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.