Coping with infertility

At any given time, there are around 3.5 million people in the UK who are having problems getting pregnant, but it doesn’t always feel that way when you’re trying unsuccessfully to conceive. Infertility is lonely and isolating, and it’s very common to start to feel cut off from friends and family.  You may worry that you’re the only one who feels this way when you find yourself dreading pregnancy announcements or avoiding events where there are bound to be lots of children.  Many of us end up feeling almost ashamed about our fertility problems, and there can be a sense of guilt too and worry that maybe we’re somehow responsible for what is happening to us.  Infertility can erode our self-confidence and leave us feeling depressed and miserable, but there are things you can do to help yourself get through it.

The more you know about your fertility and treatment, the easier it is to cope. When I went through IVF for the first time, there was very little information available about what it would be like to have treatment from the patient perspective, and that’s why I started writing books about it!  Now, there’s a huge range of sources of information and advice, and making sure that you are well-informed can make all the difference.  If you’re having IVF, do take a look at my book The Complete Guide to IVF which is a simple guide to the basics of what’s involved and includes the experiences of lots of people who’ve been through treatment.

The other key tip for coping is to seek out others who are experiencing similar problems.  You may feel you aren’t ready to open up to people you don’t know, but it can be so helpful to be in a roomful of others who know just how you are feeling.  Some clinics run support groups and the charity Infertility Network UK  http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/  have many of their own too.  If you don’t want to meet people in the flesh, talking to one another in one of the many online forums can be incredibly helpful too.

Perhaps most important of all,  do remember that infertility isn’t easy.  No one sails through fertility problems and treatment in a calm, relaxed state.  Infertility makes you feel stressed, and it’s inevitable that at times you will find it tough going.  Try to find space to do some of the things you’ve always enjoyed, and don’t force yourself to go to social functions that you know are going to be difficult.  Above all, be kind to yourself – you’re going through a difficult time, and you deserve it.

Website http://www.katebrian.co.uk/

Kate Brian on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/katebrian

Stepping off the emotional roller coaster of infertility

 sarah holland fertile mindset

I realise that you may feel in need of emotional support as you try to conceive through fertility issues. You need support that’s effective, works quickly and can bring you the peace of mind and positive thinking that you know is so vital to supporting your fertility.

Perhaps you’ve heard about how successful EFT is at dramatically reducing negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, worry and fear. But you’re not sure how to learn it or apply it to your own unique situation, and achieve the positive results in your emotional well-being and mindset that you know would be SO beneficial.Well here’s the good news! I have developed a low cost, fast working solution to help yo u switch your thinking from negative to positive, and support you in a multitude of ways as you try to conceive your baby.I know what an emotional roller coaster it can be when you have fertility issues, and I’d like to invite you now to take my hand as a support you stepping off the roller coaster and on to a much smoother, easier to navigate path.What am I talking about? Click below to find out!http://www.fertilemindset.com/inner-saboteur
Don’t delay in clicking above and making a decision whether to sign up. There are only limited spaces available, and the ‘early bird’ booking price ends soon. PLUS if you’re one of the next few to sign up you’ll be able to grab one of the remaining chances to have a private one-to-one telephone session with me, to work on a key emotional issue for you.

I look forward to you joining me on this exciting adventure!

With love and best wishes on your fertility journey,

Sarah Holland
Fertility Support Specialist

Spring News From Amy Marner

Birth Preparation

Relaxation For Pregnancy and Childbirth

Life Upgrade for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Maternity Leave

Feels funny calling this a Spring newsletter with this fantastic warm weather we are having!  I hope you have all had a chance to enjoy the sunshine.

Birth Preparation

I have now begun to support women in preparing for their birthing experience.  As some of you already know I am keen to support women to have a positive birthing experience and now, as well as providing positive birthing stories, I am also offering Tracy Holloway’s ‘Relaxation for Pregnancy and Childbirth’ Hypnosis CDs and Life Upgrade sessions for those women who wish to address their fears during pregnancy and childbirth.

Relaxation For Pregnancy and Childbirth

“By taking time to relax deeply, women can tap into their innate wisdom, trust their birthing body, remain calm and feel confident – throughout pregnancy and birth.” Tracy Holloway.  For more details about the benefits of these Hypnosis CDs please visit my website.

Life Upgrade for Pregnancy and Childbirth

Life Upgrade is a great for women who have fears about pregnancy and/or childbirth.  It is an effective system for addressing fears and allowing women to live in the moment happily without letting their worries take over.

Life Upgrade is helpful for any fears, which pregnancy and childbirth can bring up however I have experience working with women who fear miscarriage, have fears surrounding the birth, and fears that may arise for those who are pregnant due to IVF treatment.

It’s also a great system for use during labour to remain focused and in the moment clearing any fears that may come up.  What’s more the tools are extremely helpful for the parenting to come!

My Website has more details:

Maternity Leave

As I am currently 8 Months pregnant I am planning to take some time out from clients as soon as my baby is born.  I will be back in October 2011.  If you know someone who you feel needs some support before I am back feel free to get in touch as I do have a couple of excellent practitioners I can refer them to.

In the meantime the Hypnosis and Meditation CDs will still be available from my website.

 

The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

Meditation & Fertility

If you are trying to cope with the stress related to fertility, meditation is truly a gift. This simple and effective practice can transform your fertility journey from an emotional rollercoaster to a more calm, controlled and even positive experience.

