This Runner's Trials

Coping conundrums

I found out through blood work and ultrasounds this week that I am not responding to my fertility meds :(

I am pretty heartbroken, frustrated, and angry. And still slightly hopeful. I go back to the doctor on Sunday morning to see if my eggs are just late bloomers.

The cycle of hope and disappointment is exhausting. It's what made me put my fertility journey on pause last year.

The only thing that let me forget about my problems was my running.

Oh gosh, this headband is too accurate...

I promised myself I wouldn't turn to running again. I've put mileage and racing on the backburner for awhile.

But, I'd be lying if I told you my internet browser didn't take me here a few times each week.

It's so, so tempting to throw myself into racing again and ignore my fertility struggles. Although I know ignoring a problem will never make it go away.

I'm kind of at a loss for healthy ways to cope.

Doing more yoga has been has been quite awesome, but so far the only benefits I've gained are physical and not mental.

Spending time with my local friends and talking to my far away friends often has been an awesome distraction (and my BFF is coming to visit me next weekend, yay :) ). But I don't want to distract myself too much because I don't think distraction equals coping. It's such a conundrum.

So I've turned to cupcakes. I have had so many cupcakes recently, it's quite embarrassing. And I'm not even sure it's the taste of the cupcake I enjoy so much. I just really enjoy picking it out and admiring the little ball of beauty. Don't worry, I definitely eat it too…

How do you cope? I could really use some advice. Healthy suggestions only please; I don't think taking up drinking will help my fertility ;)

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  1. Have you looked into joining infertility support groups online? I have no idea what these are like but maybe it would feel good to air out your frustrations with people who can directly relate.

    • I think Caitlin has a great idea. I bet you could even have your doctor recommend some infertility support groups in your area if you wanted to meet with them in person. Also, maybe finding another activity that makes you feel fulfilled in a personal way (volunteering in your community? weekly meeting with a special friend?) will help take some of the strain off?
      Finally, I’m not sure if you journal, but putting pen to paper and actually writing down your frustrations, fears and concerns could be helpful. You could be completely candid because it would be totally private. Good luck, and hang in there!

  2. Hi hun,

    Ok so here is my take:

    a) I’m with caitlin, I think the right fertility support join/board can provide immeasurable amounts of information and reassurance that you aren’t alone and that it isn’t the end. In the UK a favourite phrase is ‘you may have won the battle but you haven’t won the war’ – ie there is still hope, it is just a step on your journey.

    b) I like a project. Something to focus on and get my teeth stuck into. How about volunteering for something like GOTR? So you can run and share your passion for it but not get into mileage issues.

    c) for me sometimes coping isn’t being ok, it’s being ok with not being ok. It is allowing myself to be frustrated, upset, annoyed but still making myself look out to the future. Looking back is only useful when it is figuring out how it can help you not repeat the same ‘mistakes’.

    d) I really really really think some reflexology and/or accupuncture would be good for you and be something productive toward your next cycle.

    Finally remember that you have so much more knowledge this time around because you’ve been monitored through the cycle. You are edging forward, you just aren’t quite at the finish line. You will be, just not yet. Lots of love and hugs and sprinkles of baby dust.

    Princess Peach x

  3. I’m in for cupcakes and yoga anytime (well, assuming my neck isn’t in a SPASM!), just let me know! Hang in there, you are doing an amazing job coping! I’m here for you if you need me!!

  4. OMG that cupcake looks AMAZING!
    I’m sorry I am no help. I have no idea what it feels like to go through what you are going through. :(
    I think you are doing great, and Disney vacations are ALWAYS a good distraction :)

  5. My way of coping with cancelled cycles involves distractions…I have a “baby bucket list” that I turn to when I get a crappy cycle. It involves goals and silly things that you can’t do when you’re pregnant like “get a new tattoo”, “whiten teeth” or “take a new class”. (After my cancelled cycle in December I treated myself to a cupcake class at a local bakery. LOVE.) It gets your through the few weeks before the cycle’s over and you can start over again. Remember, it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN. At least now your doctor is one step closer to finding out what will work on you.

  6. Cupcakes are a good way to cope! To be honest, I run and do yoga too but it looks like you have that covered. Watching stupid reality TV is a short-term way to forget about things too. Jersey Shore and The Bachelor are my favorites.

  7. I’m so sorry that things aren’t working out with you and the fertility meds. I’m glad you’re still hopeful though – positive thinking yields positive results!

  8. For me, coping means dealing with your feelings when you feel them. Journaling, talking to friends or a support group are all good ideas.

  9. I agree with others’ suggestions of joining a support group, or even a therapist specializing in infertility issues. There is nothing wrong with needing to talk to someone professionally.

  10. Hi there. I am sorry to hear about the upsetting news for you. I can only imagine how frustrating it is from your stand point. I also have PCOS, but I have the kind where I am encouraged to lose weight. I have yet to begin any fertility meds, and have other friends who have and say it’s pretty hard. Please hang in there (as easy as it sounds), but we are all trying to just get through this PCOS struggle. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Hon. I am new to your blog, and will be definitely reading.

  11. Sorry to hear that yoga isn’t helping mentally – though it took about 1-2 months of a solid yoga practice for it to finally “seep” into my mind. Now it’s one of my favourite ways to relax/let-go. When I run, I run to THINK through my problems and when I go to yoga I go to forget about them, leave them at the door as they say at my studio.

