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Having Non-Pregnancy Goals While Trying to Conceive

After the required and preliminary doctor appointments were all complete, I was eager to undergo my first IVF cycle and get pregnant. All my tests and screenings came back with flying colors; I was deemed healthy and ready to begin trying to conceive. While I was ready and willing, my ovaries had another plan, and — longish story short — this won’t be the month I get pregnant. I feel foolish that I expected this to be an easy, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of process and have had a hard time not being all-consumed by everything pregnancy-related.

But a reader recently gave me some of the best advice I’ve gotten during my fertility journey: “When I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) to become pregnant, it helped me to set little goals for myself outside of becoming pregnant mine was running longer and faster so I had something to work at and a feeling of accomplishment to look forward to outside of the realm of fertility.”

Since reading her words, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how much sense this goal-setting idea makes. And I’ve decided to set a few for myself.

After the jump, check out some of the non-pregnancy goals I’ve set for myself that focus on other important aspects of my life and not just trying to conceive. After all, while getting pregnant is my biggest goal for this year, it certainly isn’t the only thing I’ve got going on in my life. Thanks for the reminder, Katie G!


It’s easy to think about nothing else but getting pregnant when you’re trying to conceive. In fact, it’s easy to become completely absorbed and focused only on getting pregnant. At times, it can feel overwhelming and as though nothing else in your life matters. And while it’s definitely the biggest concern of women, like myself, who are trying to conceive, it’s important that we don’t let it consume us. Here are some goals I’ve set for myself. I’m not suggesting these be your goals, though you’re certainly welcome to try any of these if they fit your life.

What goals are you going to set so that you have something “outside of the realm of fertility” to look forward to?

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  • Move 1 of 9
    Move
    This will be the easiest goal to meet, since Sara and I are all set to move July 1st. We've been living in the city of Albany for over two years now but have decided to move to a more family-friendly neighborhood a few miles away. We're excited to move into a bigger home and settle in with our dog, but we will miss "our first apartment."
    Photo: post406
  • Meditate 2 of 9
    Meditate
    There was a time in my life when I meditated regularly, and I'm eager to begin this practice again. I enjoy it because it is relaxing, clears my mind, and doesn't cost a penny. I'll need to remember to be patient. When I first began and was sitting there quietly, it was difficult to "turn off" my mind. But the more I did it, the more quickly I was able to enter into the meditative state, and the greater the benefits were. There's nothing quite like the feeling of a mind free of the everyday chatter that serves only to distract from what really matters to us.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photo
  • Run a 5K for charity 3 of 9
    Run a 5K for charity
    OK, so the woman in this picture is actually a triathlete and doesn't even slightly resemble me. BUT, I'm pretty confident that she represents what it is I'd feel like while running a charitable race. This time of year, there are numerous ones to support, and I've always wanted to -- not only for the good of the cause, but also to see what it feels like to cross an official finish line.
    Photo: mikebaird
  • Volunteer at the VA hospital 4 of 9
    Volunteer at the VA hospital
    I love our veterans, and I don't think we do enough for them when they return home. I don't just mean by way of welcoming parades (which, of course, are well-deserved). I think our veterans deserve better health care, job options, and housing incentives than those that they are currently provided. The least I could do is show my gratitude, and I've always wanted to volunteer at the local VA hospital. Now is the time to do it!
    Photo: Fort Rucker
  • Plant a garden 5 of 9
    Plant a garden
    It's a little late in the season to start this project, but with our lovely new back yard, I figure I'll give it a go anyway. My dad plants a great vegetable garden each year, so I'll reach out to him for advise. I may have missed the summer plantings, but I bet there's a bunch of veggies that I could plant for the Fall Harvest.
    Photo: Lori L. Stalteri
  • Ride my bike more 6 of 9
    Ride my bike more
    My sweet wife bought me this bike last summer, and I don't ride it nearly as much as I would like to. Living in the city and the fact that our dog, Darla, was a puppy last summer (and therefore required a great deal of attention) have been my excuses, so I think our move to a different neighborhood will help me reach this goal. The photo here was taken at a Hudson River trail the day Sara gave me the bike. The heart on my shirt was a note she left on the seat of the bike for me. How sweet, right?
  • Learn to play an instrument 7 of 9
    Learn to play an instrument
    Since I was a kid, I've wanted to learn how to play the piano. But I think I'll start with the guitar, for a couple of reasons. 1) We have a guitar (Sara plays), so 2) It's free. And who doesn't like free hobbies? I haven't played an instrument since the clarinet in grade school, but that ended the day the music teacher threw a chalk-board eraser at me for hitting a wrong note. You could say I'm a bit scarred from that, and I've never really tapped into my musical abilities since. Also, I've been lazy about it.
    Photo: seriousbri
  • Organize my craft goods 8 of 9
    Organize my craft goods
    I'm constantly seeing amazing craft rooms and organizers on Pinterest, and I feel terrible for my bags and boxes of craft supplies that are tucked and shoved into every corner or closet that has room for them. I think it will be really cool to have a craft corner in our new house. Easier accessibility surely means more crafting. And I just love crafting!
    Photo: chrissy.farnan
  • Try acupuncture 9 of 9
    Try acupuncture
    Our fertility center recommended that I try acupuncture for my fertility-related anxiety, and I think it's a great idea. A little scary, yes. But I definitely plan to go ahead and let the specialists poke me with needles. I mean, it couldn't hurt anything, right? Wish me luck!
    Photo: The Natural Health Blog

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More of Aela on Babble!
“No Baby This Month” and the Disappointment of Losing What You Never Had
Poem For Baby-To-Be
Lessons From Our First “Baby”

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