Don’t blame yourself — or each other. If it’s taking you longer to get pregnant than you expected, feeling disappointed is natural. Building a family and parenting are, for most people, fundamental parts of life, and when they don’t come easily, it can make you feel as if something is wrong with you.
Realize and accept that you and your partner will have some ups and downs as you work at getting pregnant. For starters, talk to each other and seek out the advice of other couples who are still trying.
If your life revolves around a strict regimen of basal body temperature monitoring and scheduled sex, consider taking a break. Make an effort to revive the love and fun that brought you together in the first place. Anecdotal stories abound of couples who conceived during vacation or when they just stopped trying so hard.
If certain gatherings or celebrations are too painful for you — all your siblings had babies two years ago, say, or you keep getting invited to baby showers — give yourself permission to avoid them when you’re having a particularly tough time. Going would only be torture.
To avoid hurt feelings, send a gift, advises Alice Domar, a Harvard University Medical School psychologist who specializes in helping couples with infertility. She recommends sending children’s books (you can order them online) to save yourself a potentially upsetting trip to the toy store or baby boutique.
And remember to pursue your other interests — or look for new ones. If you’ve always wanted to learn guitar, do that. If hiking is your thing, make sure you give it a try. Or take a class — painting, dance, or something else that’s always tempted you. Don’t forget, laughter is one of the best healers. See a funny movie, head out to a comedy club, re-read your favorite funny novel. Of course, it if makes you feel better, indulging in a good cry is just fine, too.
Finally, if you’ve been trying for more than a year, you might want to make an appointment with an infertility specialist. Many problems are relatively easy to treat, so you could end up sparing yourself a lot of further disappointment by getting diagnosed.