GUEST BLOG: 3 Simple Tips to Find Balance During Your Infertility Journey

This month, I am honored to feature a guest blog by Fran Meadows, infertility advocate and author of the memoir “The Truth Behind the Secret ‘Infertility’”. With compassion, insight and humor, Fran invites women to travel with her on her journey through infertility, and eventually to motherhood, as she breaks the silence about a diagnosis that affects one in eight couples. To learn more about Fran, ilsten to our most recent podcast.

Additionally, spread the love this Valentine’s Day season by sharing the joy and positivity of acupuncture! From now until the end of February, when current clients refer a friend for an acupuncture treatment, the client will receive a $25 credit towards her next acupuncture treatment (or $10 cash) and the referred friend will receive $25 off her first acupuncture treatment and both clients will be entered into a drawing to receive a FREE copy of Fran Meadows’ memoir “The Truth Behind The Secret ‘Infertility’." New clients just need to mention the name of the client who referred her when she schedules her first appointment to receive the credit and to enter into the giveaway.
- Julie Chang, L.Ac. (Zen Fertility Center)

By Fran Meadows

If you’ve heard one story before about struggling with infertility, you think that you’ve heard them all.  Well, maybe, but we forget that all stories are unique to each couple.  Our experiences are all different, as are the outcomes.

My journey starts with my husband and I being diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.”  The result of our fertility testing revealed I had hypothyroidism and cervical polyps, but we had no other underlying medical or male factor issues so there was no clear indication why we couldn’t conceive. We began fertility treatments, starting with intrauterine insemination (IUI),  a procedure that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. We had no success after three cycles. We moved on to in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process where eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body, undergoing fresh IVF cycles, a frozen embryo transfer and canceled cycles in between.  There were lots of tears, disappointment, and the devastation of delivering a stillborn child. I was left with the question of "WHY US?".

My journey starts with my husband and I being diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.”  The result of our fertility testing revealed I had hypothyroidism and cervical polyps, but we had no other underlying medical or male factor issues so there was no clear indication why we couldn’t conceive. We began fertility treatments, starting with intrauterine insemination (IUI),  a procedure that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. We had no success after three cycles. We moved on to in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process where eggs are fertilized by sperm outside the body, undergoing fresh IVF cycles, a frozen embryo transfer and canceled cycles in between.  There were lots of tears, disappointment, and the devastation of delivering a stillborn child. I was left with the question of "WHY US?".

Fran Meadows picture_small.jpg

Today, I am proud to say that I am a mom to one son through IVF.   He is our miracle!  However, my experience with infertility will never leave me and I will never forget where I’ve been or how I got here.  Infertility changes you as a person – it has made me stronger and has helped make me who I am today. I am touched by my experiences and continue to share my story to help others. 

Through my journey, I learned some simple tips to connect the mind, body and spirit and to bring balance to my life. During my infertility journey, I existed in a time of extreme uncertainty and I had to take a step back to find the balance with my emotions.  I am someone who is organized - all about schedules and always aiming for everything to go right – so it was tough to incorporate change under stressful conditions, but I knew it was necessary.  For me, therapy helped to keep myself balanced.  It allowed me to take a moment to breath, release and share my emotions, fears, anger and crazy thoughts, which kept me in line and let me carry on with my daily routine. Other tips that I learned along the way:

  1. Express your emotions and don’t bottle them up! 
    For me, therapy gave me strength to not feel judged by others and I began looking forward to sharing my emotions. Even if you are a private person, I suggest giving therapy -  one-on-one or groups; in-person or online  a try. Additionally, I found writing to be a powerful outlet - it allowed me to release my emotions on paper and let my guard down while still maintaining a sense of control. Make the time to find what works best for you.
  2. Find a quiet place to meditate and think. 
    Find five to ten minutes to free your emotions: breathe, pray, sing, cry or laugh. Make this your safe, alone time that you cherish every day to keep balance. For me, I found a lot of alone time driving to and from my doctor’s appointments.  My car was my safe place! The shower is also a good option.
  3. Know what is right for you. 
    When it comes to trying to conceive, everyone will have an opinion.  You will likely hear lots of comments, ideas, and other people’s stories but, in the end, be aware of what you need to do and what is right for you.  If you feel like opening up to a close friend or family member, do so only when you feel ready.  If you feel like you want to keep it private, then don’t feel guilty about that choice. Most importantly, make time for yourself, and for your partner, so you can make decisions and communicate as a couple.

During my journey with infertility I journalized my experiences sharing the deepest emotions in my book, The Truth Behind The Secret “Infertility”.  It is a raw, real outlook on infertility with a twist of humor and tears. It’s a behind the scenes look into another journey.

If you would like to read more on me or my book please visit my website www.Secretinfertility.com.

Connect with me on Twitter: @Franmeadows 

Facebook: The Truth Behind The Secret “Infertility”