Are you stressed about being stressed about your fertility?Jun 06, 2022
About 6 months into our trying to conceive journey, I started experiencing what I can only describe as panic attacks. It mainly happened when we were driving in the car. I’d struggle to get my breath and felt like I just couldn’t expand my lungs. I’d be yawning all the time (which was awkward in work meetings), because I felt like I couldn’t get enough air. The bad attacks would leave me feeling faint, with tingles in my fingertips. I’d even have to pull over on the side of the road to recover. This continued for years.
What I’ve since discovered is that this is a sign of stress.
Our body is made up of two main elements to our nervous system – the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) which is responsible for our fight or flight response (essential if you’re being attacked), and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), commonly referred to as the rest, digest, repair and reproduce arm of our nervous system.
When we inhale, we’re tapping into our SNS which acts as the body’s accelerator, and when we exhale, we’re using the PNS, which serves as our brake. They’re supposed to work in flow with each other – one speeding up, with the other allowing you to slow down your heart rate.
This is why breathing exercises are so great at reducing your stress - because it regulates your nervous system (and tip - if you want to calm down quicker, make your exhale longer than your inhale).
Unfortunately, my fertility journey and the constant stress it was putting me under had my foot wedged firmly on the accelerator. I needed to be more, do more, work harder, be perfect. And as a result, it was having a physical impact on my body (including my fertility).
I also experienced severe memory loss. When I went to write my book, The Injustice of Infertility, a true and raw account of my 7-year battle with infertility, I had to piece together our journey based on doctors’ results and receipts. I remembered very little about what happened, without jogging my memory. I have also since discovered that stress can affect how memories are formed. When stressed, people have a more difficult time creating short-term memories and turning those short-term memories into long-term memories. And this makes me a little sad. Because I can’t remember a lot of wonderful things that happened over those 7 years too.
Stress impacts us in a whole lot of different ways.
If you aren’t sure where you stand on the scale of stressed or not, here are some things you may be feeling if your foot is stuck on the accelerator, and you’re constantly living in a stressed state…..
You’re wound up like a spring. You can’t sit down, because you feel guilty for not doing more. And then the next day you’re at rock bottom and cannot drag your ass out of bed.
You’re overwhelmed and irritable. You go from peace to rage in a matter of seconds.
You rush everywhere, and you always seem to be running late, and apologizing. It feels like everything is urgent.
You have a constant and never-ending to-do list, and on the days when you don’t cross something off, you feel a combination of dread and panic. There are never enough hours in the day.
You find it hard to unplug and “relax”. Even while getting a massage or at your acupuncture session, you’re still stiff as a board. The only time you can relax is with wine or when you’re asleep.
You’re exhausted, yet you have trouble sleeping, or wake in the middle of the night with your mind racing.
You’ve gained weight and no amount of exercise or healthy eating seems to shift it.
Some days you actually forget to breathe. You find yourself holding your breath and have no idea how long you’ve been doing it for.
You struggle to say no.
If you answered yes to any of those, welcome to the club. This is infertility. And this is stress. It feels like it’s one and the same.
Now before you start punishing yourself, you can stop, because research has shown that women with infertility have the same levels of anxiety and depression, as women with cancer, heart disease and HIV. Yes, a study conducted by AD Domar, PC Zuttermeister, R Friedman, and published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, revealed this.
As you’ve probably already discovered via doctor google, stress has a huge impact on the way your body functions – on your nervous system, your digestive system, your endocrine system, just to name a few. AND it affects our fertility. Because when we’re stuck in our SNS, our body thinks it’s in danger – so it shuts down all our other bodily functions apart from our ability to run from the thing that is threatening us. In historical times, that would be something like a bear – but these days, it could be a report due at work, running late for a meeting……..or INFERTILITY.
Which puts you in a chicken and egg scenario – is your stress causing your infertility, or is infertility causing your stress?
So now you’re stressed about being stressed!!
HOW do you put a stop to the self-perpetuating, never-ending cycle?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix or a once and done strategy when it comes to infertility – because the thing that is stressing us out is constant. It’s not like there’s an off switch, or a way that you can move away from your source of stress. It’s month after month, and for some of us it’s year after year.
Despite people telling you to just relax or just stop stressing, it isn’t that easy, right?
BUT just because something isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Take me for example – despite doctors telling me that there was basically a zero percent change of ever getting pregnant naturally, I did – twice – at the age of 39!
Anything is possible. But you have to be willing to make some changes. And deep down you probably already know that you need to make a change. Actually, you’ve probably already been making a whole lot of changes, but nothing seems to work, right?
Despite your best efforts to meditate, if you’re anything like me, it only fuels your sense of frustration, failure and increases your stress levels.
I know how it feels to be throwing everything you have at the beast of infertility, and it just keeps smirking at you and kicking you in the gut harder and harder. It’s soul-destroying, and the longer it takes, the more you can see your life and your dreams slipping away.
But what if you could make some simple changes in your life, reduce your stress, and start to feel the fog clear again?
