I am not an expert or a medical professional but I have fought and won my own substantial fertility battle. Quite often fertility is a taboo subject as it is extremely personal and laden with heavy emotions. I am happy to share my personal experience in the hope of it helping fellow yoga teachers to further care for your students.
My son Jasper was born 5 years after we stopped using contraception. It was a wild rollercoaster ride but worth every bump in the road. I had had over 15 medical procedures in the hope of getting pregnant — 3x egg collection operations, 5x embryo transfers, 4x intralipid drip infusions, 2x endometrial scratches, 1x d and c operation plus 160+ self administered needles, 17+ scans, 35+ blood tests and god knows how many appointments with doctors and natural health practitioners. IVF can seem like a full time job — lots of appointments, schedules and protocols to adhere to.
The urge to be a mother has always been strong in me. It is a physiological urge, not just a mental one. When we realised it wasn’t happening naturally I turned to every possible natural therapy to help. It turned out that the specific issue we had was not one that responds well to natural treatment so IVF/ ICSI was our best bet. I was shocked and disappointed that we needed so much medical help but then I surrendered, accepted the help and set the intention to bring as much love as I could to the daunting process.
Making babies is one of the most spiritual and creative things you can do. When you find out you need to use assisted reproductive technology sometimes the spiritual and creative is replaced by the sterile and scientific. My intention was to add some of that spiritual and creative energy back into the process. Even though we were relying on science I still wanted ‘God’ to be heavily involved too!
I am not going to list all the physical postures that are good for fertility because to be honest my focus was more Bhakti yoga-esque. I was completely and utterly devoted to my goal of being a mother and to choosing love over fear.
My journey to motherhood was filled with life lesson after life lesson. I could (and will) write a whole book about what attitudes served me when facing adversity like this.
The following outlines some of the things I did to help myself –
MEDITATION VISUALISATION RITUAL
- Every morning I lit a 3 wicked candle — each wick representing my partner, the soul I was calling in and one for me.
- Every morning I would chant — one for my partner, one for the soul I was calling in and one for me and then repeat until the end of my mala.
- After meditating I would visualise myself breastfeeding my baby (breastfeeding to be sure it was my baby not just holding a random baby!)
- All my IVF meds lived on my meditation altar.
- I always lit a candle before self administering my needles and always did it sitting at my altar.
- Every time fear or doubt crept in I sent love to my womb, to my ovaries, to the IVF lab, to my embryo’s…
- I taught 7 classes a week so my home practice was extremely restorative.
- My goal was to activate my parasympathetic nervous system everyday.
- Restorative Supta badha konasana was my savior — I highly recommend it to anyone in a similar situation.
- Savasana on the grass — what could be more fertile than the earth?
- Gentle Dru yoga flows — moon sequence, earth sequence and more.
- While I practised yoga I pretended I was pregnant. I visualised/ sensed what it would feel like to be pregnant and moved my body accordingly.
- I used my determination and devotion as fuel.
- I used up a lot of will power in being genuinely patient and content.
- I completely surrendered and trusted in the universe.
- I had tunnel vision focus — I made all my decisions based on me being pregnant soon.
- I replaced fear of the unknown with curiosity.
- I chose flow instead of force.
- I aimed to connect with my yin/ feminine side more often.
- I wrote in my gratitude journal every day — I wanted to be grateful for the priviledge of IVF as opposed to playing the victim.
- I kept reminding myself that having a baby will not complete me. I am already whole and happy.
Now that I have hindsight on my side I believe Jasper took his sweet time to arrive because of divine timing. He was born 3 weeks before my Dad died and although at first I thought this was the most devastating timing. I now know that he was born to help heal my heart. My enormous love for him stopped my grief from burying me. He gave me purpose during the worst time of my life and for that I am so very grateful. See we never know what is around the corner and why things are panning out as they do but there is always divine intervention making sure we are looked after.
I hope sharing this helps you to more confidently help your students with fertility challenges and that it also restores your belief in miracles and reminds you of those dreams you need to go follow.
Please feel free to ask me any questions or bounce any ideas off me.