So you are trying to conceive and it is taking longer than you had hoped. Where do you go for fertility support ?
You want to talk to someone about it but all your friends are either pregnant or have kids already, or you may feel a little uncomfortable or shy talking to them about it.
If you have read the great ‘mars and venus books’ by John Gray, you will know how important it is for us venusians to be able to talk about our problems, and to feel heard. If you have not read the books I highly reccomend them-they are excellent, quite amusing and have helped me understand my man and myself so much better. They are available on itunes as a audio book and I love them-listen to them all the time especially when my dh goes in his cave (you know what I mean girls)
Anyway I digress
Q Where do you go for friendship and support on your fertility journey ?
A The fertility forums
What is a fertility forum you may be asking yourself ? Well an online forum is an online community of like minded people with a shared mission, interest, hobby or passion.
In the case of a fertility forum they are all trying to conceive and are nearly always women. I am not sure I have ever seen a man on a fertility forum although there must be some out there. If you go into a car owners forum or a computer techie forum they are nearly all men with one or two women. There are forums for just about anything you can think of-even housework, but that is the subject of a whole other blog.
Lets get back to fertility forums:
There are lots of fertility forums out there and it is just a question of picking the ones that fits you best.
What to look for in a fertility forum (or any forum to be honest):
- plenty of active members (there is nothing worse than being the only one in there-it feels really lonely and sad-I speak from experience here)
- plenty of posts (I personally like chatty forums-I guess thats why I love to blog-lol)
- good listeners in the forum (every forum needs its share of good listeners)
- plenty of problem solvers in your chosen forum is always good (sometimes you just need advice or help-I use a technical support forum for my pc and the guys in there are amazing-they know so much more than me. I have also used a forum a for particular make of car and they diagnosed the problem with my car without me even having to visit a garage and I fixed it myself !! A very proud moment for this dizzy blond)
- it should feel good in there-like a warm cosy blanket-you should feel good after you have been on and feel empathy for the other members
I’m sure there are lots of other things to look for in your chosen forum but these are just the things I look for.
See my blogroll at the side of this blog for links to the UK fertility forums
There are times in life when we really need the support of our friends and family. But does the quality of this support make a difference. Simple answer is yes-hugely so. When you are going through a stressful or difficult time in your life for whatever reason you need friends who will support you, listen to you and be there for you.
Are your friends drains or radiators ?
A friend of mine recently apologised for being a drain and not a radiator. At least she had incite !
The company of some friends makes you feel great, while others leave you feeling drained or even angry or sad. Of course we all have our off days, and no one can be a radiator of joy all the time but some friends are just plain exhausting.
What kind of friend are you ?
Characteristics of radiators;
- Their positive upbeat attitude pulls you up even when you are feeling down.
- they are good listeners
- they do not hog the conversation (conversation should be a two way thing)
- they are not totally self absorbed
- they like people
- they see the good in most situations
- they are up more than down
- you feel great after you have been with them
- you enjoy their company
Characteristics of drains:
- they have a negative attitude to lots of things
- you feel exhausted, angry or sad in their company
- they hog the conversation
- they are totally self absorbed
- they put other people down frequently (if they do that to others they probably do it about you)
- they do not really like people
- they see lots of negatives in a given situation
Try and make sure that you have plenty of radiators around you, and that you do your best to be a radiator to others.
Trying to conceive for some can be a very stressful time if things seem to take longer than you had hoped, and often it is difficult to talk to family or friends about the stresses that you are under. Where can you go for support and friendship then ?
A lot of women find the support and friendship they crave in the fertility forums. Here you can talk anonymously to others who are going through a similar situation to yourself and share in their highs and lows. Seeing others succeed can be very encouraging and also you can pick up lots of useful tips from others trying to conceive.
See the links at the side of this blog for links to the UK fertility support forums
Last night I went out with a group of girls, and the talk turned to men and relationships as it often does when groups of women get together with no men, no kids and lots of alcohol. We were discussing how important it is to keep the romance alive, when you have been together for a while.
Trying to conceive can be a fun and exciting time for many couples-for many it is the first time they have been able to have sex without using contraception-the novelty of this alone can add to the romance, let alone the excitement of creating a new life. If conception occurs quickly ie within 3-4 months the whole process is fairly stress free, but when conception takes longer it can become a cause of stress and disapointment for some couples, which may start to take the fun out of it.
When I was trying to conceive my first child I assumed wrongly that as soon as we stopped using contraception I would conceive, after 3-4 months of trying I was starting to get anxious and insisted that my partner took a male fertility test (with hindsight I did rush him into a bit-but being an obliging chap he took it, and it came back normal much to our relief !) We then carried on with the serious business of making babies while having fun at the same time.
Last night my friends and I talked at length about keeping the romance alive in a relationship, and the importance of ‘dating your partner’
Plan a date with your partner ideally at least once a week-take the time to be together, just the two of you, as if you were on a date. You do not actually need to go out. We have had many date nights at home which have been just as good and a lot cheaper. Here are the some suggestions for dates:
- Meal out in the evening-just the two of you-get dressed smartly, do your make-up etc, make it special
- Watch a film together-choose something you both like, either at the cinema or on dvd/video. Make a proper date of it. If you have kids get them to bed first or get a babysitter if you are going to cinema. We like to have popcorn or chocolates-sometimes both but I’m just greedy !
- Cook a meal together at home. If you have kids feed them and get them settled 1st. Choose something nice and easy to cook but that is a bit special-in our house steaks are always a favourite for a date night meal, served up with a really large salad and a glass of wine. Cooking together in a relaxed way can be very bonding. Make an effort with your appearance as you would do if you were going on an outside date.
- Go on a walk together, just the two of you-ideally somewhere beautiful and on a sunny day if possible-really lifts your spirits, as well as being great exercise-a proven stress buster
- Sit out on a sunny evening togther, maybe with a glass of wine-just the two of you and chat about your passions, fun things you have done together and stuff you would like to do together
- Go to a posh coffee bar for lattes/ cappucinos-whatever your favourite tipple is, and chat and just watch the world go by together
- Meet for lunch somewhere nice & talk about all the good things in your life
- On a clear night go outside and stare & wonder at the stars together
- Take up a hobby together-ideally something that you can both be passionate about-it gives a shared interest & something to you can talk about together when you are on your dates ! As they say ‘variety is the spice of life’
These are just a few of the suggestions we came up with, I’m sure you can all come up with lots more
Home fertility tests, ovulation tests, ultra early pregnancy tests, fertility friendly personal lubricants and lots of fertility products are available from Access Diagnostics UK fertility site