Infertility - Nothing slaps a woman trying to conceive harder round the face than the word infertility…

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Infertility - Nothing slaps a woman trying to conceive harder round the face than the word infertility…

5th September 2014 08:56 AM

Author: Katy Henry

I have just finished reading an article that, halle-bloody-lujah, recognised some of the often uncomfortable and complex emotions that women who are trying for a baby have to grapple with.

It was a really good article and I am thrilled that the emotional journey that a woman, (sorry guys you'll get a look in another day!) who is trying to conceive is on is getting some recognition.  However...... The use of the word infertility in the article bothered me. It bothered me a lot.  I feel that it reinforces all the negative feelings women can have about their situation and their bodies.  Longing for a child hurts.

There will be people who read this who may wonder who am I to write about this, what my child status is and why do I care anyway?  I am a Five Element Acupuncturist with a special interest in treating couples who are trying to conceive.  I've been in practice for over 12-years and knew even before I started my training that this was the area I wanted to work in.

No I do not have children.  Yes I wanted to have children.  Do I consider myself bitter, barren or any less of a woman for not having had Children.  Hell no!  But there are times when I did feel those things.  I care about this because I care about those women who are desperate to have children, for whom the journey is not easy.  It's a minefield of emotions that we don't expect to feel.  Oh, and have I mentioned that it hurts?

Let's face it there are lots of little girls who dream of getting married and having children.  I was one of them.  I was going to live in a little cottage with roses around the door, have a boy and a girl, names already chosen, everything.  Now I appreciate this does not apply to all women.  I have a friend who's always know children were not for her ("what would you want one of them for? - much rather have a horse!", but in my line of work the majority of women I meet have dreamt their dreams, met the person they want to co-parent with (or sometimes not) and they are ready.  As time passes by the realisation comes that all the messages of "you only have to look at a willy and you'll get pregnant", which may have been true for some 16-year olds, do not necessarily apply 20 years on.  At a time when they have built a career, found the family home and the ideal partner, without warning you can find yourself in a world you did not even realise existed.  Blood tests for this, internal examinations for this, taking your temperature, wearing orange pants, eating only green vegetaables and arranging get-togethers in remote places, or even different countries depending on where you and your partner work because the smiley face on your fertility calendar tells you that you need to have sex - NOW!

WTF?! I am an intelligent, emotionally stable woman and suddenly I feel like slapping the woman who is screaming at her child in the supermarket, or bursting into tears and running away at the sight of my heavily pregnant co-worker....... Where did I go?  What is happening to me?

The reality is that when we are trying to get pregnant, when we have decided that we are ready to start a family our hearts open to the possibilities, the joy, the dream.  Once we have opened our hearts to desire it is almost impossible to close ourselves off from it and so we go on a journey.  We may be lucky and become pregnant within 6-months, it may take longer, perhaps 10-years and 7 unsuccessful IVF cycles.  We all have our own decisions to make about what we are prepared to do and what is ok for us.  For some there will be multiple IVF's, sperm donors and a cocktail of drugs that will make a hardened drug addict look like a pussy cat!  Others will try naturally for a certain length or time and then decide to stop.  Whatever your decision, whenever you make that decision, it has to be right for you and in case you are wondering, if you decide that fertility treatment is not for you, it does not mean that you wanted a child any less than someone who did.

When working with women on their fertility journey, I like to think about how we can care for ourselves from a Chinese Medicine perspective (well I am an acupuncturist after all).  It is all about the heart/uterus connection. The heart is considered the Emperor in Chinese Medicine, and pretty much everything in the body works for the good of the heart.  Imagine the emperor sitting on his throne, with his minions rushing around, fulfilling every desire and whim.  So you decide you want a baby. It is your heart's desire.  You have sex, you have baby-making sex (you know the sort when you pee on a stick, take your temperature or look for the stretchy egg white type discharge when you wipe!).  You tell him it's now or never and whilst you are doing it the voice in your head is screaming - "I WANT YOUR SPERM..."  Two weeks later and your period shows up - again! And of course during that time you experience the whole extended misery of constantly thinking about what your boobs are doing, have you got back ache?  did you feel a twinge?  what does it mean? Before that heart sink moment. Shit. Cry. Knowing that in another few days you will be building yourself up to do it all again.

We have an energy pathway that runs up the middle of our torso which is aptly named 'The Conception Vessel'. Everything works for the good of the heart remember.  Your heart is saying "I want a baby" and your uterus is saying "I am doing my best".  So there is a disconnect between the two.  In essence what is happening is that you are grieving and your heart is hurting and it can be really hard to stay connected to your body and mind.

Lovely ladies, should you find yourselves in this situation, extend yourself a little love a self-care (what I really mean is bucket-loads).  You know the sort you give your friends, but so rarely allow yourself to ask for or receive.

Find what works for you.  What comforts you. More importantly, feel your feelings, accept them and trust that they won't stay like this forever.






Katy Henry is co-owner of The Bridge Centre and a Fertility Acupuncturist.  She works as part of a team of natural health practitioners who are passionate about helping people at all stages of their fertility journeys.


Tags: Acupuncture, Fertility, Infertility, Katy Henry, Sperm

Treatments: Acupuncture for Fertility, Reflexology

Practitioners: Katy Henry, Ellie McLean, Sue Whalley-Lloyd

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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