Self-Care During Infertility

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Self-Care During Infertility | AmateurNester.com

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care during infertility. Self-care is important in general, but it becomes especially important during infertility and treatment cycles. (I’m not alone in thinking about self-care in relation to infertility. Your fellow infertility sisters Angela and Justine have some great resources on the topic, as well).

I feel like the phrase “self-care” has become a buzzword recently, and it’s easy to just throw it around without thinking about what it really means. For me, self-care is the activities and habits that allow me to function at my physical, emotional, and spiritual best. Those activities and habits may vary slightly depending on the season of life, but my must-haves are:

  • Adequate sleep
  • Home-cooked meals (I’m a picky eater and find it much harder to eat healthy when I eat out)
  • Daily quiet and solitude (for thinking, Bible reading, prayer, etc.)
  • Time for reading and creating (blogging, writing, etc.), several times a week
  • Contact with close friends a few times a month (I’m an introvert and don’t require a lot of socializing)
  • Quality time with my husband and family
  • Moderate exercise (usually walking or yoga), a few times a week

Self-Care During Infertility | AmateurNester.com

If any one of these things aren’t happening in my life, I feel out-of-whack and unhealthy. There are also lots of other self-care activities that I enjoy and that add to my well-being, but they aren’t necessary like the first list. These include:

  • Massage
  • Doing my hair & nails
  • Cleaning / organizing my space
  • Occasional socializing with larger groups of people I’m comfortable with

Many people would add travel and outdoor activities to their list, but not me. I’m more of an indoor gal!

self-care during infertility | AmateurNester.com

When I was going through IVF, I definitely stepped-up the self-care routine. I went to acupuncture at least once a week, took naps after work, and ate a lot healthier than normal. Honestly, it required a lot of planning and preparation to take care of myself during IVF. It was tough to fit in acupuncture appointments with all the blood work, scans, and doctor visits. And some nights, especially after several days of stims, cooking was the last thing I wanted to do. But I knew that it was worth it in terms of my overall well-being.

Good self-care will serve you well during infertility, but it will also help you stay afloat during whatever comes next. If you are blessed with a pregnancy, you will have the foundation you need to take care of yourself during those nine months and the exhaustion that follows childbirth. And if you adopt or live a childfree life, the habits you created before will help support you during that transition, too.

self-care during infertility | AmateurNester.com

So my challenge to you is to take the time to think about what self-care looks like for you. Identify the habits and activities that help you feel your physical, emotional, and spiritual best, and think about how you can start working them into your life.

Resources for Further Reading

And now… the Giveaway!

In order to help you jump-start your own self-care practice, I’ve created a self-care kit to give away to one lucky reader (U.S. readers only. My apologies to readers from other countries!).  The kit is worth over $90 and includes:

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*Special thanks to Bucky Brands and their sister companies for providing these items for the gift basket

Head Over to My Facebook Page to Enter the Giveaway! (UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed).  

 

All photos courtesy of UnSplash

Taking Your TTC Efforts One Step Further

While I have received compensation for this post from Fertility Planit, all opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here

StorkOTC

I’ve written a lot on this blog about my experience with 3 rounds of IVF and 3 IUIs. What I haven’t written a lot about was our experience of trying naturally before moving on to medicated treatments.

We tried to conceive (TTC) on our own for about a year.  I meticulously charted my cycles and made sure our timing was perfect.  After nine months of disappointment, I began to realize we were going to need help.  We called our reproductive endocrinologist (RE) right before the holidays and made an appointment for March.

In a last-ditch effort to conceive on our own before the appointment, and we spent the next three months trying to optimize our chances. One of our ideas was to try different means of making sure the semen got close to the cervix. Basically, we were attempting a DIY insemination. We tried all kinds of ideas we found online that were supposed to help us do this. Let’s just say they were all awkward, messy, and completely ineffective. I would have jumped at the chance to use a better option.

That’s why I was really intrigued when the makers of the Stork OTC device approached me and offered me a free demo unit. (I didn’t actually use it since I’m not currently trying to conceive). The Stork OTC takes the mess and awkwardness out of what we were trying to do. It uses a condom-like sheath to collect semen into a cervical cap during intercourse (or you can use donor sperm). Then the sperm is delivered to the opening of the cervix by using the applicator. The cap stays in the woman for up to six hours and then is easily removed with a tampon-like pull string.  The video below explains it in more detail.

When the demo unit arrived, I showed it to my husband. He was a little confused about how it worked at first, but once I explained it to him, he thought it was an interesting concept and wished we could have tried it when we were trying to conceive naturally.

I really like the idea of a product that offers an “in-between.” It gives couples a convenient way to take their TTC efforts one step further than naturally trying on their own, but it’s not as invasive or expensive as seeing a specialist or starting treatment. (Of course, I would never recommend that you skip seeing your doctor. The Stork OTC just might provide an extra boost to your efforts while you wait for your appointment or until you save up funds for a specialist). The device is FDA cleared and no prescription is required to purchase it.

If you’d like to try The Stork OTC, it’s available at Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, and The Stork OTC Website.  

If you purchase from Walgreens or CVS, be sure to use eBates (it’s free and 100% legit) for even more savings.  If you sign up for eBates using this link, I’ll receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that will help me with the costs of maintaining this website.  Thanks so much!

When Infertility Books Are Not Enough {Giveaway}

It’s giveaway time again!  I’m so happy to be introducing you to Betsy Herman.  She blogs over at Hope During Infertility and she’s graciously agreed to give away a paperback copy of her new book, When Infertility Books Are Not Enough.

when infertility books are not enough

Betsy lives in the Washington, D.C. suburbs with her husband, Mike. They have been married for seven years, and they are discovering that marriage gets better each year. Together they enjoy exploring new cities on foot, eating at their favorite Italian restaurants, and doing life as a team. Some of Betsy’s favorite things include cuddly babies, good coffee, hot showers, interesting books, the internet, and worship music. She works as a nanny of four children.

when infertility books are not enough

Here’s what she has to say about her book:

This time last year, my husband and I were four years into trying to conceive, and I was wrapping up the manuscript for my book, When Infertility Books Are Not Enough: Embracing Hope During Infertility. It had occurred to me that God might intend for me to write my story from the perspective of being in the midst of the struggle instead of from the viewpoint of looking back at a happy ending. As I share my own story of waiting and hoping, I continue to meet women who are struggling to get pregnant, and I am able to encourage them because of what I’m going through. My story is one of hope when hope seems impossible, of repeated disappointment, and of a seemingly endless wait for dreams to come true. Embracing Hope During Infertility details the process my heart has gone through for years of choosing to believe that God is good, of learning from the people who went through this before I did, and allowing myself to be encouraged along the way.

Enter the Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you can’t see the widget, you can enter here.  The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d like to learn more about Betsy and her books, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  If you’d like to just order a copy of the book instead of testing your luck on the giveaway, you can order a copy on her website.