According to Dr. Alice Domar, Director for the Mind-Body Center for Women at Boston IVF, mind body techniques
such as meditation produce a relaxation response, which reduces stress and may increase your chance of conceiving. The relaxation response involves releasing feel-good endorphins and turning off stress hormones.

Studies have shown that the effects of meditation include:
• An increased sense of calm
• More control over the mind and thoughts
• A deeper connection to self and inner wisdom
• Greater clarity and focus
• A better ability to cope with stressful situations

Meditation, simply put, involves focusing your mind in a way that promotes the intention to reflect, contemplate
or quiet the mind. It’s easy to begin: just choose a goal like gaining control of your thoughts and quieting your
mind. Then you need to choose a form of meditation that best suits you.

Here are some that I use with my clients. Try them all and then find the one that works best for you.

Click here to read more…

What is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

Fertility Solutions was developed by Tracy Holloway as a whole person programme to support couples going through Fertility difficulties.

Experiencing fertility problems is one of the most stressful experiences to go through.  What is more a lot of people do not understand what it is like for couples experiencing problems.  Often couples who have been planning for a baby for years are asked “When are you going to start a family?”  This can only add to the stress, particularly if the couple have decided not to tell others about their fertility challenges.  What is more high stress levels are known to reduce the chances of conception so it is very important for couples to reduce their stress levels as best they can.

Fertility Solutions aims to give couples their best chance of conceiving by supporting them through the ups and downs of their fertility journey.  The programme includes Hypnosis, lifestyle support and a minimum of six sessions of Life Upgrade.

Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a natural state that we all enter daily.  It’s those times when your imagination is active, so watching a film or reading a book.  If you are immersed in the story and your imagination is involved that is hypnosis.  You are completely in control and free to leave it at anytime.  Our subconscious does not know the difference between our imagination and reality so we can use our imagination to access the subconscious and create what we want in our lives.

Using hypnosis is a great way to address fertility, because we can access our imagination and address what is going on in our subconscious.  For example we may have spent years trying not to get pregnant, our subconscious may not have caught up with our new plans to start a family so using the imagination we can show the subconscious what we really want and it can catch up.  This then supports our body to conceive.

We may often have negative thoughts running through our minds, worry creating more worry and affecting our well-being.  Our negative thoughts can affect our hormonal balance but with hypnosis it is possible to bring them back to a healthy equilibrium therefore supporting conception.

Fertility Solutions hypnosis CDs have been developed by Tracy Holloway (a qualified hypnotherapist and renowned fertility specialist) in order to prepare the subconscious mind for conception.  The powerful CDs begin with deep relaxation; this prepares your mind for suggestion and supports you to release stress.  Once you have listened for at least a week to the first CD you can move on to the next.  Each one brings you relaxation and prepares the body for conception.  Some are designed specifically for those who are planning to conceive naturally, others support assisted conception and there are also CDs for those who have experienced miscarriage and fear their body cannot support a healthy baby.

These powerful CDs go hand in hand with the Fertility Solutions Programme but can also be very effective in their own right.

Lifestyle Support:

The Fertility Solutions Programme also provides advice and support on lifestyle.  For example I recommend that clients stop smoking and drinking alcohol in order to get their bodies in the best place for conception.  I will also make suggestions about diet and supplements to support fertility.  I recommend organic food as much as possible to reduce the residue toxins in the body and increase the nutrients in the diet.  For Couples with specific physical symptoms effecting fertility I may recommend certain supplements to support their body’s health.  Some people find these changes difficult and if this is the case then at least one of their Life Upgrade sessions will be dedicated to supporting graceful, effective and lasting change.

Life Upgrade:

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that release negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts supports your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

So how does it work?

Whatever is running in our subconscious mind affects the reality we experience.  The old programmes that are running are taken on by our subconscious mind because it think we need them to survive.  Some of those programmes are our own (from our childhood experiences for example) others have been passed down from our ancestors.

So here’s a simplified example; say one of my relatives had a bad experience at school, their teacher punished them for something they didn’t do.  Let’s say they got caned as a part of that punishment.  As an attempt to stop this happening again their subconscious mind took on the programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’.  This gets passed down the generations to me.  So I’m running the old programme ‘Teachers can’t be trusted’ I have no conscious knowledge of this programme nor of the events that took place to create it however it is there in the background as I go through life.

So every interaction I have with teachers in my lifetime is going to have alarm bells going of in my subconscious mind ‘Teacher’s can’t be trusted!’ therefore I will be searching for examples of this, on high alert for untrustworthy things teachers might do to protect myself from harm.  I am likely to misunderstand events as examples of untrustworthy teachers, which will only reinforce the programme I am already running.  I will certainly find it impossible to fully trust a teacher with all that going on in my subconscious.

Say I could clear that old programme so it no longer gets in the way?  Say I could completely delete it so that I can begin to interact with teachers and see them for who they really are?  Using Life Upgrade tools makes this possible.  Once I recognise that I am unhappy with my interaction with teachers I can clear the old programmes quickly and easily.  (I don’t even need to know what the old programmes are.)  What’s more it’s so simple you can do it yourself as you go about your daily business.  Each time you observe something that you want to change you just get out your tool box and change it!  I find that really exciting!

Life Upgrade tools make it easy to get back to the moment because they deal with the old programmes in your subconscious mind that distracted you from the moment in the first place.  What’s more in clearing these old programmes you are less likely to be distracted next time.  So Life Upgrade doesn’t just support you to get back into the present it also makes it easier to live in the moment, as each time you use the tools you are clearing old programmes that you no longer need.  Not only is this extremely helpful for those going through a long fertility journey, it is also useful for parenthood.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’, those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints) and those who are going through medical intervention.  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children. For more details visit my website or contact me to book your Free Initial consultation.

Best Fertility & Infertility Blogs | Trying to Conceive Blogs

We wanted to compile a list of the current best trying to conceive, IVF infertility & fertility blogs to follow, when you are on the sometimes bumpy journey of trying to conceive.

This list is by no means complete and includes those TTC & infertility blogs that we have come across and found helpful, or had recommended to us. If you know of other great fertility, infertility, ttc, or IVF blogs that you would recommend to others, or if you write a fertility or infertility blog then please leave the link in comments.

We are not suggesting that you follow all these fertility blogs, but you may find some of them helpful.

Personal Trying to Conceive Blogs

IVF Blogs

http://tertia.typepad.com/so_close/2004/10/surviving_infer.html

http://ivfgirl.com/

http://invitrofertilitygoddess.com/

TTC after miscarriage/ babyloss

http://nongeordiemum.blogspot.com/

Information & support for infertility blogs

http://www.yourgreatlife.typepad.com/

Humerous look at infertility blogs

http://www.999reasonstolaugh.com/2010/05/758-you-read-infertility-blogs/

http://www.bustedplumbing.com/

Infertility & IVF information blogs

http://www.ivfauthority.com/

http://infertilityblog.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

Blogs about infertility success stories

http://chasingamiracle.com/

http://jennandtonica.com/

http://www.roadtohappilyeverafter.com/2010/12/one-where-i-let-it-all-out.html

Reiki and infertility

So, my original plans when I trained with Reiki,  was to use it to help women through all the physical challenges and transitions in their lives and also to work through bereavement and loss.

The bereavement side stemmed from my own experiences and also with the idea that it could help people who have suffered miscarriage and still birth. Then, one of my friends suffered some complications after the birth of her first child, and I felt like I was supposed to help her through the process of living with that. This also featured a lot around loss, trauma and in a lot of ways, without divulging her personal details, a kind of bereavement.

I also wanted to help other women during pregnancy as it had made a massive difference to me. SO I thought well, why not try and roll it all into one, perhaps it could work – but i hadn’t really thought about helping ladies when they were trying to have a baby.
I came across a facebook discussion of a friend’s facebook status. Her friend was having some serious issues and was asking about reiki- I started replying about it – and thought what a shame, I could have given her a treatment – I presumed that, as my friend lived down south, so did hers. Turns out, she was only just a few junctions up the motorway from where I am. So, we arranged that after she had recovered from her surgery, we would meet up and have a treatment. All she was really expecting was that it would help her relax and that in turn would help her give up smoking, something she was going to have to do as a start on her journey to fertility treatment. I also felt that it would help her to emotionally deal with the difficulties she was having, and should it have happened, that if she was not able to have a baby, she would have the mental strength to work through that journey too.

That first time, was a really powerful session. With in that session, somehow she found she didn’t need to smoke anymore and has not smoked more than a couple since. She felt incredibly calm and positive and slept really well that first night.
I came away from it feeling amazingly energised and within 3 days had gone from considering the posibilities of becoming a therapist and maybe one day becoming a yoga teacher for children- to being booked on my next reiki course, booked on a yoga teaching course and having a name for my new company – I had also been given a treatment table that someone else had been wondering what they would do with it. A really powerful sign that I was thinking the right things !

A few weeks later my client suffered a very early miscarriage, major enforced changes on the front at work and at home,  and was really struggling. So, on our journey home from the north, we swung by and I gave her a treatment to help her sleep and relax after the real stresses she was experiencing.

Around about 4 weeks later, she texted and said she was most likely pregnant.

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems.

I am absolutely not able to say that it was definately Reiki that enabled her to get pregnant – but she was expecting fully to have to go through fertility treatment and take clomid, which was only going to be a short term chance due to advanced endometriosis, in addition to a number of other complications.
At twelve weeks she wrote a review for my feedback page. I won’t put it all on here but the full story is available through the website. http://positivelycalmyoga.co.uk/index.php?url=feedback.html

And here we are 33 weeks later and still going strong. There have been lots of stresses for her and she has been closely monitored after no end of problems, trips to hospitals and worrying moments- but she has had lots of scans and baby is in there and doing well.

I have seen her several times over the last few months, and “little reiki baby” as he has been nicknamed for now, is kicking hard and rocking around. I know the arrival of this baby will be a very special moment for her, her husband and all of her family and friends and it is amazing for me to see how things have helped. I found her original information form that suggested she would be beginning fertility treatment in september 2010 – obviously, she hasn’t needed it.

I am not sure how to explain, really, how I feel that Reiki has helped her because really, there is no proof. However, her consultant has said he didn’t expect her to conceive on her own. He performed an operation at the start of the year but it was really with the plan that it should help her with the fertility treatment. He can’t say it was reiki – but he knows he didn’t think she would get pregnant. I am only guessing but I suppose it is something he has done many times before, and hasn’t usually resulted in an un assisted conception.

What I do know is that the Reiki energy balances the chakras ( energy points) in the body. It also assists the body to heal itself, to release negative energies and as these things happen, then the body can balance itself, allowing it to function as it should. It is a complementary therapy and I would always suggest it is used along side the advice of qualified doctors and medical advice.

It also aids relaxation and that is certainly something that has been proven as being a big facilitator in conception. It is also very gentle and non invasive. It simply goes where it needs to in the body, and does what is required. It can result in a feeling of calm, needing sleep or even being full of energy. I have had clients who have had a strong emotional release – either sudden needs to cry, scream or shout – and can also help with a physical release, often like suddenly need to go to the toilet. My reiki teacher has always described it as “new plumbing” because it releases blockages and clears out your energy pathways and allows your body to physically balance out.

I need to emphasise strongly that I am not claiming that if I – or any therapist- give a treatment to someone who is struggling with fertility, they will then definately get pregnant within a few weeks or months. However, I do feel that there are lots of positive points to suggest that it is worth looking after yourself when trying and the nature of reiki and its healing qualities, may aid relaxation and put your body into a more positive place when trying. What it can’t do is hurt you. The energy is gentle, natural and will help you work through the emotional stresses of the fertility journey. I believe that everyone is on a life journey, and the reiki can also assist in helping you to deal with the ups and down of that. It may be the case that you will experience miscarriage during your attempts, or may ultimately be unable to conceive even with help – but i also feel that the reiki treatments can help women – and men – to deal with this devastating situation and to find a positive way of dealing with it as an individual and, hopefully then, as a couple.

The beauty of the reiki is that it knows what each person needs and will guide them along their journey.  So far I have only worked with one person who was undergoing a fertility issue, along with several ladies during their pregnancies (  a future blog!) but I sincerely hope that I can work with other couples, as in fact it has turned out to be, and help them through in what ever way they need support.

In addition, I have found that Reiki pulls people towards it when they need it and usually gives you a good sign that it is right for you. If you feel that you want to investigate it, it will probably be worth your while – whether with me or any other therapist. Listen to your own body, and let it look after you.

Namaste

xxx

Fertility Yoga is a Healing Community

The main reason I created and starting teaching a Fertility Yoga class was to support my own health and well being. In the depth of my own fertility challenges, I was becoming more and more disconnected, depressed and isolated. Although my husband was very supportive he just couldn’t understand the extent of my grief. I felt misunderstood and at times, I thought I was actually losing my mind. I watched myself spiraling out of control and realized that I needed to shift something quickly.

The first class I taught filled up with little effort. Women were nervous and at the same time relieved to find some support. I experienced such a warm comfort as we shared our experiences with each other and I realized that I wasn’t alone and that other women were on a similar emotional roller coaster.

We all had such a profound experience in the first session of classes and I discovered a community of support that gave me HOPE! Within months I opened Family Passages Mind Body Studio where I continued to teach Yoga for Fertility classes as well as private yoga therapy session and a Couples Mind Body Program. I was touched by the impact the space had for women and couples and I was grateful to witness such amazing transformations in such a short period of time.

The classes provide a space for healing the mind, body and spirit. The yoga postures help support the body by reducing the effects of stress and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs. Each posture is held for 3-5 minutes and accompanied by a dialogue specific to fertility. The class allows for a deep experience of the posture and fosters a level of healing that miracles are made of.

I love to witness women coming in the door feeling defeated, confused and stressed and by the end of the class they leave feeling relieved, calm and supported on their journey. It is the most rewarding class as an instructor that I have ever taught in my 18 year career. It is like a yoga support group. There is comfort just walking in the door and realizing they are not alone. There is peace in re-connecting to their own inner guidance/intuition as they realize they no longer need to desperately seek answers outside of themselves.

They begin to befriend their body again, follow their guidance, find a sense of calm and discover a strength that will help them through their journey. I watch them come alive as they begin to take back control of their life. The learn how to identify and process their emotions and they use the mind body tools to shift their experience outside the class. They bring their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives each day, and their experience of fertility shifts and transforms.

Most importantly I don’t see women as “infertile” or “broken” or “failures”.

I see women as the Mothers I know they are.

I hold FAITH for them!

I BELIEVE in them, no matter what!

You can be a Mother! I know with my whole heart, that one way or another, you too, will bring your baby home into your arms. I will hold FAITH for you until you BELIEVE it as deeply as I do! Because when you BELIEVE something is possible, impossible is nothing.

To learn more about Sue Dumais and her Fertility Yoga classes and resources visit www.familypassages.ca

How do you begin again after a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle?

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again.

If you are on Twitter, or you follow some of the infertility blogs, you may be familiar with some of the abbreviations used by women who are trying to conceive and have a baby. One that frequently tears at my heart is BFN:( . It means “big fat nothing,” as in not pregnant this month.  You examine and re-examine the dates on the calendar, plan your activities around the possibility that you might be pregnant by then, and spend money on pregnancy tests that you know are going to come out negative.  You may also have experienced the elation of finding out you were pregnant and whispering it to the chosen few you trusted to support you through those intial, very secretive and exciting days, only to have to return to them weeks later and explain that the pregnancy was over.

How do you begin again?

After a miscarriage or failed IVF cycle, there is the inevitable question hanging in the air: Are we going to try again? It may be a given that you still want a baby, however the criteria for whether you are going to try to conceive and carry a pregnancy will have been affected by the recent lack of success with IVF, or the terrible end of your pregnancy. Whether you are on your own, or with a partner, the criteria you use to make your decisions may have changed and need to be looked at again. You must consider your current health, age, fitness, need for medical intervention, financial position, other commitments and your doctor’s advice. Assuming that you have decided that you do want to try to conceive again, naturally or with assisted reproduction techniques, the next set of decisions will be about when you begin trying.

