The disappointment of a negative pregnancy test is crushing – especially if you were sure this time it would be positive! These tips on how to recover from yet another negative pregnancy test are from my own personal experience
Coping with sadness and depression when you’re trying to conceive doesn’t get easier – and neither does recovering from the disappointment and heartache. You’d think it would, since most things are easier as time passes! Not infertility.
Heartache comes in all shapes and sizes – from finding out that you “failed” a pregnancy test to learning that you can’t have children. We don’t survive setbacks as easily as we’d like, because we were created to love and nurture children. So, if God created us to have kids…why are some of us coping with infertility, negative pregnancy tests, constant disappointment and heartbreak of not being able to get pregnant?
The obvious answer is that our world is a fallen, broken place that is filled with pain and heartache. The difficult answer is that we don’t know why some of us never experience the joy of a positive pregnancy test or the pain of actually giving birth. I wanted to have a baby – we tried for years to get pregnant – but that is a blessing I’ll never have.
The bad news of another negative pregnancy test isn’t easy to recover from, especially if you fear that you’ll never get pregnant. But the good news of God’s unfailing love and grace for you will never go away – unless you put it down.
How to Recover From a Negative Pregnancy Test
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me,” said Jesus. “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30, The Message.
Whatever you’re looking for can be found in Him. If you long for rest and the peace that surpasses all understanding, look no further than the love of God that already exists in your heart. If you long for healing from the pain of yet another negative pregnancy test, put your heart into the gentle, kind hands of Jesus.
And, know that everyone has to face pain – even if they’re walking with Jesus. Especially if they’re walking with Him, because they’ll see the world with more compassionate and loving eyes.
Allow the grief to wash over you
I’ve been feeling listless and sad for about a month now, which is highly unusual for me – I’m usually a positive, optimistic, energetic person who bounces back from almost anything! But yesterday I realized that I’ve been hit with a couple of doozies in the past month. My sister decided to cut me out of her life for no reason, and my husband and I found out we can’t have kids. Of course I feel listless and sad; I’ve been hit with some pretty harsh news.
Grieve your sadness and disappointment that your pregnancy test is negative. Allow yourself to feel the pain, frustration, anger, loneliness and heartbreak of not being pregnant. Turn your heart and soul to God; share the burden and grief with Him. Put your pain on His shoulders – let Him carry you and your grief for awhile. Jesus is strong. He can handle it.
Let yourself go for a day
Instead of fighting your sad, angry, disappointed, hurt or frustrated feelings, let them wash over you when they rise to the surface. Take the day off work, or the afternoon. If you just found out you’ll never get pregnant and you have a box of pregnancy tests that’ll never be used, take the week off! Let yourself weep and wail. That is how you will heal.
It’s definitely not fun to feel all that pain and all those bad feelings; in the midst of it you might feel like you’ll die or go crazy! I know how it feels. Grief can be like you’re losing your mind.
But the only way to heal from the grief and recover from the disappointment of yet another negative pregnancy test is to feel the pain. Feeling those nasty overwhelming emotions is much better than shoving them down or expressing them in other ways, such as overeating, drinking, doing drugs, or treating others inhumanely.
Let yourself descend into darkness – and hold on to the hand of God. Give your heart over. You’re aching and sad right now, but your joy will return. Mourning lasts through the night…and joy comes in the morning!
Stay connected to your husband
Don’t give up on your relationship with the man you love. Don’t put up walls, don’t focus on how your husband doesn’t understand you or care about how you feel. When you’re facing heartache as a couple, you may be tempted to pull away or initiate fights – but when you do that, you perpetuate the problems. Staying connected with loved ones could involve painful honesty, nonjudgmental attitudes, self-acceptance, and even counseling.
Maybe it’s as simple as holding one another when you cry over the negative pregnancy test, or going for quiet walks together. The most important thing is to stay real and honest about your feelings, even if it’s just to yourself (because not all feelings have to be shared).
Change your focus for a little while
Sometimes the best way to recover from the disappointment of not being pregnant is to distract yourself. Take a break from the heartache of another negative pregnancy test and the disappointment of not being pregnant. Take a deep breath, and look around at the goodness that exists in the world.
Take joy from the little things. Distract yourself with funny movies, vacations, new restaurants, different yoga classes (like laughing 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. The best way to recover from disappointment of another negative pregnancy test is to pull away from reality for a little while.
Has infertility left you with empty arms? Have you wondered “Why am I dealing with another negative pregnancy test?” I welcome your comments below. I can’t offer advice, but you may find it helpful to share what you’re going through.
Hold on to your hope
In When Infertility Books Are Not Enough: Embracing Hope During Infertility, Betsy Herman describes the emotions of trying to conceive, dreams of motherhood, long waits, and more than four years of trying to increase fertility while trying to get pregnant. Similarly to an infertility devotional book, Betsy tells of encouragement that she received along the way. She focuses on the truth that nothing is impossible with God.
Throughout her challenging personal journey, Betsy built a steadfast understanding that God is good in all seasons, regardless of how many negative pregnancy tests you’ve experienced. If you need encouragement in your delayed dreams, then this book is for you.
You are not alone.
After years of trying to conceive, many women read infertility books about the best ways to get pregnant, try new fertility foods, look for signs of infertility and tips on how to get pregnant faster. We turn to infertility devotional books for encouragement. Hopes rise with infertility treatments, late periods, or even after reading tips to get pregnant on an infertility blog. The causes of fertility problems in women and men are often unknown, but one thing is always true: you can still choose love, joy, peace and gratitude even if you never feel the heady excitement of a positive pregnancy test.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” said Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
May you experience healing and comfort, peace and joy, love and light. I pray for life to enter your heart, body and soul. I pray that you find freedom from grief, and acceptance of God’s love and sovereignty in your life. May the Holy Spirit fill you, guide you, and bless you. Amen.
Do you know why your pregnancy tests are negative, month after month? This article may help: Find Out Why You Can’t Get Pregnant – 4 Fertility Checklists.