Would you like to know how to –
Stop being so overwhelmed, and start feeling a little more at peace.
Reduce the anger and rage and release the resentment you feel when everyone else around you keeps getting pregnant.
Live with the uncertainty without it driving you insane.
Start believing, stop doubting yourself, and find hope again.
Slow down and breathe, without feeling guilty for it.
Lighten the load of worry, understand your fears and stop being so scared that this will all be for nothing.
Start being kinder to yourself and stop the continual regret and “if only” mind games.
Release the heavy emotions you’re feeling and process them in a healthy way.
Deal with friends and family better, prepare for insensitive comments, and take the sting out of pregnancy announcements.
Basically, let go of the things that give you the most stress and start to feel more at Peace. Like you have a some balance in your life. Free from the confines of infertility. Confident in yourself and in control of your journey. Productive – like you’re finally moving forward. Feeling lighter.
What if I told you, you could learn, implement and feel all of this in just 8 weeks?
Yes, I’ve developed your one stop shop to create balance in your life, in my new online signature program RELEASE.
It is specifically designed for the woman who doesn’t have time to waste trying shit that doesn’t work. Who wants a learn a whole heap of easy tips, tricks and hacks to start feeling a little more human again, and a little more in control of her life. No more falling down that google rabbit hole or endlessly scrolling social media.
It follows a well-thought-out 5 step process to get you from consumed to having balance, and is packed with different strategies you can try until you find something that works for you. And the awesome thing is that you don’t have to wait until the end of the 8 weeks to see results. We're starting with the magic up front, because you need to make some changes today, right?
A new module is released each week, so you don’t get too overwhelmed. AND each lesson is delivered in 5-minute videos, so you can watch them on the run and feel like you’re achieving, learning and moving forward every single day. It is step by step guidance and you can work through it at your own pace, and re-watch the videos, because you have lifetime access.
This will save you time, money, heartache, energy, friends AND STRESS!!
And the skills you learn over these 8 weeks will serve you not just on your fertility journey, but also in pregnancy (because the anxiety only ramps up then), motherhood, and beyond.
Don’t believe me? Mind-body programs have been found to increase your fertility by more than 50% - those are better odds than IVF and acupuncture.
And this is what those who have worked with me say –
“I don’t think I would’ve been able to do this without you. I mean that, you’ve inspired me for so long. You’ve inspired so many women and I truly thank you for paving the way and for showing what grace, vulnerability, and strength looks like. Thank you for your constant encouragement through all the ups and downs. I’m so grateful to have you on my team and to know you as a person.” - Samantha
“This entire experience has been beyond amazing for me. I was lost and not in a good place before we started coaching. Now, I feel SO much lighter and better. I felt supported, heard, and seen by Jen the entire time. I was free to be my complete self, and knew it was a judgement free zone. I was given so many ways to cope with my infertility and loss and each week felt a little more back to myself. I am beyond grateful for you and this program for bringing ME back and giving me the tools I need to step into another cycle with a new sense of strength and hope. If you are wondering whether this is for you, RUN, do not walk and get started today!!!!” – Libby
"I hadn't done fertility coaching before, so I wasn’t sure if we would connect enough for me to feel safe opening up. My worries were put to ease after our first call. I loved that it was less about direct infertility ie IVF, cycles, supplements etc and more about ways to cope with infertility. It was exactly what I was lacking. I learned behaviors, techniques and tools to help deal with and process the struggles of infertility. Our conversations helped me switch my perspective from victim to survivor!" - Michelle
"I joined Jen's coaching program because I needed support on this journey while I was feeling lost and hopeless. After working together, I feel like myself again. I feel like for the first time in 5 years that I can be hopeful, like I can actually heal some of the deep wounds from this journey. I have new ways of coping and have implemented some healthy self-care methods that are working for me. I can’t even scratch the surface of how much this has helped me to move forward with my life." - Caroline
"I would definitely recommend this fertility coaching program. It's an amazing feeling to have someone in your corner, and like REALLY in your corner. I liked the ideas for creating healthy habits and the forgiveness for when you fall off the wagon. I always leave our sessions feeling like I am ready to take on the next day/week in a positive way - but not in a cheesy way - more so with kindness and forgiveness (to myself)." - Cait
Just like these women, you deserve to feel a whole lot better than you do today.
So how do you get involved?
Doors are open for the next 6 days for RELEASE, so if you’d like to take back control of your life and feel more at peace, you can find out more information and join us HERE.
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
Are you ready to BEAT STRESS + BOOST FERTILITY?
It's no secret that stress can have a negative impact on your fertility.
That's why people keep telling you to "just relax", which is NOT helpful, and only fuels your stress.
But HOW do you reduce your stress, when infertility is stressing the heck out of you to begin with?
HOW do you slow down, feel at peace, achieve a little more balance in your life and say good bye to the inner struggle?
Download this free PDF for 3 simple hacks you can implement today to tip the scales in your favor.