Hi Beautiful, I know you've been doing everything you can to fall pregnant. You already know more about your body and the intricate details of conception, than do the majority of other women. Your google search history, those annoyingly not-so-subtle sponsored ads on social media, and your calendar all show signs that you're on the TTC journey. You've got the physical side of conception covered - you know what you need to do there. Same with nutrition, sleep and exercise. But what about the other puzzle pieces? Did you know that your thoughts, emotions and behaviours may be unknowingly sabotaging your journey to conception? I've created this simple self-checklist to help you to understand what some of the mental and emotional barriers to conception can look like. Awareness is the first step to aligning your mind and body onto 'team-conception'. Your thoughts and mindset:
1. Negative self-talk: Have you noticed that you are critical of yourself, your body, or your abilities to conceive? Have you ever had thoughts where you are blaming yourself for struggling with infertility? 2. Unrealistic expectations: Did you have quite strict or quite set and certain expectations around the timeframe you originally expected to conceive, and have you felt disappointed or frustrated when those expectations were not met? Do you re-create new timeframe expectations throughout your journey, and feel like you're failing if you don't meet them? 3. Catastrophic thinking: Do you tend to jump to the worst-case scenario and assume the worst outcome when it comes to falling pregnant? Do you find yourself symptom spotting early in the two-week-wait, and searching for early clues that this cycle has been unsuccessful? 4. Consumed with worry: Do you feel like you've been consumed by your experience with infertility? Are more than 50% of your thoughts every day fertility related? Are you constantly thinking about the future and what it would mean if you weren't able to conceive? 5. Guilt or shame: Do you feel guilty or ashamed about what you're going through? Have held back from speaking to other people about what you're going through? Do you feel like you have to hide the true extent of your feelings, and the details of what is happening behind the scenes? Emotions:
1. Anxiety: Do you feel anxious or stressed about ensuring you are doing everything "right", tracking, testing, watching what you eat, how much you're sleeping, managing stress itself etc.? Do you feel as though your overall well-being has been impacted by your experience with infertility? 2. Depression and/or sadness: Do you feel persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and perhaps even grief? Do your thoughts and emotions related to your infertility journey impact feelings of happiness and enjoyment in other areas of life? 3. Anger or resentment: Do you ever feel anger, or potentially even rage in terms of things infertility related? Do you get angry hearing other couples' baby announcement news? Do you ever resent yourself in any way? Do you feel like you can show your partner your true, raw emotions, or do you tend to hide the full extent from them as well because they have a different perspective on what you're going through? 4. Fear: Do you feel fearful about the future and the uncertainty of your ability to conceive, leading to feelings of more stress and heightened anxiety? Do you fear falling pregnant for fear of disappointment or fear of loss of that pregnancy? Are you attending every fertility-related appointment filled with dread and fear? 5. Frustration or impatience: Are you incredibly frustrated or impatient with the process of trying to conceive, and sometimes that frustration comes out as anger or low-tolerance for things or people around you? Behaviours:
1. Avoidance: Do you find yourself avoiding conversations, situations, or activities where you might be asked "when are you having children", or if they're aware of what you're going through where they may provide unsolicited advice? 2. Unhealthy coping mechanisms: Do you rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as emotional eating, perhaps turning to substances you know don't contribute to TTC in a positive way, or withdrawal from people and activities that previously brought you joy? 3. Relationship strain: Do you find that your experience with infertility has put a strain on your relationship in a negative way? Have you found yourself becoming more distant or having a strained connection with your family, friends or colleagues? 4. Isolation: Do you opt to remain isolated from social activities, time with friends, and most outings generally? Have you avoided counselling or fertility related support-groups because you don't want to talk about what you're going through? 5. Obsessive behaviours: Do you find yourself obsessively researching fertility treatments, or things that could increase your chances of falling pregnant? Are you constantly monitoring and tracking signs and symptoms, or engaging in other behaviours that are adding to your stress and anxiety? Are you burning yourself out trying to do "absolutely everything possible"? It's important to note that this checklist is not designed to diagnose or substitute professional, medical, or mental health advice. Elle is a legal complementary Health Care Provider who specialises in holistic, client-centered disciplines focused on overcoming the mental and emotional barriers to fertility. If you found yourself saying 'yes' throughout this checklist to the majority (if not all) of the questions, I would really love to support you through a process of resolving and resetting your thoughts, emotions and behaviours, guiding you to think with intention, feel with courage, and to reclaim your identity through infertility. I currently have some availability to welcome new private 1:1 clients to The Conscious Conception Framework. I'll leave the link below where you can choose the package that suits you best right now and can follow the prompts to book your first session - Easy. If you aren't sure which package would suit you best, there is an option to book a short 15 minute free 'Connection Call' so I can get to know about your journey before we dive in.
Until next time. Elle x