When you’re undergoing fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or embryo implantation, you’re not just anxious about getting pregnant…you’re also stressed about money! How do you deal with financial stress during fertility treatments? These tips for dealing with the anxiety that comes with having to pay to get pregnant will improve your health, lift your spirits, and fill you with hope.
Dealing with financial stress during fertility treatments is bigger and harder than trying to stay positive when you’re trying to conceive a baby. There’s a huge difference between money anxiety because you’re paying to get pregnant — which really got under my skin — and staying hopeful. To me, staying hopeful and happy is summed up in this quote by self-help author Douglas Pagels: “It’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”
Deciding which rainbow color to slide down can help you stay positive, but it won’t help you deal with the financial stress that fertility treatments bring. Ironically, to get pregnant you should be calm, happy, and healthy. But you’re anxious about spending so much money on getting pregnant — and you may not even conceive the baby you so desperately want! How on earth can you stay peaceful and happy when you’re dealing with the stress of both money and baby-making?
It’s hard, but not impossible.
4 Ways to Deal With Financial Stress During Fertility Treatments
When I wrote How Much Do Fertility Treatments Cost? From IVF to Donor Eggs I wasn’t thinking of couples dealing with the financial stress of infertility. Recently, however, I realized how toxic money anxiety is, and how important it is for women trying to conceive to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy.
The bad news is that you’ll never escape stress. Right now you’re stressed about your finances and paying for fertility treatments. After you get pregnant and have your baby (or babies!), you’ll be stressed about money for different reasons. You’ll be buying baby food, supplies, tools, equipment, clothes, furniture.…it’ll be endless stress for the rest of your life!
The good news is that if you learn how to deal with financial stress now, during your fertility treatments, your newfound peace and tranquility will spill over into all aspects of your life. These tips aren’t just for right now, when you’re paying to get pregnant. These tips for dealing with stress will go beyond these fertility treatments, and improve how you handle the rest of your life.
If you feel anxious about the money you’re spending at the fertility clinic (especially if you took out a loan to pay for fertility treatments), you’re not living in abundance. You’re living in financial scarcity, fear, and stress — and this decreases your chances of getting pregnant. I know how it feels to live in fear and anxiety; I always lived in fear of running out of money. I felt actual physical pain and anxiety whenever I bought something new. But there’s the good news: I discovered these tips for coping with financial stress — and if I can do it, so can you.
These four questions helped me learn how to deal with financial stress:
- When did you first start feeling anxious about money (was it before the fertility treatments?)
- What thoughts and emotions arise when financial stress overwhelms you?
- How does your stress appear in daily life? In your body? Relationships?
- How do you plan on dealing with financial stress during fertility treatments?
When you read my answers below — and if you think about your own past and present experiences with money — you will be one step closer to dealing with financial stress as a writer with an unpredictable income.
1. When did you first start feeling anxious about money (was it before the fertility treatments?)
Dealing with the financial stress of fertility treatments — which I couldn’t help but see as “paying to get pregnant”, which I resented — is part of trying to conceive when you can’t get pregnant naturally. It’s important to accept your life and situation for what it is. I didn’t do that. My resistance didn’t stop me from getting pregnant (my husband has azoospermia, which means his body doesn’t produce sperm)…but it did increase my stress level. And when I was stressed, so was my husband! The root of my stress wasn’t because of finances and fertility treatments. It was because I had underlying anxiety about money. Paying for fertility treatments simply exacerbated my anxiety…it didn’t cause it.
Were you already stressed about money before you found out you needed fertility treatments? Knowing this will help you deal with the financial stress you now feel — and if you can deal with your anxiety, you increase your chances of getting pregnant! Recently, I discovered why I was so stressed about the cost of fertility treatments (and it had nothing do to with the idea that I had to pay to get pregnant). I asked myself, “What’s your first memory about spending money? How did you learn about financial management, household bills, credit card debt, mortgage and rent payments, and using money to enhance your life?”
When I recalled my first experience with money, I suddenly realized why I was so stressed about paying for fertility treatments. I was on vacation with my grandmother in Hawaii; I lived with her because my mom was sick. My grandma and I were at a restaurant. After the waiter took our order, my grandma turned to me and suddenly blurted out, “Why do you always order the most expensive item on the menu?” She was really upset — and I never knew how stressed she was about money. I was 13 years old, and thought my grandma had lots of money. She never seemed anxious about vacations, groceries, or paying the rent. Her words cut straight to my heart, and I realized how much she sacrificed for me financially, emotionally, socially and practically. I felt horrible. Ever since then I’ve felt anxious and stressed when I spend money. Those are the roots of my money anxiety, and they changed how I dealt with the financial stress of fertility treatments.
