My fertility journey taught me many things, but most notably that in the instance of becoming a mother, it’s not about necessarily about how hard you try. In life we are taught from an early age that anything worth having comes with some kind of struggle, and a concerted amount of effort. We practice, we train, to succeed at all aspects of our life, whether it is achieving our grades at school, or becoming the best at our chosen hobby. Subsequently in our careers, we climb the corporate ladder, striving to be noticed, in the hope that all our hard work will result in the prize of promotion.
It is therefore no surprise that many of us adopt the same strategy when it comes to the process of becoming a parent. We believe that if we strive as hard as possible, putting all of our effort into the task in hand we will be successful, and the two little lines on the stick will be a treasured trophy.
However as many of us realise, it isn’t quite this simple. The very notion of ‘trying to conceive’, implies an element of striving, and effort for what should be the most relaxed and natural of processes. When we try, and don’t succeed we create stress. There is the stress of failing despite our great efforts. There is the stress of questioning what we are doing wrong, and there is the stress for blaming ourselves for not being able to get it right.
As soon as I stopped struggling to conceive, it happened effortlessly. How often do you hear of this? People who try for years, decide it will never happen, go on holiday to drown their sorrows, and then conceive as if by magic. It is because the stress and the effort to control the situation have been removed.
So if you are currently trying to conceive, desperately doing everything you can to achieve this positive outcome, I would say relax. Trust. Believe that it will happen, but stop trying to control the outcome, and stop asking when.
There is a buddhist analogy that when you are struggling in the ocean, in order to float, you have to put your faith in the water. Just lie back and let it hold you up, and the conception conundrum is exactly like that.