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Once the Baby Arrives, Is It All Better?

handsI came across this article that raises some interesting concerns. I find that the feelings on the other side depend on how my clients work through their fertility challenges — what that experience is like and how it gets translated into their lives. It’s important to create space for the process you’re going through and all the emotional turmoil involved. What can happen is the emotional residue can lie thick on top of the joy of finally realizing your baby dream.

Give it a read, see what you think. If you’re struggling with fertility challenges or are still feeling sad after your little miracle arrives, reach out to me or another professional that you trust for the support you need. You’re not alone and it doesn’t have to be a struggle.

Parenting After Infertility — Why Am I Still Sad?

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Pregnancy – Is It Possible for You?

young-rose-94186-mCan you get pregnant?  For many of us, the repeated failure to conceive is the first indication that our path to parenthood is taking an unexpected turn.  I remember feeling so defeated each month when my period showed up despite my best efforts to time, measure, and track every observable detail of my reproductive cycle.

And then there were those cycles when I thought and hoped with every fiber of my being that I was … perhaps … actually pregnant.

Kaboom! Hope was shattered sending splinters through my heart and soul when, damn it, again the bleeding would start. WTF!

And then there was the time when I thought I was pregnant … and trying so hard to keep breathing, to not hold my breath, to keep moving so the days could pass … and what, are you sure. By all that’s holy … I was actually, measurably pregnant.

Fireworks! Dancing! Singing! Massive celebration at the soul level!

I can get pregnant!

But the serious-business folks at the clinic told me they were “cautiously optimistic” – the blood test result was a low value and the odds were against holding the pregnancy.

Way to kill my buzz.

No matter, for today I am pregnant.  Today I stand in the space of possibility.  Today I acknowledge and celebrate that I CAN.

And, I can also acknowledge that I want a healthy embryo who can grow into a healthy baby.  I stand whole-heartedly in that possibility too.

And if this embryo cannot develop into a healthy baby, I acknowledge that my body’s wisdom will release this pregnancy.

I stand in that possibility and maintain my focused commitment to creating a healthy pregnancy.

In every conception there is a touch of magic, a miracle, a sprinkle of pixie dust … whatever you want to call it.  Every element must come together just so.  And even under lab conditions, putting all the right elements together in an optimal environment, without that touch of magic, a baby cannot develop.

This is the piece that is out of our hands – out of the hands of the humans who do their part in love or in technology.  Only in the hands of the Great Spirit, natural forces of the Universe, or however you want to identify it – that’s the magic key.  Our best practice is to acknowledge this truth and respect its wisdom.

Have you celebrated your pregnancies?  Even if you miscarried.  How beautifully magical that you conceived!

Can you stand in the place of possibility?

How does it feel when you consider standing in the place of possibility?

Try this on if you need some help accessing that place of possibility:

I am standing in possibility.
I can see so many directions to go.
In this moment I am  ____________________
I give thanks that I am ___________________
What does tomorrow hold? No need to spend today on that.
I feel my joy.
I feel my pain.
I remember and feel love.
This is how I live fully.

As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Free Fertility Support for You from 20 Holistic Experts!

onphoneholdingbellyI know you’re struggling to conceive or panicked about miscarriages or you wouldn’t be visiting this blog. Well I’ve got something totally exciting to share today!! My friend Mayer Goyer has put together a series of training calls to support you — with the help of 20 fertility experts. Learn how you can use their advice as you develop your very own holistic plan — one that works with your body and your values.

This FREE online event is designed with your needs in mind. Mary and 19 of today’s top experts in the field know your’re looking for straight talk and proven advice on:

  • How to clear away the toxins and sources of stress that make conception difficult
  • Ways to open up constriction in your body and improve reproductive circulation
  • Natural remedies for fibroids, PCOS, and many other physical issues you face
  • Emotional and spiritual absolutes — to stay sane, peaceful, and connected

I know you’ll want to grab your spot right away. Click here to register — you’ll get 20 training call for free! And if you can’t make a call live, replays will be available shortly after each call.

Embarking on the Infertility Rollercoaster

roller_coaster
An Interview with Julie Pierce

click to listen

Have you been trying for a baby for a while now, and you’re now having to seek alternative methods to conceive successfully?

Have you been going down the road of IUI’s and IVF’s and still on that rollercoaster journey?

Have you experienced loss during your journey – with miscarriage in early stage or even late stage of pregnancy?

Wherever you are on this journey, it’s becoming commonly known that there are few things everyone experiences:

  • obsession with the fertility process
  • loss of balance with self, life and partnerships
  • a seeking for supporting the body and mind through alternative therapies
  • a confusion on which choices to make and when

and so much more…

In this interview, I’ll be sharing what to expect through this journey in much more detail and informaiton on how best to support yourself during your experience.  I’ll also share about my journey of heartache and success, and what I know you can do differently to feel whole, balanced, and healthy on your journey.

Please share this with anyone you think might also be interested.

Talk to you soon!

