Wait…keep reading! I know you have heard it all before but exercise has really helped me deal with the manic pace of infertility. Now that I have started exercising, I feel more in touch with my body and I feel more in control, of something.
Infertility as we well know is a life changing experience. Suddenly you are thrown into the at times, overwhelming process of medical treatment, and you are forced to look at seemingly grim statistics. Your relationship comes under a microscope because you both get so caught up in grief that you may turn away from one another. I understand this all too well because it happened to me. For 3 years I refused to believe what was happening. I went through all of the tests and IUI cycle after cycle always resulting in my period. I tried acupuncture and “taking a break” but nothing seemed to make me feel better. Forget exercising, I was too exhausted, too emotionally drained to even consider it. My husband would get up and run every day, heck he ran 3 marathons during treatment. He seemed to be coping ok. But I justified this as the fact that he wasn’t the one being shot full of medication.
My attitude changed when I faced the recent devastation of a failed IVF cycle. I was certain I was pregnant this time around. My body felt different, I was nauseated, my breasts were huge and my cycle went incredibly well. So what happened? I don’t know and despite the great scientific achievements over the past several years, once they transfer the embryos, it’s fate.
I cannot tell you the grief I experienced, but many of you know just what I am talking about. So finally, after 5 years of not exercising out of fear, stress, emotional discord, I decided to exercise out of anger and frustration. I was upset and I needed to let go. I needed to be angry and mad, and I wanted to punch something. So I decided to try kickboxing. It was great. I focused on the shoulder of the women in front of me, and unbeknownst to her, she was the recipient of my aggression. For 1 hour I was so focused on punching and kicking that I forgot that I lost my babies. I forgot that those 2 little embryos were no longer inside. I felt the adrenaline rushing through my body and I felt physically spent. The exhaustion enabled me to sleep, for the first time in years I slept. The most remarkable difference was when my husband turned to me and said, “you look refreshed, I haven’t seen that look on you for a long time.”
So now, for an hour each day I forget. And for the next IVF, I feel more prepared.