These six ways to deal with the disappointment of not being pregnant will give you hope and strength. At least, you’ll see you’re not alone – especially if you learn how other women coped with childlessness.
Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos will help you cope with being “barren.” You’ll never deal with your disappointment once and for all, but it’ll help to see you’re not alone.
If you feel guilty because you can’t get pregnant, you might take this psychologist’s advice: “Instead of berating yourself, look forward to how you and your partner are going to manage the situation,” says Yakov M. Epstein, a psychologist at Rutgers University and co-author of Getting Pregnant When You Thought You Couldn’t.
I never looked forward to managing my situation of being childless, but somehow things are working out. Here’s what helped me cope with the disappointment of not being pregnant…
6 Ways to Deal With Childlessness
Feel rotten about not being pregnant
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Instead of fighting or hiding your depressed, angry, disappointed, hurt or frustrated feelings, let them wash over you for a short time. Feeling awful is much better than shoving the feelings down or expressing them in other ways, such as overeating, drinking, doing drugs, or being cruel. Let yourself feel rotten. You may feel like you’ll die from a broken heart…but you won’t. When you’re dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant, it’s better to feel and deal with your grief for a short time, rather than suppress your feelings for a long time.
Before you can cope with childlessness, you need to grieve your loss.
Don’t blame yourself
It’s not your fault – or your partner’s fault – that you’re not pregnant. It doesn’t matter if you had an abortion when you were 16, or gave a kid up for adoption, or waited until you were 40 years old to start trying to get pregnant. You’re not being punished for your past, you’re just part of a couple coping with infertility – and there are a lot of us out there! Don’t fall into the blame game, and don’t get angry at or blame yourself or your partner. To deal with disappointment in healthy ways, you need to stay emotionally centered.
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There’s a difference between coping with infertility and dealing with the disappointment of getting your period when you’re trying to get pregnant. If you’re disappointed because it’s taking a long time to conceive, read 6 Problems That Prevent Pregnancy.
Pull out of your life
Take a break from the heartache! Distract yourself with funny movies, vacations, new restaurants, yoga classes (or even fertility yoga), new recipes, watercolor classes at the local school or college, new hobbies, road trips, belly dancing lessons, and so on. As important as it is to feel the heartache, it’s also healthy to take a breather every once in awhile. Take a vacation. Laugh.
Stay connected to family and friends
Don’t give up on your friends or family. You may not want to talk about the infertility roller coaster, but keep spending time with the people you love. You may be tempted to pull away, but isolation can make feelings of infertility worse. When you’re coping with infertility, focus on the simple things, such as holding one another when you cry or going for quiet walks. When you’re dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant, it’s important to stay connected (real and honest) with your feelings and with your loved ones.
Get enough sleep, eat nutritiously, go to yoga class, and find your own healthy ways to blow through the stress and disappointment of not being pregnant. The more physically fit your mind and body is, the better you’ll feel emotionally and mentally…and the quicker you’ll bounce back from the disappointment of not being pregnant.
Focus on your dreams and goals
For me, what works best is staying focused on my writing career. I love what I do, and it really helps me overcome the lows of the infertility roller coaster. To balance your life and not feel completely destroyed if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, find a way to follow your other dreams. If you don’t have other dreams, then create some. Don’t let your spirits wilt just because you’re coping with infertility.
If you can’t seem to let go of your dream of getting pregnant, read Dr Phil’s Tips for Women Obsessed With Having a Baby.
Do you have any questions or tips on dealing with the disappointment of not being pregnant? I welcome your comments below…