Monday, January 26, 2009

How to handle friends, relatives and even strangers pregnancy announcements

When dealing with fertility issues it is quite common to find yourself upset or irritated, angrey or sad when you hear about someone close to you or even not so close, becoming pregnant. It is even worse when they say "and you know we weren't even trying..." Would it be beneficial to know how to handle friends, relatives, and even strangers around you who are having babies?

A couple came in our office at Sharkeys Healing Centre for their next fertility consultations and individualised herbal formulas. Both had always been strong in regards to the difficulty they had encountered conceiving a baby. But on this day their expressions, energy, body language or whatever you would like to call it, was different. The woman was definitely suffering after years of dealing with fertility issues and her husband looked unsure and depressed as well. The pain of not conceiving was so evident that even some of my staff asked if they were okay.

As we sat down to discuss how they had been over the last few weeks, before the words left the woman’s mouth, tears began to stream down her face. “I feel horrible” she said. It was clear that she was more than just a little upset, that finally she let her guard down and allowed herself to feel the feelings and recognise that she had been keeping these emotions pent up inside. Now let me make a note here that all women who are moving forward and empowering themselves and feeling strong despite not conceiving now don’t have to be holding on to negative emotions and repressing them, Many couples I have worked with in the clinic and our workshops have been able to let go of the negative emotions and limiting decisions that were holding them back from having a child but there are some who are trying to ignore their negative feelings and some that let it all out as well. Each person is unique in the way they deal with this situation. Remember, it is okay to feel negative emotions. Emotions make us human and they are important to acknowledge. The problem comes in when we continually repress these emotions, hang onto them and can’t let them go now.

Back in the treatment room the wife was crying and the husband was looking as he felt helpless, disempowered not knowing what to do. Clearly an event occurred that initiated the expression of these feelings so I asked, “What happened?” And they both went on to tell me that a close relative had become pregnant without even trying. They were invited over to a dinner party and at the dinner table it was announced that they had a little surprise for everyone. When the couple, my patient’s relatives, announced that they were pregnant, my patient described the feeling of someone taking a hot knife and driving it through her midsection. She felt immediate pain and while trying to put on a strong supportive face, eventually she had to remove herself from the table when the couple unknowningly made a point of saying how happy they were even though they weren’t trying for a baby. It just happened.

That was it, the straw that broke the camel’s back. How could they have this come to them so easy, she thought. They weren’t even trying!!! Quietly the husband added, we just want to know when its going to be our turn. What is wrong with us? Why are we having trouble conceiving? And finally she proceeded to say, “And to top it all off, I feel so guilty because I really want to be happy for her. I really do love her and want her to have children. I feel so miserable because I am not feeling happy for her.”

These are common questions and comments that I hear over and over. Most couples going through fertility issues will ask these questions, feel these feelings, or make these comments. You are not alone if you have found yourself experiencing any of the above scenario. So let’s talk about how you can prepare yourself for events like this one so that you can actually be happy for those you love who are pregnant and have children. This is also useful for those who become emotional or have a difficult time seeing babies or small children in the mall or other public places.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where these thoughts, feelings, and emotions are coming from. You are focused on having a child and that can become all consuming. So every person, place, or thing that you probably never even noticed before you began the journey to parenthood becomes a symbol to you that up until now you have been having some difficulty conceiving. All of this brings up negative emotion within you because this is an unresolved issue in your life. This has become a major focus and at times the sole focus in your life.

If you are experiencing some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions described above this probably means that you are allowing these events, people, or even sometimes television shows, etc (really anything that has a baby on it or a represents a baby or parenthood) to reinforce a belief that you may have which might be “I can’t have a baby.” You may be looking at these experiences as reminding you of the problems you are having, so naturally we want to avoid pain and the negative emotion is then your signal to run away, turn inward, and protect yourself from these thoughts and feelings. Negative emotion such as sadness can tell you to pay attention to how much something or someone means to you and the sadness you experience may be telling you (though each person is different) to pay attention to how much you want a baby which reminds you of the challenges you have faced in this department.

What if however, you could feel joy each time you see a baby or small child? What if I told you that when you change your focus you can feel joy and happiness around babies and children, and it can actually enhance your fertility? Wouldn’t it be worth doing now?

How can this happen? Well, as you know from other tips, stress and depression has been shown to affect fertility, I can’t say that it causes fertility although women who are stressed and/or depressed show more fertility issues than those who are not stressed or depressed. So by letting go of the negative emotions that you may experience and letting it remind you to change your focus then you can improve your physiological state and therefore improve your fertility.

How can you change your focus? And to what can you change your focus too?

Well what would happen to your thoughts and feelings when I tell you that the more you see babies, the more you hear of friends and relatives becoming pregnant and the more advertisements and television shows you see talking about babies this means that new life is coming closer to you. The problem was, if you push these babies and these people away, its as if you are pushing away life. The more often you can change your focus to the fact that the more babies and pregnant women you see, especially if they are close to you such as a friend or relative, the more likely you are going to be able to welcome a beautiful new life in to yours. By changing your focus to this way of thinking, you will no longer be split in two, sad for yourself and feeling guilty that you are not happy for your friends or relatives, and even the stranger at the mall. With this new focus you are now able to let go of the negative emotion and remove some of the emotional barriers to receive life now. This will improve your overall health and improve your fertility by decreasing and in some cases eliminating stress or depressive thoughts. You will also be able to feel true happiness and joy for those who are pregnant and/or have had babies. You can now open a new channel to you for life to connect with you.

So the next time you see a baby or hear of someone close to you being pregnant, just let this be a reminder that your turn just very well may be closer than you had thought. And remember you don't have to feel sadness to remind you of how much you want a child. Letting go of the sadness doesn't mean you want a child any less. Letting go of the sadness can mean you are making more room in your heart for a child.

Fertility tips are (C) copyright of Stacey Roberts and Positive Image publishing. This material is not to be distributed or reproduced in any fashion without expressed written consent of Stacey Roberts