I want my posts to be helpful, but I want them to also be realistic. This post is aimed at stepmum's who want a child of their own and for whatever reason that hasn't happened yet.
I know that if you have decided not to have kids, that is a different situation.
Being a stepmum is tough. Being a stepmum who wants kids of her own is even tougher. Being a stepmum who hasn't conceived so far and really wants them, is even bloody tougher. And being a stepmum during the coronavirus outbreak with all of the above? Well that is the toughest of them all!
I am not going to go into the details of our fertility journey in this post. I will in another one as I feel it will help other women. I have managed to eradicate any sign of PCOS (in blood tests, scans and symptoms) in my body over the past year, which is a miracle in itself as I had it very severely and it caused a whole heap of problems for me. I am completely symptom free and have no PMS either. I was always taught our menstrual cycle is meant to teach us, so the more problematic any symptoms are, the more potentially you have to heal emotionally, spiritually and physically.
I know having a baby is the one thing you really can't control, and trying to control it makes the situation worse. My biggest lesson in life is learning how not to be a control freak. Something that is SO important as a stepmum too.
I know they are a TON of women who are mid fertility treatment or who were about to start treatment who had it cancelled. My heart goes out to them too. We had an IUI consultation 2 weeks ago, that has now been cancelled.
It had taken me months to get my head around the fact we may need some kind of help, and as soon as I become brave enough to actually go through with it, the treatment process is put on hold. Oh the irony!
But I am a positive thinker and I believe in divine timing, and maybe my future babies knew all this was going to happen and for one reason or another thought it wasn't the right time for me to fall pregnant? Who knows!
What is affecting me most, isn't the fact that we couldn't have an IUI consultation, it is seeing everyone home schooling their kids and saying 'they know what is important in life', and me feeling like that I 100% know what is important, and also I know 100% I want my own children.
If anyone is wanting their own kids and for one reason or another, you aren't in that place, I am sure you understand how I feel.
BUT, I am not a moaner and I am a half glass full person and this is how I am dealing with the emotions I am feeling right now.
1) TRUSTING that I will have my own children, at the perfect time in the perfect way. My body has healed since I met my husband, from very severe Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I take that as a sign that my body wants to fall pregnant. I also believe when we have a strong desire for a baby, it means there is a soul also longing for us.
Sometimes, you have to get out of your own way and let a higher power do it's thing. We can't always control the timing in which we want to have a baby.
There is a saying I like:
'Lack of evidence, is not evidence of Lack'.
Just because there is no baby in the physical, doesn't mean that he or she will not be born. Science says that every imaginable scenario is possible and already exists, we just need to be an energetic match for what we want. We live in abundant world where anything is possible. So that means having a baby is possible!
2) FOCUSING on mental and physical health, but not being too strict or harsh on myself.
Of course, these are all the things we all should be doing anyway on a daily basis regardless of the virus to keep our immune system strong.
We don't need a doctor to tell us we should be getting good quality sleep, managing stress, eating a diet full of whole (as in not processed) foods, exercising daily and meditating.
I am a big fan of intuitive eating and listening to my body. There is a lady I like called Mel Wells who advocates intuitive to keep healthy.
I also like the work of Fiona Boulton at Awakening Fertility whose average age of client is 42, and she has an 80% success rate for her fertility methods. She is the one who helped me heal my body of PCOS.
At the moment, I am taking an hour long walk in the countryside, meditating and practicing Yoga and Qi Gong daily. I am being kind and loving to myself, eating healthily and making sure I keep in check of any anxiety, but also not being hard on myself to do things if I really don't feel like it.
I push myself a little, but not too much that it feels like a chore.
We probably have a lot more time on our hands, so it could be a perfect time to detox the body, mind and soul in whatever way that resonates with you.
Your body may just want to sleep and relax for the next few months, and that is totally fine too if that is what your body is telling you it needs!
3) SURRENDERING more than ever right now. I think this virus has shown that we really have no control of most of what we thought we did in life. We can get stressed, anxious, angry or depressed, but will that solve anything?
Our stepfamily lives have shown us a vital lesson already - that we need to let go of the things we cannot control.
We all hear of stories where the woman 'gives' up on trying to have a baby, and soon enough falls pregnant.
The Coronavirus has half taken my mind off the situation completely, and half made me feel even more broody!
Instead of tensing up, I know I need to relax and surrender to what is happening around me, making sure I am keeping up to date on the current situation, but not getting too caught up in the daily news.
Now is a time more than ever, that we need to go within and listen to our heart and intuition.
4) Try to understand and then let go of feelings of JEALOUSY.
It can help to look at other women with babies, FEELING that will be you soon. It makes you feel a lot better to feel 'my time is now', rather than feeling they have what you want.
I believe that when we are jealous of something else, we push what we want even further away. When we can be happy for someone else who has what we want, it is likely to come to us quicker.
