How my life has changed since I started on this journey. I had always thought that my infertility journey started when my partner and I were still trying to conceive after 2 years. Little did I know that my mind was framing this story from way back, even back to when I was a little girl. I didn’t realise this until I went into a program. It sounds a bit like a recovery program for addicts, and you know it actually is a bit like that. I had become an addict to my infertility.
I was always searching for the next ‘hit’. The next thing that would end my pain and take me to my ‘safe’ place, what I then thought was, and only could be,motherhood. I had been trolling the net at 3am yet again because of another sleepless night, when I cam across this site called The ConnectionTV. I was so disappointed at that stage with my night’s results that I went into the site for abit of light relief. Maybe there was something about my body I didn’t know. As slim as that chance might be considering I had been investigating this non- productive vessel for 2 years, I figured there was little I didn’t know. I was wrong.
In this dvd of The Connection I found a program called the Mind Body Program for Fertility. There was a Harvard Professor saying that if we are stressed while we are going through infertility, then treating that stress should improve our chances of getting pregnant. She said that if this program were a pill, then every fertility patient in the country would take it. BAMM! There it was right in front of me. Here I was thinking give me that pill, that it was just a body thing.
I had tried diets, exercise, I was doing yoga, acupuncture, I tried Chinese herbs, I– no we - tried different times of the month to have sex, different positions, different positions after sex – you name it we had tried it. But tell me to relax and my response was always either “I am relaxed!!!” or “you try to relax when you want something so badly and you’re frightened it will never happen!” So Ilooked for this program and found one.
To start this 10 week commitment was in itself a matter of adjustments, juggling work commitments and diaries, but I wanted to be sure that I had done absolutely everything I could to get this baby, so I committed. The first week was nerve-racking. Walking in with others, not knowing who they were, if I would like them, not wanting to make friends, I just wanted to make a baby. I lookedaround the circle and I realised that any of these women could have been me.
We were all in about the same age bracket, our mid-late 30s or early 40's. We were all casually dressed. These women could have been on my train each morning, in the queue at the store, working in my local café, or accountant’s office. They were like me – normal. And as each week went by, I realised that they felt like me – not normal! A freak of nature, when everyone else in society can fall pregnant and I can’t.
There was time allocated at the beginning of the session for anyone to talk about either their journey or anything that had happened during the week. For the first couple of weeks I just let the others talk. Then it happened I sat down Week 4 and I spoke. I cried, they cried, and I didn’t feel so alone. Here was a room of women who understood. They weren’t going to tell me to go and get drunk and it will happen. They weren’t going to look at me with that lack of understanding. They weren’t going to pity me. They were me. They listened, comforted and sat. I learned through these 10 weeks that I had certain thoughts in my head thatwere my ‘go to’ thoughts about my infertility. Why I couldn’t get pregnant – “I wasn’t going to be a good mother and so there was no way I would get pregnant” – that was a big thought. “I had to be a mother or my life was never going to be perfect” was another big one. Where did I learn these thoughts? All the time never realising that these thoughts actually make no sense at all. But at 2am, they are screaming in your head so they must be true!
Each week we learnt some mind body technique to practice to help our infertility – or so I thought. What I didn’t know is that these techniques are life skills, not just for infertility, they were for everyone, anyone coping with the crap that life throws at you everyday! I started to tell my family about the program, and they were all very supportive. Then I started to share the things I had learned. Telling others in stressful situations that they should try this or they should try that. I started to notice when my own mind was creating problems when they weren’t actually there. I started sleeping better. I stopped trolling the net looking for the next thing because I had found it, I just needed to let it do its work. At the end of the program I am not pregnant, and that’s ok because I am different. I know that the research for the different techniques says 6-12 months to make a difference, so I need to continue my practice and let things happen. I also know now that mothering takes on all shapes and sizes, and in some ways I already mother others, I just hadn’t realised it.
People have noticed the changes in me. People at work tell me I’m so calm, and I don’t feel like that duck – calm on top and peddling like all fury underneath. I actually feel calm most of the time, I manage to cope better with bad news. I notice what thoughts I’m having and not let them overwhelm me. Not a duck, but a beautiful swan. I hold my body differently than before, I actually like my body now. I am holding hope, but not too tightly that I squash it to death. I also know thatno matter what happens I’ll be ok, because I am ok.