Your timing

“When can I try again?” is one of the first questions that will come up in a woman’s mind once she has determined to pursue another pregnancy. Opinion, even among medical professionals, varies. Some doctors will say that, all being well, 3 months is a good amount of time to wait after a miscarriage. Others will suggest that an otherwise healthy patient wait until after she has had one menstrual period before trying to conceive. I believe that readiness is a combination of having had a check-up by the doctor or nurse a few weeks after your miscarriage or IVF procedure, feeling well in yourself physically and determining that you and/or your partner are both emotionally prepared to take the risk again. Why do I use that word “risk?” While many women go on to achieve a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, and IVF can certainly be successful on a subsequent attempt, there is a risk that they will not be successful. Can both of you gather all your resources together and steel yourself against that possibility or do you feel painfully vulnerable?

Are you up to it?

Miscarriage and fertility treatment are both hard on the body and can cause you to feel physically depleted.  This is exacerbated by the emotional toll that they take. It isn’t unusual for a woman to feel that she wants to, or has to, jump right back in and try again and simultaneously think that going through this process again is the last thing in the world she wants to do at that moment. Have you ever felt torn in that way? The reason for this dichotomy can be that you have not recovered fully and need to build up your strength and stamina. It may be worth asking your GP for a once-over health check, paying attention to your appetite, sleep, energy levels and hormone levels.

Your emotional wellbeing

It could also be that you are putting on a front, trying to fool yourself and others about how you are really coping. What you say and what you truly feel must be congruent, or the result could be additional stress, sleepless nights and high emotion.  There may be no doubt that you want a baby, but being pregnant may be another matter entirely. Do you feel resilient; as if you have been able to pick yourself up, put your disappointment aside and look forward to the future? Or, do you feel fearful or hopeless? Your thoughts will affect your behaviour and very possibly, your outcome.

If you are trying to conceive, while simultaneously thinking that it will never happen, or that it will end disastrously, you are draining your positive energy away from your goal. You are literally telling your body, that it will not function the way it is meant to do and reinforcing that message every time you let your mind obsess in this manner. Ovulation does not occur in a vacuum; it is dependent upon signals from your brain to your ovaries. Additionally, the stress caused by negativity has been known to interrupt reproductive function, which may affect your periods, ovulation, fertilisation and/or implantation of the embryo.

Your negative thoughts, sadness, anger and stress are all understandable responses to either a miscarriage or the disappointment of a failed IVF cycle. How quickly you move through various feelings or thought processes to a state of readiness is unique to your circumstances and how you respond. You may feel conflicting emotions and be confused as to whether you are ready to try to conceive again. If so, a fertility coach can help you isolate your feelings about your miscarriage or IVF experience. This can help you prevent or reverse the spill-over into your abilities, body, medical treatment, relationship and future.

Are you both ready?

It isn’t unusual for two people in a relationship to have different ideas about whether they are ready to try to conceive again. On the one hand, the woman may (erroneously) believe that the previous attempt is her fault and feel the need to make up for it or prove herself. She may be itching to try immediately, in contrast to her partner’s more measured approach. Even if this self-blame is not present, she may feel there isn’t any time to waste. Only she can truly know how strong and physically healthy she feels, so her partner is reliant upon the information she provides.  A partner may be concerned about her health and want to ensure the safety of a subsequent attempt to conceive.  On the other hand, I have had female clients whose partners want to sweep it all under the rug and move forward as if nothing has happened. She may be unready; lacking in self-confidence and feeling unsupported.

Marriages have broken down from the stress of trying to conceive. One party may feel less committed to the idea of having a child than the other, so that when the disappointments, difficulties and costs are tallied up, they decide that they don’t want to put everything into the attempt.  The sacrifices necessary to divert money from other dreams to fertility treatment may be more than one is willing to make. To contemplate trying to conceive only for your partner’s sake, or while you are unsure, will only add to the stresses you will have to endure.

The best advice I can give any couple in this situation is to talk. Be open about how you feel, what the loss meant and how you want to proceed now. If either of you are unable to communicate effectively without someone teasing the words out of you, get someone to act as a facilitator. A good fertility coach will help the two of you say what you really think and feel; not imposing her own ideas or taking sides. Perhaps a joint visit to your GP or gynaecologist will help the two of you find mutual ground.

Just knowing when it’s right

As quickly as it came over, an emotional cloud can lift. A new day, an overheard inspiring word, reassurance from someone you trust or just some release inside of you; any of these can shift how you feel about beginning the process of conception over again.  You may not be able to explain it to someone else, but you just know you are ready.  If trying again feels right and you can maintain that feeling for a few calm days (no roller-coaster emotions and changing of mind), trust your instincts. Only you can know for sure.

Lisa Marsh is the owner of Your Great Life, a fertility coaching and advocacy business in Stanmore, North London. She also writes for her own blog; http://yourgreatlife.typepad.co.uk.   You can follow her on Twitter @yourgreatlife. Contact Lisa for individual or couples fertility coaching, via phone or office visits, or to find out about educational workshops on fertility issues from menstruation to menopause: Tel #011-44 (0)20 8954 2897 or email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Proper Etiquette When Speaking About Fertility

Many couples struggling to conceive tend to keep it to themselves. They often don’t share with work colleagues, friends and even close family. Many of my clients haven’t even told their own parents. Times where they found the courage to share some of their fertility challenges, responses from others feel insensitive and in some cases feel downright hurtful. Once bitten twice shy, they quickly realize that telling others about their fertility is not in their best interest. Whether is it for fear of judgment or worry of what others might say, in time, their fertility journey becomes very isolating.

