Well, it’s finally here. Good bye 2020 and hello 2021!
When 2020 began I was consumed with my ache and need to have another child, which was compounded by my New Years Day miscarriage. I was feeling defeated, derailed and pretty desperate. I am happy to say that as 2020 rolls out I have found more balance in my life and we have decided we are going to close the door on having another child for good. I don’t always feel great about how our journey ended, ending with three miscarriages and no rainbow baby is a real gut punch, but I at least feel like we made the right decision.
Having re-evaluated a lot over the past year and now looking towards the year ahead I, like everyone else, am wondering what 2021 will bring. There is always so much uncertainty around starting a new year, especially if you’re still trying to conceive, nevermind the ongoing pandemic! But I like to start new years off on a new foot so I’ve thought of some goals that the family building crowd can use to have a happier, healthier, more balanced life while TTC in 2021. Even though we are walking away from our TTC efforts this year after 7 years in the trenches I’ve learned a lot. Here are my New Year’s goals to keep you sane through another year of this journey:
1. Use Dr. Google less: I’d say don’t use it at all but we all know that’s unlikely to happen. Google is amazing, and can be incredibly useful. I have learned a LOT on this journey from it… However, there’s a limit. No one needs to be worrying about if their heart burn is really a heart attack or whether their HCG numbers suggest ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes it’s best to just walk away from the all-knowing information box and breathe for a bit. I’m talking no more Googling two week wait symptoms erratically at 4 am. That kind of thing. You know, balance.
2. Be more engaged and supportive with the online fertility community: The community I have found through blogging seriously changed the way I view my fertility struggles. It drastically improved the trajectory of this year and made me feel less alone during all my miscarriages. There really is nothing like having support while you strive for parenthood. Thank god for the online fertility community. If you haven’t interacted with it much up til now I seriously recommend getting into it. Find blogs you like, podcasts, infertile accounts on Instagram and Twitter, support groups. You’ll thank me, I promise.
3. Stick to healthier foods and a workout regimen: Eating well and having healthy expectations for working out is something I can struggle with. But I’ve found on the years where we are actively cycling I do the best with it. Maybe all I needed was the cost of IVF hanging over my head to really want to get healthy. Whatever the reason, I always believe that the combination of a balanced diet and exercise will lead to a healthier, and hopefully more fertile me. And try to remember that small changes, over a long period of time, lead to big changes. You don’t need to go hard. Just make good choices with food and water intake and light excersies 3 times a week. Be kind to yourself where you are and recognise that you can’t change your diagnosis with foods and exercise but that having a healthier state is the best way to be healthy in your journey.
4. Stick to my self-love goals: I set some pretty intense goals to improve my self-love just before the Christmas season. So far it has been going well. I am loving myself more fully than I have been the last few years of trying to conceive. I want to keep at it in 2021 and get to know and love the real me more and more. It’s impossible to know if any of us will have children/more children, and I want to know how awesome I am even as I am having to accept a life different from what I had envisioned.
5. Be more engaged with the journey and less focused on the end goal of producing a baby: During this last year, which marked our seventh of trying there were times when we found it difficult to step back from this situation and live in the moment. I get caught up in when I’ll ovulate. Or when I’ll be able to test. Or if the cycle will work out like I want. I am working very hard to give myself a little more distance from the whole trying to conceive mess. I need more sanity and joy in the present.
It’s important for all of us to factor in some distance while trying to conceive. Keep focus on the positive this year. So as 2020 draws to an end I want to encourage us all to take a breather and invest our energies into ourselves to make 2021 the best year yet. Baby or no baby, Happy New Year! And honestly? Good riddance 2020!