Making the decision to have a baby can be overwhelming in even the best of circumstances. After all, adding a little one to your life will require a significant amount of adjustment, organization, and yes, even sacrifice.
However, what happens when getting pregnant isn’t as easy as you thought it would be? What do you do when comparing fertility treatments and making doctor appointments becomes a normal part of your routine?
For many people, it’s assumed conception and pregnancy will be the “easy” part of becoming a parent. If you’re one of the 1-in-8 who struggle with infertility, getting pregnant can be a challenging process which can sometimes feel like another full-time job.
Whether you’re using an egg donor or going through traditional IVF, finding balance during your fertility treatment is crucial. From taking time off from your job to saying no to family and friends, it’s vital to figure out how to use your time wisely.
If you’re having a hard time dealing with the push and pull that is life and infertility, there are several points you should keep in mind.
Remember: This is a Temporary Experience
When the pressures of your fertility treatment and life balance start becoming too much, keep this vital piece of information at the forefront of your mind:
You won’t be trying to get pregnant forever.
While the quest to become a parent can sometimes seem like a never-ending cycle, the day will come where you no longer have to worry about things like daily ultrasounds and embryo transfers.
Undergoing fertility treatment is an undeniably grueling experience for anyone walking that path. Just remember this is a small chapter in your story. You’ll look back one day and barely remember the struggle of balancing your morning meetings with your blood work appointments.
Talk to Your Boss
It’s a sad realization that many workplaces still don’t have enough protocols in place to help individuals through their infertility journeys. However, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to maintain a better work/life balance throughout your fertility treatment.
While having a conversation with your boss or supervisor about your fertility troubles isn’t the most enjoyable experience in the world, it can be beneficial.
If you’re up front about your wants and needs at the start of your treatment cycles, your boss can help you manage your workload and responsibilities for the duration of your procedures.
This conversation can, of course, be uncomfortable, but here’s the upside—you don’t have to tell them everything. There are ways to let your boss know you’re having trouble getting pregnant and require treatments without getting into the nitty gritty of your reproductive health.
Are you looking for more ways to balance your workload and infertility treatments?
Consider these options:
- Avoid big promotions right before starting treatment
- Don’t take on additional commitments or projects
- Stop worrying about what others think (your coworkers’ opinions on your fertility don’t matter!)
Find Shortcuts and Take Them
Does the thought of cooking dinner at the end of a long day stress you out? Then don’t do it! There’s nothing wrong with taking a few simple shortcuts in your daily life while you’re undergoing your infertility treatment.
Whether that means ordering a pizza for the fourth night this week or asking a family member to come over and help with the mountain of laundry you’ve been ignoring, why not let yourself take it easy from time to time?
“Me-Time” Should Be a #1 Priority
There’s no easy way to describe the physical, emotional, and mental toll infertility can take on your day-to-day life. Add the pressures of keeping up with friends, dealing with a heavy workload, and finding time to clean your house, and the stress can quickly become unmanageable.
Hence, the importance of self-care.
Whether you practice yoga, get a massage, or drink a glass of wine at the end of the day, find something that makes you feel good. You deserve to spend your time doing more than writing reports and picking egg donors.
It’s Okay to Say No
Don’t be afraid to say no.
While it’s not always easy to set boundaries at work, there are ways to “put up a few walls” in your personal life. If the thought of one more family dinner or birthday party for a friend feels like too much, it’s okay to sit it out. Don’t feel pressured to continue adding more to your already heaping plate.
Don’t Let the Stress of Infertility Treatment Get You Down
There’s no refuting the difficulty that comes with infertility treatments like an IUI, IVF cycle, or a donor egg cycle. The best you can do to balance the experience is to take things one day at a time, and stay realistic when planning your day-to-day activities.
Just keep reminding yourself this experience is only a moment.
Hopefully, at the end of your journey you’ll come out with the beautiful baby you’ve been dreaming of.