A dear friend is in the waiting window – open to pregnancy and parenting and all that comes with it, but not yet pregnant. This brings me back to a difficult time in my life when I was waiting…and waiting…and waiting, too. My journey to pregnancy and parenting was fraught with bumps and detours, so you can imagine (or maybe you know) how tender it is to revisit. But, I learned so much in that process about myself and what was out there for support that it feels meaningful to help another person feel not so alone.
My favorite kind of support is to offer (when asked) little rituals and resources that helped me to stay on track with mental health and hope along the way.
- Each month when the stick only had one line or I discovered that my period was back, I would (after some tears) do a ritual where I would get a large, frothy, sweet coffee and enjoy every drop. Since I was abstaining from caffeine the rest of the month, this felt like a luxurious treat to me.
- Each month before ovulation, I would do a meditation to re-affirm my openness for pregnancy to happen – sometimes it was zen and patient and other times a little more WTF, I’m ready already!
- As time went on and miscarriages happened, I would bring in at least one new and different kind of physical care each time. Acupuncture, healing stones, prescription progesterone cream, abstaining from or adding a different food or product, massage, meditation… the whole range. It gave me some sense of power and control in a process that often left me feeling powerless.
This waiting phase is often hidden away and I’d love to see that change. The more we can bring it out of the shadows, the less alone waiting parents will feel and the less shame and pain they will feel that it isn’t unfolding quickly or easily. Please share your own rituals that helped you or your partner express grief and stay hopeful in the comments section on our social media pages.
The Birth Roots Guide is full of resources for this pre-pregnancy phase. Most of the practitioners who work with pregnancy also offer fertility support. Take a peek and see what might re-energize your hope or that of a friend or family member. And, stay tuned for fertility support classes we hope to be offering at Birth Roots in the coming year!