Conquering the “What Ifs”

It is a conversation that I have had many times…I had it last night, in fact. You have probably had this conversation once or twice yourself–maybe with someone else or maybe inside your head.

“Do I go to school? Do I start a new job? Do I plan a vacation for 6 months from now? If I do, what if I get pregnant? What if I am in the middle of fertility treatments? What if the opportunity to adopt presents itself? What if…? What if…? Do I…? Do I…? What if…?”

It is never ending.

It can drive you crazy.

“To a woman discouraged because she was not married and had not begun a family, Sister Ardeth Kapp said, ‘Plan your life as if you were never going to get married. Do things that will fulfill you. If you do get married, great! If you don’t, you will still have a full life’ (in Anita Thompson, Stand As a Witness, 314).

“May I add: Plan your life as if you were never going to have children. Do things that will fulfill you. If you do end up having children, great! If you don’t you will still have a full life. There are other things that can bring great meaning into your days. Decide what you are going to accomplish and do it! President Spencer W. Kimball said, ‘We realize, of course, there are some women who cannot have children, some men who cannot reproduce. The Lord will take care of all that if we have done everything in our power, if we have done what we could to make ourselves normal and productive and to follow the commandments of the Lord’ (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 330).

“Are you being productive? Your ability to be productive does not have to be affected by your ability to be reproductive. Do not put your life on hold while you tread through infertility. Expand your vision of yourself and find room to be more than infertile. Go on trips, learn to paint, develop one of those talents that might be hiding under the bushel. Dr. Beth Cooper-Hilbert says that other life pursuits ‘are adaptive ways to cope with . . . emptiness. . . . [They are] ways to regain perspective and to replenish’ (Infertility and Involuntary Childlessness, 74).

“If you put your life on hold, you will miss out on wonderful experiences. Besides, continuing to live will grant you the ability to cope with your sadness by providing wonderful outlets for emotion,” (Excerpted from Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healing, Daynes).

My friend Brittany posted about this very topic on her blog today and I LOVED her perspective. As I read it this morning, I found myself celebrating that someone had put words to something so many of us feel. Thank you, Brittany. I hope you don’t mind me sharing!

It’s a Beautiful Day (significant for other U2 fans out there…if you know what I mean)


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Comments: 3

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  • I just love you to pieces. And I love that you shared this today, of all days. Thank you, Kerstin.

  • These exact thoughts have been going through my mind. I even blogged along these lines recently. And, I couldn’t agree more with you. Life if wonderful, too wonderful to not enjoy because of waiting and “what if’s.” I fear it might be a bad habit for me; hard to break, but I’m excited to really live life to it’s fullest.

  • My mom just tipped me off to your site; I’m excited to read more. I’m undergoing my first cycle of IVF this month for a translocation. Anyways, I think this ALL THE TIME and even though I’m pretty good about living in the moment, I have hesitated to make major decisions like career path, more schooling, etc. It really is nice to know that other women deal with this constant voice in your head arguing with you about what to do with your life while waiting for your baby. I appreciate your thoughts, thank you!

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