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Keeping Sane During In Vitro Fertilization Treatments

30 Aug

We found attached to an order form a thank you from a woman named Mary, who wrote that our guided imagery targeted toward fertility had really helped her, and, subsequently, the pregnancy/childbirth imagery, too.  We wrote back, asking if she really thought the imagery helped her conceive, or if she was just being nice, and also, what else did she try to help move the process along. Here’s what she wrote back – very helpful info for those in a similar scenario:

I really believe the imagery helped me to conceive. I had been trying to get pregnant for almost 2 years when I first used the audios. To back track, I tried to conceive for about 6 months, was placed on Clomid for 4 months and then was referred to an infertility specialist. My husband and I went through one artificial insemination and several IVF procedures over a one-year period, all with no success. I was emotionally devastated and very depressed. I started to see a therapist who played your tape for me. I cried through most of the tape and had my Dad order it for me as soon as I left her office.

I saw her once a week and played your tape every day. It really helped me to relax, to grieve, to let go of all the negative energy, and start to believe that my body really wasn't "defective." I also received monthly massage and weekly acupuncture, all in an effort to restore balance in my life and in my mind.
     
My friends and family saw a big difference in me once I started the tapes and the acupuncture. I became more balanced and less depressed. I really believed that I would get pregnant, but I also knew that I needed to find happiness and balance in my life regardless, just in case I didn't get pregnant. My husband supported my daily listening of the tapes. I would go upstairs alone, light some candles, turn off the lights, listen, relax and usually fall asleep.
     
It was about 2-3 months of doing the "alternative" therapies - including your tapes - until I conceived - October to December. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this past September. Boy, was she worth the wait!
     
The fertility treatments really did a number on me physically and mentally. I think everything I did, including your tapes, helped me to conceive. If you don't have a healthy "environment" for a baby, how can you expect to get pregnant? I hope my story helps someone else struggling with the pain of infertility. It is a heartbreaking experience that can really overwhelm you, especially if you are on the schedule of infertility treatments. It really is all you can think about, if you let yourself get caught up in the expectations and disappointments.
     
Mary
     

[Ed. Note: Just to state the obvious, happy endings don’t have to look like Mary’s. A happy ending can be successful IVF, adoption, or a decision to whole-heartedly move on as a child-free family. When designing this 4-part imagery, I tried to encompass all of these possibilities. Mary is right: what’s needed in any of these situations is to let go of being fixated on an outcome, rebalance mind, body and spirit, and return to appreciating and feeling kindly toward your own body. Sadly, it’s in the nature of infertility treatment to make this difficult to do. You can’t help but get a little obsessed with outcomes each month. The imagery is designed to bring you back into equilibrium with yourself, and to counter the tendency to turn against your own hardworking, doing-the-best-it-can body.]
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award