics: Assisted Reproduction; Fertility Drugs; Infertility Support; Stress and IVF Success; Relationships and Trying to Conceive
Getting Pregnant: A Time to Wait|
Be A “Mother-To-Be”
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