When you see people around you getting pregnant and having babies, you feel this is a simple game. To add to this wrong notion, we have our movies, where getting pregnant seems to be a cakewalk. But this is not and for many couples, it leads to stress and they get depressed about not getting pregnant.
When me and my husband decided to have a baby, we thought this would be simple and never in our wildest dreams, we had thought this would be the most difficult phases of our life. Till now being depressed about not getting pregnant was only heard of, but in 2 years, it was life.
When you and your partner want to become parents, one of the most natural emotions you will go through are those of impatience, frustration and disappointment. There are many changes that happen in your life, when you start planning your family. Even the most lovable couples go through this phase of disappointment and some even play the blame game.
Let us talk of various aspects of this journey and how not to get depressed about not getting pregnant.
What is Trying to Conceive
We will start with a phrase which is most common but many do not know of.
Have you ever heard the acronym, TTC? Well if you are one of those women who is obsessing over getting pregnant and read everything on the internet, you sure know what I am talking about. For the others, TTC means trying to conceive.
TTC though is a term commonly used on pregnancy and baby websites, but for someone who goes through it, it means sleepless nights, frustration, hope and heartbreaks. Being depressed about not getting pregnant is common, but the fact is no one discusses it.
Couples trying to conceive do not talk to people about it when they are going through this phase of life. Statistics show one in every 8 couples, face a problem in conceiving. Trust me, you are not the only one but yes, you are alone in this journey. The reason for not getting pregnant can be different, and sometimes there is no reason, but the whole journey comes with many emotions.
You might think why am I speaking about this. Because like many others, I have been there and I know how that feeling of not getting pregnant upsets you every month. When you do not have any medical reproductive problems, the whole journey can be scary and stressing. I cannot even imagine what people with medical complications go through.
It was a Tough Journey
For those who think they are the only ones struggling, trust me there are many more who are as depressed as you are. Let me share my journey in short. For those, who do not want to know, please skip to the next section.
I remember, the day we decided we were ready for a baby, the pressure, fear and anxiety began to build up and in a few months only, I was getting stressed. And finally I did not realize when I was depressed about not getting pregnant.
A few months of being unsuccessful, gets you thinking. How long will it take? Is there something wrong? Will I never be able to have a baby ever?
I am not a psychologist or a doctor, but I know how it feels to get the negatives on pregnancy testing kits. I went through this heartbreaking journey for nearly two years. About eight months of trying and then started the visits to the doctor. Let me summarize this journey for you:
- We started with all medical checkups which were fine.
- I went to the hospital for 11 months for ultrasounds for ovulation monitoring. Every month!!
Read this post on Follicular Scans for Ovulation Tracking to know how it helps in conception
- Went through a HSG (Hysterosalpingogram). This was painful but the pain went when the doctor said it was perfect.
- 6 months went and still no luck. Then we tried the IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) for two cycles. The baby did not like this too. Mummy papa work harder!!
- Went through a laparoscopy. My first every experience of an Operation Theater and of staying in the hospital. Why me God?
- Now we decided to stop trying and live our life. Will we be able to do it? Guess we were not destined to be parents.
- Took a holiday and de-stressed completely and decided not to think about it for a few months. My doctor also said I will not see you now for three months at least. We need a break.
- Will the mother in me stop trying? It was October 2015. I had one pregnancy kit left of last month. Thought will see a negative again so that I can stick to our decision. And guess what? This time it was a POSITIVE.
Nearly 2 years of frustration vanished as tears rolled down my eyes.
Every couple goes through stages in this journey. Read this post on, Stages of Not Being Able to Conceive, to see where you stand.
Reasons for Not Getting Pregnant
These two years, did upset me and I was depressed but I wanted to understand what was wrong.
Being depressed about not getting pregnant is common and natural for someone who has been trying for months and years. Rather than blaming your luck or God for punishing you, it is important to understand the reason for not getting pregnant.