Unless you have had a personal experience with fertility challenges you can never truly understand the depths of this deeply emotional journey. How do you respond in a supportive way when you have never had issues with your own fertility? What can you possibly say to woman that has just had a miscarriage that would feel comforting and supportive? Each week I hear my fertility clients say over and over again that other people in their life “just don’t get it”. People often dismiss their worries or anxiety by responding “Just relax and it will happen”. What they don’t realize is that the psychological distress is high, making it difficult to “just relax”. A common response is “Don’t worry you can always adopt”. As if adoption was a simple and easy alternative.

Recent research has shown that for many women fertility issues can create levels of anxiety and depression equivalent to women with cancer, HIV status or heart disease. So telling a woman that she can always adopt would be like telling a breast cancer patient, not to worry she can always get another breast. Obviously you would never do that, but to a woman with a deep desire to have a baby, it can feel that insensitive.

I know that people don’t intend to be hurtful and I remind my clients of that on a daily basis. I remind them that they are not hurt by what others are saying, they are feeling hurt because of the meaning they are placing on the words that are said.

Here are some of my client’s interpretations of the comment about adoption.

“It’s not going to work anyway I might as well give up.”

“I am a failure.”

“No one believes I can get pregnant.”

“I might as well accept defeat.”

What do you Say?

So what can you say or do to be supportive? I have created a list of suggested responses to specific challenges couples face on their journey. Keep in mind that sometimes the best response is no response. Often they just need you to listen.

Click here to read more and/or to download the full article.

A Positive Change For Fertility Solutions Programme

My Fertility Solutions sessions no longer contain Theta Healing I now use Life Upgrade with all my Fertility clients.  If you have read some of my other blogs you may well be wondering why I have made this change.

What Life Upgrade has done for me.

I have adapted the way I work because of my own experiences and what I have found to be helpful for myself.  I have found Life Upgrade transformational in supporting my own well being and reproductive health.  I have successfully used Life Upgrade in my day-to-day life to lower my stress levels.  Not only has Life Upgrade helped me reduce stress it has also improved my physical health.  I have Endometriosis and up until recently have experienced debilitating pain for 1-3 days each month.  I have found that through using Life Upgrade tools I can manage my pain.  I am now able to be active on those days when formerly I would have been unable to move.  I have seen such a dramatic shift in the pain I experience I firmly believe it is possible for me to experience a period without pain if I continue to use Life Upgrade tools.

So What is Life Upgrade?

Rather than an alternative therapy, Life Upgrade is a system which allows you to become more present in your day-to-day life.  It gives you simple tools that support the release of negative thoughts running through your conscious and subconscious mind which have such an impact on the way you feel.  Letting go of those thoughts and feelings allows you to move forward and live your life, whatever else is going on.  In doing this you are also supporting your well-being as a whole, physically and emotionally, as when we are in the present moment our body and mind is free from the distractions that create ill health and unhappiness.  The beauty of it is it is truly empowering; you are the one in control, you can deal with those thoughts and emotions as they come up rather than having to wait for your next session with a practitioner.

What does this mean for Fertility Solutions?

The framework for the Fertility Solutions is still the same.  There is a Free Initial Consultation so I can assess your needs followed by six sessions specifically designed for you as an individual.  Through each session I will guide you through Life Upgrade tools to support your health and well-being.  From the first planned session you will be able to take home the basic tools and use them in your own time.  Using the Life Upgrade tools consistently will transform your Fertility Journey so you can continue to live your life and find enjoyment, what is more living in the moment increases your chances of conception.  The programme still involves hypnosis CDs to support your Fertility Journey.

Who is Fertility Solutions Suitable For?

Fertility Solutions is suitable for anyone who is on their fertility journey and would like to support themselves to cope better from day-to-day.  It is suitable for those who are experiencing ‘unexplained infertility’ and those with physical symptoms which are effecting their fertility (e.g. Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Fibroids and other complaints).  It is suitable for those who simply wish to improve their reproductive health and those who have decided to end their fertility journey and wish to live a fulfilling life without children.

How Successful is the Fertility Solutions Programme?

This question has come up a few times in conversation with people lately so I thought I would write about it in this blog.

It’s a relevant question but one that is difficult to answer because it depends on your criteria for success.  I cannot use pregnancy rates to gauge success because not all my clients want to become pregnant as a result of their sessions (some come to me for their reproductive health, rather than to conceive).  I can say that all the clients I have had have reported back that they have felt better in some way.

Those coming to me for reproductive health, Fibroids or Endometriosis for example, have told me they have noticed a shift in their symptoms after their sessions.

After specialising in Fertility Solutions for just over a year 3 of the women I have worked with are now pregnant or have had their baby.  One of these women listened to the hypnosis CDs alone the others also had Theta Healing.

Some of the women I have been working with are still planning to conceive and some of those have chosen to use medical intervention.  However all the women who are still planning for their babies have said that the programme has supported them to cope on their Fertility Journey in some way.  Some have said they are less stressed, others find they are no longer upset about seeing other women with babies and I have also supported women to feel at peace with past abortions or miscarriages.

So Fertility Solutions is not just about pregnancy rates, it is about enhancing reproductive health, supporting the over all well-being and in doing so it also gives couples their best chance of conception.

I offer a free initial consultation so you can find out if Fertility Solutions is the right choice for you. Contact me for more details.

Are there Natural Solutions to Endometriosis?

As a Fertility Solutions Practitioner I am trained to specialise in the area of Reproductive Health.  Clients come to me when they are planning to conceive however I also get clients who simply wish to improve their reproductive health.

Fertility Solutions has been specifically developed to explore issues which effect reproductive health including Endometriosis.