Pursuing Parenthood – Evolving Perspectives

Perspective BlocksWhen we are trying to conceive but don’t, or when we do conceive and then lose a pregnancy, we mourn a life that has not been realized. This can happen to us month over month or pregnancy after pregnancy. Each of these experiences of loss and missed expectation creates a growing mountain of compounding grief that we carry around, cope with, and suffer through one way or another. We can stay stuck in the perspective that there is only one acceptable way to achieve our goal around parenthood. Or, consider this … we can find a bit of relief in creating our own experience of expansion.

Once my partner and I had fully committed to the idea that we truly wanted to be parents, I approached conception like all of my other goals. My targeted focus and consequential achievement had been a reliable pattern … till now.

When I was trying to get pregnant month after month, I felt that my body was laughing in my face with the arrival of my period. I see now that my reaction was to dig my heels in even deeper with the determination that I was so totally going to do this thing. Does this ring any bells for you?

You could not tell me that I was not going to get pregnant. You could not tell me that I was infertile. The fact that none of the “experts” could give me and my partner a clear explanation about why we were not conceiving was frustrating, but it also gave me continuous hope that in the absence of any biochemical reason standing in our way, there was no real reason that we would not get pregnant. And therefore, of course we should keep doing it the good ol’ fashion way and eventually the sperm and the egg would get their acts together. As I’m sure you can relate, this was a huge tax on our relationship and our enjoyment of sex. “Perform, damn it! Now’s the time!” — we went through this pressure repeatedly.

As time continued to tick, tick, tick away — my eggs were not getting any fresher — I reluctantly went on to open up bit-by-bit to more medical investigation and eventually intervention, otherwise known as assisted reproduction. I was standing in the attitude of, “Seriously, I need assistance with this?” I was used to being self-sufficient, independent, in charge of my own outcomes. Turns out this was really not a helpful attitude or perspective. Over time, my attitude softened … I was, in a way, forced to surrender more and more of my constricted definition of what was an acceptable way for me to become a parent. As I moved into a more expanded perspective, I experienced a lightening of the intensity and stress. This was not the ultimate magic bullet, but it was definitely a useful evolution in supporting my health, my significant relationships, and the enhancement of my ability to conceive and carry to term.

I’m wondering how your goal of family building could be requiring you to find a new perspective, one that you may not have originally planned for. How has your fertility journey changed your perspective on growing your family? Please comment below.

You’re Not Alone – Small Groups and Workshops

group_feetDo you feel like a freak?

Let me assure you, although your body is not doing what you expected it should do — and most likely what you had been actively preventing it from doing for many years — you are in good company. Knowing that fact and connecting with others who are experiencing similar frustrations and disappointments can go a long way to keeping your sanity in residence.

It’s old news that reducing stress is one of the most important things to do when you’re trying to conceive or heal in any way. But it’s also well-known that the very message “stress less” is like saying, “don’t imagine Super Man flying.”  Too late!

What if you could be part of a group that wasn’t just set up for complaining and commiserating, but provided acknowledgement of your painful reality as well as proven ways to relieve that pain?

Because I know the value and strength that you can draw from being a part of such a community, I am putting together small groups and workshops specifically for women who are facing or who have faced fertility challenges. These are small groups specifically for women like you and me.

If you’d like more information about these opportunities, please contact me to let me know which of the following small groups interest you:

  • Repeatedly trying to conceive with no conception
  • Compounding grief due to repeated miscarriage
  • Compounding grief due to late term demise

I’ll send you details as I get a feel for how many are interested and where most of us are located. And if you like being able to participate in a group remotely, there will be opportunity for that as well. So for all the details, let me know who you are and how I can reach you.

Making Healthy Choices – Considering Soy

In August this year, I published a post about food fads. I mentioned the obsession I had with nutrition and eating while trying to conceive. One of my big concerns was soy.

Recently a friend of mine came across an article in The Seattle Times about the vices and virtues of this nutritional element. In the article, author Nicole Tsong discusses what’s good and bad about soy. Although the article specifically addresses soy, points are made that can be applied to many choices we consider about what to include in our lives. It struck me as good food for thought.

Here’s the link to Nicole’s article:
Let’s talk about the virtues and vices of soy, by Nicole Tsong – The Seattle Times, November 14, 2012

Increase Fertility, Naturally: From Experience Life Magazine

Kristin Ohlson, a regular contributor to Experience Life Magazine, has written an up-to-date, concise primer on preparing your body for conception. Her article Increase Fertility, Naturally gives 9 practical strategies for cultivating a healthy pregnancy. She starts out with the reminder that, according to RESOLVE, one in 10 of us will experience infertility.

Each of the 9 suggestions (with accompanying explanation) is valuable. If you take all 9 and implement them as a package, you’ll be setting a solid foundation for trying to conceive. Of course, there may be other issues to address, but don’t sneeze at this set of 9. It’s a perfect place to start to ensure you’re creating the best possible conditions. The article is also sprinkled with useful references.

My personal favorite is Number 7. Look Beyond the Numbers.

On the web version of this article, Kristin has included a 10th (a Web Extra) to help men create the best conditions for the swimmers too.

For those of you experiencing a deeper level of frustration on the fertility path, I’m offering a complimentary guide Freedom from Infertility Frustration: 6 Steps to Relief. Visit Whole Vision Coaching to have the guide sent to you.

