Struggling to conceive? Here’s how to cope uncertainty during infertility.

Uncertainty during infertility is one of the big things I struggled with when we were trying to have Luca and experiencing multiple losses. Planning anything felt impossible because I was always hoping to be pregnant by then (“then” being any unknown date in the future.)

My life felt like it was permanently on hold, while everyone else kept on with life as normal.  I couldn’t understand how I could possibly be okay while wanting something that I didn’t have so desperately, (and also secretly worrying that maybe I would never have again.)

Infertility is lonely and all-consuming at the best of times. But going through it during a pandemic creates a complete shitstorm of uncertainty.

If that’s been you the last few years I feel you. I hope you are finding ways to be kind to yourself for everything that you’ve been through. 

uncertainty during infertility

How to cope with uncertainty during infertility struggles

Stop fighting it

I often try to fight uncertainty by controlling all the things. Maybe you do this too? I try to plan the minutia or micromanage parts of my life instead of just facing the truth of life; everything is uncertain.

At first this fact can feel debilitating. How on earth can we keep going day after day not knowing if anything, ever, will work out?

Until you realise there is freedom in accepting uncertainty. If everything is uncertain, we are free to let go of the effort involved in trying to control it.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t the same as resigning yourself to this is how it will always be. Acceptance isn’t necessarily the same as giving up on trying to conceive. You can want something so badly it consumes you AND be okay in this moment. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. 

Accepting that you don’t know how this will turn out AND allowing yourself to be in it anyway can bring a lot of peace.

Practise presence

I know. I know. How the heck do you accept the uncertainty of your future? For me, the fastest way to acceptance and feeling okay is to bring my awareness to the present moment (and do my very best to stay there).

When I get caught up thinking about all the unknown possibilities of the future I find myself quickly spiralling into doom thoughts. (You know the ones right? They’re full of all the worse case scenarios possible and you replay them over and over, feeling all the emotions of them).

Whenever you catch yourself getting caught up in the not knowing, bring yourself back to your breath. Take a full deep breath in as you count to four. Hold your breath for four. Breathe out for four. Hold your lungs empty for four. Notice how this feels in your body.

If you feel yourself spiralling into doubts of the unknown, shift your awareness to your 5 senses. What can you hear? What can you see? Name these objects in your mind. How does the air temperature feel on your skin? What can you smell? Can you eat something and be fully present to tasting every bite?

There is certainty in the present moment that we can’t find worrying about the future. Practise coming back to THIS moment whenever you feel overwhelmed by uncertainty.

Choose healthy ways to soothe yourself

Feeling uncertain (and the anxiety that uncertainty creates) makes me reach for the quick fix to soothe those feelings. Sometimes it’s comfort food. Wine. Picking an argument with a loved one because then I have something else to fixate on. (Yep it took me a long time to unpack that fun little tendency. Sorry husband for all the unnecessary fights!)

Instead of just reaching for anything, try to be intentional about what you will use to soothe yourself when you know that uncertainty is going to make you feel a bit wobbly.

Find what works for you?

Exercise? (Psst. I’ve included a yoga class below that speaks to sitting in uncertainty – you should try it.)

Talking to a friend? (If you don’t have someone in your life who you want to talk to, I offer 1:1 sessions.)

Getting out in nature? (Find a beautiful natural spot near your house that you can visit often.)

Plan in advance how you will soothe yourself in a healthy way, so that you can reach for these things when you need. You may even like to tell your partner about your plan so they can gently remind you (it’s hard to think clearly when you’re feeling frazzled).

Remember your strength

When we’re struggling with something it’s easy to remember all the times we fell apart. But what about all the times you’ve held it together? Or when you made it through that really challenging thing you went through and came out the other side stronger for it?

No one expects you to feel gratitude for this horrible shitty time you’re having, but what about just remembering your strength? When you feel like you’re struggling with uncertainty during infertility, try to focus on all the ways you have already overcome challenges. Let yourself feel proud of everything you’ve been through. No, you didn’t ask for it – but look at you making it through each day with grace.

I see your strength. Let yourself see it too.

Focus on watering the flowers, not the weeds.

I’ve written about this idea of “watering the flowers” many times. I found it so helpful when I was really struggling after 3 losses. Put simply it means; put your energy into all the good things you have in your life right now.

It’s easy to become all-consumed by everything fertility and pregnancy when you’re trying to conceive. But when the journey is filled with disappointments, loss and endless waiting – it can feel like there is nothing else left in your life but struggle. That’s really hard to cope with day to day.

Focus on living your beautiful life. Keep doing those things that make you happy. Fill your day with things that feel meaningful to you. Laugh. Let yourself feel good in your body. Write your happy list and make yourself do things on it even when you don’t feel like it. The good feelings will follow action, I promise. x

If you’re brand new to fertility yoga you might like to download my free fertility yoga guide here or join the Online Yoga Circle for classes specific to the different stages of your cycle.

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