Living in the moment

I should be living in the moment, but I am not.  I think about the past, I think about the future.  First let me say that I am very grateful that we have this chance, that I am finally pregnant. I know there are many women who want to be in my position.  I have been where you are.  But it is not easy, so bear with me whilst I explain.

The past should stay in the past, but I can’t help but question why we went through everything that we did to make our baby rocky (I wonder why anyone should have to go through that, and for some even more).  We still don’t know the cause of our infertility, and this is difficult for me to deal with.  Why did it work this time?   Out of 25 embryos we made, 1 decided to implant itself in the correct place.  1 survived. 1 made it.  But why didn’t the other 24 make it?  Just because I am pregnant, doesn’t mean I have closure on my infertility, why my body doesn’t want to do what it is meant to do.  I was on the edge of losing hope of any medical resolution.  We treated the symptoms, but we didn’t treat the cause.  We are still unexplained.

And all of this is in the past…right?  But then there is the future on my mind.  What if this baby dies inside me?  What if this baby is still born?  What if all this medical intervention has created a baby that cannot survive, that never had a chance or is severely damaged in some way?  What if we go through all this and get to the end with nothing in our arms, nothing to put to bed and kiss every night, but left with a heart of love, broken into a million pieces.

The future is still an infertile one for me.  I do not have confidence that we figured out how to resolve our infertility.  I believe what has happened was a result of simply try, try again and we got lucky.  Luck was on our side?  This is really hard to deal with because, I may never be this lucky again.

It is hard at times to live in the present right now.  I mostly do, but the past and the future sneak into my mind occasionally.  When I catch myself doing this, I remember the things I have learned in yoga and meditation.  I bring myself back to the present.

Happiness Lies in the Present Moment

Nearly three years ago I went to my very first yoga class.  I actually went to an Adult Learning College and took a ten week class for beginners.   As I had just arrived in the USA I thought it would be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.  I was the youngest in the class by about 30 years, so I didn’t make many new friends, but I did meet some wonderful people.  I was excited to be trying a new fitness ‘thing’.  What I didn’t expect from this course was what I would learn about myself.

I arrived 2 minutes late for the very first class (whoops!!!) and everyone was lying down…was I in the right class?  So I lay down my mat and followed along.  The teacher was trying to explain to us the importance of breathing in yoga.  As we followed along with inhales and exhales, I began to laugh at myself, this was way too hippy for my liking.  I felt uncomfortable just closing my eyes and following my breath.  The teacher asked as to think about each breath as we inhaled and exhaled, not about what we were going to have for dinner, or that work project, or that friend you need to call back.  Just to focus our attention on the air flowing in the mouth, down the throat, expanding the lungs and back out again.  Suddenly, I was lost in the present moment.  My mind was quiet.  I don’t remember the last time my mind had truly stopped racing….even when I sleep I dream a lot.  Little did I know this was my first step towards a love of yoga and a new skill of meditation.

After several terms at the Adult Learning College I decided I was no longer a beginner and so joined a nearby yoga studio.  The classes were small, often there were just a couple of us so there was a lot of teacher attention, it was great!!! One of our teachers liked to share with us some of her favourite motivational readings, and from this I discovered even more about myself as I took the time to listen and contemplated the reading after the class in the car on the way home.  It was so peaceful.

The one thing that I have learned from yoga is that happiness is now.  It lies in the present moment.  It can be found quite easily when I allow my mind to rest and take the focus of my attention of my concerns and problems, and allow my mind o relax and remain in the moment.  I find breathing techniques help me do this quite well.

I learned that happiness cannot occur when we attach conditions to meet it.  As this is an infertility blog, a good example is….. “I will be happy once I finally have a child in my arms”.  It is too easy to fail to recognise the feeling of happiness for what it is and inadvertently let it drift away with our thoughts of the future, looking for happiness somewhere else.

I discovered that after my yoga classes I felt a wave of warmth and happiness within myself.

I need to find this feeling again…My yoga studio went bust last year and there isn’t another one that is as close, so I have found excuses.  I could do it myself, use online videos, but I enjoy being lead to that feeling and some times I find it difficult to motivate myself on to the mat.  But excuses no more!  Inner happiness in the present I shall find!!!


Suggestions for keeping your sanity on the Emotional Roller Coaster of Infertility Treatment

In our pack of homework there was a little article from our fertility clinic’s resident psychologist.  I am sure she wouldn’t mind me copying it to my blog to share with everyone else if it helps anyone else.  Thank you Dr Barbara Kersey for your wise words….

