Seven New Year’s Resolutions for the Fertility Challenged

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The views and opinions expressed by the author are theirs alone and may not reflect those of Recombine.

Breathe. You did it, sweet sister. You survived another holiday despite the intense emotional ups and downs infertility can cause this time of year. And now we have come to the start of a new year. It’s exciting, right?! Everything feels so fresh! And maybe you are like me and can’t help but think of all the ways you want this time next year to be different. You can’t help but envision your dreams finally becoming a reality. Your hopes finally nestled in your arms. Or perhaps wiggling inside your belly. You can’t help it. But you also know the facts. And the facts are that last year, you had the same visions. The same hopes. The same dreams. You told yourself continually that it would be the year you would become a mother.

But as it turns out, it wasn’t. And you are not a fool, you know that this year could also end the same way. And why? Because you have zero control. Sure you can take the vitamins, follow the treatment plan, drink the smoothies, stand on your head, eliminate gluten, and chart like a pro, but when it comes down to it, none of those things will guarantee you a baby. So why not make some changes and take control of the things you can?

While I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions, because let’s face it, I tend to give up or quit by the third day, I am big on always striving to enjoy the journey while trying to reach my destination. So instead of making resolutions, I make SOULutions. I find things I can change in my life that will ultimately increase my joy, strengthen my faith, and raise my level of hope. Because aren’t those things needed in order to keep moving forward? To keep smiling? And to keep believing change is just around the corner? I think so! Therefore here are seven SOULutions I have made (and surprisingly kept) over the years in order to help me…and hopefully now you…do just that.

1.  Break up with Doctor Google

Seriously, stop searching Dr. Google! It’s not that I believe you will not get good, solid information from a Google search, because you can and you might. It’s just that it could take you hours to find it on the 17th page. And let’s think about it–how many times have you searched the internet for the answer to a medical question only to feel more scared and confused than before? My guess? Too. Many. To. Count. So why torture yourself? Why risk depleting your hope (and sanity) with the misinformation you could find? Instead, just call your doctor.

2.  Don’t set deadlines

How many times have you told yourself, “I need to be pregnant by Easter” or “by Mother’s Day” or “by Christmas”? I know I am guilty as charged! But the truth of the matter is this: no one knows how long the journey will take (insert ugly sigh). And so by trying to take control and set deadlines, you are not only setting yourself up for disappointment and a sense of failure, but you are also potentially sabotaging your hope. And sometimes on this journey, you can’t afford to lose even a smidgen of hope. Instead, let go and live in the moment. Trust that God’s plans for your life far exceed anything you could ever hope for, dream of, or begin to plan on your own. And then have faith to believe that He makes everything beautiful in His perfect time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

3.  Write yourself a permission slip

Write yourself a permission slip to not hold your sister’s baby if your heart can’t take the pain. Or go ahead and give yourself permission to not attend the baby shower, the kid’s birthday party, or your cousin’s gender reveal celebration. And friend, go ahead and give yourself permission to let go of the guilt and the blame. Because I know sometimes you can’t help but blame your body, blame your past mistakes, blame your food decisions, and blame yourself every single time someone else makes a suggestion that if you prayed harder, relaxed more, or had stronger faith than you wouldn’t still be in this state. But you know what? This negative self-talk, this blame, and this guilt you feel is all based on lies. So give yourself permission to not accept the lies, but rather embrace the truth. And the truth is that you are not only beautiful and strong, but you are doing the best you can.

4.  Go on a diet–a word diet

A farmer doesn’t plant tomato seeds and expect cucumbers, right? So friends, we shouldn’t speak words of doubt, fear, hopelessness, defeat, and lack but then expect to experience peace, faith, hope, victory and prosperity. In fact, according to Proverbs 18:21, a person’s life is largely reflected by the words spoken from his tongue. And so this suggests that every time you speak, you are potentially prophesying your future. Exciting, right? To know that your words could possibly change the course of your life? I know it sounds like hogwash but what if it’s true? It’s worth a shot, right? If so, make it a SOULution to go on a diet this year…a word diet. Eliminate words and phrases that cause your heart to ache, your soul to cave, and your strength to fade.

{For more on this topic, you can read my post, “Shut Your Pie Hole” by clicking here.}

5.  Let go of the jealousy, bitterness, and anger

I know, I know. It’s so hard to not be jealous of your friends and family who get pregnant so easily. It’s hard to not roll your eyes at your co-worker who brags about “just looking at her husband” and getting pregnant. And it’s almost impossible to not have a wave of envy come over you the second you see a beautiful pregnant belly in the store. But the truth of the matter is you never know another person’s struggle. Because the Mama you saw loading up her two perfect kids in the minivan? She might have suffered through six in vitro fertilization treatments in order to conceive them. Or the pregnant woman you saw in the store? She could be a surrogate. And the woman you noticed in checkout lane number three, the one trying to convince the sweet four-year old out of the giant candy bar? Perhaps she is a foster Mama. And soon she will have to send that sweet little girl home. So friend, try not to let the feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and anger steal your joy and rob you of your peace. I know it’s really hard, but like the old saying goes, holding on to anger (or even jealousy and bitterness) is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only one who gets burned.

