"Self-blame is not the same as responsibility. Self-blame stops us; Taking responsibility moves us forward. Self-blame is about the past; Responsibility is about the now."
Seeing that above quote gives me a sense of relief. For so long, I was mad at myself, disappointed and blamed myself for my Husband & I's infertility, for our miscarriages.
Trying to Conceive: Self Blame during Infertility, post Pregnancy Loss(s) Tip #1: Let go of blame. Most infertility/pregnancy complications are out of your control. It's easy to put the plan on anything or anyone, but it's more productive to accept the situation and fight for hope, courage & strength.
The truth is, pregnancy complications are often times not due to personal fault. Unfortunately, these things happen, they're unexplained, that's why 1-4 women suffer miscarriages and 1-6 couples experience infertility. The sad truth though, it sometimes feels easier to cast blame, whether it's on your self or on your partner, rather than accept unanswered questions.
Self blame is something I've had to face and let go of. I've decided to share my husband and I's personal experience with you to provide you a sense of hope. To reassure you that thoughts can shift over time, in our situation from personal blame to acceptance, insane courage and hope.
Looking back to 2015, I lost my menstruation cycle after competing in bodybuilding shows too often, keeping my body fat under 12% for an extended period of time. I lost my period because I significantly cut my carbs and over trained for days, weeks, months. I was weak, I had no sex drive, my face was gaunt, I had a gaping hole in my chest.
I was naive then, I could have competed smarter, but I was fearlessly zoned in on chasing a goal of being conditioned for the stage, I wasn't thinking about the long-term detrimental effects.
My last bodybuilding show was early June 2016. I got married mid June 2016. After my Husband & I's wedding, we wanted to start trying for a baby, but I had no period. I went to my OB and was told, I need to gain weight, in order for my hormones to balance out.
So I did just that, slowly reversed dieted over time, which means to increase calories at a conservative rate in order to gain weight at a controlled pace and to minimize fat gain. Through this process, I made lots of mistakes, constantly struggling between wanting to be lean and gaining weight for a bigger purpose, a hopeful pregnancy. There were times when I would get so frustrated I would binge eat a container of peanut butter, then hop on the cardio machine for an hour. I was lost & confused, not being able to compete and needing to gain weight. There were times when I wanted to give up after month after month with no period.
Trying to Conceive: Self Blame during Infertility, post Pregnancy Loss(s) Tip #2: Whether you're a private person or over sharer like me, share your pain. Talk about your feelings with loved ones, a therapist, your dog. Say it out loud, feel all the feels, then FIGHT for what you want. In the TTC stage, a baby <3
With any progress you need to commit time, consistency and patience. After I finally stopped dieting and over training my body rewarded me. I got my period back. An accomplishment to be celebrated, but was followed by an even more challenging timeline...
March 2015-February 2017-NO PERIOD
March 2017-GOT MY CYCLE BACK
March 2017-December 2017-INFERTILITY
February 2018-1ST PREGNANCY
June 2018-2ND PREGNANCY
July 2018-2ND MISCARRIAGE
November 2018-CHEMICAL PREGNANCY
December 2018-EARLY MISCARRIAGE
JANUARY 2019-WE START IUI
From 2015 to 2019, there has been progress. I got my period back and I'm consistent, we got pregnant three times after a year of negative tests, each miscarriage was less taxing on my body, we've been proactive with our health, we are working with fertility specialists and are fighting for our rainbow babies.
Trying to Conceive: Self Blame during Infertility, post Pregnancy Loss(s) Tip #3: Focus on what you can control, not what you can't. Rather than blame yourself for infertility/miscarriages, start being proactive and taking care of yourself mentally & physically now!
Now, keep in mind there are many women out there who are advised by their doctor to lose weight in order to prevent/minimize risks for their health, their future baby's health and to reduce pregnancy complications. It's best to seek advice from your physician to determine your healthiest weight.
While physical health progress is key, so is mental health progress. Your mental health is so important. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of another human being. To be your best, you need to feel your best. During the trying process, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious, upset and these feelings tend to interfere with our daily life and how we cope with certain situations. Recognizing those triggers and finding ways to alleviate the stress can help improve your mental health, allowing you to handle situations/battles with more openness and ease.
I recommend finding ways to help you cope. For me it's having a relaxing morning routine, gardening, writing and practicing mental health strategies like expressing daily gratitude, setting positive intentions and speaking out loud positive affirmations. Simple techniques that have ultimately improve mental health overall and allows you to become a priority in your life, rather than a victim of miscarriages or failed pregnancy attempts.
I truly believe sharing our pregnancy loss journey has allowed us to heal significantly and connect with other women/families facing similar circumstances. My husband and I also went to couple counseling to talk through painful experiences, frustrations, internal and external battles. There are so many ways you can be proactive with your health.
To end this blog, I just want to encourage you to not give up, to believe and to have hope that you will conceive and carry a strong and healthy baby (s) full-term one day. Say that over and over again. Declare that.
Stay #strongandcourageous & baby dust to you!
P.S. Don't forget to join my FREE challenge below which stats Monday, Jan. 14th.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN: Trying to Conceive: Your 5 Day Challenge To Lose Weight & Prime Your Body For Pregnancy!
In these 5 days, I'll share with you how I went from no period/unbalanced hormones, to a healthy regular cycle, how we went from one year of infertility, to three pregnancies in a 9 month period and how we continued to heal post three miscarriages, to continue to have hope & strength as we fight for our rainbow babies by being proactive with our physical/mental health.
Plus, we cover my top 5 TTC strategies that you can start implementing now!
What foods to eat/not eat for pregnancy
How to exercise when trying to conceive
Self care to decrease stress when pregnancy planning
What to ask your doc when trying to conceive
Intimacy mistakes most couples make when trying to get pregnant
P.S.S. CLICK HERE to join my FREE community of strong and courageous women trying to conceive.
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