There was a time in my infertility journey where I thought, “There should be a separate waiting room at my OBGYN office for pregnant women and those still trying to conceive.”
I would dread going in for my annual exam. Dread seeing all of the baby bumps and feeling like I didn’t belong there. I always tried to sit by myself so as to not be roped into a conversation starting with the question, “So when are you due?”
That waiting room seemed like an emotional battlefield to be carefully traversed. During my four years of infertility, I learned a few things about how to survive (or at least not cry) during my time in the OBGYN waiting room.
There were two schools of thought that I used to get through that experience. The first was with the thought I mentioned, followed by more tangents. It went something like this:
“There should be a separate waiting room at my OBGYN office for pregnant women and those trying to conceive. Don’t they understand how hard it is to come here and be around all of these fertile people? Can’t they have some compassion for those of us who are struggling? This is ridiculous! I shouldn’t have to do this and be around these people.”
And on and on. All of those thoughts caused feelings of sadness, rage, or inadequacy and I would be brimming with tears by the time they called my name to go in for my appointment. If was an awful experience because I made it an awful experience. Every thought in my mind built it up to be an attack against me.
After I started working with a coach, I developed a second school of thought. Unlike a random encounter with a former coworker in the grocery store proudly displaying her baby bump, I knew when my next OBGYN appointment would be and could prepare myself for that experience. Knowing that I didn’t want to cry, or break down, or be a complete mess, I had to do the work to prepare my brain for how to respond in that waiting room if I ended up sitting next to someone that was pregnant. The likelihood was pretty high that it would end up happening. It was an OBGYN office after all. Pregnant women tend to go there regularly.
I had to dig deep into my thinking and uncover the most painful thought in my head that was making it such a hard experience for me. Sorting through the reams and reams of ticker tape negative sentences, ultimately it came down to thinking “I’m not as good as these women because I can’t get pregnant easily.” That thought caused me to feel inadequate, which sparked the waterworks, which made the entire experience pretty painful.
In order to not cry in the future, I had to drop that thought. Through coaching I uncovered the reason I was suffering. I had no idea what a minefield I was creating in my brain. I had no idea I was creating the entire awful experience for myself.
The key to surviving your next visit to the OBGYN waiting room? Uncover the thought that is making it so hard. Once you do, you can learn to let it go, and learn how to be intentional about the experience you are creating for yourself. It can be painful if you want it to be, but it doesn’t have to be.
Want to prepare your mind for your next visit to the OBGYN waiting room? Reach out to me for a free strategy session.