It is an understatement to say that it’s stressful trying for a baby when all around you seem to do it so quickly and effortlessly, but stressing yourself about getting stressed and fearing your stress levels are the cause of your difficulties is soul-destroying and only serves to make women feel responsible and to blame for their lack of a family.
It is of course a good idea to reduce stress in your life if you can – through mindfulness, yoga, relaxation, gentle exercise, counselling or whatever helps you cope with the difficulties you are experiencing – but only because it makes a sometimes long and emotionally difficult journey more bearable. And the better you cope with this challenging and testing life event the more likely you are to keep going until you succeed in the end.
So the one thing you can do is stop stressing about the stress your difficulties are causing you and tell anyone who says otherwise where to get off!
*J. Boivin, E. Griffiths, C. A. Venetis. Emotional distress in infertile women and failure of assisted reproductive technologies: a meta-analysis of prospective psychosocial studies. BMJ, 2011
** L. A. Pasch, S. E. Gregorich, P. K. Katz, S. G. Millstein, R. D. Nachtigall, M. E. Bleil, and N.E. Adler. Psychological distress and in vitro fertilisation outcome. Fertil Steril, 2012