How to Stay Sane If You’re Struggling to Have a Baby

Luke BenedictusBy Luke Benedictus.
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Trying to get in the family way can put you through the emotional wringer. In an exclusive extract, Sarah Knight, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, suggests how to cope.

“I know virtually nothing about pregnancy except that I never want to experience it, which probably makes me the least-qualified guru, anti- or otherwise, to field advice on this topic. In fact, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a dear friend several years ago, well before I developed the NoWorries Method. She and her husband had been trying and failing to conceive for a long time, and over a plate of Middle Eastern appetisers I confidently told her “It’ll be okay. I’m sure you guys will work it out.” (In the spirit of full disclosure, I may have even said something along the lines of “You just need to relax.”)

In other words, I responded in the EXACT WRONG WAY. The look on her face was part misery, part second-degree murder.

Admittedly, it’s possible that I’m about to overcompensate in the other direction, but in for a penny, in for a round of IVF, amirite?  If you’re experiencing that same mix of anguish and anger at your circumstances as my friend was, I wonder now— very respectfully — if it might help to crate your emuppies for a little while and send the logicats out to do recon.

Take a deep breath and take stock: Where are you in terms of your or your partner’s child-bearing years? Where are you in the process of trying? Have you done everything you can or are there still stones left unturned? How much more time, energy, and money can you afford to spend?

After confronting these questions, you may not have the answers you want, and you will almost surely still be sad and angry— but at least you’ll have some clarity about where you stand and what your options are for moving forward.

Clarity is good.

Whatever remains realistic and ideal for you is where you can continue to spend time, energy, and money in a productive way— whether it’s to keep doing what you’re doing, or to look into alternatives. In this way, you’re working hard and smart toward reaching your goal of becoming a parent, and you can feel good about that even when you can’t help but feel bad about the parts of the process you simply can’t control.

If you’re dealing with this, I know you’ve been through the fucking wringer, as have so many of my friends and family. And I know that a rational approach might seem devoid of empathy. But it also might help you to accept where you are and get to where you want to be.”

Extract from Calm the F**K Down by Sarah Knight published by Hachette Australia (RRP 29.99)