Hi, friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Hello my friends, and welcome back to the Fearless Infertility podcast. I am so excited that you have taken the time for yourself today. In today's podcast episode I will be talking about the specific thoughts that were wreaking havoc on my life and how they were so sneaky I didn't even know they were there.
I will be teaching you about my process that you can take to identify thoughts that are causing a bunch of negative emotions in your life, that are keeping you stuck. And how to identify those and move forward to progress to get the results that you want in your life. Stay tuned.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to Fearless Infertility. We'll see if I can make it through this podcast episode today. My throat is so scratchy, I have a cold. Well, here's my story that like you honestly probably don't care about but you can also relate to. I’ve had a cold two weeks straight, felt like decent for a week and then got another cold again.
So I'm starting to get serious and I honestly, you guys, this pains me to say this, but I honestly think that I might need to go off sugar again. Because I was doing a little bit of research, and we all know that sugar is horrible for us. And if you've been with me for a little while, you know I had Epstein-Barr virus last year and was dealing with that. It's the virus that causes mono.
And I had a drastic diet change where I went to all organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, organic free-range chicken. Like all this really good whole foods, or what I believe is good Whole Foods. And I was able to heal myself through that. And I cut back significantly on sugar. I didn't have it for a while and then slowly started eating it again.
And now I can tolerate it, well at least I thought I could. But my body keeps getting sick. And I'm like, “Why am I not able to fight this off?” And I just really think that I might need to go off sugar, which is honestly, I mean, is it a death sentence? I don't know. Like is life worth living without sugar? That is debatable.
But I actually am thinking about doing a challenge. So if you want to go off sugar with me, at least for a little bit, we can just like be miserable together. Then make sure you're following along on Instagram @thesliceofsun.infertility and then also sign up for my newsletter. I'll put the link in the show notes. And we got this.
I just know that sugar causes inflammation, it causes all sorts of drama in the body. And the last thing that I really need in my life is drama. You know what I'm saying? And obviously, my diets not working for me again. I slowly was able to tolerate more sugar because I wasn't so sick with the Epstein- Barr virus raging. Which I think came out through just all my fertility treatments, my twin pregnancy. And I have it at bay again but my body's able to fight off this sickness. And I think it's because of the sugar, people.
I think when your gut health is good, your life is good. And I wish it weren't that way because I really like sugar. Sugar is not boring to me. And that's actually a lot of work I've had to do over the last little while, is really come to terms with the fact that sugar is not fun, I make things fun.
So anyway, that's my thought process going on. But my throat is a little scratchy today. So we'll try to get through this episode. But I'm so excited that you're here. And today I'm going to start out reading a few podcast reviews.
And I love it that you guys leave reviews because I love hearing how these tools are helping you so much. And I also love that when you leave reviews it helps other women who have absolutely no idea who I am
yet know that they can get access to these tools as well to help them go from feeling full of fear and unsupported during infertility to supported and in control of their emotions.
So the first podcast review, it’s by The Prairie Lawyer. Her title of the review is Comforting, Empowering Space. She said, “I'm grateful to have a podcast I can turn to when I need the space to go to be surrounded with women who understand the trials of infertility and possess the knowledge to empower me through the difficult times. The longer your infertility journey, the more you'll find that your support system needs a break from discussing, empathizing, etc. This podcast can fill this void for you and help you move forward.”
So I will be continuing to give away a pair of pajamas and socks that I created for this community to one of you who leaves a review. So please make sure to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast and I'll read another review and give away another set next week. The Prairie Lawyer, if you will email me your size and address I'll get those sent out to you.
Another review that I really loved was by KMay2, her title is Essential listening for those going through it and their family and friends. She says, “My daughter is struggling with infertility and recently had a heartbreaking setback. Finding these podcasts today have been nothing short of a miracle at this time. Not only is the information so applicable and helpful to her to know that she is not alone and that there can be hope and joy, but it is helpful for me as her mother to really understand what she is going through so that I may be able to better help her through this journey. I would urge husbands, partners, friends, and family to also listen to this podcast to enhance your ability to support your loved ones. Thank you so much for sharing these journeys.”
Thank you so much. I love that you said that. I think that oftentimes when we haven't personally experienced a circumstance ourselves we don't know how to relate to it. That was me before infertility, I remember feeling sympathetic but not knowing how incredibly difficult it was to experience infertility before I did myself.
And I found myself literally sobbing in my closet one day because, not for me, I was going through infertility at the time and it wasn't for me. But it was for my two friends that had experienced infertility when I wasn't. And I was finally getting what it was like for them. And I was crying with empathy for them. And so I think it's a great idea to share this podcast with those people in your life who you want to help understand you and your experience more and how they can support you.
Another review is by agerclark, she or he says, “Join the club.” I'm assuming it's a girl. It says, “After learning about our infertility I was hesitant to start researching and looking into anything about infertility. Honestly, it just freaked me out to face it head on. This podcast has been so helpful to me. It has introduced me to what IVF and infertility is like. It has helped me be more comfortable with my situation and has helped me to feel part of a community. Thanks.”
I'm so glad you're here. You will find, especially if you're new, you'll get to know that this is such an absolutely beautiful community. And although none of us would say, “Great, give me infertility so I can be part of this community.” It is such a silver lining in the hard trial of the circumstance of infertility. And I've met some of my best friends and been able to really truly see the hand of God in my life through people in this community.
So although it is challenging and you wouldn't wish it, right, it's so nice to be able to have other people to experience it as well. So make sure to join our private Facebook group if you haven't yet. It's called Fertility Family by The Slice of Sun. I’ll also link it in the show notes as well. And it's a really safe, private place for you to share your feelings and ask questions to women who are also experiencing what you are.
So today's episode will be about our thoughts. And unless you're aware of what your thoughts are doing for you in your life, they can go completely unchecked. We have thousands and thousands of thoughts a day. But they can go buck wild and really spin your life out of control before you even know what it to attribute it to.
So I was feeling super anxious about going back to my infertility doctor. I go back in the end of May and I was feeling very anxious about it. Every time I would talk about it, I would get this tightening in my chest, I would want to cry. And honestly it kind of surprised me a little bit because I've been here, right? I've been in this community for years, I've done three IUIs and three rounds of IVF. And I just didn't really know that these feelings would be so big the second time around.
And there I was, I was so anxious whenever anybody would bring it up at all. And I started to get really curious about the thoughts that were causing me so much pain. And had I not understood or had I not gone through my coaching program that I'm teaching you tools from to learn the model that our thoughts always cause our feelings. So when we're wanting to know why we're feeling a certain way, we can always, always go back to a thought that's causing that feeling.
And in order to do that we need to give ourselves space. And we all have busy lives. We all have schedules to keep, goals that we want to attain. And life can feel too busy to really give ourselves that pause in our day to stop and give ourselves that space that we need in order to ask the questions that we need to ultimately heal us and understand why we are feeling the way that we are feeling.
And we can choose to consciously go to a space in our day that gives us that stillness that we can then think to answer questions. And for me, it's hard. It's never been easy to just like wake up and give myself that space. Because in my mind, I'm like, “No, I'm wasting time, I need to get to what I need to be doing. I need to make my bed, I need to get dressed for the gym, I need to get ready and accomplish, accomplish, accomplish.”
But I think when we don't slow down, we can truly run ourselves into the ground. So for me, in my routine in my morning, I've started to get up at roughly 6:30 every day. I try to get up earlier some days if I'm able to go to sleep by 10, but I like to get eight hours of sleep. So if I go to sleep at 10:30, I'll get up at 6:30 the next day.
I will wake up; I will get something to drink. And I'll come to my office, and I have my spiritual time. And what that looks like for me is reading my scriptures, it's praying, it's asking questions to God as I'm praying. And it's being very intentional about giving myself that space to think.
And so in that space to think and ponder and let God talk to me I was able to figure out why. I asked myself that question, why am I feeling so anxious? Why am I feeling like I want to cry every time I talk about going back to the fertility center?
And in that space, I was able to identify the thought that was causing me so much distress. And it's this thought that I don't actually believe, but it's this thought that was going on in my mind unnoticed, causing all this havoc. That I was feeling like I've done infertility, I've done the experience. I've done three IUIs, three rounds of IVF. I shouldn't have to do this anymore.
