The Quest for Conception: A Journey of Self-discovery
Since I wrote my last post I have been contacted by a number of ladies (in the strictest of confidence) who have all shared a little of their personal stories in their quest to become pregnant, whether that be naturally or through IVF, and others still investigating their options.
Some ladies are really lucky and conceive immediately, I have a couple of friends for whom this happened and my Mum apparently knew the exact moment I was conceived, but for others of us it is not so easy and can take years of heartache and anguish until we finally hold that bundle of joy (and life changer) in our arms.
I truly believe that the quest for conception has the potential to take us on a journey of self-discovery, at least that was certainly my experience and if you view it like this, well it becomes a little less scary and a little more intimate, spiritual and meaningful somehow. I can assure you that you are not alone and while there are times when it may feel really lonely out there, take comfort that others are going through it too.
There is a huge amount of fear that accompanies fertility: the fear of never conceiving and never having a baby of your own is the biggest one of course. If only you had the certainty that one day it would come true, then how much more you’d be able to enjoy the journey it takes you on. But here’s the thing, if you absolutely align yourself to the Divine and to your crystal clear intention to get pregnant, stepping into the heart and away from the fear, then you’ll be absolutely fine. You absolutely have to believe in yourself and your ability to create the life you desire.
There were a number of things I learned during my quest for conception and I truly believe that many of them helped me to finally become pregnant, and whether you are trying to conceive naturally or through IVF, it’s possible that some of these may help you too. They work on the basis that you are committing to an outcome and the more you can do to align every part of your being to the outcome the better.
However, I’m keen to stress that these were my experiences and the whole point of all of this, the journey to conception then, is for you to dig deep, listen in, connect with your soul and allow it to be your guide to realising your dream. In life we are so used to being told what to do that we often don’t listen to this little voice inside us which is doing all it can to guide us through. There are a lot of suggestions listed below so listen in to your soul and if what I say doesn’t resonate with you, well then its not for you simple as that, and please do not think you have to do all of them to achieve a happy outcome!
So here we go:
Pray. Now I’m not religious, not in the slightest, but I prayed every single day during my quest to become pregnant and I pray every single day now too. Prayer changed my life, it strengthened my spirituality and it absolutely strengthened my connection to the Divine. Try it. Drop to the floor and pray, direct your focus to that which you want to bring into your life and ask for guidance, give thanks and listen, absolutely listen to what comes back – there’ll be a message somewhere for you. I truly believe our prayers are always answered but NOT always in the way we imagine. You have to surrender a little to the process you are guided through. Notice your resistance to prayer because that can be telling too (more on this further down).
Stay positive. The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me (and she had been through IVF herself) was to not give in to self-pity. If you have to go down the IVF route then this is absolutely essential. Self-pity will not help. You are not the only one going through this and you will not be the last. Do whatever you can to stay absolutely positive about the process and about a positive result. Keep the faith high.
Zita West. Invest in a copy of Zita West’s book entitled, “Fertility and Conception”. It’s brilliant and probably some of what I learned from there I’m repeating here. Some of it, of course, didn’t resonate with me, and that’s that I mean about only doing what feels right for you. She also has an IVF clinic, which is more holistic than most, have a look on the internet if you are interested in this.
“The Stork Club” – If you need reminding that you are not alone, then read Imogen Edward-Jones’ “The Stork Club”, it’s a funny and yet interesting read.
Yoga. Perhaps it won’t come as any surprise to know that I dug super deep into my practice. There were times when I needed to be gentle and quiet and restorative yoga was ideal and other times when I needed to move actively and keep the energy high. I already have a daily practice, but I would often take to my mat a little more than usual when we were going through IVF especially. Lots of hip work can be beneficial, to really work with the sacral chakra, but so too some grounding work, and also heart opening, and at other times forward folding and inwardly reflective. A balance really! And if the tears come then let them flow, your mat is an ideal place to process and let the healing work come through.
Meditation. Fertility issues really helped me to commit to a daily meditation practice. Just 10-20 minutes a day made such a difference, especially when I was going through IVF, not only did it make my mind stronger but it helped me to maintain a positive outlook and stay focused on the end result. I absolutely encourage this, you’ll notice a wavering mind and this should give you the opportunity to do something about it – much trickier to find the time when you already have a child/children however so just do what you can!
Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the science of life. I have been seeing an Ayurvedic doctor, Dr Deepika, for nine years now and coincidentally she is a fertility expert and has helped hundreds if not thousands of ladies conceive. Ayurveda is holistic and works on all levels of your being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I went over to the UK and did a three day pancha karma at her clinic, which was just wonderful. Based at Purley Oaks near Gatwick, Dr Deepika also offers skype appointments. You can find out more about here at http://www.theayurvedicclinic.com
Yoga Nidra – working with a Sankalpa; in practical terms, a Sankalpa is a declarative statement, resolution or intention in which you vow to commit to fulfil a specific goal, in this instance to become pregnant with a healthy baby – “I am pregnant with a healthy baby”. Sankalpa or resolution holds a special and highly esteemed place in the ancient teachings. The concept of Sankalpa appears even as early as the Rig Veda, the most ancient of all the Vedic texts. The ancient concept of sankalpa is based on the principle that your mind has measureless capacity to effect the quality and content of your life. As the Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become”. So start practicing Yoga Nidra regularly, a couple of times a week if you can, not only to consciously rest but to implant, like a seed, your Sankalpa deep within. Needless to say I produced my own recording for this and you can obtain a copy of this from my website, but there are plenty of others out there, just check Amazon or You tube.
Fertility bracelet – I love fertility bracelets. They incorporate crystals that are known to promote fertility and pregnancy such as moonstone, rose quartz and fresh water pearls. Other crystals are often incorporated to alleviate stress and encourage a calm state of being. I have one which was made by Athene Sholl (www.athenesholl.com) but my cousin Yo also makes them (you can find her on facebook as Yolande Ifold). Just wearing these crystals will help, not least in invoking the energy of fertility but making your intention even clearer to the Universe and encouraging the law of attraction to bestow you with a babe in arms!
Sculpture of whatever it is you are trying to create – for me the first time around it was a sculpture of a man, woman and baby all hugging together. The second time around there was a child in it too. I sit it on my altar so that I look at it every day and every day as I look at it I remember what it is I am intending to bring into, and create in, my life.
Vision board – ok so the jury’s out on vision boards but for me they have always been very powerful in again making my intentions clear and reminding me of this visually. So in this case an image of a pregnant lady and a baby works a treat, or a photo of you holding a baby. And notice any resistance you feel seeing/imagining yourself pregnant or holding a baby (more on this below).
A healthy diet – this goes without saying right, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (seasonal and organic where you can), wholegrains and protein. Lots of fresh water too. Limit the caffeine and alcohol, everything in moderation – I like a cup or two of black tea in the morning and the odd glass or two of wine in the evening and certainly didn’t stop either during IVF.
Reiki – I received a lot of Reiki in preparation for, and during, all my IVF cycles and beyond. Reiki really helps to release energetic blocks and can enhance fertility. It is also deeply healing, relaxing and calming. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m not practicing at the moment but can recommend practitioners on Guernsey. Even better if you can give yourself Reiki though and this is ideal for pregnancy and channelling Reiki to the baby in utero.
Acupuncture – I did a lot of acupuncture in preparation for egg retrieval, whether this helped me to produce the number of quality eggs that were produced on that first cycle I will never know, but it kept my energy high during that first cycle.
Holistic therapies generally – As a holistic therapist, I love holistic therapies and I am fortunate that I’m able to swap yoga for therapies with some of my friends. Thus throughout both positive IVF cycles (both egg retrieval and embryo transfer) I’ve done a number of different ones in varying degrees depending on what I felt I needed. I’ve received Bowen and osteopathy to realign me physically, lymphatic draining to clear my lymph, reflexology to support the uterus and to relax, Ki massage to clear energetic and emotional blockages and holistic massage to chill out. I’m happy to recommend practitioners here in Guernsey.
Angels. I love the angels and talk to them daily. I’d encourage you to invite them into your life. Ask the angels to help you and they will by pointing you in the direction of people, therapies, books or whatever it may be that will help support you on your journey. I’m a massive fan of the Doreen Virtue Angel cards (you can buy these from Amazon) and I find that this is a wonderful way to communicate with them and get much more in touch with your intuition and what your soul’s messages. They’ll leave you feathers so you know they are with you and you’ll start noticing more robins too (these are angels in form). You may see an owl too.
Intimacy. Keep it intimate, between you and your partner. You can easily give your energy away discussing it with others. It’s your journey no one else’s and it certainly shouldn’t be a drama or source of gossip for others. The fact you have to become so conscious about conception can lose the intimacy, sex becomes all about getting pregnant, and IVF of course doesn’t even have the sexual element, so do what you can to retain some intimacy to the whole process. I think its more special that way.
