Let me ask you a question. If someone has ever told you to relax, what has your response been? Has it been immediately transporting yourself to a vision of meditating on a private beach with quiet gongs in the background? Probably not. It probably did the exact opposite. Potentially even generated pure rage. Or, maybe that’s just me? lol
It’s amazing how much advice you get when you decide to tell someone that you’re trying to have a baby. Even without, or especially without, giving details about what you’ve already been through. People will tell you:
- to put your legs up
- to stay laying down for at least 15 minutes
- to do it every other day
- to do it everyday
- to use an ovulation kit
- to not use an ovulation kit
- to check your temperature
- to not check your temperature
- to do it in the morning
- to do it at night
- to try “not trying”
- to drink some special tea or other concoction
- to avoid, or add in, a variety of foods
- and most of all to JUST RELAX
The amount of well-intentioned, but misguided “advice” is astronomical. And my answer?
“I’ve tried that.” All of that. I’ve gone down the deep dark hole of pregnancy websites and all the professional (or not professional) advice or tips there. It’s a mess, and definitely a rabbit hole that can send you in a variety of confusing directions of feeling less-than or like a failure and having you spend a bunch of money on “tricks” as well. And no offense, if you got pregnant within a few months, or even better by accident, you can be assured I’m obsessed with your child, but I most definitely don’t want any advice from you on how to get pregnant. Not because your advice is better or worse than anyone else’s, but because you just got lucky. And that’s awesome, I don’t begrudge you that. But if you had an oops I fell and just like that, preggo, type of scenario, I can pretty much guarantee it wasn’t because your legs were up or because you laid down for 15 minutes afterwards. It just worked.
Also, in my case, I have gotten pregnant. 4 times to be exact. So, maybe I have the legs up, timing, etc., equation down pretty well. But, alas, still no baby. So, it’s not that I don’t think the givers of the advice mean well, it’s just that to be honest, it kind of stings. Like, ohhhhhhhh, if only I tried that maybe I’d be good? I’ve done legit, everything. I think the part that is the toughest is mentally, thinking that you’re always doing (or not doing) something that is hurting your efforts. When in reality, much of it is very much out of your control. For someone who already feels like this is their fault or that they could have fixed this, the advice just exacerbates that feeling.
The relaxation comment is the killer though. I’m not a relaxed person, I never have been. I have a hard time sitting on the couch and not doing at least 3-4 things while watching a show or movie. I don’t relax well. That’s why I intentionally do structured things like yoga, acupuncture, and most recently meditation, to have some built in relaxation into my life. But the idea that not being relaxed is what is causing our issues, is A. not true, but B. just harmful for my mentality. Feeling like my lack of calm is the problem only makes me less calm trying to solve my calm problem. #viciouscyclefordays
Now, I get that you don’t know what you don’t know. So, how can I expect you to read my mind and know what not to say if I haven’t even told you what I’m dealing with? I get that. Which is why I’m spilling my guts to the world now. But for some people (and me for like +/- a year) it is just too painful and fresh to talk about. So, just being mindful is good. I know I have certainly said some dumb shit in my day, definitely not pretending to be Perfect Polly over here. But I do think women giving women unsolicited advice is dangerous, on any topic, and we do it pretty pervasively. What I have done worked for me, therefore it is the best method, therefore you should do this. I think we ladies sometimes have a habit of doing that; and it’s often not the best move. When asked, please do tell. I often ask people questions, especially ones I know who’ve been through this and come out the other side. But if not, empathy is a good start, or potench just let it be. Or just give them one of these cards my friend sent me via Facebook from Huffington Post the other day.
These are some of my faves.
Ain’t that the truth:
Last but by no means least: