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Staying grateful while facing infertility

I am so blessed

Beyond just coping and getting through one cycle to the next, when you’re on the infertility roller coaster you need to remind yourself of all the good you do have and hold on to that for dear life.
Tonya Wertman and her husband

My husband and I have been trying for nearly three years to have our second child. Despite our struggles, we try to remember to count our blessings.

I made a vow to myself that I would not let my struggles with infertility get the best of me, that I would not get caught up in the emotional roller coaster. That I would not become consumed with getting pregnant or allow myself to be swallowed up in the research, treatments, disappointments or longing that accompany me on this journey, and that I would not lose focus on what I already have or take any of the good things in my life for granted.

Admittedly, some days this is a lot easier said than done.

Our miracle baby

My husband and I now, after almost three years of trying to have a second child, consider our son, Lucas our miracle baby. He was conceived without any reproductive intervention and carried to full term with zero complications. He is a true blessing to us both and proof that we can do this! Lucas' existence helps me realize what a gift getting pregnant, staying pregnant and having a child is. Whenever I feel I'm losing ground or getting too caught up in this fight to have a second child, I just look at him. He centers me and gives me the strength to carry on.

Practicing gratitude

I also take a lot of deep breaths, count to 10, make myself pause and think about what I am grateful for. I make a grateful list every day using the app, Gratitude Journal. These lists serve as reminders of all of the things, big and small that I have to be thankful for — a family bike ride, DVR full of my favorite guilty-pleasure shows, walking along the beach searching for seashells, finishing a book that made a profound impact on my heart and soul, kissing or seeing Lucas' face light up at the sight of a bowl of ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

Another exercise that helps me is to imagine how I will thank everyone who has supported me along the way once I finally am pregnant— the doctors, nurses and countless other specialists. I imagine how my husband and I will announce our pregnancy to our family and friends and I visualize sharing my pregnancy with Lucas and preparing him to be a big brother. I think about reaching the end of this very rocky road and looking back on it with gratitude, as strange as that may sound. However we get there, I know it will all be worth it in the end.

Gratitude has been medically proven to lift our spirits and improve our health. A little gratitude goes a long way, and for me creates a lot of happiness and calmness in my life. There is always more to be thankful for!

It’s hard to deal with the disappointment and pain of not getting pregnant, but focusing on all the positive things in my life and reminding myself of everything I do have is very therapeutic and it's what gets me through.

Image credit: Tonya Wertman

More on infertility

Quotes to tape to your bathroom mirror
Can your marriage survive infertility?
Time to shop around for a new reproductive endocrinologist

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