The complete and utter defeat of a negative pregnancy test. When you're living with infertility and trying to conceive, it's one of the most emotional things we can put ourselves through; month after month, seeing physical proof of our failed efforts to conceive. There is a terrible burden that falls on the shoulders of those who want to have children and cannot. There is a lot of pain that accompanies negative pregnancy tests when you want nothing more than to have a child.
Here's the thing about those negative pregnancy tests though... They only have the power to hurt us because we let them. My first 3 years of infertility were so hard on me, to say I was an emotional train wreck would have been an understatement. Month after month, year after year, "You failed to get pregnant... AGAIN," the tests would mock. Do you know why they did that?
Because I let them.
In the last three years, I've learned a lot. I've overcome a lot. Mainly, the inability to be happy with infertility. I overcame that.
I realized that while I may not be able to make those pregnancy tests positive, there were mountains of other things in my life I could make positive. I could make my outlook and mindset positive. I could make my feeling of self-worth and esteem positive.
I could make myself a positive person.
I could make sure that all of the relationships I kept in my life were positive. And most of all, I learned that my life was going to be exactly what I would make of it. Infertility or not, it was my choice to have a positive or negative life. To feel joy or sadness.
It's not easy to choose positivity and joy when life (or in my case, infertility) constantly lets you down. But it is your choice to make.
So I encourage all of my IF ladies who are struggling with those negative feelings and experiences each and every month to give this a try and just see how it goes. Take a step back. Throw away the tests. Throw away the expectations you keep putting on yourself to get pregnant. Throw away those feelings of self-pity and failure. Throw the negative away!
This isn't to say I won't ever pick up another pregnancy test in my life, I am most certain that I will again one day if I decide to try to have a baby again down the road. But for now, I'm not putting that pressure on myself. If I'm a couple of weeks late (which never happens,) I can go buy a test. I don't need to keep them stockpiled in my bathroom cabinet. I don't have to deal with the anxiety that comes with taking it every month. I don't have to deal with that excruciating two minute wait afterwards. And I don't have to deal with those negative feelings that result from continually negative tests. Instead, I can walk away from the tests and the stress and the expectations and the failures. I can cultivate positivity and joy in both my life and the lives of those around me.
So that's what I did. I threw away my tests. Not only am I happier for it now, but I know that because of this break I've taken with pregnancy tests, the next time I do take a test, I will be excited to do it, not fearful.
Do you put monthly expectations on yourself? Have you ever considered taking a break from those expectations?