However, if you are feeling jealous, remind yourself that you are not a bad person. It is very normal to feel this. Try to understand where this jealousy sprouts up.
Is it feeling you would be a better parent than someone else?
Is it feeling jealous other women getting pregnant easier than you?
Is it feeling angry when other women complain about their kids, as you feel they should be more grateful they have kids?
Jealousy can just be unacknowledged anger and grief, that is being redirected in the wrong place. It isn't someone else's fault that they have children, and you don't. Trust me, I get how hard it is. I really do!
But being jealous and angry won't make you feel good, and will bring you down the long run.
You may need to let jealousy go time and time again. It is important to let go of any inner sadness and anger, so that it doesn't stop you moving forward. I am a big believer that negative emotions get stuck in our body and cause us mental and physical harm if we don't let them go.
You can help jealousy issues by being honest and talking about them with a friend or therapist/coach. Try to talk to someone who will understand and not judge.
Don't judge yourself either for feeling jealous. It is very normal in this kind of situation and does not make you a bad person. Forgive yourself for any kind of negative feeling. You are doing the best you can.
You could journal all your feelings out which is incredibly helpful for letting of pain. I often do this and then burn the paper while meditating, imagining all the negative feelings leaving me.
Yoga and meditation helps me process and release feelings too.
5) Continuing to do things that bring me JOY.
It is easy to get bogged down by negativity and wallow in our sadness about a situation. Especially when we are stuck indoors on a lockdown!
It is important now, more than ever, that we are keep doing things that bring us joy.
To me this is yoga, meditation, writing, getting outside in nature, reading and self-development, but to you that might be something different.
Aim to do 3 things every day that bring you JOY. It could be small or big, just make sure it fills up your soul with happiness.
We are all creative beings by birth, but we forget this as we go about our daily mundane lives. It can fill like we are on autopilot and life is decided for us. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Even if we are stuck in our homes, we can find ways to be creative.
This could be baking, decorating, some sort of arts and crafts, dancing, writing, programming, building something or reorganising a cupboard.
For me, it was finally publishing this blog!
If we are struggling with infertility, our second chakra (in Yoga) may start to become a little stagnant. The second chakra (or energy point) is located in our pelvic region.
A fertility coach friend of mine called Fiona Boulton at Awakening Fertility said that one of the best things to do for fertility and as a woman, is to explore creativity in whatever way that means for them.
She said we can deeply stimulate and open our second chakra with creative pursuits such as dancing, painting, cooking…and writing.
She has been telling me this for a long time!
There’s something about the fertility process that makes us want to give all of ourselves to creating a baby. When it doesn’t come easily, we can try even harder. I know this as I have been there!
Maybe if we began to pour the energy of our fertility journey into creativity instead, we might create space for a baby rather than squash and suffocate it?
6) Focusing on the RELATIONSHIP with my husband.
The main positive of this situation is that I get to spend more time with my husband, something I always wanted. We are both working from home and have a few more hours in the day to enjoy together.
It is something I am not going to take for granted as we will be back to normal soon (I hope!).
It definitely is testing, don’t get me wrong. We are annoying each other a little more, but also being a lot more loving. It is such an extreme situation we are in and is going to bring out the best and worst in us all.
Don’t expect yourself to have a perfect relationship during this time. Just try and support one another, talk each day about how you are feeling and try and see the humour in the situation. Like are we really all locked up in our houses?!
Notice that if you are arguing, it doesn’t mean your relationship is failing. It just means you are under pressure and this isn’t a normal situation. None of us could have prepared for this.
Being a stepmum means that you are used to dealing with a different way of life where nothing is really certain and a lot is out of your control. So hopefully you have learnt a lot of life lessons that may have prepared you for this.
You already know that you need to put your spouse first, and so it is important more than ever that we continue to put our relationship as a priority.
7) ACCEPTANCE of the situation.
Life is unpredictable, as we have found out these past few weeks. Sometimes we do have to accept things as they appear in our lives. There is a difference between accepting a situation and thinking it is the end of the world, to accepting a situation but still working towards the end goal.
I find acceptance brings me peace in life.
There is a chapter in Deepak Chopra's book 'The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success', where he says that we need to welcome with open arms whatever comes our way, either good or bad, because if we create resistance against it, we do more harm than good.
Acceptance is a choice we make, the same way we can choose to be happy or sad regardless of a situation.
Acceptance also helps to manage stress, and as we know, stress is no good for our immune system or fertility.
If you are on a fertility journey as a stepmum, I really am sending all my love to you. It is hard enough going through this, without the added pressure of stepfamily life.
I trust that you are exactly where you need to be and that life will work out for you as it is meant to.
Please remind yourself you are worthy and you are perfect just as you are. You are worthy to have everything you desire.
I would love for us all to share tips and support, so please comment below if you are in a similar situation and have any advice you feel would help others.