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Your Year In Summary

There is only one day left in this year, and as we prepare for 2016, we look back to what was our own personal 2015. For me it held many wonderful memories and some challenging times too. My children are expanding their wings and becoming more autonomous. We traveled to Europe for 6 weeks a highlight for sure, many re-connections with new and old friends. Leaving my family to create my own time that was interesting and liberating too. I did miss them all and feel having that time apart made me appreciate them even more, especially my husband.

I also made a few new friends from my daughters’ school that was a bonus as being a parent you need to create your own community and find support. Personally I haven’t been fitter, as I enter my 48th year on this glorious earth, I find myself achieving more calmness and stillness in my Bikram yoga practice, something which I plan on maintaining in 2016.

Professionally I did a little with my own coaching work, not much I must confess, this year 2015 was dedicated to nurturing my children. I choose to be present for my children and be there for them, creating memories and not feel conflicted to be doing everything at once. What a wonderful feeling to have that time. In 2016 this will change as my youngest goes to big school and current routines will be impacted. Plus I need the professional stimulation to get back and help others achieve their own goals and inspire them to become more accountable to live their life congruently. This is where I feel my purpose is. I realise that once I get my work in flow I will be in alignment with my mission and purpose thus the family will benefit in so many ways, as I often say once you fill your own cup, it will overflow to others, it’s natural and so organic to watch it happen.

If you are still on the infertility roller-coaster, keep believing and continue your journey, reassess where you are, take a break, love those around you and know you will be a parent, sometimes taking stock of what is around you gives you perspective, and next attempt do something different. Contact me for a confidential talk, I am here for you.

To those who seek change in 2016, think about what you have accomplished this year? What needs to be improved and what are you willing to give up in order to get it? Be gentle with yourself if you haven’t accomplished all your 2015 goals, celebrate your successes no matter how small they are, it is a start, and contact me in 2016 to make those other goals matter, because living your truth matters. Believe me, I have been in your shoes and living on the fence serves no purpose.

So goodbye 2015 it was a Great Year, so many learnings and more gratitude of what is in my world. For that I give Thanks.

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10 Tips For Friends who know someone TTC

These days many couples once they start the second trimester are eager to announce their pregnancy and so they shout it from the roof tops. Once posted on Facebook the entire world knows. It is an exciting time of transition and you are so delighted to share your good news. You may have friends that have been trying for a long time, longer than you perhaps and they are still suffering in silence, sure they are happy for you, but having another pregnancy announcement made public is like throwing salt on their wound.

Having a close friend in this position is awkward for all and you feel like you are walking on egg shells, as you want to be sensitive to their needs but what do you say?  Many people say things like “just take a holiday and it will happen” “relax and enjoy having unprotected sex”, others give advice on what to do, etc. They mean well and want to help. However a person in this delicate position doesn’t want advice, believe me I was in one of them.  It took us about 3.5 years and multiple attempts at IVF to finally win the baby lottery.

Here are some simple tips you can keep in mind when you want to help a friend who is on this challenging journey.

 

  1. If they are not going through an IVF clinic and are at the beginning of their infertility journey, this is a confusing time for them, they are working out that needs to happen next and how they feel about it all. They maybe also feeling a loss and cannot verbalise it. So as a friend, just offer to be there for them if they need a shoulder to cry on, bring tissues.

 

  1. Just don’t offer any advice unless you also struggled with your fertility. Just be a friend and say nothing, if they want to open up, be a listener and support them. There are enough professional people giving them fertility advice and what their options are, if you enter that conversation of what worked for your friend, and she got pregnant straight way blah blah this just highlights that they are missing.

 

  1. Be considerate of where they are right now, if you are pregnant they may not want to be in your company. I remember staying away from family and pregnant friends as this was my way of self-preserving. It is not personal, this is a very private journey and some people do not want others to know. Respect their privacy at this time. It won’t last forever.

 

  1. Infertility is an emotional journey you get many lows before you get our ultimate high (if it works!), so if your friend is self absorbed at the moment, just understand that this is normal. She will undergo many blood tests, other tests perhaps her partner as well so if you are good friends offer to help out, they may need a home cooked meal or someone to do some cleaning. Or if you are invited make her a cuppa tea and sit together.

 

  1. She may be suffering from the injections as these can play with your hormones and give you some side effects. Give her space; send her a card simply saying that you are thinking of her. It is those little gestures that make someone smile. Bring around some glossy magazines if you know that she enjoys them. No babies/parenting ones please. (unless she asks for them)

 

  1. If she is quiet on social media, do not send her pictures of babies/pregnant women to make her smile. Most women I know struggling, this is such a tender topic that seeing babies is lovely and nurturing but does not help the issue. Ironic I know as she wants a baby so bad, but she is sensitive right now and she is processing that perhaps she will never have one of her own. Even the most positive person on this fertility struggle has days of doubt.

 

  1. Your friend will move from a disempowered state, feeling like a victim ‘why me, why us’ to a more positive empowered place. She will gain more control of the things she can control and learn ways of coping. As a friend, an outsider you will see this transition, be strong for them during the initial stages, after all being a friend is also being there when things get tough, and you are proving that you care and want to support her in any way you can. Just by being there you have done enough.

 

  1. Be her protector, if you are all part of a social network of friends be the ‘go-to-person’ about this, do not spread her news/developments/status unless she has specifically asked you to do so. Just respect her space right now. If she wants you to update the others she will ask you. This way you are filtering the information and she is not being bombarded by the others asking the same questions.

 

  1. Suggest to her that you do some activities together, if before you went shopping together or playing a sport together aim to keep this up. She will need to keep her balance throughout this time and you are reminding her that life goes on, so keep your routine.

10. You are a wonderful friend as you are reading this article to get some ideas to be part of her struggle. She will see that you care and that your distance at this time does not reflect how you feel. This journey will make her stronger and take your relationship to another level, of closeness and connection.

My insights came many years after all the fertility treatments; I could see what I would have done differently and how I would have liked to be helped. That is why I want to be of service and spread the word. We, as a couple became so focused on the pending treatments that many things were neglected, most of my friends did not know about how we were suffering inside. Life continued, I kept screaming silently and feeling so sad, a cloud had permanently taken residence above my head. I was a walking robot, living by the calendar and looking at our diminishing funds. I lost my passion and my humour. The only consolation was meeting my fellow friends I made in my IVF counselling sessions; we were all in the same situation. Gradually we all came out of the tunnel and found our peace and happy to report we all had beautiful healthy children.

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