French writer Alexandre Dumas once quipped: “All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.” These words encapsulate what it’s like to live and cope with infertility. If you have tried unsuccessfully for one year (six months if you are over 35) to get pregnant, the wait for a diagnosis is over. You are among the one in eight American couples considered infertile. Infertility is a unique disease in that it often suspends patients in monthly wait-hope-despair cycles; the frequent ups/downs of the trying/waiting can exacerbate already existing stress.
To help equip you for the wait to get pregnant, Texas Fertility Center offers monthly seminars as well as printed and online educational materials. We believe it’s empowering to inform oneself about: the treatment options available through assisted reproductive technology (ART); financial strategies for funding fertility; and the link between wellness and fertility.
Concentrate on Financial Matters
If you’re just beginning the active phase of fertility treatment, you’re likely focused on the cost of treatment. A conversation with the Texas Fertility Center billing office will help you understand the financing options available to you. We recommend having a frank discussion with your partner about how you will pay for the cost of fertility treatment. Will you rely on a savings account? Take a second job on nights or weekends? Sell a car or use investments to fund your cure?
Multiple cycles increase your odds for a successful outcome. That’s why Texas Fertility Center partners with ARC to offer discounts on multiple cycles and a refund guarantee. You should also decide a cut-off point. How much time, money and emotional reserves will you devote to pursuing a baby?
Treat Yourself Like a Mom-to-Be
Don’t wait for a positive pregnancy test to start adopting a healthy lifestyle. A pregnant woman will tailor her diet to nourish a growing baby, adding more whole foods and cutting back on processed foods and trans fats. In what’s known as “the nurse’s study,” researchers from Harvard and other institutions found a link between red meat and infertility and associated a plant-based diet (legumes, nuts, soy) with increased fertility. Ask our TFC nurses to make recommendations on foods to avoid and those to incorporate into your diet to enhance fertility.
Our TFC fertility doctors also recommend maintaining a healthy weight. Too much or too little body fat will interfere with ovulation, so strive to maintain a body mass index (BMI) between 19 and 25.. Of course, you’ll also want to abstain from cigarette smoking and drug and alcohol use. Finally, the link between stress and infertility appears to be real, although no study conclusively proves it. Experience tells us that a regular practice of meditation, massage, deep breathing and moderate exercise improves your mood and outlook. During the rigors of fertility treatment, you’ll want to take proactive steps to nurture yourself and relieve stress.
Connect as a Couple
Before you decided to start a family, you chose to start a life together. Celebrate that! Try to take mental breaks from fertility treatment and pursue activities that you both enjoy. Sign up for a 5K, visit a bed and breakfast, take in a midnight movie or a Sunday matinee at the theatre. Once you have a baby or toddler, your couple time all but disappears. You would, of course, gladly trade that free time for a baby, but try to focus on bolstering your relationship now, before you feel the all consuming pull of parenthood’s daily demands.
Although it may feel like life stands still for you while all of your friends move on to parenthood, the wait will end. You’ll have a resolution to this journey. The team at Texas Fertility Center will work diligently to help you get pregnant. Meanwhile, focus on steps you can take now to improve your relationship, health and finances.
Robert Epstein, Ph.D., editor in chief of Psychology Today, says the “non-behavior called ‘waiting’ can have enormous benefits in a number of domains.” Find creative ways to fill the time before conception. And remember: We live in an instant gratification society, but your baby — whether biological, donor assisted or adopted — is worth the wait.