1.  Lower your expectations of yourself at this time.  Infertility treatment is stressful.  Learn to say “no” to other commitments that are not absolutely necessary.  Chris and I both agreed we need to do this more.

2. Don’t listen to “horror stories” from other patients or friends.  Keep your own counsel in the waiting room.  Exchange only helpful, positive suggestions with others.  I haven’t heard too many horror stories on the blogs.  I don’t go to forums too much because this is where I have come across horror stories.  I’ll be honest, I tend to find bloggers a bit more educated in their opinions compared to those who may be posting on forums.  That doesn’t mean all people on forums are not educated, I just find that sometimes forums can be a little laisez faire behind posts.  So far we have not spoken to anyone in the waiting room, and we probably won’t; it’s quite a daunting place, but you never know if someone there has just had a miscarriage or just found out they are pregnant.  I’m not inclined to start any conversations here.

3.  Make it your business to be as calm as possible when you are here for treatment.  This won’t guarantee that you will get pregnant, but it can only help.  Whenever I have an appointment I have had my blood pressure taken – there is definitely a correlation behind the type of appointment and my increased blood pressure!  But I have noticed that it was lower for my third IUI.  Hopefully that is because I am relaxing a bit more.

4.  To  help develop your sense of calm, try yoga, meditation, full body massage, journaling, walking etc.  ANYTHING that helps keep your balance.  I love yoga, blogging, walking – I think one can always add in a massage or two here or there!

5.  Recogonise that the staff is here to help you.  Anxiety and anger are natural feelings, but won’t help you (or anyone else) to let staff bet the recipient of these feelings.  We spoke with a nurse once about this issue.  I said that they must have a very difficult job when dealing with such sensitive patients.  The nurse said she finds it hard and there are very difficult days, but equally a number of rewarding days.  She never knows how a patient will react so tends to keep very reserved.  My hats go off to the doctors and nurses working in this industry for the challenges they face everyday.

6.  Get outside support.  Try Resolve, the national support group for couples who deal with infertility.  For information go to  Once softball league is finished next week, we might go to one of our local meetings.  We both agree it might be a good idea to meet some others and get some support.

7.  Recognise that infertility is a COUPLES’ issue.  Keep the lines of communication open with your partner.  Infertility is a huge stress on marriage.  Get outside help if needed.  Well Chris wrote a blog post about this the other day…so I won’t say much more other than he is a great rock to me, I hope I am to him too.  I hope we can keep doing this all the way until we have a little F. (Obviously keeping the whole marriage thing up afterwards too 😉 )

Happy Friday Y’all!!! (Check me out with my American speak!!!)

Sporting activities during the two week wait – stupid to do it or stupid to not do it?

Day 12 of the two week wait – and on day 11 I did something which might be stupid.

Chris and I are both keep active and we like to try new sports.  Here is a list of sports we have done over the last few years or so…

  • Rock climbing
  • Hiking
  • Skiing & Snowboarding
  • Yoga
  • Insanity exercise programme
  • P90X3 exercise programme
  • Dodgeball
  • Volleyball
  • Softball

SAM_0997Our favourite sport is anything which involves being outdoors – particularly if it is quiet and remote (much to my mother’s horror!).  We have had discussions about whether or not putting myself at risk from a big fall on a climb was worth it, and we decided to give climbing a break and spend more of our free time travelling to cities and taking the opportunity to do some siteseeing around Virginia.

We have missed climbing a lot over the last year.  We also skipped a couple of ski trips last year too, similarly, not wanting to put myself into a risky situation with a big fall.  But after the last year we looked back and realised that you can’t put your life on hold just because you are trying to conceive.  Although I didn’t wrap myself in cotton wool during the two week wait, I was very conscious about doing something silly in case I was pregnant.

So this weekend we headed west on a ski trip with a few friends.  I decided to ski the easier runs and not put myself in potential danger on the black runs this time round.  This was so much fun, I was in my element, enjoying being outside on the mountain.  The second day, Chris and I decided we would keep going with our lessons to learn each other’s sport.  I took a snow board lesson (my third one) and Chris took a ski lesson.

As I am a beginner on a board I knew I would be sticking to the bunny slopes – little chance of big falls here!  Perhaps a few bruises and bit of hurt pride, but other than that – safe as houses.  This was all until the very last run of the day.  I had two lessons that day, and suddenly snow boarding began to click (hooray! at last!!!!).  Well… I thought!  I felt comfortable picking up some speed (but not quite as fast as I ski, so I know what stupidly fast is), and as I came into the flat, I caught an edge and landed heavily on my backside – I was winded.  When Chris hurried over to me, I could barely breathe.  I cried.  I cried because it was such a stupid thing for me to do.  Also, my stomach and back was writhing with pain.  I can deal with bruises – but my abdomen just throbbed like hell, as if I had been punched in the stomach.

