How I Finally Got Pregnant Once I Stopped Trying So Hard
It wasn't easy for me to get pregnant. It didn't "just happen" as it does for so many people. We tried for two years, and with each month that passed, I became more and more obsessed. I charted my ovulation, monitored my diet, and regulated our sex schedule. The process of creating a life became more like a timed and tense business transaction, and my husband and I were both despondent about it. The fertility specialists couldn't find anything physically preventing us from conceiving, and we were looking at fertility drugs or IVF as the next option to try.
So instead of letting the process of getting pregnant become an all-consuming obsession, I realized the best thing for my mental health was learning to let go. Here's how I learned to cope with the hard realities of getting pregnant:
I asked the question, "Now what?"
While I was trying to get pregnant, a friend of mine came for a visit. She had already decided that motherhood wasn't for her and started talking to me about all of the freedom, opportunities, and adventures that were open to me if I ultimately could not have children. I resisted the idea at first, but then, I started to imagine what my life might look like, child-free.
I had been looking forward to being a mother ever since I was a little girl, so I hadn't ever considered the option before. But now, I shifted my mindset from despair and dejection to a new inquiry I had never pondered: I'm not going to have children, so now what? And I actually started to get excited.
I thought about how many exciting projects I could throw myself into without worrying about my schedule. I fantasized about living in other countries, traveling lightly, and how much money we'd be able to save. My friend and I started mapping out a new business plan together. And as much as I had been attached to getting pregnant, having a baby, and being a mother, I just let it go. Thinking about the other things in my life that would move me and make me feel fulfilled was a huge help and allowed me to move on.
Set something you love free.
I believe that the saying "If you love someone, set them free" applies to more than just people—it applies to things and ideas. Sometimes we hold so tightly to the things that we want, we end up closing ourselves off. Because along with all of that desire is a fear that we might not get it, and it's pretty hard to attract good things into our lives when we're in a state of fear.
So, how do you let go of something that you really, really want? Imagine your life without it, and find a way to be OK with that. Release your grip, even for a few minutes, on the desire. You can't fake this; it has to be a true release. But I believe that good things will come to you with lightning speed, if you can truly master the art of letting go.
Once I let go, I was able to let unexpected things in.
I was decorating our new home and I had my eye on this beautiful white couch. But I was holding back from buying it because I thought, We're going to have kids someday, and it's just not practical to own a white couch with children.
So the first thing I did when I gave up on getting pregnant was buy that white couch, and it was awesome. That was in May of 2005. In June, I got pregnant.
It was not timed, planned, calculated, or scheduled. In fact, when my period didn't come and the pregnancy test came out positive, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't follow my new plan. Of course, I was thrilled—and motherhood is great. But I truly would have been happy if it hadn't happened. As it turns out, it did happen, twice. The second one was even more of a surprise than the first. And that white couch did eventually turn a muted shade of brown from all the stains. But would the amazing kids that made the stains ever have come along if I hadn't bought that couch? Who knows!
Ultimately, learning to move on from my obsession with getting pregnant allowed me to become a fuller, more satisfied person. I was able to embrace a new outlook on life. I'm blessed that eventually, I was able to get pregnant. That does not happen with everyone, of course. But learning to be OK with a child-free life allowed me to embrace the unexpected—and be happier because of it.
Kaia Roman is the author of the highly-acclaimed self-help memoir, The Joy Plan, which has been featured on the TODAY show and in Forbes, The New York Times, and more. Publishers Weekly calls The Joy Plan “an energized and informative plan for transforming your life.” Merging 20 years of brand experience work in Silicon Valley with her neuroscience and mindfulness research and training, Kaia is an intrepid entrepreneur and passionate advocate for people, projects, and products working toward a better world. You’ll find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at KaiaRoman.com.