Sometime when you know the reason which is reducing the chances of conceiving, treatment becomes easier and also the chances when the problem is addressed. Following are some of the common reasons:
Time of Trying
Statistics say that about 80% of couples take about six months to conceive and many take up to a year. You should consult a doctor after trying for six months if you are above 35. For women younger than that, waiting longer is also fine.
To conceive, the sperm and the egg have to be fertilized. If you are not ovulating, there is anyway no chance of a pregnancy. When a woman is not able to ovulate, it can be due to different reasons like overweight or underweight, PCOS, thyroid issues or even excessive exercise.
Ovulation is the most important part of conception. Read the post on Ovulation to get answers to all questions.
Irregular periods can be a sign of not ovulating and if this is the case, you must consult your doctor immediately and not wait for six months also.
To know more details read this article about ovulatory dysfunction.
Men Can Have Issues Too
The problem can be with your partner too and thus; his checkup is as important as yours. A semen analysis is done usually as there are no signs of infertility in men. This test measures the health of the sperm and the semen.
Women after the age of 35 do take more time to conceive. Regular periods are not a sign of infertility as the quality of eggs tend to get affected.
Blockage in Fallopian Tubes
When you visit a doctor, they ensure your ovulation is fine after tracking it for a cycle or two. Once that is done, one of the first few things they will check for is a blockage in fallopian tubes. The procedure is called Tubal Cannulation.
Read this post, Know Everything About Tubal Cannulation, to know all details about this procedure.
Endometriosis is a common problem and one of the most neglected one. In this case, the tissue of the uterus grows outside and becomes the reason for not conceiving in 50% of the women.
I still remember I was depressed about not getting pregnant and a laparoscopic surgery was done to diagnose this problem and this was the reason for not getting pregnant in my case.
And this is one of the most talked about reasons for being depressed about not getting pregnant, Unexplained infertility. This is one of the most common phrases doctors use and something which I cannot understand.
If they cannot give a reason, does not mean you cannot get a cure or a treatment.
Signs of Depression
It undoubtedly is very difficult to be happy when you are not able to conceive. How to stop obsessing about not getting pregnant? There are ways but still depression can hit you which further reduces your chance.
This ends up becoming a vicious cycle. It is important to understand the signs of depression to ensure it does not take over your life. Some of the common signs are:
- Constant guilt of doing anything which can affect your chances
- Thinking about not conceiving all day
- Feel ashamed and useless
- Excessive eating
- Being short tempered
- Not wanting to meet people and are isolated
- Always sad and difficult to stay happy
- Your relationship with your partner is getting affected
- Hobbies and work also do not help to take your mind off
- Facing panic attacks
- Inability to sleep
- Resorting to alcohols or drugs
How to Stop Obsessing About Not Getting Pregnant?
This journey for a couple going through this phase takes a toll emotionally. Trust me, if you are going through this, you are not the only one feeling the emotional drain. Every month comes with anticipation, anxiety and lots of hope that this month will see the two lines.
This leads to feeling of despair and failure. Tests, treatments, and the vicious circle starts again. If you are active on social media, life will not get simpler. Baby announcements, cute baby pics and stories of mother, can be mentally exhausting as jealousy sets in.
Getting depressed as you are not able to conceive is normal and it is better to face it and talk about it rather than not accepting the fact. Some ways to handle this emotion are:
Be In It Together
Understand and accept your feelings and also those of your husband. Talk about it to each other as no one will understand you better during this time. Your emotions and reactions might be different, but if you are together in it, it will be easier. Being sensitive to each other’s emotions will be the best support you can lend.
It is normal that one person is obsessing over it and the other is not. Each one has their way to show emotions and feel and this should not be a point of argument.
Accept and Talk
Many people do not talk about what they feel and keep bottling it up inside them. Some refuse to accept the fact that they are disappointed and continue to show as if everything is fine. Trust me, this just makes life more difficult. I am not saying share your feelings with anyone you meet, but make sure you have someone whom you can speak to easily.
