Where are you in the 5 stages of change?

As the winter approaches, it is natural to be reminded of the changes in season, and in life. The cooler weather will push you to take out your warmer clothes and will force you to acclimate to cooler temperatures.

Your family building journey may also require you to make changes. No one likes to go through fertility treatment. Even if you appreciate that science is giving you an opportunity to build your family, the treatment and the expense, is challenging. You may be considering moving from IUI to IVF, or searching for the right donor. Each step you take may feel difficult. Yet, if you look back on your life, you may remember that although changes may not be welcome, it is possible to move forward in a new direction, one step at a time.

There are distinct stages in accepting change. The problem is that when you are first faced with the option to make a change, it may not be easy to suddenly change course. According to the addiction model of change, this is the way movement towards a goal happens:

  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

This model may be helpful to consider when you are facing a new challenge or move towards a goal. Perhaps you receive news from your doctor that closes options you previously thought were possible. Your partner may see things differently than you do or you see new obstacles in your path that create additional bumps on the road to your goal. You may feel overwhelmed or frozen with the thought of moving forward.

If any of these scenarios speak to you, remember you may not be stuck. You may just be on the first or second stage of change, which means movement is possible. In the moment, moving forward may feel impossible and at the same time you may feel eager for a resolution. If you can slow yourself down and remember that moving towards family building goals is a process, you can give yourself a break, and use some of our stress management tools (see our Instagram, YouTube or video section of our site) and to allow the evolution to evolve with less anxiety.

There is one more thing to remember. Not all transitions happen in a linear fashion. You may take a step or two backwards several times before moving on to the next stage. This does not necessarily mean you are stuck. It may mean that you may not feel quite ready for the next step, even if your mind tells you otherwise. Your body and mind need to move through a process of absorbing a new reality, and you need to respect this process.

There is no right or wrong way to process change. We can no more force a seed to become a flower overnight than become instantly comfortable with a particular treatment or choice of donor. It may be difficult to imagine the flower when you are looking at the seed, but it is in there.

Everyone who wants a child will eventually have one. The road may be bumpy and feel unfair (and it often is). If you can accept where you are and begin to slowly open yourself, even a small amount, to the possibility of something that was previously unappealing and then give yourself time to absorb the possibility of a new reality, you may find that you can feel differently about options that you never knew were possible.

If you would like more information, or help with this process, feel free to reach out to us.

Our goal is to make your journey easier.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful Thanksgiving,