Full disclosure……this blog is about my husband and my journey trying to conceive and the part yoga and mindfulness play in maintaining my sanity – to my family, you have been warned; there will be references to sex.
Writing a blog about such a personal and private thing may seem a bit heavy, but after being contacted by two lovely ladies who have just started the Southland branch of the Fertility NZ Support Group, to gauge my interest in offering some yoga to the group; FYI totally interested, I felt compelled to share how it helps me personally.
Trying to create a new human sometimes isn’t that easy. Some people seem to think about babies and BAM “we only did it once and we have fallen pregnant again”.
But for some of us, it starts to feel a bit like work, ever played a romantic game of ‘paper, scissors, rock, looks like you’re starting on top?!’ Hell yeah, that has happened, followed by some extreme laughter at how unromantic our baby making journey had become.
Check yourself, before you wreak yourself – this is what mindfulness has helped me with. This journey can be extremely taxing on your emotions and your mind can start to get a little obsessed and carried away, which is where being aware of unhelpful thought patterns and knowing ways to step away from that spiralling pattern of doom is so helpful.
Finding out that there was a problem, and that problem was me, lead me to feel pretty damn let down by my body “God damn it stupid fallopian tube, you have one job, let the eggs go, what on earth is the benefit of blocking them!”
Hiding around the corner from this personal disappointment was guilt. Useless, mess with your mind type of guilt, it was me that was standing in between my husband and the baby he always dreamt of.
The realisation that perhaps my life story will not feature me barefoot and pregnant, I knew I had a few options available. I could continue to fight and internally wrestle with it, or I could accept this challenge. If mindfulness teaches us anything, it is to accept things as they are, that does not mean you have to like it, but fighting against it, repeating the same story within your mind is not going to change it, it will just make you miserable. Life is far from perfect and as cliché as it is, every dark cloud has a silver lining, sometimes you just need to look bloody hard to find it.
Stories of failed IVF treatments resulting in overseas holidays, puppies and ‘not pregnant’ let’s have a wine date nights prove we all do find different ways to cope. For me, the silver lining been the realisation that I need to create a life for myself that is fulfilling, no matter what happens. One where I push myself out of my comfort zone, finding ways to spread that love and caring nature I always assumed would come in helpful for my own baby, towards other people’s babies, both the young and the old.
Yoga and mindfulness are amazing life tools for everyone, but they certainly come in helpful when life decides to test you. Big or small stresses, we need to have ways in which we can cope with the stresses of our life. It also really helps us to be kinder to ourselves, as well as giving our emotions the space, acknowledgement and respect they deserve, but not letting our thought patterns fuel the fire.
Having the skills to be able to breathe and soften the edge of your emotions as you sit in the fertility specialist’s office, when you feel that consuming sadness as you get that familiar monthly cramping, or perhaps when you are triggered unexpectedly by a display of Star Wars Father’s Day cards, really is empowering.
To all the beautiful ladies and gentlemen approaching another childless Christmas, remember to breath, take some time for you, and find that silver lining. For me, it means finding some other way to spread my love this Christmas, and heading over to World Vision and buying gifts that will have a positive impact helps me.
Know that we are all connected, and you do not have to do this alone.
If you are interested in reaching out and joining the Southland branch of the Fertility NZ Support Group, they have a private facebook group, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be starting yoga and mindfulness classes for woman currently on the fertility journey in 2018, after a free yoga event at 7pm Thursday 11th January. Register your interest with Amy if it sounds like something you would like to try.