6.  Make having hope a habit

Let’s face it, in the midst of another negative pregnancy test or hearing of a devastating doctor’s report, hope can be hard to find. It’s not something that will just come naturally to you in those intense moments of heartache and uncertainty. And so one of the best ways to overcome despair, is to remind yourself every. single. day. to have hope.  One way to do this is to write down encouraging words, phrases, or scriptures and place them all throughout your home.  It doesn’t have to be anything long or elaborate. Just something that can be read easily and quickly.  For instance, you can put a small note on your microwave that reads, “Get excited!  God is cooking up something amazing today!”  Or when you open up the kitchen cabinet to get out a glass, there could be a sign that reads: “Your cup…your womb…your life…will soon overflow!  So get ready!  Start making room!”  These small reminders will help you make hope—the confident expectation that something good is going to happen—a habit so that when the bad news hits this year, it won’t knock you down and keep you there.

{To find more of my hope-filled words, phrases, or scriptures to post throughout your home, click here}

7.  Step out in faith

You know that onesie you walked by in the store, the one that caused your soul to cave and your empty womb to ache? I want you to go back and get it. I want you to carry it in your purse. Tuck it underneath your pillow when you sleep.  Let your tears soak deep into the fibers. And your prayers fill it with faith. Let it be a tangible reminder to hold on to hope for the desire that has been planted in that soft fertile soil of your heart. A desire that isn’t impossible for our heavenly Father to fulfill.  It might not be the right size and it might even fade, become stained or ragged. But don’t worry. This really isn’t for them; this is for you. Because there is something about stepping out in faith that will ignite a spark. A spark of hope and anticipation. A spark of strength and perseverance. And a spark that refreshes your soul and sets a fire of encouragement within your heart. So go ahead and get it.  Take that bold step of faith. It might just be the one that takes you to your dreams.

Sweet sister, trust me, I realize doing one or even all of these things will not necessarily guarantee your joy to overflow, your hope to start spilling over, or your faith to become stronger than an ox. But I pray that somehow and in some way it sparks within you to keep striving for your hopes and to keep dreaming the dream. So here’s to the New Year! May it be the year you see your prayers answered, your womb filled, and a healthy baby born.

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About Author

Elisha lives in Southern Illinois with her husband of 9 years. Together they have two ornery cats and are foster parents to one ridiculously adorable four-year-old princess who looks like Goldilocks. She is also a Jesus follower, PCOS defeater, faith encourager, hope builder, type A organizer, and infertility warrior who is the author of the inspirational infertility blog, "Waiting for Baby Bird." Her mission in life is to encourage other women to draw near to the Lord in the midst of life's hardships and heartaches, not away. And as she does that, she believes in being brave and walking in faith that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37).

  • Donna McIntosh

    Yes, so much is out of our control indeed. When I went through this 30 years ago, I was immediately put on fertility drugs – Clomid. I took it for 13 months and did 11 IUI’s. Nothing. I also had a laperoscopy and injections. Wow, I still walked away with empty arms! Crushing indeed. I was lying on the floor under the Christmas tree crying because I started my period and I knew my husband and I weren’t going any further with fertility. We had come to the end of the rope and the finances! Ugg! My husband hugged me and stated, “Perhaps God has something else for us to do in Life, and we just don’t know what it is”. Well, I was crying so hard I just couldn’t let his words into my heart. Later (much later) I could receive his words. So, I went out and got my Master’s in Holistic Nutrition and got certified in Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Endocrinology and Brain Neurotransmitters. Now my passion and mission in life is to help others fill their empty arms with a beautiful, healthy baby!! I love my work. I look at each couple individually and run special labs on them reading them FUNCTIONALLY which is different than your doctor. My heart is so full now as I have many babies out there in the world. The circle is complete. Thank you God for guiding me.
    Donna McIntosh, MS, CHFS
    thefertilitygoddess@gmail.com

  • Allison Taylor

    Wow, this is so beautiful. It’s very close to things that God had laid on my heart for this year for me. To start focusing on what God had given me vs what I didn’t have yet. To start being positive, not setting deadlines but instead just trusting Him and being faithful to what He has called me to in this moment, in this season. To be trusted with little, so that I may be trusted with much.

    I praise God for your wisdom, and strength and I pray this touches and changes many hearts this year. <3

    • http://waitingforbabybird.com Elisha

      oh wow! I am just blown away at how this post fits into so well with what God has already spoken to your heart! I am praying that as you continue in the New Year, you not only see changes in your womb, but also changes in your soul. :)