She Oak – often an inability to conceive can be due to emotional issues, emotions that you haven’t yet processed and are holding on to in one form or another, perhaps something is eating away at you, or you haven’t made peace with childhood trauma. To help with this take She Oak tincture, which encourages the individual to be emotionally open and receptive to conceive. It also helps with the female balancing of hormones. You can order this from Amazon.
Have fun – don’t forget to have some fun. Life can become very structured and dull, what with ovulation dates and then waiting for the dreaded period or the joyful lack of period. And for those doing IVF, well it is one big treadmill of dates and times for injections and pills and blood tests and scans, so that it is all too easy for life to become very glum. Make sure you allow some time to have fun, even if that’s just going for swim in the sea or getting out walking in nature, laughing at a comedy, or going for a meal with friends. Keep the energy high!!!
Rest – yes, I’ve never been very good at this but it is really helpful if you can rest. The Yoga Nidra and treatments can help with this, but you’ll be trying to grow a healthy egg naturally or eggs with IVF and you need your energy to do this. So try and rest when you can, early nights and relaxing soaks in the bath!
Drop the energy vampires – we’ve all got them, people in our life who suck the energy right out of us what with their constant dramas or their constant demands on us. We don’t need them, and they probably don’t really need us, only that we’ve gotten into this dynamic which we feel we can’t get out of. But you can. And while sometimes it takes some adjustment, it is essential that all your energy goes to you, not those who take it all away from you. You know the people I mean and you’re probably feeling a little uncomfortable at the thought of how you are going to extricate yourself from the relationship, but you can. Let them go and perhaps you’ll be doing them a favour in the long run. Nature abhors a vacuum after all.
Activities which exhaust your energy – identify areas of your life where you are losing energy. For me Facebook has always been the major one, it draws you in and before you know it you’ve lost hours of your life. Not only that but it is filled with insecurity and opinions and judgments that don’t always serve the higher purpose, but of course that’s just my take on things, you’ll have other activities that drain you.
Bach Rescue Remedy – if things start getting a little stressful and you’re feeling a little emotional and out of balance then take some Bach Rescue Remedy, which is a wonderfully natural way to help you calm down, it works with flower essences and is marvellous.
The moon – I love the moon, especially as she is the Goddess of Fertility. So go and embrace her energy. When the moon is full, go outside and bathe in her rays and pray to her and ask her to bestow you with a child and remove the obstacles in your way. Remember to give thanks, especially when you achieve your outcome!
Resistance – this is HUGE. The most telling and powerful steps you can take to reduce your internal resistance to achieving your desire is to identify what we call in the Vedic tradition “vikalpas”. These are your unconscious sankalpas (intentions or resolutions, see above), but ones that move you in any one of countless directions away from the destiny your soul is here to lead you to. It is very important that you realise your unconscious mind is significantly more powerful than your conscious mind. You need to do what you can to recognise and become aware of your unconscious patterns and how they are sabotaging your conscious desires and to increase the intensity of your conscious desires. If you find that your actions are contrary to, or less than supportive of your goal and intention to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby, then there will be a vikalpa, an internal resistance at work here.
Perhaps you don’t think you’re worthy of having a baby, perhaps – unconsciously – you’re not sure you can cope with a baby, perhaps you’re worried about the effects of pregnancy on your body, perhaps you’re holding on to resentment from the past, from your own childhood etc, perhaps you’re worried you won’t make a good mother, perhaps you have a habit of sabotaging the good things in your life. So perhaps you need to identify your resistance and if necessary forgive and move on.
Stay grounded – hug a tree, go walk barefoot in the garden, sit on the beach, take a bath with natural sea salts, dry-brush, do whatever you can to stay rooted to this earth. You need to have your feet firmly on the ground to bring that spirit in. Don’t let yourself float around in the ethers, caught in your head.
Avoid online fertility/IVF forums – There is a ton of stuff out there on the internet about fertility and IVF and those forums are just plain awful, based on a whole heap of fear. My advice is to stay away from these at all costs, do not buy into negativity!
So my conclusion really is to continue being kind to yourself and absolutely do not give yourself (or anyone else) a hard time about all this. It is what it is. No point fighting it or fighting yourself over it. You’ll get your dream, the Divine may just have another plan of the route, the journey then, that you need to take there is all – remain patient, trust in the process and keep believing in yourself, its a journey of self-discovery, embrace it!!