Your Journey Continues

There are many visitors to this blog whose fertility journey continues or is just beginning. I’m so excited to be joining you on this journey. To keep this blog alive, I’ll be administering and responding to comments as they come in and creating new posts. We may have a guest blogger or two from time to time as well. Thank you, Coach Louise for the many posts you’ve created here and for so generously sharing your own journey with us.

I am Julie Pierce and my focus is on coaching women like you through your unique fertility journey, enabling you to cope with fertility challenges through education, mindset/perspective training, decision-making support, resource referrals, and emotional support. I was on my own long, sad, and frustrating fertility journey for about 10 years, and I would have greatly benefited from having someone to talk to, who had gone through similar trials, who could help me navigate all the information, decisions, and emotions. Looking back, I realize just how all-consuming the pursuit of motherhood had become for me; I really lost sight of the bigger picture of my life. It is my mission to help you stay connected, feel clear and stable, and continue to pursue motherhood for as long and in as many ways as correspond with your value system.

For more information about me and how I can support you, please click over to Whole Vision Coaching.

I spent a Friday and Saturday in May at the Seattle Reproductive Symposium learning about the latest trends and research in reproductive endocrinology, infertility and advanced reproductive technologies. I’ll be sharing some insights from the Symposium here over time. Attending conferences and symposiums is just one of the ways I stay on top of what’s happening in the world of reproductive research and technology.

Please keep the comments coming and if there’s a topic that you’d like to see, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you about your journey, what challenges you’re facing, and how you cope with the roller coaster that is often a large part of the experience.

Fertility Journey Survey: Findings

Many women would have liked the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the fertility journey and believe it would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

In February 2012, I began surveying women about their experience with the pursuit of parenthood and the fertility challenges that came up for them. By the end of March, I closed the survey so that I could take some time to organize and reflect on what participants had shared with me.

Depending on the ability to coordinate schedules and each woman’s desired level of participation, some surveys were conducted on the phone, in person, or via an electronic form. Much of the survey content is derived from the story-telling of each journey, but there were some yes/no and categorized-answer questions as well.

While each journey is significantly unique, there are some very clear common threads, the most obvious one being the focused, driving desire to become a parent. This focus is usually directed toward becoming pregnant, but sometimes intended parents find themselves making choices from a menu they had never considered part of their palette.

Here are some of the highlights:

93% of survey respondents have had, are having, or plan to have fertility treatments of one kind or another. Treatments are defined as actions on the physical body to enhance chances of conception and delivery. These actions may include acupuncture, herbs, dietary changes, application of oral or injectable medications or hormones, medical investigative procedures, and surgeries.

67% of participants who are no longer trying to conceive and deliver their first child said they would have liked the support of a fertility coach during their fertility journey. Many sought out support from online forums and friends who had also experienced challenges. Many expressed an interest in a managed and directed support group for women specifically going through same treatment protocols provided by fertility clinics. Many also believed that having the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the journey would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

On average, women tried for 3 or more years before actually conceiving and carrying to term or giving up on the idea of carrying their own baby. This includes women experiencing secondary infertility as well as those trying to have their first baby.

It surprised me that only 17% of the women I surveyed were considering adoption or had found adoption to be the right answer for them. Those who have adopted are consistently and markedly passionate about their choice, and they generally feel moved to encourage others to include this option on their list of possibilities.

In general, the use of donor eggs and the option of surrogacy were not included in the vision of possibilities even when I asked the question directly. The idea of donor eggs evoked sadness at the thought that they would not be part of the makeup of their child. Some women were turned off by the cost of these two options, which is interesting in light of the fact that almost 20% would consider adoption even with it’s high cost. However, it is informative to remember that foster-to-adopt programs greatly reduce the cost.

94% of the women I surveyed responded that they experienced a couple or all of the following feelings: failure; disappointment; betrayal.

67% of the participants believe they would make different choices if they were to rewind and start over. The most popular changes mentioned include:

~ Moving forward with life goals and activities instead of putting life on hold while trying to conceive
~ Letting the desire to be a parent affect them sooner rather than waiting for the “right” time
~ Discontinuing relationships that got in the way of pursuing the desire to become parents
~ Getting clear on the desire to be parents and seeking help sooner
~ Pursuing satisfying information and answers, no longer tolerating unanswered questions and confusion

Although there are plenty of other larger, more clinical and academic surveys done in this area, I wanted to do my own query into the things that struck me personally as important considerations. The questions I created were initially sparked from reflecting on my own fertility challenges and the desire to have a fuller understanding of the vast range of experiences encountered on this path. I have learned so much by connecting with the survey participants and their stories, and I know that the quality of the service I can provide has improved as a result of this expanded perspective.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated.

If you are interested in sharing your fertility journey story with me — whether you’re just beginning, are in the middle of it, or have moved on — I would love to hear from you. Please contact me in any of the ways mentioned on my Contact Page. If you have comments or thoughts about the results I’ve presented here, please share in the comments thread below the post.

Have you been the partner, friend, or relative of someone facing fertility challenges? I’d love to hear your observations of their journey too. Please contact me using any of the ways presented on my Contact Page.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading.