Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HypnoTherapy - Session 1

1 week to transfer and I'm continuing to giving it my all. Here's the next area I've been working on, the mind.

Strike that first part. This was supposed to be my "Giving It My All: Mind" post before my FET was unexpectedly cancelled. I apologize that I'm just now getting to this. Slacker, yep that's me lately! I ran into a "screw it" mentality when I was cancelled and now I'm trying to get back on track to giving it my all. Anywho, here's the first of 2 posts that have been sitting in my draft folder forever:

I used to be positive and hopeful in my ability to conceive. After the VR, we thought we'd be that couple that conceived on the first try. After a couple of years we went through testing and were told over and over again that IVF was our only option. We refused to believe it and thought for sure it was just a matter of time before our prayers were answered. We eventually wore thin and moved onto IVF. We thought for sure we'd be that couple that conceived on the first IVF, nope. Surely the second one would work, nope. Surely the third one at the #1 clinic in the world would work, nope again.

This photo represents hope. These are ovulation tests. I kept these in a container and told myself that as soon as it was full, it was time to move on.

This photo represents heartache and a gradual loss of hope. These are pregnancy tests, one for each failed cycle. Not a single double line. The digital one in the middle was from IVF#3 where I thought for sure I was pg. The words "Not Pregnant" dropped me to my knees and left me feeling completely defeated.

As you see, losing my positive outlook didn't happen overnight and to regain it would also not happen overnight. I had become weary and unbelieving that it will ever happen for me.

We somehow found the energy for one last try, a 4th IVF with all the bells and whistles. It came with a hefty price tag and an end result of one embryo, one chance. This added an overwhelming amount of anxiety, stress and fear.

Improving diet and the physical body can be accomplished with a decision to do so. Improving the mind on the other hand can be quite a feat, especially when you've spent years being knocked down instead of up. Unfortunately the mind has a mind of its own, the subconscious. "Just be positive!" If only it was as simple as a decision, and I'm not talking about being positive on the surface while still fearful on the inside, I'm talking about being positive from the core, really believing it can happen for you.

I needed a renewing of the mind, a full renovation. I found I couldn't do it on my own in the short amount of time that I had. Stealing a quote from my pastor; "I needed a check up from the neck up and get rid of the stinkin thinkin".

Some of you noticed that I was much more positive in my recent posts. I've been working hard on it. I sought some outside help with Lynsi Eastburn of HypnoFertility. Thanks KayJay for the referral. Lynsi specializes in helping those that have struggled conceiving naturally or with medical assistance. She is wonderful!!! I've had 2 sessions with her so far and hope to have more. Each session includes an hour long conversation on the phone and then she records a custom hypnosis audio file for you to listen to.

The first session she gathered a lot of info about me, my family and our journey. We discussed all fears, areas of stress/anxiety, strengths and my faith. Her goal is to balance mind, body and spirit by resetting the subconscious. I love how she customizes the therapy to your life style and needs. In my case, she's reprogramming my subconscious that I can conceive, replacing the fear and hopelessness with a positive outlook and repairing my trust in my body and in my faith. In her recording, she walked me through experiencing a successful transfer, a positive pg test, a wonderful pregnancy and the birth of our child.

Our subconscious doesn't know the difference between reality and imaginary. It only knows what we feed it. There's a quote on Lynsi's site that says "worry = negative self hypnosis". If we live in fear and constantly speak failure, this is what our subconscious learns.

My subconscious has suffered some pretty deep grooves from this journey. Pg tests, doctors and experience have drilled it in my head that I'm unable to conceive. It has played like a stuck record for too long. I'm ready to put on a new record and take back my life. Tap, tap, testing 123, can you hear me? I'm taking back my life!

Our body acts out our belief system. Tell a completely healthy person they have a terminal illness and only have 6 months to live and watch how fast they deteriorate physical, mentally and emotionally. It's amazing how powerful the mind is.

Now of course the mind doesn't operate alone. There are physical ailments and medical diagnosis that hinder people regardless of if they are positive/negative about their situation. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to pass that lining check, but I didn't despite being positive. But I do strongly believe that our mind is very powerful and plays a role in improving or deteriorating our situation. In regards to deteriorating, I believe the resulting stress plays the lead role. Studies prove that stress creates havoc on our bodies and can even shorten our lives. Quoting my pastor again, "Your mindset will either mess you up or move you up".

Our subconscious is always listening whether we are or not. That's why our words are so important. What we say or hear is always being recorded. My husband tells me all the time to watch what I say, that my words are powerful. I used to say fooey to that. But now I understand it on a much deeper level.

Our subconscious also does not know the difference between our situation and someone else's. Have you ever read about someone in a similar situation and it did not go well for them, and you found yourself stressing that the same will happen to you? Your subconscious can interpret this fear as if the situation happened to you. I actually experienced this a few weeks back. I read of a girl who only had 1 cgh normal embryo, just like me. When she went to transfer, it didn't survive the thaw and her transfer was cancelled. This scared the crap out of me and I started to fear that this would happen to me. By the end of the day I was quite ill and stressed out. I've since then abandoned myself from reading the boards during treatment times.

