Waiting for the pregnancy test: what can I do?
To alleviate stress, you need to understand its underlying cause. Fertility treatment is strenuous, but the demands aren’t only physical. When asked, most couples say they find the emotional side of treatment even tougher to get through. In part, it’s the need to deal with intense feelings – the unfulfilled desire to have a child.
The circumstances surrounding fertility treatment also add pressure, having to:
- Mix with friends who become pregnant with apparent ease.
- Brush off thoughtless remarks – suggestions that you can find ‘the same fulfilment through becoming a godparent or an aunt´.
- Meet a range of different healthcare professionals.
- Share intimate aspects of your sex life with clinic staff.
- Self-inject hormone treatment.
- Withstand the effects of hormone treatment on your emotional state.
- Schedule treatment appointments to fit your work week.
- Plan your career amid the uncertainty of your family life.
- Wait for the outcome of that next pregnancy test.
Adopting the right coping strategy
There is a variety of coping strategies you can learn to help reduce emotional strain. Each scenario may call for a different approach. For example, you can discuss changes to your work schedule to fit in with your treatment plans; you can learn how to inject yourself during hormone treatment, or ask your partner for help.
However, some situations can’t be eased. You can’t shorten the waiting time that leads up to a pregnancy test. It would be easier if you could bring a pregnancy closer by staying in bed, or promising to get a good night’s sleep. But remember that it’s largely a case of nature taking its course.
|Are you an active problem solver or do you try to relieve stress by sharing your emotions with others? Use the Fertility Compass to discover your coping style and learn new strategies to reduce emotional strain.|
Dealing with a problem that can’t be solved
The best way to cope with short-term stress is to seek distraction. Take in a movie, go for a walk, visit friends or do something special with your partner. At the same time, try to control the thoughts that run through your head. Waiting for the results of a pregnancy test can produce a string of negative phrases:
- ‘I just know this cycle hasn’t worked’.
- ‘I’m sure I can feel my period coming on’.
- ‘I don’t deserve to get pregnant. I’ve only got myself to blame for my infertility’.
Thinking positively will make you feel better. You can’t control the process of getting pregnant. But you can try to control your feelings during this process.
So seek distraction from your negative thoughts by thinking positively. Download this waiting card to get you through difficult moments. It contains a series of positive statements that may help restore perspective. Carry the card and read it at least twice a day to help transform your negative thoughts. It will add to your sense of control of your situation, another benefit to your mood.
|Don’t put your life on hold. Try to continue with your usual activities and find time to do things that you like. With a little planning, the time will pass. This week-to-week planner will help get you started.|