I had a long chat with my girl friend Eve yesterday and she asked me how the whole baby thing was going. I told her we were on a break until we started IVF next year but that we were taking some time to just relax and think about things. As with most of these conversations we started talking about women she knew who were pregnant or trying to get pregnant and the various doctors or techniques they had used. Since I feel like I have been down just about every road I told her that Greg and I really can’t do anything because there is no medical cause for our infertility.
After doing the research for this post I realise just how wrong I was. There is a medical cause for our infertility – depression. Although I understood that depression and conception had been vaguely linked I really didn’t want to admit that my thoughts could be causing the problem, especially since I have had such a hard time getting them to do anything but hurt me. I have only been on my antidepressants for 2 weeks and I realise just how much of an effect my thoughts were having not only on my mind and heart but on my body. I literally feel lighter like a block of cement has been removed from my stomach. Although I am not advocating drugs for everyone suffering infertility related depression it has certainly helped me already.
I always thought that infertility was caused by some physical problem, not enough eggs or sperm or blocked tubes or hostile mucus. But studies have shown that depression, anxiety and negative thinking can have as powerful an effect as slow swimmers or blocked tubes. Women with markers of depression are 93% less likely to become pregnant. With the prospect of IVF looming next year overcoming my depression through any and every means out there is the focus for me right now. Not only to help with conception but to help me enjoy the light of my life. I don’t want to be on antidepressants for very long 6 months at the most so I have to teach myself strategies for coping with my thoughts.
So I plan on writing a 10 part series focused on tips and techniques I am going to road test to help me deal with the depression and anxiety I am experiencing. Things that range from meditation and art therapy to diet and affirmations. I am starting to think of my infertility as a spiritual adventure a chance for me to road trip exciting ideas and techniques to not only improve my chances of conceiving but also my life.