“Just Relax!”

When I started this blog, I made a conscious effort to make sure that it wasn’t another infertility blog. (No offense to those that are; I’m thankful they exist because it helps to know you’re not alone.) Yet, my first post ever included details on my ovulation. Heck, I had just gone through a miscarriage at that time, and I guess I’m not so great at compartmentalizing. Almost a year later, I’m still writing about infertility because it continues to affect me and be a part of my thoughts. Since I declared (in this post) that we were getting off the infertility roller coaster ride by “letting go,” i.e. leaving things up to the Universe, my average level of feeling okay on a daily basis has gone up. The cycle after our Sierras trip was the first month I didn’t cry over anything TTC (trying to conceive)-related. Whenever I came across posts by my sisters in the infertility blog world, by those who were continuing to struggle, I wanted to shout, “Hey, come over here! It’s sunnier here, and you don’t hurt as much in this space.” driveway view

But, more and more, I began to feel like a misfit. I belong to neither team now. Although we still have the desire to have a kid, we’re not pursuing any medical intervention for now. It feels like I’m one of the few.

Anyway, one of the most annoying things you hear when you’re part of Team Infertile from well-meaning people is to “just relax.” (If you’re one of my friends that have told me that before, please don’t take offense or feel badly.) You may have been told that it’ll happen when you let it go. I just could never wrap my head around how I would do that exactly. If I were to attempt to forget about it, I would do so with the hope that I’ll get pregnant. Thus, the conundrum.

However, I’m here to say, that “just relax” is great advice–NOT because that’s when it’ll happen but just because, period. Here are 3 reasons I came to this conclusion.

Reason 1: When my job went from full time to as needed, we decided that I didn’t need to pursue another job. I thought that part time work would make my life less stressful and make it easier for me to conceive. On one hand, I was able to do and learn a lot with my time off–gardening, refinishing furniture, animal husbandry, cheese making, soap making, making home-cooked meals–but really, I did some of this while working full-time, too. Having time off work gave me too much freedom to obsess about getting/not getting pregnant. I’m sure I needed some time to process it all, but in hindsight, I took too much time off. Now, I regret not working more and saving up the money. I’m also realizing that I missed out on gaining some professional experience that would benefit my career prospects now. Of course, if I had gotten pregnant and had a baby, I could say it would have been worth it.

Reason 2: I tend to hyper-focus on whatever goal or problem is at hand. This can be a strength when I set a goal that is achievable. It’s probably what helped me get into Harvard, win culinary competitions, and be able to dead lift 255 pounds at a body weight of 105 lb. (Here’s my “aha!” moment coming up.) It’s actually pretty funny now that I get it: Getting pregnant doesn’t and shouldn’t require that same type of energy and focus. I mean, can you imagine?! We’d be almost extinct. Who knows what I could have achieved with all the time and thought I devoted to analyzing every twinge I felt, my monthly bodily secretions, and asking why everyone else was getting pregnant instead of me?

Reason 3: Planning my life around my cycle and the possibility that I might be pregnant every month made it difficult for me to live in the moment. It interfered with my truly enjoying experiences that I might have enjoyed more otherwise–from indulging in a glass of wine or cup of coffee to traveling throughout Mexico–if I had just relaxed. I saw life through my foggy infertility goggles, and it colored all of my experiences in the past 2+ years.

I still fall back into my old thought patterns sometimes, but as I begin to relax, I can see more clearly now.

Everyone experiences life’s struggles in their own way. But, there is only so much we can control, and the rest is up to the Universe. So, just relax! (But, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get pregnant.)

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