Tag Archive | balance

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.

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Coach Louise and Coach Julie

Dear blog reader,

Coach Louise began this blog with the intention that it be a place to share stories, ask questions, get support in a safe place of understanding and compassion, as well as a source for information on the topic of infertility, miscarriage, treatments etc. I am so excited to be taking over the administration of the blog and continuing on the mission of supporting you on your unique fertility journey. If you’d like to know more about me and what I offer, please click About Julie or visit Whole Vision Coaching. I’m so glad you’re here. Most importantly, I really want you to understand that you are not alone and this part of your adventure does not define who you are.

Having experienced the frustrations of unexplained infertility personally, I recognize that the experience can be isolating when the people around you don’t necessarily understand what you are going through. It is also often the first crisis couples come up against where there is really no control over the outcome. I want to connect with you and give you as much support as possible to lead a life full of joy and balance no matter the outcome of your pursuit of parenthood. I can also help to guide you and propose different alternatives that you might not have considered yet from a purely objective point of view.

Ultimately, I can offer you a space like a comfy sofa that you can fall into to feel comforted and reassured and so much more while on this unexpectedly challenging journey.

With love,
Coach Julie

Part 3 – Healthy Body Image: 6 Places to Start

In Part 2, we looked specifically at just six areas of life experience that are influenced by body image and self-esteem. We closed this examination with the hopeful idea that accepting self as is today is the place to start, even if there are things we want to change.

But how do you accept your self as you are today? Can you find a way to reopen your heart to your present self? Below I offer six suggestions. These activities are immediately fulfilling and longer lasting than the perfect body.

Self-care
Groom and dress yourself lovingly every day. Simple things like applying lotion after a shower to arms, legs, and torso in a gentle, massaging way can help you reconnect and feel good about yourself. Wear clothes that fit well, in colors and styles that you like and feel good in. Limit or completely eliminate getting on a scale. Tune into how you feel more than what you weigh.

Hobbies
Schedule some time every week, or at least every month, to engage in an activity that you find fun and that reignites your creative juices.

Friendships
Reach out to people you know and like; create opportunities to get together and share some fun time. Don’t worry about bothering them or how busy they may already be; and if they are not available, do not take it personally. Just keep reaching out to people you know and like and find someone who can join you for an activity as simple as a walk and chat, for example.

Self-appreciation
While facing yourself in the mirror, declare your appreciation for the things you do well and the qualities that you like in yourself. Start out with one day a week and work up to making it a daily practice. Find at least one positive thing to say to yourself in the mirror each time.

Healthy food choices
Take time to buy, prepare, and eat nourishing and healthful food. Even if you are cooking for just you, act as if you are feeding someone very important and deserving of a great home-cooked meal – because you are.

Feel-good movement
Turn on some fun music that makes you want to move your body. Find ways to move that feel good, for example, swimming or yoga. What physical activities did you enjoy when you were a kid? Find ways to reconnect with that side of yourself.

There are many ways to practice self-acceptance and self-nurturance that will create the foundation from which to support your desired changes. You can have the life you want. Start today by appreciating who you are now. As you do this, you will be able to move toward the life you want for yourself with positive energy and an attitude of joy.

This time Coach Louise is being interviewed! She will make a guest appearance on Conscious Choices Radio Show tomorrow 4.30pm EST. Come and listen!

Join me tomorrow! Feel free to join the conversation with questions or comments.

Join me tomorrow! Feel free to join the conversation with questions or comments.

Hi Everyone,

I am honored to be invited as a guest on Conscious Choices Radio Show http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ConsciousChoices , which will take place on the 12/30/08 at 4.30pm EST! (thats tomorrow)

I am being interviewed so the conversation will be lively! We will be discussing lots of different things that make our lives interesting, and how coaching is part of the quest to finding out what makes us tick and realise our potential! Who knows what the questions will be! I’m hoping a big part of our discussion will also be about setting clear intentions going into the New Year, and how we can make a conscious choice around what is most important to us to help guide us around what we want to focus on going into 2009! I am the KeystoClarity! Coach, so come and learn a little more about me, and what exciting ventures and adventures will be happening next year….next week and how they could involve you, or set you on your own path!

www.blogtalkradio.com/ConsciousChoices  is the link to listen, participate, or access the archived podcast after the show.

Warmly yours,
Coach Louise Crooks

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Invitation to my radio show tomorrow – my fellow infertility bloggers.

The power of energy...

