What if there was only one day a week you were allowed to take pregnancy tests? Wednesdays for example. What if people can only find out if they are pregnant on Wednesdays? Same for adoption calls. Birth mothers can only choose waiting parents on Wednesdays and the adoption counselors can only call on Wednesdays to let you know the picture of your baby from Guatemala just been faxed. What would you do the rest of the week? Would this make it easier or harder? Would this free you up to “live” the other 6 days of the week? What if you weren’t allowed to talk about infertility/adoption except on Wednesdays (I know my husband would have liked that rule!)? Would that make it easier to compartmentalized your feelings? When you felt a twinge in your stomach and you think it is a cramp but it is Monday you could give yourself permission to stop the thought and postpone it. “Sorry self, you’re not allowed to worry until Wednesday, (and then distract yourself) how about I send a quick funny e-mail to my husband.” Think about it, try it this week.
Each week you will have an assignment to help you get through the waiting time. Doesn’t matter if you are in the 2 week wait to see if you’re pregnant, if you are waiting for your next round of IVF, waiting for a call from a birth mom or waiting to hear from your adoption counselor about when you can go to Guatemala to pick-up your daughter. The waiting is hard and hopefully this will help:
1. Redirect your Thoughts: Each week I will give you a new topic to think about. So every time you think you feel a cramp, or your cell rings, or you longingly see a pregnant lady at the mall, acknowledge your feeling and then automatically think about this weeks topic.
Topic 1: Backyard Vegetable Gardening (Don’t laugh! The idea is to choose a topic that is not baby/family related and to explore something new. Google it today to learn a few things and then keep coming back to what you have learned or learn something new each day. Everytime you have a baby-thought/worry redirect your thoughts “If I don’t get pregnant this month I will…STOP-REDIRECT…I wonder if I have enough room on my patio to grow all the veggies needed to make an awesome Salsa, then my frineds could start calling me “Salsa Girl”.)
2. Give yourself permission to do one baby related thing each week.
Baby Assignment 1: Buy a 1″ 3-ring binder to keep all your baby assignments in, get one with the clear front and then go to the craft store and pick-out your favorite craft paper to slide into your binder (those of you who are non-crafty just buy a nice new binder). Buy some page dividers and tabs. Brainstorm what you want to go in your Baby Binder (baby names, nursery decor, pictures of cute clothes, baby announcement samples).
*Note about The Baby Binder: This is a place to keep your dreams. You have probably already thought about all you want for your baby but this provides a place to keep it all in one place. There may be times you want to throw the binder out the window because you are convinced it will never come true. There may come a time when you have to make a NEW binder (for me my new binder was a “Toddler from Ukraine Binder”). But that does not mean that you never had the baby dream and that you can’t keep it and go back and look at it as an acknowledgment of what you hoped for. In the meantime it can be a hopeful reminder that it might just be a matter of time before your dream comes true.
3. Have a Damage Control Plan: If by next Wednesday you are not pregnant or did not get the call, have a plan.
Damage Control Plan:
Part 1: What are you going to do to comfort yourself?
“If I find out I’m not pregnant by next week I am going to (watch a specific movie, go out to dinner with your husband, donate $20 to your favorite cause, have a night out with my girlfriends…)
Part 2: What is the next step in your Family Building Plan?
You ay need to discuss this with your doctor ahead of time and there may be new information gained from a failed pregnancy attempt, so factor that in, but an example would be, “This is the 5th IUI that didn’t work so now our plan is to attend the next IVF meeting at the clinc on ___________ (fill in the specific time/date).”
That’s your assignment for this week. What are some of the things you have done in the past to help with the waiting?