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  • Kassandra Vaughn

3 Ways I Manage Anger and Sadness on the TTC Journey After 40

I'm angry... and sad... and tired... all at the same time...

TTCing at any age is tough. TTCing for YEARS AND being over 40 is, at times, devastating... and I don't have a more optimistic way to reframe it. I woke up this morning feeling angry, sad and tired of the whole journey... and so many complaint driven questions popped up in my mind:

  • Why does this thing (the one thing I want most in my life) have to be so hard?

  • Why has this always been so hard?

  • Why can't this just be easy?

  • How many years will this take?

  • At what point am I going to be done?

  • How much of my life am I willing to put on hold for something that may never come?

The negative thoughts were in full force today.

And it doesn't matter that I'm a coach who helps women start and grow online businesses. I cannot coach myself on this topic. It doesn't matter that I have a fertility coach I trust and work with. This journey, on some days, sucks. And it doesn't matter that I still have faith in my ability to get and stay pregnant with my own eggs. Some days are harder than others.

So how am I managing the anger and sadness on the TTC journey after 40?

Here are 3 things I'm doing:

  1. I put decision making on pause. When I'm exhausted with the TTC journey, I put a pause on making any decisions about the journey. I remind myself that any decision I make needs to be on a day when I feel strong and clear. If I'm exhausted and emotionally drained, that is not a day to make a decision about TTCing or not. I choose, on those days, to go to bed earlier, to try and get a better night's sleep and to wake up with a clean slate approach to TTC.

  2. I shift to what I can do and out of what didn't get done. A lot of my anger comes from how much time I feel I've lost. Whether it was to doctors not properly diagnosing me, me not having the information or technology that exists today, or my own past actions (in terms of nutrition, stress, fitness and lifestyle) that have exacerbated the infertility issues I am dealing with now, there's nothing I can do about a past I cannot change... and I have to keep bringing myself back to the truth- There's nothing I can do about that. All I can do is the best I can from here on out... and then I ask myself "What does giving my ALL look like today? What can I do to take charge of my fertility? What support do I need? How can I give myself what I need on this journey? How can I find joy along the way?" And then I do my best to live the answers to those questions.

  3. I let myself grieve the motherhood journey I thought I'd have. Grief has its place and, while I've spent so many years pushing aside grief because "I didn't have time" to sit in it, I find myself on this journey having to own my grief, to sit with the motherhood journey I will never have. I will never be the mother of 8 children by the age of 36. I will never be the mother of children who are each two years apart. I will never be the mother who has all of her children raised and grown by the time she's 46. That will never be my motherhood experience. I grieve what I thought this was going to be so I can make way for the possibilities of what motherhood can look like for me... and the grief comes and goes... and I'm learning how to flow with it. Not easy but absolutely necessary.

And, perhaps today, it doesn't change how angry or sad I feel... but it helps me move through the emotions in a way that keeps me on the TTC journey... one day at a time...

If this post was helpful, please share it with a woman in her 40s who's TTCing.

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