Find Your Support
Support other than your partner is crucial in this phase. You should have a friend or a family member who will be your support system. Talk to them. Pour your heart out. This will certainly relieve you. Make a conscious effort to stay away from negative people.
If there is no one you are comfortable talking to, join a support group where there will be others like you and people to help and hear you out. You will go through a lot of emotions and will have loads of questions. If there is someone out there who will patiently handle this, you will feel better.
A Good Doctor
Find a good doctor. She or he can be the support you need. If you have a doctor with whom you can talk about anything under the sun, you will be in a happier zone. You should feel comfortable and cared for and that is when you will never lose hope. My doctor’s IT WILL HAPPEN attitude was a blessing.
Don’t Expect Miracles
Movies are non-sense and you need to know that getting pregnant the first time you try is very difficult. It is not that this is impossible but the chances are about 20% I will say. You should be patient until about six months and then consult a doctor. Normal couples with no medical issues also get pregnant after 1 year of trying.
The post, Common Misconceptions About Conception and Pregnancy will help you understand the myths.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
Conception takes time for most couples. When you are depressed about not getting pregnant it is highly possible that sex becomes mechanical as you feel it’s a compulsion to try during the ‘window’. Do not make it a chore. You need to keep the romance and the spark alive. Do not wait for the days of the month when you are fertile. There is no time to enjoy.
To add to this if you play the blame game, things will only get tougher. Some people blame work or some say they waited too long or some blame each other’s habits. Refrain from blaming each other and just remember you are not the only one who is taking so long to conceive. The more you support and understand each other, the easier it will be.
Health is Wealth
There is a lot playing in your mind, but do not let your health get affected if you are not getting pregnant. Continue your exercise regime and eat healthy as this helps you in getting pregnant as well. You have to take care of yourself as when the little bundle of joy comes you will need to be there for him.
Do Not Get Obsessed
I remember I had reached a point where I had made this an obsession. Do not do this. Everything in my life revolved around one thing only. I remember my doctor, my husband and my parents all saw this and directly or indirectly told me to take a break.
How to stop obsessing is not easy but remember, the more you stress the more time it takes. I have gone through it, and thus, I know it is easier said than done. There was a time I decided to stop trying, and the next month I got pregnant. Your hormones also react to stress and love.
Don’t Be Shy
If you have tried for six months and have not got lucky, go to a doctor. There is nothing wrong with you if you decide to go to a doctor. in fact, the doctor can guide you and even if there is some problem, it will get sorted at the earliest.
Many times, the doctor becomes your anchor in the tough times. Mine surely was, and I can never thank her enough for this. She gave the positivity that was much needed in my life.
Stop Living During the Two Week Wait
The two week wait to know if you managed to conceived is difficult for sure especially if you are depressed about not getting pregnant. For those who want to know if they have been successful this time, the 2 weeks seems like 52.
Controlling anxiety in this time is important. Thus, indulge in activities and hobbies to distract yourself. Go out for a dinner with your partner, meet up with your friends or just do something you enjoy and which will take your mind off things.
More Pregnancy Tests Do Not Increase Your Chances
Do not become obsessed with taking pregnancy tests. Wait for your period to be a few days late and then do the test. Keep a limited supply at home so that you are not tempted to take one at different times of the day.
Do Not Get Depressed About Not Getting Pregnant
Getting pregnant is important but do not make it the only reason for your existence. Lead a life as normal as possible. Concentrate on other things and may be try doing something new. Smile and laugh as much as you can and spread happiness around you. There is a right time for everything and God will send your precious little one to you, when he feels you are ready.
The journey will take a toll on you but trust me things will fall in place. When you see the face of that little angel God sent for you, you will not even remember one minute of what you went through. You will feel it all was worth it.
“There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness”.