2. What thoughts and emotions arise when financial stress overwhelms you?
When I feel anxious about money — especially when I’m paying for something as precious as fertility treatments — I remind myself that my feelings aren’t based on the truth. The bulk of my financial stress is caused by an experience that happened almost 40 years ago. I’m giving that old memory more power than it deserves! I had to teach myself to remember the root cause of my financial stress, and remind myself that I have more power and control over how I feel and act than I realize. I learned that the best tip on how to deal with financial stress (especially during a health issue such as getting fertility treatments) is to separate past my anxiety from the current situation.
When you’re stressed about money, remember the root cause of your anxiety. Maybe you had a bad experience with finances and your family, like I did. Maybe your parents don’t support fertility treatments, or you literally don’t have enough money to pay to try to get pregnant! Maybe your husband was reluctant to even visit a fertility clinic, much less invest money in having a baby. Those are stressful situations. There is no doubt about that. But, becoming aware of the root cause of your financial stress will help you deal with it. Instead of allowing anxiety to overwhelm you and flood your body with stress hormones, try to understand the root cause and triggers of your anxiety. This will help you focus on more productive solutions, such as focusing on fertility checklists that help you find out why you can’t get pregnant.
3. How does your stress appear in daily life? In your body? Relationships?
Part of the problem is that financial stress can actually serve a purpose — especially for women who are trying to get pregnant! Worrying about money can take your mind off the disappointment of getting your period, the pain of going to fertility clinics, the mess of treatments that may not even result in a positive pregnancy test. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the anxiety of not having enough money than actually facing the pain and dealing with the stress in healthy ways. Money anxiety can be a distraction from the real grief and sorrow of not being able to conceive naturally. It hurts on all levels when you can’t get pregnant.
But don’t despair! Don’t give up hope. You and your husband can learn all sorts of practical ways to survive when you have no money. However, it’s important to remember that those practical tips don’t lead to long-lasting peace or joy. You can’t permanently deal with financial stress all by yourself. Your anxiety will keep coming back even after the fertility treatments are over — and even if you conceive as many children as you want! Life brings stress in all flavors and colors, sizes and shapes. Stress will never go away, even if your fertility treatments are successful.
4. How do you plan on dealing with financial stress during fertility treatments?
Stop struggling, trying, and fighting with yourself. Trust me. I fought my money anxiety for almost 50 years. It never worked. I’m finally learning that the real root problem isn’t that I had to pay to get pregnant — or even that my grandma yelled at me for ordering the most expensive food on the menu. The real root problem was that I was relying on money to be my security blanket, my safety net. I thought money in the bank would protect me from poverty, homelessness, shame. I was wrong. It wasn’t financial stress or fertility treatments that caused me so much anxiety…it was that I was relying on the wrong source of life.
LifeAround2Angels – Bath Bombs Gift Set is a soothing, relaxing practical tip for dealing with financial stress during fertility treatments. These bath bombs smell gorgeous, and open up into flowers in the bathtub! This is a practical, effective way to de-stress and surround yourself with beauty when you’re trying to get pregnant.
I didn’t deal with financial stress by getting pregnant or even by building a bigger bank account. Even after we realized the fertility treatments wouldn’t result in a baby, I was still anxious about money. I learned that no matter how much money I have, it’ll never be enough to erase my fear of not having enough. I learned that I need something more powerful than me, something bigger than any bank account. I don’t need to a billion dollars to not feel stressed about money. Instead, I need to truly, deeply know and experience the personal love of God.
My financial stress was always caused by my belief that money would keep me safe and secure. This is not true. Yes, money brings luxury and comfort, food and shelter — and it can even result in successful fertility treatments and a healthy baby! But the only true, everlasting source of security and safety is God.
When you feel anxious during fertility treatments, find practical ways to cope. There are dozens of helpful tips for dealing with financial stress online, many from blogs and websites of fertility clinics. But you need to go a step further if you want true, deep, permanent joy and peace. And that step is into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In peace and passion,
P.S. If you’re wondering about your diet, read 6 Foods to Avoid When You’re Trying to Get Pregnant.
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