    I like the idea of taking on some sort of project like another reader said. Maybe a home reno project of some sort.

    OR, maybe plan and book a mini-vacation?

    Good luck with everything!

  12. That’s tough. Yoga seems like a good start. I often turn to sweets (cookies and scones for me this week) and running. As long as the running doesn’t get out of control, it shouldn’t be a bad thing right? Stress relief is good. Maybe some other physical fun activities like hiking or doing some kind of silly crafty project with girlfriends (going to a pottery place to paint things, seeing a movie, grabbing dinner, having a girls potluck/dessert night).

  13. i hate leaving a comment that says “i agree,” but i do – a support group or talking to someone might be really helpful and ease your mind a bit. and i also think it takes a while on the yoga – don’t give up yet.
    your internet friends are here for you. :)

  14. p.s. LOVE the headband! i need one.

  15. What about a craft project, like a blanket or quilt for your future baby? Optimistic, satisfying and indoors!

  16. Gosh, this is a toughie because exercise is my greatest coping mechanism too. But one thing you could try to teach yourself is to be present in the moment, and to be ok with whatever that moment is. Usually this helps me with anxiety. Although, I know what you’re experiencing is not really the same. Hang in there.

  17. When I was going through it, I leaned heavily on reading infertility blogs and belonged to a number of online infertility support groups. I also spent a ton of time researching ways to improve our fertility naturally. To get myself out of the “all baby all the time” mental state, we traveled a lot and I did big projects on our house. And, I’ll admit it, when I was in a part of the cycle where it didn’t matter, there was a bit of drinking involved.

    Hang in there.

  18. I love the word conundrum, I feel like it needs to be used more often. I’m not even a sweets person and I love cupcakes!!!

    Thinking positive thoughts for you for Sunday…

  19. Hi Jen, First of all–love the new blog design it looks great! Here are some things to cope (and some may just be to distract) 1. Volunteer for the SPCA or another organization like a Soup Kitchen. Sometimes when you see others’ less than ideal lives, it can give you a different perspective. 2. Journal! Write stories about this situation and any other ones you want to write about! Poems are good too. 3. Music-sing, learn an instrument, etc. 4. house stuff: take on projects around the house OR really really organize parts of your house and take loads of stuff to Goodwill! I hope this helps!! I’m thiinking about you!

  20. I’m sorry Jen. I was really hoping for positive news. I know you’re on such an emotional roller coaster right now and I hate that all I can really say is “hang in there” (which I know isn’t exactly helpful). Speaking as someone who turns to desserts and running far too often for coping, I don’t have a ton of wonderful advice. But if you can find some external support, like others have mentioned, that could be helpful. People who truly understand what you’re going through but aren’t focusing on the negative (not that you are, but I just might have heard that there are many people out there like this…). Not only could the support be helpful, but they may have found various ways to cope that have helped them through this time. And maybe there are other projects around the house that you can focus on, or trips to take/things to do that you couldn’t do as easily once you have a baby (and that don’t involve traveling for races! haha).

    That being said, I firmly believe that it’s still healthy to get your stress and frustration out through running. I’m not saying you should necessarily put all your focus into racing again, but I believe that running is a great coping mechanism. It’s always helped me work out my stress, frustration, and sadness. I think I’d be an emotional wreck without it!

  21. I don’t have any good advice, but just wanted to say hang in there. I’m sorry you are dealing with all of this.

  22. I am so sorry that you are struggling with all of this. I really wish I had something helpful to say. My thoughts are with you because I know this is such a roller coaster of emotions. While you are cutting back on exercise, maybe you could volunteer for races in your area or perhaps run with some new runners and help them as they get started. I don’t know that it always works, but sometimes it helps me to put my effort into something that’s helping someone else. It gives me a sense of purpose when I’m feeling really down. I hope you get the support you need and I’m thinking all good things for you!

  23. Hey Jen – I feel bad that you’re dealing with this right now, especially when it may seem (just assuming here) that people all around you are getting pregnant exactly when they want to… or completely not expecting it.

    I’m about your age (maybe a year or 2 younger?), married, and have been following your blog for quite some time now. My husband and I are not ready for children yet, so I can’t say that I understand what you’re going through, but my heart really does ache for the situation.

    Since you’re seeking advice for coping with the stress, I have a suggestion… and that is to pray. Maybe this is something that you’re totally uncomfortable with, or maybe you turn to God daily. Even though there are really BIG problems going on in the world right now (like in Egypt), God really does care about every stress and burden that consumes YOU.

    I came across this verse earlier this morning and felt compelled to write because I feel like it applies to what’s happening in your life right now:

    Philippians 4:6-7
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

  24. So I’ve read through the comments and it seems like a lot of people have recommended what I would recommend… I am a huge fan of writing in a journal, and it has helped me sort through lots of different things. I’ve always found therapy to be very beneficial as well. In all honestly, though, having a support system/a group to talk to is one of the best things I think you can have. So I’d even recommend joining an online support group (or maybe a church group?)… even though I’ve never had experience with either.

  25. Have you thought of doing acupuncture for your infertility problems? I did it weekly for several months. It is theraputic and we conceived the next month.

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