A checkpoint

I’m finding this month to be reflective.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m halfway through the first year of my son’s life?

Maybe it’s the crazy lunar cycles we’ve been experiencing?

Maybe it’s the chakra balancing and reiki I’ve been doing?

Maybe it’s just time…

Almost 3 years ago, I started writing about our journey through infertility and pregnancy loss. It’s been a combination of fact, emotion, intuition, medical intervention and miracle.

There’s no need to apologize.

There’s no need to feel guilty.

There’s no need to feel like I have to justify what I’ve said or done along the way.

It’s my truth.

It’s my story.

I’ve come a long way from the woman who typed her first blog post and hit submit.

I’ve cut ties to my past. I’ve healed aching wounds.

I’ve released those who no longer serve my greater good. I’ve tightened my circle.

I’ve set boundaries and defined my needs.

I’ve learned that I am capable, strong, intuitive, gentle, fierce, motherly, compassionate, passionate, sensitive, caring, … the list could go on.

But most of all, I’ve learned that I am LOVED.

Tonight I was feeling insecure. I questioned myself, my decisions, my steps along the way.

I know better.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout it all is to listen to my gut. I know what is right and what is wrong for me. When I listen to this knowing, I experience peace and joy. When I ignore it, I experience anxiety and despair.

It’s a very clear picture; a very simple process.

There’s no need to fret dear one. You are YOU. And that’s a beautiful thing. ❤

Next time you are feeling like I was, I encourage you to ask yourself how you can change these feelings? Does what is causing them REALLY matter? What will make them go away?

Listen to yourself. You’ve got all the answers you need inside.

The importance of self care

Earlier this week, I was a mess. My anxiety (and probably my hormones) was flying. I was having difficulty turning it off and grounding myself. I was over tired. I was sore. I was worried. I was confused. It wasn’t a good situation for me or for baby.

I tried talking to my husband about my feelings. I tried hypnobirthing and meditation practices. I had a bath every day for 5 days. I saw outside on my deck in the sun. It just didn’t seem to help.

So, yesterday I called in sick.

I slept in. I had a morning bath. I caught up on the phone with my best friend. I went to a pre-scheduled hair appointment (because we all know hair days make every woman feel better). And I decided to attend an Energy Circle with my friend that evening.

The purpose of the evening was to set intentions to remind ourselves of the beauty and harmony that lies within us and to tap into our inner voices. It was perfect timing for manifesting as the New Moon is approaching this weekend.

I’ve attend many soul or energy healing circles in the past, but this one was extra special as it was at a retreat center outside of the city. The valley view with the changing leaves was stunning. I felt like I needed the wide open space to clear my mind and my body.

We started the evening with an intention, a smudging session and a walk outside. Then, we returned inside for some journaling, group sharing and meditation. One of my favourite things about these sessions is that everyone else’s journey is a reflection of something that you also need to work on. I gained so many insights about myself and my path in life.

At the end of the night, I felt energized, grounded and clear on what’s important to me right now – exactly the intention I had set at the beginning of the night.

Sometimes it’s beyond obvious when your mind and body need a break to recharge and reset. I’m so glad I took the time that I needed to get there.

As for my status meeting with my boss today, it went very well. I set the intention last night to be honest about the current status of my projects, where I needed clarity to move forward, my pregnancy aches and pains, and my desire for maternity leave. She was very supportive. Another lesson learned: Sometimes the things we let both us, aren’t worth it at all. Intention can make a BIG difference.  

That’s my reminder for you today: take some time this weekend for yourself. Set an intention for the next month for what you want to bring into your life and how you want to feel. You are #1. Don’t ever forget it. ❤

Navigating the next 2WW

Pregnancy symptoms mean so much to you after you have endured infertility treatments and pregnancy loss. Every twitch, ache, stomach flip, hot flash and wave of exhaustion validates that your body is growing a baby. This morning, I had my first major nausea episode. I was getting ready for work when it came on. I dry heaved over the toilet and the sink, but didn’t actually throw up. I’ve been feeling fine since then.

My friend Alicia from ladylovenandbabydust recommended the Ovia Pregnancy and Pregnancy+ apps. I’ve been following them daily for updates. Right now, my baby’s spleen is starting to appear. Absolutely Fascinating!

I’m 6 weeks, 4 days today. Each time I see that number increase, I feel some relief. There’s 9 days til our first official ultrasound. Although we got a sneak peak in the OB’s office last week, we didn’t ask to hear a heartbeat. I will feel much better after our next appointment.

With my hormonal irritability and my anxiousness for our next scan, I haven’t been as centered the past couple of days. There’s a few lingering family/friend issues that are bothering me. I’m going to sit down tonight  to do a mediation exercise that my fertility coach sent me called, “Releasing Energetic Ties that Bind”. I have some forgiveness and releasing work to do. I want to get back to a place where I’m 100% focused on my husband, myself and our baby.

As much as I want to fast-forward into the 2nd trimester, I keep reminding myself to appreciate this time. Even though there is some uncertainty, there is much joy and happiness.

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The inner demons of infertility

Anxiety, shame and guilt are feelings I have battled with on my fertility journey.

Anxiety overwhelms the infertile mild. It leads you racing to figure out what you can do better next month, or reviewing what you did last month over and over again. Anxiety makes you strive for control in a situation that is beyond your control. It’s the ultimate path to insanity.

Shame appears when you have to explain that you are doing fertility treatment because something is wrong with your inherited ability to pro-create. It’s even worse when there is no official diagnosis.

Shame comes into play when people ask “why”. The shame lies in the blame. Is it him or is it you? Do you even know how to conceive? Maybe you just need to relax! 

Guilt stems from both shame and anxiety. You feel guilty for being ashamed of something you would never choose and can’t change. You feel guilty for blaming him or yourself or your genes or even God.

You attempt to ease your anxiety by identifying your needs and setting boundaries. You take the first step towards progress and they all don’t understand why you are being so selfish. Guilt steps back in.

You take the supplements, eat the diet, practice yoga, and meditate. Once in a while, you take a break. You give into that bite of chocolate or that glass of wine. You take a few days off of exercise.

You let the anxiety creep back in. You feel ashamed that you didn’t stick to the program. You feel guilty that your actions may impact your outcome. The cycle begins again.

Add pregnancy loss for a significantly more complicated equation. Intensify those feelings x1000, then intensify them again by 1,000,000. Add sorrow and grief to the mix. A real recipe for disaster.

Then, take a step back. Toss those demons aside. Throw them in a fire. Stomp them with your feet. Do whatever you need to do to remind yourself that you are human.

You are doing the best you can do – for yourself, your husband and your future children.

Infertility is beyond your control. You are being pro-active in managing the aspects of your lifestyle that are under your control.

You can do this no matter how hard each day seems.

You are strong.

You are capable.

You are almost there.

You got this.