The power of energy…

Hi All,

Its been really interesting and  wonderful how some of our dear bloggers have been getting onto the idea of how positive thinking can help them on their journey in regards to infertility.  For example  MysticMiss, and Shaz to name a few!  Anyway I love this subject and particularly in learning the science behind positive thinking, Law of Attraction, energy or vibration, whatever you want to call it.  Its very powerful and amazing to practice.

Tomorrow evening I am honored to be interviewing the well-known author Michael Losier who wrote ‘Law of Attraction- The Science of Getting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t’.  This is a great little book that really helps to simplify the Law of Attraction theory, as well as giving clear action steps on how to implement it in your life!

I would like to extend the invitation to any of you who might be curious about this subject and might want to learn more, or for those of you who already are fans and would like to have the opportunity to pose a question or comment on the subject to Michael.

The show is at 7pm EST (- 5hr GMT) and you can access it online at www.blogtalkradio.com/KeystoClarity-coach   Note the call- in number on the screen if you would like to participate in the conversation.  Of if you would like to participate in the online chatroom, register on www.blogtalkradio.com and you’re in!

I hope you will join me!

abundantly yours,

Coach Louise

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Are you feeling overwhelmed? Effects on Fertility.

Hi everybody!

WAKE UP and smell the ..... !

WAKE UP and smell the ….. !

I just watched an Oprah show which focused on a woman who left her baby in her car by accident.  8 hours later the baby was discovered, and had died of heatstroke.   So so so sad.

One might think that those of us trying to have a baby – naturally or through ART, might be outraged or horrified by this woman’s actions.   But I am full of compassion and empathy for her.   She is devastated, her husband is devastated, and she is now, a year later, making sure that the sacrifice her baby daughter Cecilia made, sends a message to all of us out there.   I want to help to get that message out there.

The big lesson from that show and that poor woman was that she was total overwhelmed that day and lost the plot.  She was a vice principle at a school, and school had just started its new term that day.  Her husband normally took the children to shool/daycare in the morning.  That day he had a dentist appointment and he asked his wife to take the kids to school and daycare.  She took the 1 child to school, but it was too early to drop off her baby at daycare, and she had a list as long as her arm of things she was focusing on for that day.  The pressure was on.  She drove to her work (school) as she normally would and started her day.    8 hrs later as she was preparing to leave, her colleague asked her if she had just picked up her daughter from daycare, as she had seen her in the car.      All hell broke loose, as she realised what she had done and rushed to the car, to find little Cecilia, dead.

Gosh, I have to breathe in, just to anticipate her agony in that moment, and all the moments thereafter.   When afterall it was just a mistake.  A big one, granted, but still a mistake.  It could have happened to ANYONE!

She was overwhelmed, trying to be everything to everyone, trying to take care of everything.  There is no such thing as being super mom – being a mom, wife, and have a job/business, and be able to do all those things / roles with attention, focus and mindfulness.   Something has to suffer at the expense of other. Wake up everybody!  Its time to take stock of your day to day life, and look at what you are doing with your time.   Does it have any meaning?  Or are you racing onto the next thing, thinking of what you need to get done, thinking of what you haven’t accomplished for that day.   A lot of people out there live this way.  Part of that is due to the messages we receive about how we ‘should be’ in our society, and also the expectations we create of ourselves.   But it is time to take responsibility for ourselves.   For our wellbeing!

I remember a time when I was living in London, and had an experience where my brain completely overloaded, because of the amount of things I had to do that day.  I was leaving to fly long distance to SA from the UK that evening, I had a client lunch meeting that day, I had get all my work up to date and complete a couple of assignments, and pass on anything that needed managing while I was away to a colleague.  I also participated in being interviewed on a radio show at the time on a weekly basis.  10 years ago, that was a pretty big deal.

Well, I completely forgot about the radio show!  I went out, did my thing and came back, to find my boss blowing smoke out of his ears that he had had to take over on the radio show that day. (this was a task he not wanted any part of – partly because of his nervousness to be on the air)       I was horrified. But I knew what had happened.  I had taken on so much that my brain had shortcircuited!   That was a big lesson for me that day.   Not really in terms of consequences, but more about my own integrity and conscience about the professional I wished be viewed as.  And dealing with the stress of taking so much on, realising that I could only do so much.

Thankfully it wasn’t a life or death situation.   What I really want to draw your attention to, is that its time we looked at our own schedule and see if we need to slow down.  We live in a world where we are technologically able to do so much more, and then we agree to take it all on, when in reality we cannot.

When you are in the unique situation of infertility,  it is at  a time like this, that you really want to be paying attention to this issue.  Its an issue many many women taken on when they are trying to be everything to everyone.  The stress that it brings is enormous, even if it doesn’t feel apparent.    Stress and feeling overwhelmed is our enemy when we are trying to conceive.    The journey of infertility, is difficult enough as it is without having the extra pressure!

So ask yourself these questions?  Am I trying to do too much?    Who can I  ask for some help?    What I am putting in my schedule, that isn’t really that important?   How can I slow down?   And am I present, and paying attention to my own wellbeing, as well as those around me?

The effects of overwhelm and stress and over commitment might be as devastating as losing a child due to a lapse of memory, it might not   –  but,  what is it costing you right now?…..

Maybe being a good mom to the children you already have, maybe your relationship with your spouse, or maybe the possibility of making a family of your own.

I would love any questions, or comments.  If anyone is curious as to how coaching might help in this situation, please go to my details on my contact site to call or email me.

with all things in balance,

Coach Louise

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Sugar vs Hormones – effect on Fertility!?

A acupuncturist friend and colleague who focuses on fertility and nutrition, Meg Richichi, mentioned the link between hormones and sugar levels.  I thought this was an interesting topic especially as I noticed a dramatic effect in myself when my sugar gets low……

Here are a couple of excerpts from some articles on this subject.  I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

 

By Erin Dummert RD, CD from the Diet Channel

 Good sugars and bad sugars

Why does sugar take the rap when hormones are really the problem? Sugar does cause the body to release growth-promoting hormones, but that is not the whole story. Sugar is very important to life. However, just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good sugars and bad sugars.

Bad sugars, often referred to as simple sugars, are those in foods that do not offer any other nutritional benefit. Examples of simple sugars include foods like soda, sweets, sugar cereals, juice drinks, and refined grains.

Good sugars, or complex carbohydrates, are present in foods that provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Examples of complex carbohydrates include foods like fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Nancy Appleton writes…     (here is the link directly to her page.. http://www.rheumatic.org/sugar.htm)

She provides a list of the things that complex sugars do……

Sugar can suppress the immune system.

  1. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
  2. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
  3. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  4. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
  6. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.
  7. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
  8. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
  9. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
  10. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
  11. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  12. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  13. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
  14. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.                                
  15. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
  16. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
  17. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
  18. Sugar can cause premature aging.
  19. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
  20. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
  21. Sugar contributes to obesity
  22. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  23. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
  24. Sugar can cause arthritis.
  25. Sugar can cause asthma.
  26. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
  27. Sugar can cause gallstones.
  28. Sugar can cause heart disease.
  29. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
  30. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.
  31. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
  32. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
  33. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
  34. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
  35. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  36. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
  37. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  38. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol  in the blood.
  39. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
  40. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
  41. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
  42. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  43. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
  44. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
  45. Sugar causes food allergies.
  46. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  47. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  48. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  49. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  50. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
  51. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
  52. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  53. Sugar can cause cataracts.
  54. Sugar can cause emphysema.
  55. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
  56. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).
  57. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
  58. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
  59. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  60. Sugar can cause a permanent altering the way the proteins act in the body.
  61. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
  62. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
  63. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  64. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
  65. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
  66. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
  67. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
  68. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
  69. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
  70. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
  71. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
  72. Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders..
  73. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.
  74. Sugar can cause depression.
  75. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
  76. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
  77. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
  78. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
  79. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to    low sugar diets. 
  80. High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.
  81. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood  proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
  82. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
  83. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
  84. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.
  85. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
  86. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus to become highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.
  87. Sugar can lead to dizziness.
  88. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
  89. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.
  90. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
  91. Sugar feeds cancer.
  92. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
  93. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
  94. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
  95. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
  96. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
  97. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
  98. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
  99. Sugar is an addictive substance.
  100. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
  101. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
  102. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
  103. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.             
  104. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.
  105. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
  106. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  107. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
  108. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
  109. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.
  110. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
  111. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
  112. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
  113. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
  114. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
  115. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
  116. Sugar may induce cell death.
  117. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
  118. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
  119. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
  120. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
  121. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.
  122. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
  123. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
  124. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream. 
  125. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer. 
  126. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine. 
  127. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
  128. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
  129. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
  130. As sugar increases in the diet of 10 years olds, there is a linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients.
  131. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
  132. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
  133. Sugar causes constipation.
  134. Sugar causes varicous veins.
  135. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
  136. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
  137. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
  138. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
  139. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
  140. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
  141. Sugar could affect central reward systems.
  142. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
  143. Sugar can cause endometrial  cancer.
  144. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
  145. Sugar can cause liver tumors. 

Certainly food for thought!…….  I know I will be taking a good look at my sugar intake, and making sure that most of sugar sources I have are natural ones!

curiously yours,

Coach Louise Crooks

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