Episode 54 is our one-year anniversary show! I am talking about believing pregnancy is possible over 40, so we can have a better TTC experience. We are looking at how I believe, the process I go through, and a list of thoughts that have helped me. I hope they help you, too. And if you are pregnant, this works for believing anything!
This episode has nothing to do with religion or having faith. My goal is NOT to convey if you believe hard enough, you will get pregnant. Being pregnant is a circumstance, but our experience getting pregnant and later pregnancy only lives in our brain. This process is not my creation. I must give so much credit for Brooke Castillo at the Life Coach School for helping me change my life.
How powerful is this work? In 2007, 16 years ago I got hemorrhoids. I experienced constipation, bleeding, pain etc. Sometimes I would cry when I went to the bathroom. I tried creams, medication, surgery, had multiples colonoscopies, acupuncture, medication that could effect my fertility (that I took for a very short time). Nothing worked. I was told I had Crohn’s disease while waking up after surgery. Scary stuff, but I didn’t think I had it. Then I blamed it on my diet, that’s when I got into gardening and I became a vegetarian for a year and vegan the next year. Nothing helped but I knew one thing: It was always worse when I was stressed. Fast forward 14 years to 2021: I still had hemorrhoids, but that’s when I found the life coach school. I’ve listened to every podcast and joined the coaching program. I went in to help with relationship and anxiety, and my life has never been the same. I’ve spent the last two years continuing the work. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago through this daily practice that I realized I clinched my butt cheeks and tensed my legs. That’s 16 years with hemorrhoids, and I was the one that was causing the constipation and the pain. It’s mind blowing that I figured this out after 16 years by just listening to the sentences in my brain and feeling the feelings in my body. This is something no doctor could have ever figured out! I have been working on NOT doing it ever since.
What does this have to do with believing you might ask! I really wanted to explain how powerful managing my mind has been form me. I have several friends and family notice how calm and happy I seem now. While I was working on other things, it’s truly helped me in other areas of my life like trying to conceive. That’s why I must share it with you.
STEPS TO BELIEVING
The definition of a belief is a thought that you keep thinking over and over again. I use SENTENCES instead of THOUGHTS and BRAIN instead of words like THINK. This helps me give distance, almost like speaking in 3rd to make it easier to help myself. The simple steps I took to believe are 1. I wrote down what I want to believe, like a goal. 2. Figured out what I was currently thinking. Wrote it all down. 3. Figured out the thoughts I wanted to think from looking at what I was already thinking. 4. Practiced the thoughts I wanted to think.
It’s really helpful to have a dedicated time of day to do this. Typically, my lunch break is when I do this. When I recognized the older thought during the day, I try be kind to myself, ‘oh there’s that thought. Not today,’ and then repeat the thought I want to have. It’s simple but incredibly effective. The more I do it, the easier it is to believe.
I first decided my ‘goal’ if you will. Yes, a baby is the goal, but more importantly I wanted to put it in my own words and to describe my experience, “I will have an amazing pregnancy and a beautiful baby is the gift at the end.”
The next thing I did was to recognize the thoughts in my brain during the day. Especially when I was feeling a negative emotion. Like what sentence was causing the emotion. This is a skill that took months to get. I’m still working. It took a very long time to get to know all the sentences in my brain. I wanted to be able to repeat the exact sentence. Sometimes, it’s often easier to name the emotion before the thought causing it. It went like this: I would have an emotion like anxiety, excitement or frustration (those are my three go-to emotions) but I wouldn’t know why. I would feel and try to understand what the sentence was that caused it.
Then, I write all the thoughts down on pregnancy. Everything in my head. As fast as I can write and fill of the page. I have books filled with my thoughts. There is something really powerful about writing them down. I looked at my thoughts to reflect on my overall TTC experience.
Next, I would look at one thought like: ‘I don’t deserve to be a mother.’ In a perfect world, my brain would believe I deserve to be a mother. No way, that’s too extreme. My brain isn’t ready to think that. Ok, I would make a sentence closer to what I want, ‘Everyone deserves to be mother.’ Yes, that’s a sentence my brain believes. I test out thoughts like I’m trying on an outfit in a dressing room. Then I said the new sentence over and over again. And after I was comfortable with it, then I would try a sentence closer to the sentence I wanted like, ‘what if I deserve to be a mother, too. I deserve to be a mother, too.’ I took baby steps to the sentence I wanted to believe.
Other times I would do the positive opposite. Like right before my first transfer I thought, ‘it’s not going to work.’ Instead I practiced, ‘It could work. It’s going to work.’
Another was to look at it: I would list the emotions I wanted first, ‘I want my TTC experience to be calm. I want to feel joy, and I want to feel excitement.’ Then I would create sentences that made me feel those emotions. We will get to those later.
The last way that was helpful but only for the short term was to write to myself from the future. It fizzed out for lack of a better word. It was incredibly helpful when I was writing it because I could feel it while writing. I wrote a letter as if I was already a mother to my TTC-self. I would be very description with weather and what the nursery looked like, what time of day it was, how motherhood was going etc. I really liked doing this right before a transfer or even before practicing new thoughts.
I’m sure affirmations work for some people, but for me they are just noise because I don’t believe them. I didn’t choose those sentence. I want to know what I’m thinking now, and create sentences closer to what I want to believe. I want to repeat those. I don’t want to practice sentences I don’t believe.
THOUGHTS I PRACTICE
Here are thoughts that have helped me believe, and I still practice today.
“Everyday I’m not pregnant is a day I get to prepare my mind and body for pregnancy.”
This one I say often! This helps me have motivation to always work on managing my mind and to keep moving my body.
“I am enough not matter what happens.”
Yes! I’m enough whether I’m pregnant or not. I’m enough whether I become a mother or not!
“Life is 50/50. The goal isn’t to be happy all the time.”
Life is 50% positive and 50% negative. Knowing life is going to be negative can make it a little easier when you know it’s just part of it. I also know life is NOT going to be perfect when I’m pregnant or a mother. It’s just going to be a new 50/50.
“I’m going to be a mother no matter what it takes.”
It may not happy next month. We may have to go to embryo adoption or figure something else out, but it’s going to happen. It’s WHEN not IF.
“I’m only 42, I have time.”
Yes! I’ve really been feeling this one lately. The stories have really helped me with this. Like Jake was 51. Sharron was 50. Bianca was 48. It truly helps me feel like I have time and don’t need to be in a hurry.
“It could work this time.”
It really could work this time. What if it does? We have a few bathrooms to finish if it does.
“My TTC Journey is longer than I expected… and that’s ok.”
I like added ‘and that’s ok’ to almost any negative sentence. I’m upset… and that’s ok. I miscarried… and that’s ok.
“My TTC experience is happening FOR me. Not TO me.”
I don’t want to be a victim. I want to look at science and thank it for the opportunity it has given me. I still think the pregnancy between finding eggs donors was amazing. This thought makes everything a little sweeter.
“This is happening exactly the way is supposed to.”
I like to think this when something good or bad happens INSTEAD of the what-if’s. That this is story that is supposed to be playing. I know it’s happened exactly the way it is supposed to because it did. I can’t argue with the past! That is a losing battle.
I hope this helped you in some way. I could create so many more shows about this, so please let me know if this helped!
I believe you can believe you can have a baby over 40.
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Life Coach School Podcast: Over-desire https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/overdesire-overhunger-overtrying/id870239631?i=1000630288594