As I do my final “accounting” for the year…I reflect on the triumphs, the challenges, the failures/perceived failures both in my personal life and my work.
This was a big year in my practice, with the most pregnancies and the most babies born (I’ll release our final stats and some case studies in the new year) and it was humbling to start putting our year in review together. And exciting to think about what the next year could look like.
When I’ve talked to some of these new mamas about what they felt made the biggest difference for them in getting pregnant and staying pregnant, the most common thread is the support they received leading up to getting pregnant. Many of our couples had been through fertility treatments like IUI and IVF before. Some of them had been DIY-ing their nutrition, supplements, cycle tracking for years. Some of them had experienced previous pregnancy losses, some multiple losses.
When I asked what they felt were some of the biggest barriers in the past, the most common answer was “a need to control everything.” Yes, some also said nutrient deficiencies, unidentified thyroid issues, stress…but almost everyone recognized that they had been trying to control something they ultimately had very little control over.
For those of us who are high achievers, perfectionists and maybe a little Type-A, the desire to achieve and control can be overwhelming. We are used to doing the homework and getting an A+. When you do the fertility homework (eat clean, track ovulation, do the baby dance, take the supplements) and the big fat positive doesn’t come along on our expected timeline, it’s torture.
After a few cycles, you start to wonder what’s wrong with you, why isn’t this working? Maybe you ask your gynecologist what else you can do, but the answer is “just take a prenatal and come back in a year if it hasn’t happened.” A YEAR? A whole YEAR? The holidays come and go and that sucks because everyone wants to know “when are you guys going to have a baby?!” You start to do MORE, more supplements, more tracking, more reading.
Ok, New Years Resolution time…no more alcohol, no more caffeine, we’re going to meditate every day, we have to have salmon twice a week- because Omega 3s, and “DON’T YOU DARE TAKE A HOT BATH Chad because I need those swimmers in tip top shape.” (Actual conversation between one of my couples). The common denominator in all these resolutions…more control.
So this brings me to the point of this blog post…I’m not really a fan of Resolutions, especially fertility resolutions.
Resolutions are goal oriented, and unfortunately pregnancy isn’t really a goal we can achieve in the way you might hope. Resolutions either are achieved or failed, black-or-white. They’re strict and often focused on what we lack, what we were doing wrong, and often end up feeling punitive and impossible to stick to. When we can’t stick to it we blame ourselves for not having will power, feel guilty and label ourselves as “being bad.” I don’t want this for me, for you or for anyone.
So if we aren’t setting resolutions, how can we set ourselves up for a better fertility outcome?
By setting intentions.
An intention holds more self compassion and flexibility and ultimately, in my experience, holds the power to support and nourish is a way resolutions just can’t. Intentions are more nourishing and focus on what we want MORE of…more love, more energy, more protein, more rest, more movement.
What does intention setting look like when you’re trying to conceive? That’s great question and one I’m going to dive into in a big way next week in the Fertility Intentions Workshop.
In the workshop we’re covering some of the most common barriers to getting pregnant- from hormone imbalances to microbiome issues- AND also how to set intentions to overcome these barriers. If you are hoping 2022 is the year for you to start or grow your family, this workshop is a powerful way to kick start the new year and create a plan that leaves you feeling more confident.
When: Friday, January 7th at 12pm MST/2pm EST
What to expect: About 60 minutes + time for Q&A. Bring a journal to take notes, set your intentions and get your plan going
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