And that thought was causing me so much resentment toward the experience. And I was able to dissect it. And that's a thought that I don't actually believe. I don't believe that just because I've experienced it once doesn't mean that I shouldn't have to experience it again.
Now, would I have liked it to get pregnant on our own this time? Absolutely. But that's not my story and that's not my circumstance. And so thinking anything should be different is just fighting against reality and making me resentful and feel awful.
And so yeah, maybe you do believe that right? Maybe you do believe you shouldn't experience it. But how is that affecting you? How is that helping you get the results that you want?
Any negative feeling is not going to be bringing about positive actions that will then get you the results that you want. So when you're feeling resentful, you're not taking positive actions moving forward to get you the results that you want in your life.
And for me, the results were that I was feeling horrible, and terrified, and anxious and kind of wanting to shut down and just kind of block it all out. When I realized the thoughts were causing me to do that, I was then able to reframe how I looked at it. And now going to this fertility appointment I am feeling so much more calm and peaceful because I had given myself that time to figure out what was going on in my brain.
Now, there are certain thoughts that are true that you don't want to believe. That you know are true but that you're going to push away from your brains, because you know that they're not causing the results that you want in your life.
So if you're noticing a thought is causing you to feel anxious, exhausted, angry, resentful, sad, any of these emotions that you know aren't helping you progress in your life. If they aren't true, don't go there. Don't think that thought. When you notice it in your brain you can push it aside and replace it with something that you know is more helpful.
If they are true, still don't go there. There are thoughts that you know are true that you can still choose to allow to push away from your brain. Because you can see that thinking and believing that thought won't get you the results that you want in your life.
So you don't have to lie to yourself and say, “Oh that thoughts not true. Or I don't believe that.” Maybe you do believe it. Maybe it is true, right? But a thought that's causing you to feel anxious, upset, sad is a thought that I think deserves to be worked on. And I think that you deserve to give yourself the space to replace that thought with something else that you also believe is true, but that makes you feel peaceful and happy or whatever other emotion you need to take action in your life to then get you the results that you are looking for.
Ask yourself, what is the end goal? Sure, I could believe that I don't think that I should have to experience infertility again because I've been there. I've done that. Check it off the list people. I could choose to believe that, sure. I can make a lot of arguments about why that's true. But why?
Why would I torture myself?
The fact is, is that I do need to go to the fertility center again. So regardless if I think I shouldn't have to, I still have to go. So the only person that I'm hurting when I think that thought is myself. And it doesn't magically change the reality that I need to not go to the fertility center, I still need to go there.
So my recommendation is, is to stop backing up with evidence that things that are hurting you. You will always find what you look for. But you can tell by how you're feeling if those thoughts that you're trying to backup so hard with evidence are getting you to a place that you want to be in your life. Stop hurting yourself and be a friend to yourself. Okay?
And now at this point, you're probably saying, “Okay Jenica, it's easier said than done. Like, how do I actually do that, right? There are thoughts that I know that that are harming me, but I don't know how to get to the place where I can understand what those thoughts are, and how to change them.”
Okay, so I'm going to give you an outline on how to easily do that. Okay, so first, create a space in your life to listen. Create a space of silence. For me, that's easiest in the morning, because I know that I most likely will not be interrupted. I carve it out of my day. So it's the first thing that I do. And I know that if I don't make it happen, it won't happen.
So I'm very diligent about it because I know, first of all, I'm not going to say that this is easy, because I'll get up in the morning. And I mean, do we want to make space for this type of work? No, it's work, it's not like it's fun. But I know that at the end of the day I will be glad that I did it. And that's what I tell myself when I wake up when my alarm goes off, and I want to push snooze and keep sleeping. I know because I've done that. I know that I will regret it because I know what comes out of giving myself the space.
So choose a time in your day that you know you can count on. And trust yourself. I know that yesterday's Jenica that knew I needed this would think this is important. So even though right now I'm exhausted, I don't want to get up. I'd rather sleep my bed is so warm. I know that yesterday's Jenica knew what she was talking about and I'm going to trust her right now.
Your best intentions will run into weeks and months, and you'll stay stuck exactly where you're at if you don't get intentional about making that space for yourself to really listen and understand what thoughts are coming into your head that you sometimes don't even know are there. And that's exactly what happened with me, I had no idea that that belief was popping in my head causing me so much anxiety about going back to the Fertility Center.
So step two is to identify the thoughts that cause you so much pain. And it's easiest to identify how you're feeling first, and then go from there, after you identify how you're feeling.
So for me, it's easy to pick out feelings, right? I can ask my body, “Where am I feeling this in my body? Am I feeling a tightening in my chest? Am I feeling hot? Can I identify this feeling with a name?” I think it's easy to figure out first where we're feeling and start there and then work backwards.
So once you find out how you're feeling, ask yourself, “Okay, well, why am I feeling this? What thoughts are causing me to feel like this? And then sit in that stillness. And it might not come right away. You might have to do this work for a while. But when you give yourself that space, you'll be able to figure out what thoughts are causing those feelings and then work on them from there.
And the whole point of me telling you this isn't so that you'll be happy 100% of the time. I don't think that it would be helpful for us as human beings to be happy all the time. I think that there is so much that can be learned from feeling these “negative” emotions. And if we didn't feel them, we wouldn't know what their opposites were. And so it would just be neutral all the time.
The point of me telling you this is so that you know you're in control. And it's not your circumstances that you're in, that are ever controlling how you're feeling. Your circumstances do not need to change for you to feel the way that you want to feel.
Sometimes I want to feel sad. I don't always want to be thrilled or excited that I have to experience infertility or that I'm experiencing infertility. I do however, think it's important to choose emotions that are productive and helping me move forward to getting the results that I want, which for me right now is another baby.
So I give myself time to sit in that sadness. And then I know that I'm in control when I want to move forward. That I can change the thoughts that will then change my feelings and propel my actions to get the results that I want. And that's what I want for you too.
And so the point of this isn't to never feel sad or bad. The point of this is to know that you're in control of sadness, and you're also in control of happiness. And it always starts with how you're thinking.
My third suggestion is a once you have that thought that's causing you so much pain, and you've identified that because you've done the work and you've given yourself that space. Treat yourself like you would someone that you love dearly.
Would you talk to your best friend the way that you're talking to yourself? Would you talk to your sister the way that you're talking to yourself? Would you treat your mom the way you're treating yourself? Stop treating yourself like crap. Truly, I think we are our own worst critic sometimes.
And for me, yes, I make mistakes. I am a human being. That's a fact. Am I happy that I make mistakes? No, who wants to make mistakes, but I also know that that's just a part of being a human being. So when I choose thoughts that cause me pain and suffering, and then I notice later, I gently steer my mind in a direction that I know helps me. And that I know will help me get the results that I want.
And it's really helped me a lot to kind of look at myself like I would a child. Now, when a baby learns to walk do we say, “Oh, you should have learned to walk already. You should have figured this out. Oh my gosh, you're falling. That's embarrassing, I can't believe you're falling.” No, we know they are doing the best that they can in that moment. Are they perfect at it? No. So why do we have these unrealistic expectations on ourselves in dealing with experiences in life?
Of course, we shouldn’t know how to deal with it right away. We've never done it before. Of course, we shouldn't be perfect at it. And that's helped me a lot in looking at myself, treating myself as someone who I love dearly and gently guiding myself when I make mistakes, which I will, in my thoughts to thoughts that are more productive.
I love you guys so much. Thank you so much for being with me here today. Please remember to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast to enter to win the pajamas and socks. And I'd also love for you to share on social media. If you have an episode that has rang true to you or there's something that you've learned and you want to share, I would absolutely love if you share it and tag me and I'll re-post and we can connect that way online.
Thank you guys, I will see you next week.
To celebrate the launch of the show I'm going to be giving away pajama and sock sets from The Slice of Sun that I have personally designed. They are the most buttery, soft, delightful things you'll ever put on your body. And I'm going to be giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple podcasts. It doesn't have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I genuinely want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value to you who are experiencing infertility.
Visit thesliceofsun.com/podcast launch to learn more about the contest and how to enter and I'll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Thank you for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want more tools and resources to help you during your infertility experience visit thesliceofsun.com. See you next week.