2014 April

Frozen by fear & how ‘tuning in’ can help us to hope

It’s easy to make choices out of fear – we’ve all done it.  Eg. “what if this is my last chance and I blow it”, “my doctor tells me I have the ovaries of a late 40 yr old”, “I don’t have time to do this naturally I’m in my x30′s, x40′s” etc. Our fears block the natural flow of energy that is inside all of us, from making the simplest decisions to successfully conceiving.  Can you think of a time you made a fertility choice out of fear?  I can.

Our bodies are amazing – what we tell ourselves and how we look at the world manifests in our body.  I’ve spoken to women who have told me that as soon as they knew they were doing IVF again their period suddenly stopped.  To women who told me that they knew deep down that they’d never conceive, and they haven’t.  To a women who had been infertile for 5 years and was told by numerous clinics that IVF was the only way, but she knew that deep down that it wasn’t, and stopped all her fertility treatments and got pregnant naturally the following month.

I found out recently that the word ‘doctor’ actually means teacher.  To me, a teacher is someone who can help you navigate the system, help you understand the medications on offer, to advise you.  But ultimately they are not here to tell you what to do, they give you options but in the end you must decide what is best for you. And sometimes that’s scary.  It’s far easier to let someone else make the decisions, to give you that silver bullet to success.  But it rarely works like that.

So how can we learn to listen to that inner teacher that’s inside all of us?

When we are still we give ourselves the opportunity to tune in to what’s important to us.  It might start with just the smallest whisper, but gradually over time, if we give ourselves time (and that’s the hard bit) we start to know what is right for us.  In yoga we talk about the practice helping us to ‘remember what we’ve always been’. As we slow the breath, and open the body through our asana poses we are able to think a little more clearly about what is important to us. As children we are open, wise and unguarded – our true selves. Gradually as we navigate through life we learn protect ourselves from our troubles, and in doing so place protective layers around us that make us forget what is important and who we really are. When we are still we are able to tune in again to that wisdom that has always been there.

When we take time to listen to the invisible teacher inside all of us.  When we trust that it’s going to be OK, and we send out good thoughts, that is often when our dreams are realised. 


Moving Forward after a BFN (Big Fat Negative)

How do you cope after a BFN (Big Fat Negative)? It’s such a hard time isn’t it? Not only has your period come and physically you feel flat, there are also many emotions flying around. Often we swing one of two ways – either we want to get straight back into it and try again and we block our emotions, or we feel like crawling into a small hole and not doing anything for a while. Does this sound familiar?

Let’s look at a few common emotions that come up after a BFN:

1. Despair (I knew it wasn’t going to work)

Why am I even bothering? Everyone else around me is getting pregnant and it’s never going to happen to me, I should just give up now.

2. Anger (How can this happen to me?)

You must be joking? I have been taking my vitamins, eating healthily. I’m listening to my relaxation tapes, doing yoga, having weekly acupuncture and it’s still not worked???? What more can I do…Everything looked really good on this cycle, what is wrong with me?

3. Sadness (It’s going to be like this forever)

Everyone else is moving on with their life, but I feel like I’m stuck. Who is going to look after me when I’m older? What am I going to tell my parents/friends, what will they think of me? Will this ever end?

4. Blame & guilt (Why is this happening? / I brought it on myself)

I shouldn’t have had that coffee/wine last week. I did too much exercise. I was working too hard. I should have done something about my fertility sooner. I partied too hard when I was younger it’s my own fault that this is happening now.

5. Resignation & Acceptance (It didn’t work this time, maybe it will work next)

It’s going to be OK, it didn’t work this time but maybe it will work next.  I’m so lucky I have such a supportive partner and even though this is hard it’s bringing us closer together.  I’m really grateful for a having a loving family who are there for me.

 Moving Forward

I was given some advice at the start of my fertility journey from a friend who had her own fertility challenges. She said to try not to look at the future (as you might freak yourself out!) Take it one day at a time, knowing everything is a process and change doesn’t happen overnight. So how do we move forward?

1. Don’t make important decisions when you’re full of hormones

After a BFN everything is heightened and together with additional hormones in your system this is not the time to make decisions or make big changes in your life. Give yourself time before moving on to think about what to do next.

2. Be kind to yourself

In yoga we have a word called ‘ahimsa’ which is kindness. This might simply be allowing ourselves to feel all these negative emotions, to give ourselves the space to grieve and to slowly pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and when we are stronger to make decisions about what we want to do next.

3. You are not alone

Speak to others about how you are feeling; those who have been through it themselves, like below on this blog or join one of my courses to meet others in a similar situation. Speak to friends/family who understand where you are coming from. Talk to therapists who can help process what you’ve been through and find a way ahead if needed. Journal, meditate, practice your breathing techniques to help find calm again.

4. Make research your friend

Do your research. Question doctors/endocrinologists/natural therapists to see if there is anything they have missed – don’t leave your fate in the hands of others, take charge and inform yourself.

5. Change is constant

Life is about constant change. When we are in the middle of something hard we think it’s going to be that way forever, but it isn’t. Ahimsa is about accepting where we are in the present moment. It means ‘I am here and it may be tough but I’m OK’. We know that that it will not always be like this. Things will change.

Finally – There is a beautiful quote from a book by Dr Alice Domar called ‘Conquering Infertility’ which I found extremely comforting. She writes; “I know for sure, based on sixteen years of research and clinical work with thousands of infertility patients: You will be happy again. Life will become joyful again. And some how, some way, if you want to become a parent, you will”.





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