I listen to my hypno recording at least 3 times a day. I was skeptical at first but was willing to try anything. I've learned that hypnosis isn't some kind of hoo doo that puts you under a spell and makes you do goofy things. It simply relaxes you and speaks to a listening subconscious. At first it didn't seem to work. I would listen to the entire recording and never once fall asleep. Then I started noticing that I would start the recording and next thing I knew, she was counting to 5 and I would wake up. I was like, dude, this stuff is working! Lynsi said that the conscious drifts off once it's familiar with what's being said but the subconscious keeps paying attention. You don't have to fall asleep for it to work, but it's best to be fully relaxed so that the subconscious is listening to the recording only and not multi-tasking.

So is it working? I really believe it is. It's not super obvious after only 1 session and is noticed more in hindsight. I seem to be much more positive and hopeful. For example, I just failed my lining check after 5 weeks of prep. Normally that would play over and over in my head. I would let fear weigh on me that it will happen again resulting is unneeded stress and anxiety. But this time I took it as a fluke and believe that all will be fine next time. While I'm still a work in progress, I'm starting to believe in my ability to conceive a little at a time. I'm becoming the little engine that could.

Toot toot!


  1. I think I can I think I can...

    Love it. Repeating it to myself.

    And cheering you on.

  2. This is so cool! I have heard about this, but didn't fully understand what it is.

    I love the quote from your pastor!!:)

  3. Wow, Jill, those photos really hit home all the months and cycles in this journey and I think help so well to show others why our minds get conditioned to expect defeat (even though we still always hold that hope).

    I love that you are taking these steps to help yourself really feel the success deep down. I think you can too!!

  4. Jill, my heart broke for you when I saw those photos. I understand how those negative mental grooves run deep. I am encouraged by the change you have noticed with the hyponotherapy. I know I need to do the same as I keep playing this negative mental recording of how at 43, my eggs are doomed. Thank you so much for posting this. I also loved the quotes from your pastor. I think you can too!

  5. Oh my the photos.
    I would have similar piles of sticks if I had saved all of mine, rather than immediately burying them at the bottom of the trash can so they couldn't mock me anymore.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the hypnotherapy! Go little engine, go!

  6. Very interesting. So, are you still using it, for the upcoming FET too? It sounds like you are gaining a lot from it.

  7. Hey! So this is my first post and I think I landed it on a good one!

    I love that you have found a way into better positive thinking. Something I thought of while reading this was about dreams. Literal dreams you have in your sleep. I had a dream one night that Joseph left me. It was so real that I woke up crying. I had to tell him about it and even though he was right there telling me he loved me, I thought about it all day. It is crazy how powerful the mind is and the things that what some may seem is just a simple thought make you feel so much.

    We all spend so much time in our own heads that we don't even think about 'how' we are thinking... (if that makes sense!) Some cleaning is required every now and then up there too:)

    We love you and will send more positive thoughts your way

  8. I'm so glad you were introduced to this kind of treatment and I must say that after talking with you on the phone, I noticed a HUGE difference right away in your voice...it's been proven over & over & over for years & years how powerful the mind is:-)

    Keep it up and I can't wait to see the final outcome:-)

    love ya

  9. Ugh. All those ovulation tests and HPTs! I didn't save mine, but I'm sure I'm up there with you. That is awful! But, you have sounded more positive lately...and I know that is always a good thing. I have NO DOUBT that you will pass the next lining check...that was a total fluke (but I'm glad everyone heeded the warning! I want lucky #7 to have the absolute best chance of success!). I'm glad the hypotherapy is doing its job...and your pastor sounds great!

  10. Wow - those pictures really speak for themselves, and no wonder that we end up being "negative" and adversely affecting our own psyches.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the hypnotherapy. I was researching it a little here too. I think I need to wipe clean the negativity on the slate of my mind and subconscious.

    Failing repeated at ttc has ended up affecting my confidence levels in general - at work, about my body, about my relationships etc. Perhaps it's time to look at some self help.

    Great post - thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Jill...

    I liked what Pastor Danny said.. ""I needed a check up from the neck up and get rid of the stinkin thinkin". I can just hear him saying that.

    Well, hang in there. I am only a phone call away, if you need me.

    I love you as big as the sky!!! Mama

  12. Wow what a post about the hypnotherapy. After having done it myself and reaping the benefits, I was very curious to hear what your experience was. But first of all...the sticks, all the damn sticks. It's frightening when you put them all together like that and pretty overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how things get programmed into our subconscious and after seeing all of those negative messages that those sticks have been telling us all condensed and put together like in your photo, you really cease to wonder. There is the message we have been sending ourselves without even knowing it. I'm glad you feel like you're taking care of the mental stuff and that you feel like doing therapy with Lynsi has helped. Man - I have to stop posting after you Mom...every time I read "I love you as big as the sky" I tear up!!!

  13. Sorry I'm late on this post, how did I miss this one? Anyway. Like the train but uh we need a coaster pic don't you think?

    Proud of you and looking forward to seeing you next weekend.



Thank you for your comment! Hugs, Kerry and Jill