I know it is highly unlikely that this fall could cause a failed pregnancy this time – but why would I risk it for my selfish desire to do these dangerous sports??!!  When you try to look at other people’s experiences with these sports, I have not found consistent guidance on whether they should be avoided completely.  The only common guidance I found was to seek advice from your doctor, I suppose because each individual is different.  And this is exactly what I shall do next time I see her.  But I have read that after IUI, strenuous exercise should be avoided, so this could be a mute point if this month is a failure and we proceed with IUI next month.

When I am pregnant then I want to keep doing as much as is thought to be reasonable.  But what is reasonable?  I like this lady’s story about rock climbing when she was pregnant: Anonymous mom – I was a pregnant rock climber ( She talks about how she felt during her pregnancy and how people made hurtful comments (unintentionally sometimes).  You have to be a strong person to do this.  I’m not sure I can.

I found two books which I have seen a good few reviews about, these are going on my to read list:

Exercising Through Pregnancy by Dr James Clapp

Fit & Healthy Pregnancy: How to stay strong and in shape for you and your baby by Kristina Pinto

Into the two week wait with a little help

I am on cycle day 19 and 5 days past ovulation.  I think.  I think, because this month I decided not to do any tracking.  I am now regretting this!!

Today has been particularly hard.  This morning after I went to the toilet, I discovered a spot of blood.  I came out of the bathroom beaming at Chris.  I think I might have been a bit optimistic that this was bleeding from implantation.  The rest of the day I have had abdominal pains, and I am now sat here with a hot water bottle, still in pain.  I’ll see how tomorrow goes.

But today got me thinking about the two week wait.  At first they were exciting, and nerve wracking, but recently I have been so busy that I hardly noticed them except for a couple of days before my period was ‘due’.  Today I found this article, which I will attempt to critique from my personal perspective:

9 ways to make the two week wait a little more bearable By Catherine Pearson.

Here’s what Catherine suggests:

1.  Step away from the computer.  Yup, this is what I talked about in my blog post yesterday.  Today I certainly felt a little bit of heightened anxiety looking at some other blogs and articles about implantation bleeding.  When I am done with the blog I will do just that!

2.  Distract, distract, distract (and plan for it).  Usually I do have a distraction – my study for an online course, but I skipped this month’s module because of Christmas holidays.  We have started watching a new TV series – The Americans (love this!), so this has been a great distraction.  However tonight Chris is out doing some photography, and I can’t watch the next episode without him!!! With nothing good on TV, I have failed at distracting myself this evening.  I must be more proactive about distractions next time from cycle day 1.

3.  Write it down.  I’m doing that write now!!! Do I get bonus points for writing about writing it down??!

4.  Name your feelings.  I’ve never tried this.  So today, my feeling is ‘Anxiety’. I want to learn more about meditation techniques.  A few months ago I downloaded an app called ‘Breathe‘ to help me learn some guided techniques.  It has been brilliant at helping me to get to sleep when I have had work going around and around in my mind.

Defining my feeling - I am anxious

Naming  my feelings – I am anxious

5.  Stroll.  Sleep.  Take care of yourself.  Chris and I have started doing more p90x3 in the mornings, getting up earlier, but going to bed much earlier.  So I think this is another tick in the box.  But as of tomorrow, I will make myself go out for a walk at lunch times whilst at work.  I have been bad at this because it has been so cold recently.

6.  Give yourself sad days.  I have done this and treated myself to a monthly glass of wine.  I only recently started to do this because I had given up alcohol almost completely for about 9 months.  A little glass on the first day of my period can’t hurt as a treat.  Chris is also great to talk to, but actually he gets more sad than I do sometimes.  Our partners need these sad days too.

7.  Try an intention.  I do this at yoga classes when I go.  I haven’t been for a while, so I might try and schedule in a few more classes during this time.

8.  Practice a relaxation technique.  I learned breathing techniques at yoga class, and strangely enough, at a presentation skills course.  Thinking about your happy place and connecting it to a sensory point has helped me stay calm before big presentations.  Combining that with deep breathing is an awesome feeling.

9.  Try defensive pessimism.  This is a new one for me as I am usually a glass half full kind of girl, but a little less so recently.  I will try to work on the defensive perspective.

Thank you Catherine Pearson for your article, some great ideas I will put some into practice starting tomorrow.