When working with a client who has Endometriosis I will explore the subconscious beliefs effecting the symptoms.  Having been trained by Tracy Holloway, a renowned Fertility Specialist, I have her suggestions from years of experience working in this area. However each session is unique as it is designed to meet the needs of the individual.  Once the unhelpful beliefs have been found it is possible to release them using Theta Healing.

Fertility Solutions promotes relaxation, using hypnosis, which supports the healing process.  It is also possible to get pregnant with Endometriosis by addressing the symptoms and increasing the chances of conception.  By healing the mind you heal the body.

Fertility Solutions can help the symptoms of Endometriosis including (but not exclusively):

Pelvic pain (Chronic)

‘Infertility’

Endometriosis and bladder pain

Endometriosis and bowel pain

Painful intercourse

Irregular bleeding

Cysts

Spotting (bleeding before period is due)

Heavy periods

Extreme tiredness

Endometriosis adhesions

Ovarian endometriosis

Fertility Solutions is a simple yet effective programme which aims to give clients their best chance of conception by addressing the whole person including physical symptoms like Endometreosis.  I am experienced in working in the area of Reproductive Health and am sensitive to the individual needs of my clients.  Contact me for your Free Initial Consultation to find out if  Fertility Solutions is right for you.

Fertility Solutions and Physical Healing

The Fertility Solutions programme uses mind body techniques to address reproductive health.  Mind Body techniques work with the mind in order to heal the body and there is growing evidence to show that working on the mind will affect the health of the body.  Stress is a perfect example, it is widely accepted that reducing stress has a positive affect on the physical body, strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of heart attack for some.

Fertility Solutions uses Theta Healing to address physical symptoms. A Fertility Solutions Practitioner will have experience working with couples who have physical symptoms affecting their fertility; PCOS, endometriosis or fibroids for example.  Using Theta Healing it is possible to explore the mind’s influence on the physical body and release issues which are contributing to the symptoms being experienced.

Some people who find they have physical symptoms, which affect their fertility, will have suffered with bereavement or shock and trauma. In fact emotions such as shame, guilt, worthlessness, resentment and anger will stress the body if left unaddressed may result on an adverse effect on physical health.

As the programme uses mind body techniques it offers couples the opportunity to address their fertility without any invasive procedures and lays the foundations to give couples their best chance of conceiving.  Similarly it is useful for those who have chosen to use medical intervention (e.g. IVF) as it can address any stresses or issues that arise throughout treatment.

So Fertility Solutions supports the whole person; it addresses both the physical and emotional body. Whatever physical symptoms or emotional stresses you are experiencing on your Fertility Journey the Fertility Solutions Programme can help.

Theta Healing and Fertility

Theta Healing is and energy healing which allows us to explore and release the memories we hold which may be blocking our full potential.  The Fertility Solutions Programme uses Theta Healing and Hypnosis to gently discover and release any beliefs, memories or emotions that may be blocking conception.  The process can also address physical symptoms such as PCOS.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Tracy Holloway developed the Fertility Solutions Programme after years of working in the area of fertility.  Tracy has worked as a Hypnotherapist, Psychologist and Theta Practitioner who is renowned in the area of fertility.  She has brought together her rich knowledge and experience to develop the unique programme which explores the well being of the whole person in order to support their reproductive health.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Using Theta Healing it is possible to address physical symptoms which may be affecting fertility, for example PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis and Sperm motility (to name a few).  It is also possible to address emotional issues which affect couples who are experiencing fertility challenges.  Many of my female clients will talk to me about their grieving each time their period arrives.  They describe their fertility journey as a roller coaster ride. They have hope during the month then the grieving starts as their cycle begins again.  Using the Fertility Solutions Programme it is possible for women to view each cycle as a positive thing, their body is working in the way that will make pregnancy possible at some point in the future, rather than a setback.  Sometimes a simple relieving of stress is enough to support conception.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> One thing that is important to remember is each couple is unique, their journey is unique and they will conceive in their own time.  In other words it’s best not to compare yourselves with others because everyone’s journey is different.  Using the Fertility Solutions programme it is possible to address the emotional stresses and strains and focus on other areas of your life (enjoying your relationship for example) rather than relying on conception to bring happiness.  By addressing both physical and emotional aspects of fertility it is possible to have your best chance of conception.

Finding Support for Your Infertility

How do you find the support you need for your infertility?  Regardless of how you came to be infertile or what your goal, it can be a challenge to find someone who not only empathizes with your situation, but also is prepared to be there for you on either an emotional or practical level. You may wonder why, for something so fundamental to your happiness, someone wouldn’t want to be counted in your support network. 

Why You May Not Be Getting the Support You Need from Logical Sources

  1. They believe that you must be responsible for your infertility somehow.
  2. Your partner is ambivalent about becoming a father or mother.
  3. You want to be a single parent.
  4. You are not married to your partner.
  5. You are in a gay relationship and they believe every child needs a father
  6. They are infertile also and worry they will lose you to a baby and mom-friends.
  7. It’s your boss. Doctor appointments and maternity leave will inconvenience them.
  8. People think you should be grateful that you already have one child.
  9. They are jealous of the attention and sympathy you get for your infertility.
  10. They are too wrapped up in their own life to realize you need them.

Those people may not realize they are being unsupportive. What is obvious to you may not occur to them.  An example:  your mother phoning you daily with details of her friend’s daughter’s pregnancy.  “What do you mean? I thought you would be happy for her.” Or, someone may think if you needed them you would ask and you haven’t.

