“4 Hacks: Surviving the Fertility Clinic Waiting Room” by myMindBodyBaby
We’ve all experienced the wrath of waiting rooms. The silence, stuffiness, old magazines covered in who knows what, and long waits. But for those who have been down the infertility path, there is an extra element of unease in the air of these fertility clinic waiting rooms.
Over the course of a year, I spent many hours waiting. Waiting for my next test, my next result, my next step and my next worry to surface. There were many. How many follicles? Was I too stressed? What else could I be doing? Would I ever have a baby? IVF or no IVF? How much would this cost? What will the next test feel like?
And while sitting in these fertility clinic waiting rooms feeling like I was drowning in my own worries, I’d look around and wonder what kind of experiences the women sitting around me had gone through. How long have they been trying? Did they have the same worries as me? Were they wondering the same about me?
So. Many. Worries.
So while I am no expert on patience or waiting, I have compiled a list from a few people who are, plus a few tips and tricks I learned along the way.
Waiting Room Hacks
- Pinterest Party It’s tempting to work, and I often did, but I also tried to find something peaceful or enjoyable to focus on. Things like reading a great book or planning your next pinterest-perfect girl’s night or dinner party might help take the sting out of waiting room waits.
- Accept Uncertainty: This tip comes from our resident expert Jelena, who has a Masters in Counseling. Fertility clinic waiting rooms can bring up feelings of uncertainty, and is often difficult for some to accept. We. Want. Answers! The truth is, we truly have no control over what will happen. Our power is in our response. We can choose to jump to the worst case scenario and flood ourselves with anxiety, or we can choose to accept uncertainty. Try to stay present in the moment and know that we are not fragile and have the choice to greet any outcome with grace. Whatever is to happen will happen – whether we worry about it or not. So why put yourself through the worry twice?
- Snack Time. I’ve always been subject to fluctuating blood sugars, so as a result I make sure I always have something on hand. Nuts are my go-to, but an apple is easy. Raw veggies are simple too, choose ones you can easily pop into your mouth like cherry tomatoes or even cucumber slices. At some point in my journey I made up an energy ball recipe (see below), and this became a staple in my purse. These snacks will help keep you fueled for what inevitably could end up being long waits. Just remember, whatever you decide to bring, ensure it doesn’t have any odor. How gross is it to smell someone else’s food from across the room? ICK!
- Loving Kindness. Amira, one of our experts writes, if you take a moment to look around the fertility clinic waiting room, you will see all the individuals and couples just like you, patiently waiting. Everyone’s fertility journey is unique but there are common, often painful, emotions that are experienced throughout. Loving-Kindness meditation focuses on fostering feelings of kindness, love and warmth towards others as well as ourselves. Using Loving Kindness can help ease the raw emotions that come with infertility.Try repeating to yourself:“May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease.”“May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.”
Want to take it up a notch? Download this FREE waiting room mindfulness tool. This is a simple visualization technique to help you calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety. This is key, as we already know can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in our body. Definitely not ideal for baby-making.
Energy and Embryos
Not only is energy important to how we feel day to day, but a growing body of evidence suggests that the potential of an embryo could be related to the oocyte (cell in an ovary) mitochondria’s (power generator of the cell) ability to generate energy. What should also be noted is that the mitochondira is also responsible for initiating cell death. In short, proper energy production (ATP) at a cellular level could positively or negatively impact fertility.
“Early embryo development and implantation potential have been correlated with mitochondrial function and activity (Benkhalifa et al, 2014, Pang et al, 2013). Furthermore, higher ATP content from human oocytes and embryos has been correlated with better reproductive results among infertile patients (Zhao and Li, 2012).” 1
Ensuring proper energy production in the mitochondria
We know that mitochondria are responsible for turning food and oxygen into energy. We also know that the quality of the foods will in part determine the quality of the mitochondrial function – “you are what you eat” right?
So I thought my Coconut Almond Energy Balls would be the perfect mitochondrial boost for easy snacking in the waiting room. No fuss, no mess and definitely no smell. Plus these are delicious so they might make any waits you have ever so slightly more bearable. I hope at least.
These beauts are packed full of essential fatty acids (healthy fats) which keep cravings at bay and you feeling full and satisfied. Plus the unsweetened protein power helps to balance blood sugar and hormones – a key part of healthy monthly cycles and conception. Finally, the raw cocoa nibs are mucho high in magnesium. Why should you care? Think of magnesium as a calming mineral. It soothes and relaxes the system, allowing you to (hopefully) feel less tense.
Ok, without further ado, I present my Coconut Almond Energy Balls. Enjoy!
Coconut Almond Energy Balls
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup dates
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp raw cocoa nibs
- 2 scoops unsweetened vegan protein powder
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix well- mixture will appear and feel sticky
- Form into bite-sized balls
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge