Is My Mental Health Preventing Me From Having Another Child?by Lauren Schaefer
How many times have you heard that when you stop trying to have a baby, that’s when it happens? It can be all too easy to get caught up in our own heads, obsessing over every detail and planning to the ‘nth degree’ when it comes to conceiving. As someone with quite a controlling demeanour, I find it very difficult not to overthink and try to control every situation in my life. This, I think, may have had quite a negative effect on me trying to have another baby.
I find myself staring at negative results each month, wondering what I have done wrong, or what more I could have done to change the outcome. Then, I started turning to the Internet and researching conception issues for healthy women. As it turns out, there’s so much more to it than I previously knew.
I have struggled all throughout 2019 with fertility issues – first with irregular bleeding and then a cyst on my ovary. I sought private help and went to a gynaecologist who recommended that I start taking the pill again to help regulate my cycles. Three months later, and my periods seemed to be the usual 28 days again. Fast forward to September, however, and still no sign of a baby. That’s when I decided to start taking ovulation tests to gauge whether or not this was the problem. Now we are over a year later and I am still not sure what is happening with my cycles. The ovulation test strips aren’t clear enough for me to deduce a pattern of my ovulation time, even though it’s now back to 28 days.
Here’s where I started looking at another component- mental health. If you’re not in a good mental state, chances are your body is not going to find conception easy. There is a lot of research to back this up, that your body and mind need to be in a positive state to maximise chances of success.
This got me thinking, how much am I worrying about getting pregnant? The truth: all the time. I can’t help it. I’m questioning whether or not it will ever happen to me a second time. I am generally a positive person with a cheery outlook on all aspects of life, but on this subject, I know if anyone asks me if I am having another baby, it will most likely result in an outbreak of tears. So here’s where I have come to the conclusion that my mental health could be preventing me from having another child.
Along with all other aspects, your mental health cannot be overlooked when factoring in growing a family. If you have a support group of friends and family, rely on them to help you through. Take some time out to refocus your mind elsewhere, and lose yourself having fun with your partner rather than sticking to a regimented schedule of love. Set yourself mental health goals like a weekly to-do list. I know that all seems easier said than done, but as of now I am going to follow my own advice and see where the New Year takes me. If my mental health really is preventing me from having another child, that should be my main focus, not calculating my bodily functions like an alarm clock.
I know that countless women have been in my position past, present and will be in the future as well, so I don’t feel alone. What I feel is a mental block, and that needs to break down before the reality of a second child may come true for me. Getting caught in my own head is a daunting experience, and knowing that a lack of control is causing unwanted stress on my body, I want to do everything I can to try to change that. The waiting game has ended and the relaxation game has just begun!