They may be judgmental.  “Well if she hadn’t (pick one) a) taken such a stressful job, b) had that abortion years ago, c) waited so long or d) gained so much weight, she wouldn’t be in this situation now.” In fact, almost the entire list comes from people judging you and your condition by their own values, rather than stepping into your shoes to think what it must be like to be you.  However, you may be able to turn their attitude around.

First, look at your own responsibility for the situation and take ownership of it.  In that way, you will be less likely to assign blame, feel resentment and put other people on the defensive.

  1. Have you failed to let people know about your infertility? (Most can’t read minds.)
  2. Have you made it so much a part of your identity that you sound like a broken record?
  3. Have you not been there for them when they needed your support?
  4. Have you isolated yourself from all your friends who have children?
  5. Have you held back on congratulations toward a sister-in-law, cousin or colleague who has had a baby?
  6. Did you previously fail to show empathy toward someone else who was infertile?
  7. Do you whine too much?
  8. Have you lost your perspective?
  9. Have you made sex seem like a chore, obliterating the romance and passion in the bedroom?

If you don’t keep up your work, friendships, social or sport activities, you may become “out of sight, out of mind.” If you no longer accept invitations, people may assume you no longer want or need their company.  Though it may seem logical to you and very unfair to compare the situations, a friend who has had a difficult pregnancy or birth, postnatal depression, has a colicky baby or has had a miscarriage, may feel that you have not supported her when she needed you.  It isn’t your friend’s fault that you haven’t yet had a baby of your own.  Messages can be misconstrued and feelings hurt on both sides.  All relationships need to be nurtured in order to thrive, so give to get.

How to Find The Right Kind of Support

The trick to getting support is to first list the type of support you need, and then identify who can provide it.  For example:

  • Someone who will listen and keep it confidential
  • Go with me to the doctor
  • Someone who’s also infertile and knows what it’s like
  • Friends I can go out with, to forget my problems
  • Cover my workload when I need time off
  • Friend(s) who won’t need an explanation or take it personally when I opt out of get-togethers and baby showers
  • Give me my injections  
  • Pass the word so that I don’t have to get into it 10 times a day
  • Friend who will rescue me from upsetting conversations
  • Help me with my food and fitness plans

Now, split your list of needs into two, under the headings: emotional support and practical support. Connect the tasks with the names of people you know. Then ask yourself a very important question: “Is it reasonable for me to expect this person to provide this support.”  Consider:

1.     your relationship

2.     their nature (sensitivity, generosity, etc…)

3.     their availability

4.     their reliability

Next, look at acquaintances in an outer layer of your life.  A colleague at work may also be trying to conceive.  You may click with a nurse at the clinic.  That other woman you always see in the RE’s waiting room may be happy to go for a coffee. A friend of a friend may have had the treatment you are considering and be happy to answer your questions. Reach out when you feel strong enough or the need is big enough. Infertility seems like a personal or sensitive subject that people may wait for you to bring up the conversation. So go for it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

When No One Close at Hand Will Do – Infertility forums are wonderful resources for information, camaraderie and supportive conversations.  They all have a “personality” of their own, so cruise them for a few days to figure out which one is a good fit for you.  There are also hundreds of blogs written by infertile women (and a few by men) to which you can subscribe.  Again, cruise the blogs until you find an appropriate few, keeping in mind that they are the product of someone else’s personal experiences, attitude and knowledge level.  After a little while, if you keep reading and commenting on the forum(s) or blog(s) of your choice, you will feel a part of that community.  Be careful though not to take someone else’s experience or opinion as valid medical advice unless they are medically qualified.  Always check with the doctor treating you before trying anything that may interfere with or delay your chances of treatment.

Professional Support – Last, but not least, there is an advantage in having a specialist fertility coach if you are not coping well with your infertility.  The criteria to look for in a coach include training, rapport between the two of you and their ability to teach and motivate you to achieve the positive changes you are after. While coaches don’t absolutely need to have personal experience with a client’s issues to be effective, I believe that it is a genuine advantage in the area of fertility coaching. A fertility coach who has herself had difficulty conceiving, will have an authentic understanding of the emotional, physical, financial and social aspects of the fertility rollercoaster ride.

There is plenty of evidence that your state of mind can affect your fertility.  If you are overly stressed, feeling negative, comfort-eating, arguing with your partner or not sleeping, you are not creating the best possible state of wellbeing for conception, pregnancy and childbirth.  A fertility coach will look at the whole person to determine which small changes in your attitudes, actions and lifestyle will make a difference to your overall wellbeing.  From that better place, you will work together to find the best way to create and build your family. By aligning your goals with your value system, your coach may also be able to help you determine whether to undergo or continue fertility treatment, if and when to stop trying to conceive, end fertility treatment or consider an alternative path to parenting, such as egg or sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

In the end, it’s your choice of how open or private you will be about your infertility and that will directly affect what kind of support you receive.  Just remember support comes in many forms and from many places and sometimes must be earned. Be understanding; over time, supporters can be more or less active in your life as their own circumstances change.  Giving support is not a job description; it’s a gift.

Lisa Marsh is the fertility coach  and owner of Your Great Life in Stanmore, North London.  For more information about her, go to http://yourgreatlife.co.uk. Subscribe to her blog at http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or to arrange a coaching session, in person or via telephone, please contact her at 020 8954 2897 or lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

You can also follow Lisa at http://twitter.com/yourgreatlife for helpful Fertility and Miscarriage Support Tips, as well as other information about news in the field of women’s reproductive health.