I started fertility hypnotherapy last Wednesday. I touched on this briefly at the end of my first TTC Diary, but I thought I’d go into more detail in this post as I’ve had quite a few messages asking me what it entails. I’ve asked my hypnotherapist to write a more in-depth post for the blog which will be coming soon, but for now here’s my experience from my first session.
But first, some background…
Before I fell pregnant with H-Bear I was very sceptical about hypnosis and never thought I had the sort of mind that would be susceptible to it. However, my anxiety was heightened during H-Bear’s pregnancy and (amongst other things) I found myself terrified about giving birth again. After reading Ina May Gaskin’s ‘A Guide to Childbirth’ and researching positive birthing, I came across hypnobirthing. At that point I was willing to give anything a go, so I contacted Sandra from East Yorkshire Hypnobirthing and we started our sessions.
Hypnobirthing completely transformed my birth experience. I was in the zone, calm and centred (a total contrast to how I am in real life!) and I truly believed in myself and my ability to give birth. Nick also felt like an active participant during the birth, compared to Busby’s birth where he felt like a helpless observer. (H-Bear’s birth story is here if you fancy reading about it in more detail).
Back to the here and now!
We started the session with a questionnaire about what I’m hoping to achieve from hypnotherapy. The obvious answer is to get pregnant, but we set realistic ‘SMART’ goals.
What are ‘SMART’ goals?
Any goal you set yourself needs to be very specific so that your unconscious mind understands clearly what you need to achieve it.
Your goal needs to be measurable. When do you want to achieve this by? How will you know when you get there? What is the very last thing that has to happen so that you know you have reached your goal?
It needs to be attainable. There’s no point setting the goal that I’ll get pregnant with twins, or a specific gender, as that’s completely out of my control.
Relevant (and Realistic).
Make sure your goal is relevant to you and also realistic.
Finally it needs to be time-based. This will keep you on track. What do you need to do now? Where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, a year etc?
So for me, my SMART goals are:
- To stop blaming myself and my body for our miscarriages.
- Get rid of the mental block that says we won’t be able to conceive again.
- To trust my body and instincts again.
- To believe that I will get pregnant and bring a healthy baby to term.
We then worked our way through a hypnosis script. I’m always amazed when I go under; it’s such a surreal experience. My whole body goes numb, my mind feels more focussed (although not completely – I can never totally switch off) and the visualisations are fascinating.
In this session we worked through how I perceive my reproductive organs, so Sandra asked me to visualise them. My mind pictured my womb as Audrey 2 from Little Shop of Horrors; big teeth, monstrous, consuming all that goes near. My ovaries were small and empty, and my fallopian tubes were full of blockages and barbed wire.
She then asked me to change this. To picture my womb as warm and welcoming. To see my fallopian tubes as open and flowing. For my ovaries to be full and fertile. Randomly, the pink ‘two heart’ emoji came into my mind at this point, so I imagined everything pink, warm, welcoming, soft and comforting.
Once the script was over and I was back in the room, we chatted about affirmations and set homework for our next session.
Part of our homework is setting ‘pleasure goals’ (ooh, matron!). It’s not actually as kinky as it sounds… Nick and I have to organise an activity each week so we can spend quality time together without distractions. It could be a meal out, a cinema trip, or even just switching off our phones and watching a film at home. It’s about laughing, relaxing and having fun together again.
Trying to conceive turns sex into a task. With all the apps, the tracking and the obsessive searching for signs, the fun of making a baby can get lost, and it can completely suck the fun out of a relationship too. Especially if, like us, you’ve been trying and failing for a while.
My other homework is to listen to my fertility affirmations daily. I also have to print five out to put around the house, saying them out loud every time I go past one to reinforce my belief in the affirmation.
I left my first session feeling so positive, relaxed and buoyant! I find it very difficult to relax and not worry about everything, but as I walked home I had a huge grin on my face and thought about the baby that will be in my tummy and eventually my arms again one day.
I have five more sessions ahead and I can’t wait for each and every one of them. I already feel so much more positive – and so excited for the future.