How to stop obsessing about doing all the things to get pregnant.Nov 20, 2023
I am your typical type A personality. I’m a perfectionist, a control freak and an overachiever. I was also raised by a single mum of 3, who taught me that if you work hard at anything, you’ll achieve it. She also stressed that if you’re going to do something, you don’t half arse it – you go all in. So, I have always been a hard worker and very diligent and driven.
When my husband and I first started trying to conceive, I started taking a pre-natal vitamin. That was the extent of my preparation, because I honestly didn’t think it would be that hard to get pregnant. But every month my period arrived; I’d add to the list of things I was doing.
4 years down the track, and I was out of control!! I was doing acupuncture, was on a strict diet and exercise regime, I was taking potions and pills and herbs, I limited my alcohol consumption – everything you could possibly imagine, I was doing.
Ok, I wasn’t doing it all the time. I’d go through periods where I’d do all the things, and feel motivated to do everything perfectly. Then after a negative pregnancy test, I’d think f*ck it! and do absolutely nothing for the next month.
And then after not doing anything, and having another negative pregnancy test, I’d punish myself and feel guilty for ruining our chances for yet another month.
This constant cycle was exhausting, and it sent me into a deep spiral of self-loathing and guilt.
For those of you who are also exhausted from obsessing about doing all the things, and are sick of punishing yourself, I understand. I have stood where you are, and it’s not a nice place to be, both physically and emotionally.
So here are a few things that I have learned both from my own experience, and from working with my clients.
Firstly, doing all the things isn’t sustainable. We are human, which means we have impulses, desires, and as soon as you restrict something, you crave it. As well as that, we aren’t perfect, nor will we ever be. Actually, there is no such thing as perfection.
Secondly, doing all the things is not necessary. And I know that, because when I did get pregnant naturally, I wasn’t doing any of the things I was “supposed to” be doing. Now, I’m not saying do nothing, or stop trying, because that’s impossible and really frustrating to hear. But what I am saying is that we do not have to do everything, all the time.
Let’s take sex for example. When you’re in your fertile window, it’s not necessary to have sex every single day. Every other day is fine. Plus, it really only takes one ejaculation to get you pregnant. More in this case, is not more. And in fact, it can become a source of frustration between you and your partner.
Or let’s think about your diet – one cupcake or glass of wine is not going to ruin everything for you. People get pregnant all the time when they’re drunk (as annoying as that is to hear), and when they eat McDonalds on a daily basis.
There is a sweet spot we need to aim for, where we’re still living and enjoying our lives, and also supporting our fertility, but in a sustainable way. What we’re aiming for is…..BALANCE and CONSISTENCY.
We get there, by setting reasonable expectations of ourselves, taking into account that we are human. If our goals aren’t achievable, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure.
In terms of your exercise – you’re better off setting a target of exercising twice a week, and doing something you enjoy doing. Rather than committing to 5 days of hard-core cardio workouts that you hate.
If you enjoy a glass of wine, perhaps set a goal to not drink during the week, and have a few social drinks over the weekend.
If you’re taking a million herbs and supplements and gagging them down every morning and feeling nauseous as a result, ask your naturopath what the essential ones are, and leave the rest.
Or if you hate acupuncture, stop doing it, or find an acupuncturist who you connect with on a deeper level, so it’s not just about ticking a box.
There are some things in life where the harder you work, does not automatically mean a better outcome. And infertility is one of those instances, unfortunately. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it can also provide you with some relief and permission.
In order for our body to operate at a level where our hormones are in balance, and our nervous system is regulated, our life has to be in balance too. If it’s causing you more angst to do it, it’s pointless. The benefit is not getting through. The stress is cancelling it out.
A great exercise to do is, write down a list of all the things you’re doing right now to support your fertility. What do you enjoy doing, and what do you hate? What is important, and what can you let go of? What gives you more stress than anything else? Be ruthless and practical in your approach.
To be honest, it’s continual work and self-talk to keep reminding yourself that you don’t have to be perfect to get pregnant.
And it takes a lot of self-kindness. The main reason why we feel the pressure to do all the things, is because if we don’t, we’ll punish ourselves later if it doesn’t work. We feel guilty and blame ourselves. We focus on the one thing we didn’t do, rather than the other things we did do. We do it all to avoid the beating we give ourselves. But we need to stop punishing ourselves.
So, what is the key to stop obsessing?
Balance, consistency and self-kindness.
Easier said than done, right?!
This is what I teach in my 1:1 coaching program, so if you’re interested in learning more, let's chat! You can jump on a quick 30 minute call with me and I'll answer all your questions, and provide you with a space to be seen and heard. Zero obligation, and completely free. You can book a time HERE.
And to learn a little more in the meantime, head to www.jenniferrobertson.co/fertility-coaching.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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