Managing Your Expectations Throughout the Fertility Journey
Starting or growing a family is a rite of passage for many individuals. When creating that family comes with challenges, it can often lead to frustration and disappointment. Taking the leap and scheduling a visit with a fertility specialist can be a hard decision for people, but once they’ve made the choice to seek medical help, many believe that this will be the fail-safe way to achieve their hopes of becoming parents.
Unfortunately for many, the first visit and initial evaluation are just the beginning of the long journey ahead on their path to parenthood. Managing expectations and taking care of mental health are crucial parts of the process.
Managing expectations seems to go hand-in-hand with cautious optimism, but it also has to do with understanding your own individual situation and the potential rates of success for you (and your partner, if applicable). Balancing the emotional part of your brain that holds optimism and hope with the rational part that understands that no fertility procedure comes with a 100% chance of success can be challenging.
Staying in the “neutral zone” between optimism and pragmatism is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. The fertility journey can be a lonely one, but establishing support throughout your life can help ease the stress of going at it alone. Support can present itself in many ways: a friend that you feel comfortable sharing your experience with, an established support network such as Resolve, or a fertility coach. Practicing mindfulness either through meditation, yoga or acupuncture can also help with mind/body relief.
Managing expectations is understanding that there are certain things that you have control over, and other things that can only be determined by time. Stay present in the moment and process every piece of information as it comes for what it is and what it can tell you. Try not to jump to conclusions without processing the information at hand.
If you find yourself struggling with this, ask for help. At the Center for Reproductive Care, we understand the challenges that come with your fertility journey and we are here as a resource to provide support and to connect you with others who can help you take care of the whole person.