There is a distinct moment that separates the time before someone is diagnosed with infertility and the time after. The time before is full of hope, plans and dreams. The time after is a rollercoaster of emotional distress, grieve, loss, anxiety. People easily forget all the goals they ever had, and life is consumed by the single goal of getting pregnant. Every month is marked by hope, followed by frustration and despair. This can last years, if not a decade of life.
Being diagnosed with infertility at the young age of 17, I could very easily have let this pattern be my whole life, but I was determined to be happy. The moment I made the decision to live a happy and fulfilled life no matter what, was the beginning of a long journey. At the time I didn’t know how I was going to make my life meaningful, fulfilling and happy but I determined. Over the years, I used different strategies that would help me notice that despite my circumstances, I am blessed, and I do have a lot of great things in my life. Mindfulness meditation was one of those strategies.
Mindfulness is described as the ability to focus on the present moment, noticing the sensations, thoughts and emotions that are present in our body and mind, unjudgementally.
This means, mindfulness is not about feeling happier, calmer or relaxed. It’s more about noticing the present moment, noticing whatever is happening right now as an outsider as if we were watching a movie. And by noticing, we are more aware, flexible and joyful. Our mind is free to explore options, enjoy and create. It’s when we are relaxed enough, that new solutions come to us, solutions that maybe we hadn’t thought of before.
We start noticing other aspects of our life, being grateful and appreciative. And the journey to parenthood, is still challenging, but is no longer the unique aspect in our life that defines us. It is no longer the only focus on our life.
Eckhart Tolle in ‘The Power of Now’ says “The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future”. Mindfulness helps us manage our negative thoughts during our fertility journey. These thoughts come from fear of the unknow, fear of unmet reproductive goals, fear of not being loved, fear of not being enough. When we start practicing mindfulness, we are changing our mind’s focus to positive aspects and are paving the way to a better future, filled with more of those positive experiences.
If you have never practiced mindfulness meditation, it can seem a bit challenging to begin with, but there is a process you can follow and the more you practice, the easier it will be.
Emotional distress is the most common reason to stop fertility treatment. Mindfulness can help you navigate this journey with a calmer mind, able to cope with the challenges and still in tune with the positive aspects your life presents to you every day.
If you think mindfulness is for you or you want to explore how to incorporate it into your fertility journey, get in touch with us.
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc