Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fertility with a Positive Attitude!

I had a wonderful conversation the other week with a marketing manager for a group of fertility clinics about attitude in the face of fertility issues.  Bottom line: it’s important to have one.

I’ve told my story here before. After trying for a year, I sought the advice of a popular reproductive endocrinologist who gave me a 2% chance of conceiving.  Of course I was devastated! Shocked! Panicked!

But underneath this burst of sadness and despair, rose another emotion, captured in attitude. It was simply unacceptable to me that I don’t get to have a child. No way. I wanted a child more than anything else in the world. So instead of taking this news as good reason to give up and grieve – which I could have done—I accepted it as just another obstacle on my road to parenthood. Another issue to overcome.

I could not give up until I had tried everything in my power to do so. I wanted no regrets. I wanted to be able to say, at the very least, that I did all I could.

So I decided to squeeze as much of that 2% out of me as I could. I would become a parent, damn it! Whatever it took that I could control…

An article written for a British website says: “studies have found that positive thinking decreases levels of stress and the risk of depression, which in turn led to increased odds of getting pregnant.”

This article talks about using visualizations and affirmations to help keep you thinking positive – and I believe strongly in both.  “By visualizing success in getting pregnant, you will actually bring yourself closer to your … goal. Visualize yourself experiencing pregnancy symptoms or receiving a positive pregnancy test result,” this article suggests.

One of the affirmations that I said daily for months (with attitude!) is “I am loving being pregnant with a healthy, viable pregnancy.” I would close my eyes and imagine at least two scenarios with my future babies (I just imagined I’d have boy-girl twins). I imagined breast feeding the babies and I’d imagined having a pillow fight with them (as two-year-olds) with my husband in a tent while camping. These images were vivid for me, alive.

I also agree with the article in not dwelling on the negative. They use this example: “If you get your period this month, don’t look at it as a sign of a getting pregnant failure, but rather as a positive sign that your reproduction is healthy and on-track.”

I couldn’t agree more, and this is what I did every time. When faced with a new challenge, such as: “Hmmm… it looks like you have polyps in your uterus.” I let myself feel the blow, the pain, and then backed up and said, OK, another challenge, another obstacle, let’s see how I can get around that, or through that to get to my goal. (In the case of the polyps, it was simple: I had surgery to remove them. Good choice, too! Since there were three of them and two quite large.)

In the end, after the “devastating” news, I put myself on a fertility friendly diet, among other healing regimens, such as yoga, meditation, and visualizations, and four months later I conceived our son. We have had that gentle pillow fight in the tent while camping, which I visualized, and I know every moment of positive thought had helped to keep him alive, so to speak.

Having a positive attitude, by the way, doesn’t mean you don’t allow yourself to feel the sadness, stress or depression. But it allows you to find an open window to escape to a healthier, happier place. To have and maintain hope, which we all need in trying times.

Photo: Me, very pregnant (at last!).